Perhaps better known outside of avant-garde circles for his work as a cartoonist, Peter Blegvad was also a witty and articulate singer/songwriter as well as an alumnus of Slapp Happy. Born August 14, 1951, in New York City, Blegvad and his family moved to Britain in 1965. After relocating to Germany in the early '70s, he formed the self-described "champions of naïve rock" Slapp Happy with British composer Anthony Moore and singer Dagmar Krause. Upon releasing a handful of albums, in 1975 the group teamed with fellow avant-pranksters Henry Cow for a pair of LPs before splitting up.
After recording 1977's Kew. Rhone. with Henry Cow bassist John Greaves, Blegvad returned to Britain and mounted a solo career in 1983 with the Andy Partridge-produced The Naked Shakespeare. While in New York, he worked with Anton Fier's Golden Palominos before recording Knights Like This in 1985. Another hiatus followed before Blegvad resurfaced in 1988 with Downtime; King Strut & Other Stories appeared two years later, but when it failed to deliver him the mainstream success so many felt he deserved, he was left without a contract.
In 1992 Blegvad, whose artwork had long adorned his records, was signed to create a cartoon strip for Britain's Independent on Sunday newspaper; the strip, a surreal, referential work titled Leviathan, gradually emerged as the focus of his career, allowing music to fall by the wayside. Finally, in 1995 he returned to recording with two separate projects: the first, Unearthed, was a spoken word offering, while the other, Just Woke Up, was a more conventional musical work. Hangman's Hill followed in 1998 and Choices Under Pressure appeared three years later. 2003's King Strut & Other Stories found Blegvad assuming the traditional singer/songwriter role. Orpheus the Lowdown followed in 2004. ~ Jason Ankeny