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orgy

or·gy / ˈôrjē/ • n. (pl. -gies) a wild party, esp. one involving excessive drinking and unrestrained sexual activity: he had a reputation for drunken orgies. ∎  excessive indulgence in a specified activity: an orgy of buying. ∎  (usu. orgies) hist. secret rites used in the worship of Bacchus, Dionysus, and other Greek and Roman deities, celebrated with dancing, drunkenness, and singing. ORIGIN: early 16th cent.: originally plural, from French orgies, via Latin from Greek orgia ‘secret rites or revels.’

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orgy

orgy (in pl.) secret rites of the worship of Greek and Roman deities, etc. XVI; (sg.) licentious revel XVIII. orig. pl. — F. orgies — L. orgia — Gr. órgia n. pl., f. IE. *worĝ- *werĝ- WORK; see -Y3.
So orgiastic XVII. — Gr. orgiastikós.

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Orgy

Orgy

Rock band

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

The Los Angeles-based rock band Orgy chose their namesake not so much for the sexual reference as for a description of their various influencesdrum-and bass, hair metal, funk grooves and Eighties synth bandsall getting it on together, according to Gavin Edwards of Rolling Stone. Anything you can imagine is what we use to make a record, agreed Orgys guitar synth player Amir Derakh on the groups official website. From old-school to state-of-the-art and everything in between. Following their 1998 debut release entitled Candyass, Orgy went straight to the top with a spot on the major Family Values Tour and a hit single, Blue Monday.

The members of Orgy, at the time of their success either approaching or in their thirties despite their youthful glam-rock image, found themselves cast into the limelight in 1998 and throughout 1999. They had all been in the music industry, albeit on the fringes, for some time. Lead vocalist Jay Gordon spent his entire life around the music world. His father, Lou Gordon, managed musicians from the (San Francisco) Bay area, working with

For the Record

Members include Amir Derakh (born 1963; former member of Rough Cutt), synth guitar; Jay Gordon (born and raised in San Francisco, CA), vocals; Paige Haley, bass; Bobby Hewitt, drums; Ryan Shuck (born 1973 in Taft, CA), guitar.

Signed with Korns Elementree Records, 1997; released debut album Candyass, joined Family Values Tour, 1998; toured with Love and Rockets, 1999.

Addresses: Home Los Angeles, CA. Record company -Reprise Records, 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505-4694, (818) 846-9090; Fax (818)953-3211. Website Official Orgy Home Page, http://www.orgymusic.com.

acclaimed bands such as Tower of Power and Sly and the Family Stone. Sly Stone even became Gordons godfather when he was born. I was onstage with Sly and the Family Stone at age two, shaking a little tambourine, Gordon recalled to Edwards.

While Gordon spent a lot of time with his father during his early childhood, his parents divorced after his father was charged with possession of drugs. Afterwards, his mother continued raising her son alone in the Excelsior neighborhood of San Francisco. Periodically during his grade school years, possibly in response to his parents breakup, Gordon ran away from home, but would always return when he felt hungry. Around the eighth grade, Gordon started playing sports. Larger than most of his peers (as an adult he grew to six feet, four inches tall), Gordon excelled at his favorite sportfootball. On his team, he switched between positions, playing both quarterback and tight end.

Gordon began hanging around with the wrong crowd, and at age 13, he suffered a gunshot wound to the leg while walking home from school. Even though he did not provoke the assault, according to Gordon, the event made him reconsider the dangers of associating himself with criminal-minded people. Gordon next turned to heavy metal and glam-rock music, admitting to sneaking out of his house at night to attend Metallica (when the band was just starting out in the early 1980s) shows at a club in San Francisco called the Stone. Inspired by Metallica and other metal groups, Gordon sang in his own band for awhile until he damaged his voice as a result of screaming too much. After undergoing laser surgery at just 16 years of age to try and repair his throat, Gordon never thought he would be able to sing again. Consequently, into his adultcareer with Orgy, he continued to sing with a deep, growling voice.

After graduating from high school, Gordon moved to Los Angeles where he imitated his glam-rock, goth-rock, and heavy metal idols by dying his hair red and wearing pale make-up. Now a fan of groups like Ratt and Poison, Gordon never tried to join another band. Instead he kept his interest in music alive by going to school to study audio engineering and supporting himself as a DJ. Around this time, he also started promoting parties, producing for other hopeful acts, and introducing musicians to each other to form their own bands. One such group, Lit, prospered in the late 1990s after they bought the rights to their bands name from Gordon.

Ryan Shuck, Orgys guitarist, grew up in the small California town of Taft, moving to nearby Bakersfield at age 18 to attend beauty school. Around this time, he met and befriended Jonathan Davis, who was working at a mortuary in Bakersfield. (Davis would later form his own group and become the lead singer of the successful rock group Korn.) I used to cut his hair at beauty collegehe was my guinea pig, said Shuck to Edwards. In 1992, the two friends played and wrote songs together in a shortlived band called Sex Art. One song written by Shuck and Davis included the Korn hit single Blind. Shuck eventually sued Korn for songwriting credit, but Davis and Shuck settled the matter out of court. Thus, Shucks name appeared on the album, and he received royalty checks from record sales.

Claiming that he only wanted his name attached to the song to help further his own music career and not realizing that money would be involved, Shuck later admitted to feeling embarrassed about the lawsuit. As he concluded to Edwards, Its not cool to sue your friend. The legal matterdid not harm Shuck and Daviss relationship, and Korn later helped to promote Orgy. After completing beauty college, Shuck moved to Los Angeles and styled hair for a living. In fact, he continued to cut hair for his fellow band mates and admitted that he would not mind working in a salon again if his music career fell through.

Before joining Orgy as synth-guitarist, Amir Derakh also held experience in the music business. In between jobs playing guitar for several Los Angeles bands, including the 1980s act Rough Cutt, Derakh developed an interest in producing and being a DJ. Orgys drummer Bobby Hewitt, at the time supported by his adult film star wife Shane, played in another Los Angeles band called the Electric Love Hogs, while bassist Paige Haley earned a living painting houses.

Orgy came together in 1997 when Gordon decided that despite his rough voice, he wanted to try singing again and contacted producer Josh Abraham to help him record some demo tapes. He then called several of his musician friends around Los Angeles, inviting them to join in the sessions. Before long, realizing howwell they worked together, the casual cast of musicians officially named themselves Orgy and spent the next six months writing and recording. Their collection of demos led to several record company contract offers, but Orgy decided to go with Daviss Elementree Records, Korns new Reprise-distributed label.

To record their debut album as the first group to sign with Elementree, Orgy rented a house located on a snowcapped mountain in Lake Tahoe. The atmosphere, admitted the band, brought a definite influence to the song-writing process. It was along the lines of [the Steven King horror film] The Shining, remarked Gordon on the bands official website. Cabin-fever set in after about 15 minutes, right after the truck left back for Los Angeles. Shuck further added, Its a raw record. Its all five-in-the-morning, pissed-off, fighting-with-each-other, kill-each-other kinda stuff. Theres an innovative, futuristic feel to the music. Yeah, its pretty cool. Paige contributed, Its kind of like death pop. Our songs are all just slightly deranged, but I can definitely hear them on the radio.

After the album Candyass with its blend of metal, pop, and techno hit store shelves in August of 1998, Orgy found themselves thrust into the limelight, largely due to their hit single Blue Monday, a cover of the classic New Order song. The idea to record their own version came about during Orgys stay in Lake Tahoe when they saw a copy of New Orders Substance album in a record store. Although Orgy felt unsure about covering the single because of its past success, they nonetheless took the cassette home to help them record their own rendering. Faithfully following the original song, Orgy also added guitars to the chorus and an unintended, overall darker feel with Gordons vocals.

Almost simultaneously, Orgy started performing for thousands of fans in large arenas, opening for Korn as part of the inaugural Family Values Tour. In the spring of 1999, Orgy hit the road again, this time opening for Love and Rockets. Eagerly anticipating their next tour, Gordon commented to MTV (Music Television) Newss Robert Mancini, Its gonna be a lot different because, I mean, its smaller venues and whatnot And you know we know who Daniel Ash [of Love and Rockets] is, but he has no idea who we are.

Well into the fall of 1999, Orgy performed with Love and Rockets as well as on their own, with Candyass on the verge of going platinum. Also that year, Shuck and Gordon appeared in advertisements for Calvin Klein. The thirty-something Gordon, who refuses to discuss his age in order to maintain some sense of mystery about Orgy, confessed, according to the groups website, We never know how people are going to react to our band. But they always react.

Selected discography

Candyass (contains Blue Monday), Elementree Records, 1998.

(With others) I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, (soundtrack), Warner Brothers Records, 1998.

Sources

Periodicals

Rolling Stone, September 16, 1999, pp. 53-56.

Online

Launch: Discover New Music, http://www.launch.com (October 2, 1999).

MTV Online, http://www.mtv.com (October 2, 1999).

Official Orgy Home Page, http://www.orgymusic.com (October 2, 1999).

RollingStone.com, http://www.rollingstone.tunes.com (October 2, 1999).

Laura Hightower

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orgy

orgy •haji • algae • Angie •argy-bargy, Panaji •edgy, sedgy, solfeggi, veggie, wedgie •cagey, stagy •mangy, rangy •Fiji, gee-gee, squeegee •Murrumbidgee, ridgy, squidgy •dingy, fringy, mingy, stingy, whingy •cabbagy • prodigy • effigy • villagey •porridgy • strategy • cottagey •dodgy, podgy, splodgy, stodgy •pedagogy •Georgie, orgy •ogee • Fuji •bhaji, budgie, pudgy, sludgy, smudgy •bulgy •bungee, grungy, gungy, scungy, spongy •allergy, analogy, genealogy, hypallage, metallurgy, mineralogy, tetralogy •elegy •antilogy, trilogy •aetiology (US etiology), amphibology, anthology, anthropology, apology, archaeology (US archeology), astrology, biology, campanology, cardiology, chronology, climatology, cosmology, craniology, criminology, dermatology, ecology, embryology, entomology, epidemiology, etymology, geology, gynaecology (US gynecology), haematology (US hematology), hagiology, horology, hydrology, iconology, ideology, immunology, iridology, kidology, meteorology, methodology, musicology, mythology, necrology, neurology, numerology, oncology, ontology, ophthalmology, ornithology, parasitology, pathology, pharmacology, phraseology, phrenology, physiology, psychology, radiology, reflexology, scatology, Scientology, seismology, semiology, sociology, symbology, tautology, technology, terminology, theology, topology, toxicology, urology, zoology • eulogy • energy • synergy • apogee • liturgy • lethargy •burgee, clergy •zymurgy • dramaturgy

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Orgy

Orgy

Originally orgy, from the Greek orgias, referred to secret rites and festivals held in honor of the god Dionysus (Bacchus), Greek culture. Dionysus was the god of wine. Festivals in his honor were held throughout the year and included theatrical performances and wine drinking. Other Dionysian festivals were more secret and involved the maenads or bacchantes, groups of women who were devotees of Dionysus. These women would climb Mount Parnassus and, in a drunken stupor, engage in sexual activities with the god. They were reputed to be so voraciously hungry that they tore up and consumed live animals. In ancient Greece these activities were dedicated to the god; as illustrated in Euripides' play The Bacchae (405 bce), they did not always have a happy ending.

Worship of Dionysus spread to Rome as the festival called "Bacchanalia." In his History of Rome the historian Livy (c. 59 bce–17 ce) described these rites as "debaucheries of every kind," from the "pleasures of wine and feasting" to "the promiscuous intercourse of free-born men and women,… false witnesses, counterfeit seals, false evidences, and pretended discoveries" and even murder (Book 39). In 186 bce the Roman senate outlawed the Bacchanalia, replacing it with the festival of Liber Pater, held in March, celebrating boys' passage through puberty. Liber Pater, like Bacchus, was a god of wine and fertility, but his female acolytes were older, more staid, and less likely to be overtaken with orgiastic frenzy.

Despite the Roman Senate's desire to limit debauchery, Roman festivals offered opportunities for ribaldry, drinking, sacrifices, gambling, and at the December feast, Saturnalia, the reversal of positions of master and slave. Roman emperors also became more libertine, hosting elaborate dinners with drinking, performing women, and courses of delicacies. Participants at such feasts stuffed themselves, then vomited in order to make room for more. An orgiastic Roman feast might include such dishes as dormice coated in honey and poppy seeds, a dish containing peacock brains and flamingo tongues, or the ever-popular udders from fig-fattened sows.

The activities of the maenads and reputation of the Bacchanalia are the basis for the modern conception of both Greek and Roman orgies as events in which all inhibitions are tossed aside in favor of uncontrolled sexuality, drinking, and eating. Films such as Federico Fellini's Satyricon (1969) and historical novels such as Robert Graves's I, Claudius (1934) have perpetrated the idea of the Roman orgy as a debauched event that included gluttony, drinking, and sex. Although such emperors as Caligula (12–41 ce) may well have indulged in such excesses, orgies did not commońly take place in Roman culture except among the very wealthy.

The rise of Christianity, the fall of the Roman Empire, and the general loss of leisure and wealth during the Middle Ages eliminated orgies as they had been celebrated in Greek and Roman religious festivals. Only manifestations of the carnivalesque reversal of social status remained in the religious festivals celebrated in Europe. Sexual misbehaviors were recounted in poetry and story primarily as versions of adultery, as in the Arthurian tales or the songs of the troubadours, or more ribald tales of cuckoldry that appear in the fabliaux (thirteenth-century France), Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron (1349–1352), and Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1380s–1390s).

Stories about sexual orgies reappeared in the work of the Marquis de Sade (1740–1814). The rise of pornography from the late eighteenth century on presented stories and images of sexual license, though such stories rarely rose to the populated levels of the orgy, generally focusing on groups of three or fewer. Graphic artists such as the English painter William Hogarth (1697–1764), who produced a painting titled The Orgy (c. 1735) as part of the Rake's Progress series, and the Polish-born painter Henryk Siemiradzki (1843–1902), who painted Roman Orgy in the Times of Caesars, mythologized the excesses imagined to have occurred in Roman culture. Although Siemiradzki's painting depicts figures attired as Romans, Hogarth's painting translates the orgy into eighteenth-century terms.

In the twentieth century the concept of the orgy changed from a religious festival marked by drinking, eating, and sexual excess to a concept of the orgy as group sex involving three or more participants. Sexual liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s, the relaxation of mores and laws about public sexuality, the availability of birth control, and the emergence of sex (or swingers) clubs, gay bathhouses, and sex parties have made space for the multiple-partner sexual encounters we now imagine to be orgies.

Sex orgies may consist of heterosexual participants who only engage in heterosexual activities, heterosexual couples who engage in both heterosexual and homosexual activities, gay male participants, or lesbian participants. Participants may have sex with multiple partners or may have sex only with their own partner in the company of other couples who are also having sex. Orgies typically involve participants who have all agreed to the same kind of practice; those interested in bondage and discipline may practice bondage and discipline. Those who are interested in fetish items or sex toys may focus on those.

Sex or swingers clubs are nightclubs, often private and limited to members, that provide the accommodations and atmosphere for couples to "swing" or have sex with other couples. Those who frequent such clubs know the accepted guidelines in group sex and assent to the experience. Gay bathhouses, which emerged during the 1960s, also provided a context for meeting partners and engaging in group sex. Occasionally social friends will agree to multiple-partner group sex parties held at someone's home. The Internet has become a place where those interested in sex parties may find other participants.

Across the United States and Canada, group sex has also become a part of retirement living. The Canadian Supreme Court declared swingers clubs to be legal in 2005, and older Americans participate to a greater degree than might be imagined in "The Lifestyle," which refers to a life of swinging engaged in by middle-class retired couples. They belong to Lifestyles sex clubs that operate in every state except North Dakota and boast more than 3 million adherents. Members host group sex parties and barbecues, which come close to the eating and copulating orgies imagined to have captivated Rome.

Orgies, however, also pose dangers for their participants. Increasing the number of partners increases the chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, or of catalyzing emotional and social difficulties premised on jealousy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Chocano, Carina. 2000. "Swap Meat." Salon. Available from http://archive.salon.com/people/feature/2000/04/21/lifestyle/index.html.

Livy, Titus. Rome and the Mediterranean. Books XXXI-XLV of the History of Rome from its Foundation. Available from Ancient History Sourcebook: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/livy39.html

Partridge, Burgo. 2002. A History of Orgies: Lost Treasures, new edition. New York: Prion.

Thomas, Patti. 1997. Recreational Sex: An Insider's Guide to the Swinging Lifestyle. Cleveland: Peppermint.

                                                  Judith Roof

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Orgy

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