Past Lives: Peter Principle of Tuxedomoon 1954 – 2017

Tuxedomoon in concert. Peter Principle. Magasin 4, Brussels, september 10th 2011. © Julien Bosseler

Tuxedomoon (originally consisting of Steven Brown and Blaine L. Reininger ), were part of the late 70’s San Francisco ‘Freak Scene’, which also included The Residents, Chrome and Flipper. Their underground sound, comprising of mainly synth, sax and tape-recorder, was boosted by the arrival of Peter “Dachert” Principle on bass in 1978.

Their only credo was that “anything that sounded like anyone else was taboo”, which initially garnered hostile reactions from audiences, more used to a traditional sound and line-up.

The 1980 album ‘Half-Mute’, released on The Residents’ label Ralph Records was an instant post-punk classic, championed by DJ John Peel, and won them a loyal following, particularly in Belgium, where they eventually relocated to in the early 80’s. There they signed to influential label Crammed Discs, releasing an album ‘Holy Wars’ in 1985.

In the 90’s they split and then later reformed, releasing and re-releasing material on the label’s subsidiary Cramboy.

Peter Principle was found dead in his room, from an apparent heart attack or stroke, at ‘Les Ateliers Claus’, the Brussels Venue/Arts Centre, where the band was working on new material and a possible tour. He was 63.



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