Alternative TV, Throbbing Gristle, Toxic Graffity(Sue Catwoman and Psychic TV)
In the spring of 1980 Mike Dibbol of Toxic Graffity fanzine journeyed from Tunbridge Wells to London Fields in search of Throbbing Gristle. After drawing a blank at their Martello Street ‘Death Factory’ studio, he met up with the group on Beck Road. Sadly for future historians, Throbbing Gristle were unable to take up Mike’s offer of an interview, so TG did not appear in TG… (Also much to my disappointment. For reasons which now eludes me, I was Mike’s side-kick on that unfateful day). So it goes.
But as an intriguing substitute, here, by the magic of the Internet, is the first part of a lengthy interview with Genesis P.Orridge in which we discover he was -if only briefly- archetypal punk Sue Catwoman’s boyfriend…and much more. Gen also reveals that he was not banned from the Roxy – but was he there when Crass played?
An anonymous comment to Throbbing Gristle piece I wrote on Greengalloway 30 Oct 2005 says T.Gristle met Crass… but When? And Where? [pasted in below the following Wire bit].
And finally, if we ask him nicely, perhaps Tony could reveal what he knows about the ‘Nobodies’? I think we should be told, as Private Eye say.
PS Have added Alex Fergusson site to links section.
Unedited Transcript of his Invisible Jukebox tested by Alan Licht in September 2006 MARK PERRY “Death Looks Down” from Snappy Turns (Deptford Fun City)
GPO: (laughs) I haven’t heard Mark Perry’s voice for a long time.
A: This is from his first solo album. How did you get acquainted with him and Alex Fergusson?
G: I’m pretty sure what happened was I met Sandy Robertson, he was working at Sounds writing things, and he also had a fanzine called Piss Factory about Patti Smith. They [he and Alex] both moved to London from Glasgow at the same time, and were living in the same squat. So I met Mark P through Sandy Robertson and Alex Fergusson. Mark at that time was going out with the original Sue Catwoman, who’s on the front of the No Future newspaper. I got to know Mark P quite well and I even wrote a page for an issue of Sniffing Glue and got involved in that. And then Sue Catwoman got really ill with appendicitis. I went to see Sue Catwoman in hospital and I gave her a great, big, giant latex pool of vomit with “Get Well Soon” written on it. And she was quite taken with that and actually ended up being my girlfriend after that. So I ended up, through her and Mark P, going around all the early punk gigs, the Roxy and various places, and seeing The Jam when they first played and Eater, all those early punk bands. And then Mark P decided that he would like to have his own band. Alex Fergusson and Sandy Robertson had originally had a band which they called the Nobodies in Glasgow, and the Nobodies played only one song which was “European Son” and they would play that for as long as they could, about an hour, and that was the entire set.
Throbbing Gristle was already in existence, and we had our rehearsal space at the Death Factory, so I invited Mark P and Alex to come down there and rehearse and jam and come up with ideas for how the band would be. I had a drum kit, and actually began-strangely enough, not many people realize I began as a drummer, my father was a drummer in big bands. So I was the drummer, for a while, until Alternative TV were invited to play at the first punk rock festival in Birmingham, and I said I can’t be in two bands at the same time. When I started my own band after Throbbing Gristle, Alternative TV were in a hiatus at that point, so I took Alex Fergusson and formed Psychic TV.
A: How long was Alex involved in Psychic TV?
G: Alex was the original co-founder of Psychic TV, before anyone else it was just me and Alex, and that would have been 1981, and he stayed in Psychic TV right up until after Godstar, 1986
Dear Alistair,Very much enjoying your ruminations. Yes, Crass were aware of TG–they met at on at least occasion. Mutual respect as far as I know. The Crass-avant -guard/electronic/industrial link went primarily through Annie Anxiety and led to such things as Whitehouse supporting Flux of Pink Indians at the Greyhound in November 1982, Steve Ignorant singing with Current 93 etc. etc.You’re doing fantastic work in writing about this–keep it up!