I’m saddened to learn that Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson died today. I knew of Mr. Christopherson as a member of Throbbing Gristle, the pioneering industrial band. Throbbing Gristle, despite their relative obscurity in this country, was a huge influence on the development of my musical aesthetic. It is not an exaggeration to say that Audio Damage products do what they do in part because of my listening to Throbbing Gristle during my teens and twenties.
I was completely unaware, until I read his Wikipedia entry this morning, that Mr. Christopherson was also a member of Hipgnosis, the design group responsible for some of the most striking album-cover art done during the 1970s and 80s. (Remember album-cover art?) Mr. Christopherson himself was the creator of the covers of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and all three of Peter Gabriel’s first albums (here, here, and here), all of which I own, among others. He also directed a long list of music videos for a diverse array of artists, including Erasure’s Chains of Love, Robert Plant’s Tall Cool One, and the startling, Kafkaesque Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes. His works are often surreal, macabre, and sometimes grotesque. He saw things differently than the rest of us, and wasn’t afraid to show us what he saw. He made many contributions to my life–some of which I knew were his work at the time, many of which I didn’t–and I’m sorry that he’s gone.