Genesis P-Orridge, lead singer, keyboardist and bassist of psychedelic
industrial-rock group Psychic TV, won a $1.5 million lawsuit against producer
Rick Rubin and the American Recordings label on Monday for injuries P-Orridge
sustained while trying to escape a fire at Rubin's home in April 1995.
According to the suit, which was heard in Los Angeles Superior Court over the
past month, P-Orridge was staying at Rubin's home on April 11, 1995, as a
guest of post-punk art-rockers Love and Rockets, who were signed to Rubin's
American Recordings at the time and were working on new material. A fire
broke out in the recording studio on the premises at 7 a.m., causing the
inhabitants of the home to flee. P-Orridge -- the founder of the seminal
experimental band Throbbing Gristle and a contributor to projects by industrial-
rock ensembles Pigface and Skinny Puppy -- tried to escape the house by
crawling through a second-story window and fell onto concrete stairs.
David D. Stein, P-Orridge's lawyer, said that the Psychic TV leader suffered
a broken wrist, broken ribs and a pulmonary embolism, as well as a shattered
left elbow that the suit claimed will prevent him from playing guitar or keyboards.
The injuries sent the musician into the intensive care unit at Cedars Sinai
Hospital in Beverly Hills, Calif., for 10 days.
"His left elbow has been inhibited," Stein said of P-Orridge's injuries. "It has
been repaired, and there's a plate in there now, but our expert testified that if he
continues to play the guitar and keyboard, it could lead to an arthritic condition
The main subject of debate in the case, according to Stein, was who or what
exactly started the fire. It was P-Orridge's contention that the fire in the studio
was caused by a combination of faulty wiring and a makeshift system that
extended power from the dining room to the studio. Rubin filed a cross
complaint against the members of Love and Rockets, stating that they had lit
candles and thrown cigarettes in the studio, thus starting the fire.
"Excuse the pun, but they used a smoke-and-mirrors defense," Stein explained.
Spokespeople for Sony Music, American Recordings' distributor, had no
comment about the case at press time. Rubin was out of the country and could
not be reached for comment. Love and Rockets attorney Anthony Kornarens
also could not be reached for comment by press time.
"Genesis is a wonderful human being, and they tried to defend themselves by
attacking him," Stein said. "They tried to win by character assassination,
because he has tattoos and piercings. This is America, and American juries
don't like that."