Genesis Breyer P-Orridge released a statement saying she had just been diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. P-Orridge is a legend in the industrial music scene, co-founding the seminal bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. Her treatments begin tomorrow, and Psychic TV’s European tour has been postponed.
P-Orridge made a post on her Facebook explaining the situation:
Thee responses from so many ov you, ov US ! Shatteringly full ov beauty.We cannot possibly thank you all enough. Sean…
She reports feeling more exhausted after touring last year, collapsing sick after shows. A month ago, after having severe breathing problems, she went to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with the “severe, life-threatening blood disorder.”
Psychic TV’s European tour was due to start today, but was understandably postponed. P-Orridge says this is the first time she’s had to cancel a tour in nearly 50 years of touring. Thursday, before P-Orridge’s announcement, Angry Love Productions, her record label posted:
This year Genesis P Orridge has had some major struggles with her health. During the last 2 months she has been hospitalized more than once. Her doctors have decided she should not travel at the present time in order to recover fully. Therefore all upcoming European dates will be postponed to 2018. We will announce once we know more.
According to the posts, her treatments will include a new experimental form of chemotherapy.
P-Orridge first came to fame with the experimental COUM Transmissions collective, founded with Cosey Fanni Tutti. P-Orridge and Tutti would go on to found Throbbing Gristle with Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and Chris Carter. Throbbing Gristle went on to become one of the leading bands in the industrial genre, even giving the movement its name with their Industrial Records label.
Throbbing Gristle’s music was harsh and often disturbing. The song “Hamburger Lady” told the story of a woman who had been so badly burned her face looked like hamburger meat. The story was written by mail-artist Blaster Al Ackerman in a letter; the letter is included
After Throbbing Gristle broke up in 1981, P-Orridge and Alexander Fergusson formed Psychic TV. Though Psychic TV was also harsh and noisy, it also incorporated more elements of traditional pop and dance music.
In 1995, P-Orridge married Lady Jaye Breyer. Breyer and P-Orridge soon embarked on the Pandrogyne Project, where the two people attempted to unite as a “pandrogyne,” or a single entity. Both Breyer and P-Orridge went under extensive surgeries and body modification to look like the other. These surgeries continued until Lady Jaye passed away in 2007. After her death, P-Orridge continued the Pandrogyne Project and adopted the “we” pronoun instead of “I”, to keep Breyer’s memory alive.
Explaining the Pandrogyne Project, P-Orridge said:
We started out, because we were so crazy in love, just wanting to eat each other up, to become each other and become one. And as we did that, we started to see that it was affecting us in ways that we didn’t expect. Really, we were just two parts of one whole; the pandrogyne was the whole and we were each other’s other half.
The entire Throbbing Gristle discography is being reissued on vinyl starting November 3, with new editions of debut album The Second Annual Report, plus their most popular album 20 Jazz Funk Greats and the compilation The Taste of TG. Psychic TV’s Pagan Day and Allegory and Self were re-issued earlier this year.
Correction: This article originally stated that Cosey Fanni Tutti was a co-founder of COUM Transmissions and that Peter Christopherson was a co-founder of Psychic TV. Also, at the time of their marriage, Lady Jaye Breyer was NOT part of Psychic TV, she only joined later.
Photo via Genesis P-Orridge’s Facebook