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Peter Blegvad

Peter Blegvad
Background information
Birth name Peter Blegvad
Born August 14, 1951 (1951-08-14) (age 58)
New York City, United States
Genres Avant-rock, Experimental
Occupations Musician, Lyricist, Cartoonist, Illustrator
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1960s – present
Labels Virgin, Recommended
Associated acts Slapp Happy, Henry Cow, The Lodge, John Greaves, Chris Cutler

Peter Blegvad (born 14 August 1951) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and cartoonist. He was a founding member of the avant-pop band Slapp Happy, which later merged briefly with Henry Cow, and has released many solo and collaborative albums. He is the son of Lenore and Erik Blegvad, who are respectively, a children's book author and illustrator.



In 1977 Blegvad collaborated with bassist John Greaves on the album Kew. Rhone. -- an unusual cross-genre release combining elements of minimalism, avant-garde jazz and progressive rock. The album was also notable for its personnel, which included celebrated New York jazz musicians Carla Bley, Michael Mantler, and Andrew Cyrille among the performers. As a musical document Kew. Rhone. remains both ambitious and unclassifiable; Blegvad's literate and playful lyrics are well-matched by Greaves' complex song structures. Blegvad would later continue his collaboration with Greaves in 1995 on Unearthed, a collection of spoken word pieces set to Greaves' music.

In the 1980s, Blegvad released a number of commercially unsuccessful albums on the Virgin Records label, including The Naked Shakespeare and Knights Like This, both of which show the influence of external producers. By contrast, Downtime, an independent release in the late 1980s features mainly very simple demos, often recorded cheaply in professional studios' "downtime". King Strut and Other Stories (Virgin, 1990) is a collection of short stories set to simply arranged, professionally produced music played in many cases by noted session musicians. The album features XTC's Andy Partridge while Orpheus - The Lowdown (2003) is a whole album in collaboration with Partridge. Many of Blegvad's albums feature former members of Slapp Happy and Henry Cow and Slapp Happy have re-formed on occasion for specific projects.

Blegvad is a deft and literate lyricist whose lyrics frequently feature word games, literary references and complex and extended rhyme schemes. He can also claim credit for one of the world's longest grammatically correct palindromes (from Kew. Rhone.):

Peel's foe not a set animal laminates a tone of sleep.[1]

From 1992 to 1999, The Independent ran Blegvad's strangely surreal, comic strip, Leviathan, which received much critical praise for blending some of the most interesting elements of Krazy Kat with a coming-of-age-esque story akin to Calvin and Hobbes. Some of the strips have been collected in the 2001 volume The Book of Leviathan. Other comics and illustrations by Blegvad have appeared in The Ganzfeld and Ben Katchor's Picture Story 2.

He has also conducted two- and three-week writing courses at Warwick University, England, in association with the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY), and the new University of Warwick venture for gifted and creative children, the International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY).



Bands and projects

With Slapp Happy
With John Greaves and Lisa Herman
With The Golden Palominos
With The Lodge
With Dr. Huelsenbecks Mentale Heilmethode
With John Greaves
With Andy Partridge


  1. ^ "Blegvad, Peter". Donald's Encyclopaedia of Popular Music. Retrieved 2008-06-14.  

External links

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