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Tributes to Peter Christopherson

Friends and colleagues pay tribute to Throbbing Gristle's Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, who has died aged 55.

  • 19/11/2010
  • Mark Savage
Peter Christopherson (Getty Images)

Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, a founding member of pioneering post-punk group Throbbing Gristle, has died aged 55.

The musician, artist and provocateur "passed away peacefully in his sleep" at his home in Bangkok, Thailand, according to a statement on the band's website.

Throbbing Gristle were one of the first Industrial bands, renowned for their use of machine-like noises, tape loops and found sounds.

They courted controversy by playing naked and vomiting on stage, leading MP Nicholas Fairbairn to label them "the wreckers of civilisation" in the Daily Mail.

After they split in 1982, Christopherson -  a former graphic designer and record sleeve artist  - went on to play with groups like Coil and Psychic TV, before rejoining his first band in 2004.
 
"Peter was a kind and beautiful soul. No words can express how much he will be missed," said Throbbing Gristle bandmates Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter in a statement.

Mute Records boss Daniel Miller said everyone at the label, which released some of the group's later albums, was "saddened and devastated by the news."

"Peter was very talented as an artist, and he was also very generous with his ideas," he told BBC 6 Music.

"He was very warm and decent as a person -  which sometimes the music didn't really reflect."

"There are probably more people who have been inspired by Throbbing Gristle than have perhaps heard of them," he added.

"He had an ability to work with electronics and composition that took from the past, but looked to the future."
Robin Rimbaud

Another musician to pay tribute was electro musician Robin Rimbaud, also known as Scanner.

He had known Christoperson for over 25 years, both as a collaborator and a friend, and said the musician would leave an important legacy.

"If you can imagine the musical scene that was happening in the 1980s, when suddenly a group came through that produced this thunderous cacophony of noise and tape loops, who spoke about writers like William Burroughs and basically spoke against the system.

"They inspired so many people, and if it wasn't for their actions at the time, we wouldn't have people like Nine Inch Nails and even Joy Division.

"Names are sometimes invisible to people and listeners might have thought, 'who is this character?' but then they realise they would have seen his work on record sleeves for Pink Floyd or Peter Gabriel.

"And he was largely responsible for the credits to the film Se7en, so he took something like Nine Inch Nails' music and perversely deconstructed it.

"He had an ability to work with electronics and composition that took from the past, but looked to the future."

Throbbing Gristle played their final gig as a quartet last month.

Frontman Genesis P-Orridge quit on 27 October, and the remaining members had vowed to continue under the name X-TG before Christopherson's death.

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