Feathered Bastard

Irony gone nuclear: One week from today, Psychic TV transforms Anderson's Fifth Estate into androgyny central.

PTV3: Genesis P-Orridge is in the center of the pile.

In what may prove to be one of the most ironic club happenings in the history of Arizona, and perhaps the nation, the legendary Psychic TV, fronted by aesthetic genius and transgender icon Genesis P-Orridge, will next Monday, August 27 play Anderson's Fifth Estate, the Scottsdale club currently being investigated by the Arizona Attorney General's office in a discrimination complaint involving local trans activist Michele de LaFreniere.

Cutting across several genres, Psychic TV is an experimental outfit born from the breakup of the notorious British act Throbbing Gristle, itself responsible for creating industrial music. Led by guru/vocalist/noise bassist P-Orridge, Psychic TV pioneered acid house, which in turn gave rise to the early rave scene. P-Orridge is a fascinating individual, a one-time pal of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin, who is quite capable of holding an audience spellbound during a simple interview, as he did recently in a VBS.tv program taped before a live audience at NYC's Guggenheim Museum.

In that VBS.tv interview (which is highly recommended, BTW), the large-breasted, Angelina Jolie-lipped P-Orridge described his ongoing attempt "to create a new form of human being" in a collaboration with his second wife Lady Jaye, who also performs with Psychic TV in its current incarnation as PTV3. As P-Orridge informed interlocutor Ian Svenonius:

What I've done with Lady Jaye, my other half, is take our bodies and cut them up, and then what is the result of the being which only exists because of the two of us is the pandrogyne, or the third being.

To accomplish this, P-Orridge has gotten breast implants and received other body modifications, in an attempt to become, with Lady Jaye, the third being "Genesis Breyer P-Orridge." However, as far as what I've read, this does not include choppin' off the naughty bits, as Monty Python calls them. In an interview with writer John Mitchell, Lady Jaye makes this clear, The idea is that sexual roles are outdated — as is the societal idea of what is beauty — and the two embraced these beliefs as they moved into this realm of body modification as artwork. They did not want to conform to any ideal other than their own — and they didn't want it to be viewed in terms of traditional sex changes. This would count as further separation in opposite directions — instead, they are puzzle pieces in unity, creating one piece together.

"I would really prefer us to not have to lose anything," said Jaye. "If I could have a penis attached, I would do it tomorrow, but for Djin to lose any part of the body that could give pleasure, that's not the idea."

To recap, Genesis P-Orridge is a trans artist, maybe one of the most influential ever, and he's going to be playing the spot in Scottsdale where some local trannies have been turned away because of complaints from chicks using the bog the same time they were. Is your head spinning like Linda Blair's in The Exorcist yet?

When I contacted Anderson's Fifth Estate owner Tom Anderson Sunday afternoon, he had no clue that the band set to play next Monday night is essentially the most famous transgender-inclusive act in the universe.

"I had no idea," Anderson replied when I told him. "That's an outside promoter doing that. I'm sure, from some of the customers that will be transgender in nature. So we'll have to use some special arrangements to get through that show. I'll have to have security for the mens room, and they'll have to use the men's room."

Um, and what bathroom will the illustrious Genesis P-Orridge be using?

"I let the national acts like that use my office, and there's a bathroom there, so more than likely, that's where he'll be," said Anderson.

What would happen if P-Orridge were to venture out to the public female facilities in solidarity with local trans folk? Already there's been talk on local music forums of fans not buying drinks to protest Anderson's policy toward the transgendered crowd. And some have playfully vowed to urinate in the facilities of the opposite sex. Can you imagine it if the whole crowd crossdressed, the sheer pandemonium that could inspire?

All the same, Anderson seemed rather phlegmatic about the whole situation.

"It probably won't cause that big of a hassle because the whole place will be [used to] that sort of thing, and if you're not into that band, you're not going to be there. If you're offended by transgenders, you wouldn't want to see a band like that. I'm not offended by it at all. We'll have to take the necessary steps to make sure that we accommodate the transgender crowd for that show. On my normal nights, when I have the hetero-looking crowd in there, I have to respect their wishes, their privacy, their safety."

Hell, I'm gonna be there. And I may even put my kilt on for the occasion. It's kind of a dress. And my man-boobs require no augmentation.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons