Core member of the post-punk outfit unexpectedly passed away in Brussels on 17 July
Peter Principle, longtime member of San Francisco post-punk outfit Tuxedomoon has died aged 63, just when the band were in Brussels preparing a new album and tour to celebrate their 40th anniversary. “The probable cause of his sudden death is a heart attack, or a stroke,” states Crammed Discs, which, along with its sister label Cramboy, has been responsible for releasing much of Tuxedomoon's music. However, Tuxedomoon’s early work was released by The Residents’ label Ralph.
Peter Principle, born Peter Dachert on 5 December 1954 in New York City, played bass and guitar. He joined Tuxedomoon shortly after the group was formed in 1977 by saxophonist Steven Brown and violinist Blaine Reininger. He quickly went on to play a key role in the group’s compositions, recording and production work. Following their 1981 album Desire, the group relocated to an artist's commune in Rotterdam but within a year they moved on to Brussels. At the time of Peter Principle's death he was one of only two San Francisco era members, alongside Brown, to have remained in the group until today, though Reininger continues to record with them.
Peter Principle also recorded four solo albums: Sedimental Journey (1985), Tone Poem (1989), Conjunction (1990) and Idyllatry (2005). About the latter, released by LTM, Crammed Discs comments that “he gave free rein to his taste for experimentation and his love for quasi-psychedelic soundscapes. He once explained that he had discovered the magic of pure sound by listening to the sound of lawn-mowers in his native New York suburb, and then proceeded to reinvent musique concrète (which he didn’t know already existed)…”
Crammed Discs reissued Tuxedomoon’s 1980 debut album Half-Mute last year. “His presence, his intriguing ideas, his imposing silhouette and stage presence, his inimitable bass guitar style will be cruelly missed,” concludes Crammed Discs’ statement.