Neil Andrew Megson was born in Manchester, and raised in Solihull (map). He changed his name to Genesis P-Orridge whilst at Hull University, and made it a legal change in 1971. He was tutored in magick by Brion Gysin and worked with William Burroughs.
In 1976 he was condemned by the then Arts Minister Harold Lever as a ‘wrecker of civilization’ following the show ‘Prostitution’ at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).
From 1975-81 he was with Throbbing Gristle, the pioneering industrial music band. From 1981 he was in Psychic TV playing psychedelic, punk, electronic and experimental music. They were also pioneers in Acid House.
Genesis had 2 daughters with his first wife Paula P-Orridge (born Alaura O’Dell) whom he married in Tijuana in 1981. Together they were into Body Modification as well as magick and religious movements.
In 1992 their home was raided by the police looking for evidence of Satanism, and they found a 10-year-old videotape which they took to be of a ritual murder. On lawyers’ advice, the P-Orridges relocated to California, and shortly afterwards, their marriage broke up.
Genesis further relocated to New York City with his second wife, Lady Jaye (Jacqueline Breyer). Partly inspired by the Mandy persona of comedian Dick Emery, Genesis and Lady Jaye started to modify their bodies into one ‘pandrogynous’ being, which involved resembling each other. Genesis had breast implants and referred to himself as ‘s/he’. A book of writings called Ooh, You Are Awful... But I Like You! (= Mandy’s catch phrase - see video) was published in Nepal.
In 1995 s/he won $1.5 million from producer Rick Rubin and his company for injuries sustained while escaping a fire, which left P-Orridge unable to play guitar or keyboards.
Lady Jaye died in 2007 from a heart attack connected with stomach cancer. She died in Genesis' arms
Genesis has issued over 200 records.
In 2015 Genesis spoke out against Caitlin Jenner's pretense to be a spokesperson for trans people: “clueless” and “lives in her own bubble”.
S/he was diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia in October 2017, and died in New York City on 14 March 2020, aged 70.
|Throbbing Gristle 2009|
- Genesis P-Orridge, Douglas Rushkoff (foreword), and Carl Abrahamsson (introduction). Painful but Fabulous: The Life and Art of Genesis P-Orridge. Soft Skull Press, 2002.
- Marie Losier (dir). The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye. With Genesis P. Orridge and Lady Jaye. US 72 mins 2011.
- "Genesis P-Orridge: Caitlyn Jenner should 'stop being a spokesperson' ". The Guardian, 27 Aug 2015. Online.
- Adam Sweeting. "Genesis P-Orridge 0bituary". The Guardian, 15 March 2020. Online.
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