Coil, a band that embraced a conceptual and political base for their musical experiments, is often overlooked. But that’s a shame, because their music was some of the most fascinating and compelling of the modern era.
The group was formed by John Balance and Peter Christopherson. They toured extensively, released a number of albums and had several side projects. They were a pioneering band and influenced numerous artists over the years.
Early Life and Education
john coil’s childhood was full of joy and excitement. He was an avid reader and loved to spend time playing board games with his friends and family.
He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1954 and served as a naval Seabee. After the Navy, he went to work in engineering and later founded a construction company.
In October 2015, he received the UCR Medallion from Chancellor Kim Wilcox for his contributions to the university and the community. He was also a community booster, helping to preserve historic buildings and strengthen programs for young people and the arts.
He was a musician, poet and occultist who was best known as the founding member of Coil, in collaboration with Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson. He died on November 13, 2004.
Coil teamed up with John Force to win 132 national events and 17 championships, a remarkable number for a team that could not afford to spend a fortune on equipment. He anchored Force’s cars with his own tuning skills, and was able to make the most of every dollar he had.
In his early years, Force struggled to get the most out of his small budget, but Coil was able to help him achieve success. He tuned Frank Hawley to a pair of championships on a shoestring budget, and was instrumental in helping Force get his first world title.
The relationship between Force and Coil was strained over the years, but eventually Force was able to find a solution to their differences. When Coil retired from the sport, Force invited him back to the racetrack.
Achievements and Honors
John coil’s accomplishments in the world of engineering and technology were extensive. He served as the president of Quality Coils, Incorporated, a family business that began in 1965 and has grown into a successful electro-magnetic coil manufacturer.
He received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards for his work on moving coil microphone transmitters, reflex type microphone concentrators, and ribbon microphone transmitters. He also earned the honor of being inducted into ASHRAE’s Hall of Fame for his contributions to specialized heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
He is currently director of the Franke Honors College at SCSU, where he leads the development of innovative learning experiences for students. In his role, he leads Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) methodology classes to promote cultural competencies with Honors students.
John coil (better known as ‘Jhonn Balance’) was one of the founding members of Coil, the industrial originators who became known for their blend of dark electronics, occultism and ritual. He was also a musician, songwriter and poet.
A long-time struggle with alcoholism, including a fall from a second floor window at his home, led to his untimely death in 2004. Peter Sleazy, who had a close relationship with John, mourned his loss and performed at his funeral, singing live on Throbbing Gristle’s mk. II album as part of a tribute.
Coil’s music was influenced by scatology, ritual, magic and surrealism. It also incorporated elements of acid house and experimental drone, much of which has been lost to the band’s untimely demise. Fortunately, reissues have surfaced in recent years.
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