View Full Version : RIP John Balance

22-11-2004, 18:20:56
Originally posted by www.thresholdhouse.com

We are greatly saddened to have to you that at about 5.30 pm Saturday Nov 13th, Jhonn Balance, was killed in an accident at home.

Under the influence of alcohol he fell from the first floor landing, hitting his head on the floor some 15ft below.

Peter/Sleazy who was in the front room heard the noise, came out investigate and found him unconscious, though still breathing.

Balance was rushed to hospital, where his condition deteriorated, and he died soon after, without ever regaining consciousness.

There is no suggestion that this event was in any way deliberate, in fact, anything other than a tragic accident.

Unusually, Balance had been cheerfull during the day, and was looking forward to seeing Ian at the weekend, and working on new recordings this week.

* * *

Our awareness that physical death is not an end, but mearly a transition to a whole different part of existence, a new adventure, should by now be clear to everyone.

Jhonn has simply crossed over the Threshold...

As Thomas Olson wrote this morning: "Listening to some Coil songs now, and they are all sounding to me now as if they were written for this moment...."

Nevertheless the parting will be hard for us all. Fortunately there is much to be done that will keep us busy in the next few difficult weeks.

When we have more details we will post them.
Found this while searching google for Coil stuff. I'm guessing that Laz and anyone else who follows them closely has probably already heard, but thought I'd post it anyway.

I now really regret not making some kind of effort to see them when they played London earlier this year.

22-11-2004, 18:24:39
Somebody called Balance died because he fell over? I'd make some sort of joke about that if this weren't his memorial thread.

Provost Harrison
22-11-2004, 18:33:25
Award for the silliest spelling of 'John' too...

Lazarus and the Gimp
22-11-2004, 19:38:41
No, I hadn't heard. It's very sad.

It's not surprising, however. Jonh had terrible battles with alcoholism and depression- earlier in the year he was hospitalised after a 20+ day bender in which he didn't eat at all. It left him with malnutrition, maggot-infested bedsores and a broken arm. I think it was only a matter of time before the battle with his personal demons became too great.

It wasn't rock'n'roll excess, just a desperately ill man in a slow decline.

Lazarus and the Gimp
22-11-2004, 19:47:13
David Tibet's comments from durtro.com


With burning sorrow, with burning sadness

I cannot say how much the awful news of Geff's death has affected me and all who knew him. Below is a poor start; no doubt we will all have much to say in the future about how much we loved him and how much we miss him. I will be writing more when I can. The thoughts and prayers of my wife and I are with Ian and Peter at this terrible time, as we know they are of all of you who are reading this.

With burning sadness and with burning sorrow I remember You as:

kindest of men, funniest of men, most intuitive of men, most incisive of men, most generous of men

a great artist, a great voice, a great visionary, a great Soul and a great Heart

Finally You were overwhelmed by it all: by all the beauty and by all the pain. You perhaps never knew how much You were loved.

(the last three letters I got from him, prophetic to the end:)

from an email from Balance to me 20/10/2004

At 2:34 pm +0100 20/10/04, Jhonn Balance wrote:

The whoooosh shish of the scythe these days is eeeeirie.
much love to you both


from an email from Balance to me 21/10/2004

At 1:05 pm +0100 21/10/04, Jhonn Balance wrote:



from Balance's last email to me 22/10/2004

At 5:52 pm +0100 22/10/04, Jhonn Balance wrote:

letters later. kiss kiss


Till we meet again as I know we will, my dearest friend, with love always to you dearest Geff, John and Jhonn, shape-shifter and joker, in angelic form now, playing with stars in the love of God.


Lazarus and the Gimp
22-11-2004, 19:50:41
From Brainwashed.com

Jhonn Balance
16 Feb 1962 - 13 Nov 2004


Jhonn Balance (aka John Balance and Geff Rushton) died at home on November 13 in a fall, leaving the music world and the wider world of magick without one of its most gifted and vivid voices.

He was born Geoffrey Laurence Burton on 16th February 1962 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, later adopting the Rushton surname of his stepfather, and was educated at Lord Willliams School. He studied voice and vocal technique with Saral Bohm, wife of the physicist David Bohm. He was a member of 23 Skidoo, Psychic TV, Zos Kia, and Current 93, and in 1983 founded Coil with Throbbing Gristle cofounder Peter Christopherson. They embarked together on one of the most enduring and fruitful art/life partnerships in music.

Balance was a natural occultist from youth -- he has left amusing accounts of his intensive astral experiences while still a public schoolboy. He became a serious student of all occult literature, and drew on this in his music, artfully fusing esoterics with a succession of musical forms and styles over more than two decades. The imagery and symbolism of his lyrics were however entirely his own -- he never resorted to plundering the symbolic language of others, though he enjoyed occasional veiled references. His output is all the more rich for his originality, making him a primary source in his own right, with passionate fans among occultists and pagans of all persuasions. His vocal technique was relentlessly experimental -- where many singers settle on a signature style and vocal range, he continually pushed the limits of expression to find fresh outlets for his visions.

The output of Coil ranges from the avant-garde (including soundtracks for experimental filmmaker Derek Jarman), to acerbic reflections of passing trends in popular music (such as the brilliantly sardonic Lovešs Secret Domain album), to experimental neoclassical and folk (as with the Solstice/Equinox series), to extended excursions into pure electronica (like the recent Musick to Play in the Dark albums). Many bands and composers have cited Coil as an influence. Balance frequently collaborated with others, as guest artist, remixer and producer. Commissioned work by Coil includes a soundtrack for Clive Barkeršs Hellraiser (rejected by the studio as too frightening), and important remixes of Nine Inch Nails (see the title sequence music for the film Seven, and the album Further Down the Spiral).

After an initial appearance in Berlin in 1983, Coil was a studio group until they premiered a sophisticated live show at Londonšs Royal Festival Hall in 2000, commencing a highly successful series of tours that tested and proved Balance's abilities as a performer. Balance was a gifted writer whose work remains to be collected and published. A connoisseur of all things strange and beautiful, over the years he and Peter Christopherson built the important Threshold House collection of Austin Osman Spare and Aleister Crowley artworks, often loaning paintings to shows.

Balance struggled all his life with the twin diseases of depression and alcoholism -- the latter contributed to his accidental death -- but he drew on this pain as well as his great joy in living to produce art that was all the more true, immediate and poignantly relevant. An account of his life and work is David Keenan's "England's Hidden Reverse: The Secret History of the Esoteric Underground" (London: SAF Publishing, 2003).

A man of immense talent, learning, charm and generosity, he is survived by his ex-partner and lifelong collaborator Peter Christopherson, and his partner, the artist Ian Johnstone.

- William Breeze -

21-12-2004, 02:26:59
Originally posted by Provost Harrison
Award for the silliest spelling of 'John' too...

Huh? JOHN is the original spelling of John.

Lazarus and the Gimp
21-12-2004, 17:16:14
He spelled it in many ways- Jhon, Jonh. It was all tied up in a number of occult theories, such as "Worship the glitch"- that what might appear to be errors may also be messages. If he spelled is name incorrectly, he would continue spelling it that way as an adoption of a new facet to his identity.

21-12-2004, 17:16:53

21-12-2004, 17:17:17
(meant in a good way)

Provost Harrison
28-12-2004, 20:33:25
Judging by the spelling of his name...more like...

Miller :D

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-12-2004, 17:56:05
The editorial of the latest "Wire" covered his funeral, which was held in the woods just outside of Bristol. The last song played was "The dreamer is still asleep" (featured on my "Pollute your ears 3" compilation last year) as Balance was taken away in an open casket wearing a Pan head-dress.

Among the items in his coffin were the entries in the book of condolence, one of which was my own. Apparently it was a great do, and they played the last song Balance ever performed live- a duet with a famed Italian counter-tenor on the theme tune to "Are you being served?". It got a laugh.