Rudimentary Peni is the name of a 1980's UK band, and is associated with Crass, another eminent "punk" band of the time. (Rudimentary Peni released a few records on Crass' label, Crass Records. The singer and guitarist of the band is Nick Blinko. He is also a writer and artist, and apparently an insane man. Blinko apparently suffers severe delusions when not medicated. He was legally institutionalized for a few years in the late 1980's and early 1990's because he refused to take his medication. The medication makes his vision fuzzy and his hands shake. The need to create art for him is greater than the desire for the psychic "stability" brought by therapeutic drugs which adversely affects his ability to work. Thus to make art, Blinko risks total psychological exposure. Blinko's art consists of intricately layered faces and patterns filled with religious iconography and the macabre. Blinko recently published a semi-biographical book entitled The Primal Screamer, which recounts his "primal scream" therapy he received while institutionalized.
"When I got ill, I started to plant paintings in my garden to see if they would grow." Blinko says of the delusions he suffers if he wants to create art. Blinko told of his "fantasy persona" that seized control of him in an interview with Tony Thorne and Blinko for Raw Vision # 17, (an art magazine devoted to outsider art). This alter-ego is associated his hometown outside London where he still lives; "Samuel Palmer...he had Shoreham, Stanley Spencer had Cookham, and I'm lumbered with Abbots Langley... It was the birthplace of the only English pope, Pope Adrian, Nicholas Brakspear. I was so horrified by religious wars, when I was deluded, I had a fixation that all those people had died for me, so that I would be raised to the status of Pope and I'd construct a new Vatican in Abbots Langley." Medical authorities have since ammened Blinko's illness diagnostic label of "schizo-affective" to "thought disorder" - allowing him to be released from from hospitalization. (Blinko quotations come from the interview in Raw Vision # 17).
Rudimentary Peni's album Pope Adrian XXXVII Psychristiatric (1992)deals with the aforementioned delusions from which Blinko suffers. One lyric reads, "One day my head shall grow into a mighty Papal Dome and I shall awaken one day Old Mitre Man." Included in the album is a small folder of Blinko's art, also created at the apex of his delusional state.
An earlier album Cacophony (1987) is an odd collection of 30 or so tracks inspired by the Mythos and stories of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. The album consists of intrumental and spoken tracks layered with hundreds of voices, some of which contain passages from Lovecraft's writings. Art during this period was also devoted to Lovecraft. The LP version of the album depicts Erich Zann, from the Lovecraft short story "The Music of Erich Zann" (1922).
The name Rudimentary Peni apparently comes from the title of a painting. Also "Peni" refers to the Peni tribe of Britannia, who were in the custom of painting their faces blue and berserking their enemies, (according to Blinko). This apprently lead the Peni to expell the Roman legion. It must be noted that Blinko seems to have a hard time distinguishing fantasy and reality.
Rudimentary Peni still function as a band, but Blinko no longer writes the lyrics. Blinko has been gaining in his reputation as an artist. His work is displayed in galleries in the UK and France and is highly acclaimed.