Al Jourgensen

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Al Jourgensen
Al Jourgensen.jpg
Al Jourgensen at the Astoria, London during 2004, promoting Houses of the Molé.
Background information
Birth name Alejandro Ramírez Casas[1]
Also known as The Alien, Alien Jourgensen, Hypo Luxa, Dog, Alien Dog Star, Buck Satan, Uncle Al, Enchanted Al
Born (1958-10-09) October 9, 1958 (age 56)
Havana, Cuba
Genres Industrial metal, industrial rock, thrash metal, new wave, synthpop
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, writer
Instruments Guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals, synthesizer, harmonica, mandolin, saxophone, drums, violin
Years active 1978–present
Labels Arista, Sire, Warner Bros., Sanctuary, 13th Planet, Alternative Tentacles, Wax Trax!
Associated acts Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Skinny Puppy, Lard, Prong, 1000 Homo DJs, PTP, Acid Horse, Lead into Gold, Pailhead, Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters
Website thirteenthplanet.com

Alejandro Ramírez "Al" Jourgensen (born October 9, 1958), is a Cuban-American musician best known as the founder and frontman of the industrial metal band Ministry. He is sometimes credited as Alain Jourgensen, Alien Jourgensen, Hypo Luxa (his alias as a music producer), Dog, Alien Dog Star[2] and Buck Satan. He is a member and/or founder of several industrial rock bands, performing as a singer, guitarist or keyboard player.

Early life[edit]

Alejandro Ramírez Casas was born in Havana to Cuban parents in 1958. Soon after, he relocated to the United States to live with his mother and his Norwegian stepfather, who changed the family's name to "Jourgensen." Jourgensen's stepfather was a stock car driver, as well as a mechanic for Formula One driver Dan Gurney. Jourgensen was raised in Chicago, Illinois and Breckenridge, Colorado, (where it was rumored that his picture from his Class Photograph was removed by Summit County High School Staff in Frisco Colorado, in a means of protecting other students from being subjected to Satanic ideology) and was a fan of artists such as The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Can, Kraftwerk, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Kitty Wells, Buck Owens, George Jones, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Miles Davis.[citation needed]

Jourgensen eventually attended the University of Illinois - Chicago, after briefly enrolling at both the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Colorado. He worked as a radio DJ after college, until he became a professional musician with the band Special Affect, which included Groovie Mann, founding member of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult.[citation needed]

Professional life[edit]

Ministry[edit]

Jourgensen formed Ministry in 1981[3] after he left the band Special Affect, which was a new wave/synthpop band (notably including Frankie Nardiello, founder of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and drummer Harry Rushakoff of Concrete Blonde). Early singles by Ministry and Jourgensen's other projects were released on Wax Trax! Records. He also produced Skinny Puppy's Rabies album. During that time, it is said that Jourgensen befriended Nivek Ogre, who later toured with Ministry.

The band broke into the mainstream with 1992's Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs album. One of its tracks, "N.W.O.", was nominated for a 1993 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, losing to Nine Inch Nails' "Wish". However, its next album, Filth Pig (1995), divided their fanbase, leading to a commercial decline that became evident when Warner Bros. Records dropped Ministry from the record label in 2001.

Ministry's newest albums, Rio Grande Blood and The Last Sucker, as well as the 2006 Revolting Cocks album Cocked and Loaded were released on Jourgensen's new record label, 13th Planet Records. He formed this label after falling out with the mainstream agendas of major industry labels.[4]

At the specific request of director Stanley Kubrick, Jourgensen appeared with Ministry in the film A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.[3] He relayed his conversation with Kubrick in an interview:

Well, first of all, I hung up on him. I thought it was a crank call. His secretary was calling and I was like, 'Yeah, right.' Click. And then he called back personally and then talked to me, and I was just freaked out. I mean, who wouldn't be freaked out? Here's this eccentric American God living in the countryside of England, and he's calling me up in Austin, Texas, and saying he wants me to do the music for his film and he wants me to be in his film and he's famous and all that. I didn't even believe it.[3]

Ministry continued its involvement with the film project after Kubrick's death, and Jourgensen revealed that after initial tension, he and Steven Spielberg enjoyed a friendly relationship.[3] A number of his songs also appear in other films, such as Wicked Lake (2008)—produced by Fever Dreams and ZP Studios—for which he composed the entire soundtrack that was released on his own 13th Planet record label—he also makes a small appearance in the film as an art school teacher.[5][6]

In a November 2008 issue of Hustler Magazine, Jourgensen announced that Ministry was officially finished, as the band "takes up so much time" and releasing new albums is difficult. He also explained that he was responsible for six other bands and can complete seven albums within a year when he is not working on new Ministry material.[citation needed] However, despite Jourgensen's insistence that Ministry would never return, a reunion was announced on August 7, 2011. A new album, entitled Relapse, was released on March 26, 2012.[7]

Revolting Cocks[edit]

Revolting Cocks, also known as RevCo, is an American industrial rock band that began as a musical side-project for Richard 23 of Front 242, Luc Van Acker, and Al Jourgensen of Ministry. The band got their name after a fight in a Chicago bar in 1983. Jourgensen, Richard 23 and Luc Van Acker celebrated the formation of their new band with a few drinks. The evening ended in a brawl, with bar stools thrown through the windows. As he ejected the trio, the owner, a man Jourgensen recalls was named Dess,[8] shouted, "I'm calling the police! You guys are a bunch of revolting cocks![8]" The trio decided to use the name for their band.

The band have changed lineups several times. RevCo currently features Jourgensen (guitars, keyboards, programming, background vocals, producer), Josh Bradford (vocals, background vocals), Sin Quirin (guitars, bass, keyboards) and Clayton Worbeck (keyboards, programming, mixing, bass). Their seventh album Sex-O Olympic-O, which was produced by Jourgensen at his studio, was released on his 13th Planet label in March 2009—the follow-up album Got Cock? was released in March 2010 on the same label.[9]

Production work[edit]

Jourgensen and Paul Barker of Ministry worked as a music production team under the names Hypo Luxa and Hermes Pan, producing their own work as well as other Wax Trax! Records acts. Jourgensen also produced music for Reverend Horton Heat,[10] Skinny Puppy,[11] Dessau,[12]Skrew, Rigor Mortis,[13] and The Blackouts.[14] Jourgensen's recording complex for the 13th Planet label is located within his home in El Paso, Texas, U.S.[15]

Political views[edit]

Jourgensen frequently offered scathing criticism of the Bush family, beginning with Ministry's 1992 album Psalm 69, continuing with the 2004 album Houses of the Molé, 2006's Rio Grande Blood, and 2007's The Last Sucker. His favorite targets have been former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Ministry also contributed a song to the first Rock Against Bush album. The theme continues on Ministry's 2007 offering and in Jourgensen's various side projects.

Personal life[edit]

Jourgensen was married to Patty Marsh from 1984 to 2002 and has a daughter from the marriage, Adrienne, who was born on April 13, 1985.[16] In July 2014, Jourgensen announced that he and his wife of 12 years, Angelina Lukacin, who cofounded the 13th Planet record label, were divorced.[17] Angelina Lukacin is a Canadian whose godfather Bob McCammon was the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey team.[3]

In 1995 police raided Ministry's Texas headquarters and Jourgensen was arrested for possession of heroin.[18] He received a five year probation sentence, a time that he recalls as the darkest in his life.[citation needed] Jourgensen was dependent upon heroin for twenty years. As of 2013, Jourgensen smokes cannabis and no longer uses heroin.[3]

Jourgenson underwent two serious surgeries that became publicly known. He almost lost his arm and foot in two separate incidents—the first due to a spider bite, the second issue the result of a hypodermic needle wound.[3][19]

Discography[edit]

with Ministry[edit]

Main article: Ministry discography

with Revolting Cocks[edit]

Date of Release Title Label
1986 Big Sexy Land Wax Trax!
1988 You Goddamned Son of a Bitch - Live Wax Trax!
1990 Beers, Steers, and Queers Wax Trax!
1993 Linger Ficken' Good Sire/Reprise/Warner Bros. Records
2006 Cocked and Loaded 13th Planet Records/Megaforce Records
2007 Cocktail Mixxx 13th Planet Records/Megaforce Records
2009 Sex-O Olympic-O 13th Planet Records/Megaforce Records
2009 Sex-O MiXXX-O 13th Planet Records/Megaforce Records
2010 Got Cock? 13th Planet Records/Megaforce Records

with Lard[edit]

Date of Release Title Label
1989 The Power of Lard Alternative Tentacles
1990 The Last Temptation of Reid Alternative Tentacles
1997 Pure Chewing Satisfaction Alternative Tentacles
2000 70's Rock Must Die Alternative Tentacles

with Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters[edit]

Date of Release Title Label
2011 Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free 13th Planet Records

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Ministry: the Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen
  2. ^ http://www.metalstorm.net/bands/band.php?band_id=202&bandname=Ministry
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Ministry (1981-2008, 2011-2013)". Artist Facts. Tone Media. 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link][dead link]
  5. ^ "The Wicked Soundtrack By Al Jourgensen (Based on the Film "Wicked Lake") Various Artists". iTunes Preview. Apple, Inc. 25 November 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Wicked Lake (2008)". IMDb. IMDb.com, Inc. 1990–2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Greg Prato (25 March 2012). "Ministry 'Relapse' Once Again". Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Al Jourgensen: Sex-O Olympic-O". SuicideGirls.com. 12 March 2009. Archived from the original on 16 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-12. .
  9. ^ CYRUS_CRASHTEST (12 March 2010). "CD Review: Revolting Cocks – ‘Got Cock?’". soundsphere. soundsphere magazine. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Reverend Horton Heat, The* – Liquor In The Front". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Skinny Puppy – Rabies". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Dessau – Dessau". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Dimitris Kontogeorgakos (14 February 2012). "RIGOR MORTIS Tap Al Jourgensen As Producer". Metal Kaoz. Metal Kaoz. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Blackouts, The – History In Reverse". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  15. ^ jason (15 September 2008). "AL JOURGENSEN'S 13TH PLANET TO RELEASE "WICKED LAKE" SOUNDTRACK". The Gauntlet. The Gauntlet. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  16. ^ danlowlite (9 October 2002). "Al Jourgensen". Everything2. Everything2 Media, LLC. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  17. ^ http://www.theprp.com/2014/07/07/news/ministrys-al-jourgensen-planning-dubweiser-project/
  18. ^ http://www.mtv.com/news/506329/ministrys-al-jourgensen-arrested-on-heroin-possession/
  19. ^ "Ministry Founder Jourgensen Undergoes Foot Surgery". Contactmusic.com. Contactmusic.com Ltd. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 

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