Matthew Levi Stevens posted this remembrance of his friend, the late John Balance, illustrated with a photo he took in Charing Cross Road, early Autumn 1992:
Remembering Geoffrey Nigel Laurence Rushton (16th February 1962 – 13th November 2004), also known as ‘John Balance’ of COIL.
“What is magick in our life? It’s all-pervasive, everything we do in our life is magick.
“I made this decision – or it was made for me – at the age of eleven. I think either one is magickally inclined, and sees the universe as a magickal place, the magickal universe. I strongly think there’s people who can understand this, and work with it, and live with it. Coincidences are not coincidences, accidents are not accidents, and we can influence and control at a distance.
“We practice magick every day in our life, with rituals – sometimes sexual rituals – sometimes rituals where I will project my will into an object, or an image, and use that. Or particularly with Coil we project the magick into the music. So, this is magickal music. We do magickal music. This is very deliberate, and we are stating this very deliberately.
“I have addictions, and I have fears, and I have constraints in my thinking. And the point of being a magickian in life is to break those. To explore and explode these set ideas that I have – from my parents, from my very weak given religion, from my peer-group, this Industrial Music thing. We don’t fit with that, we are something else.”
Teachers have taught us, like Brion Gysin, the artist, is a teacher. William Burroughs is a teacher. John Giorno is a teacher. Various Buddhist teachers, and friends, and so on.
We have a duty to pass on what they taught us.”
Stevens is the author of The Magical Universe of William S. Burroughs’) – provisionally entitled ‘Thank You Dad: Confessions of a Psychick Youth’ and next year Mandrake Press will be publishing his book about his time in the TOPY, Psychic TV, Coil orbit.