Banned Biographies

Banned Biographies is an audio documentary series charting the careers of some of the most notorious bands ever to grace the world’s stages.

London Calling - The History of The Clash

October 30th, 2020

The Clash are so much more than simply a punk band, they infused elements of reggae, dub and later R&B and rap which marked them out as unique in a sea of Sex Pistols soundalikes that were springing up in Britain in the late 1970s. They were also the most genuinely political bands of the original wave of UK punk.

While the Sex Pistols’ debut gig at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall has been acknowledged as the starting point of that city’s punk and new wave scene, The Clash’s first gig at Eric’s, supported by The Specials on the 5th May 1977, was a similar watershed moment for Liverpool. The gig was witnessed by people who would later form Big In Japan, The Teardrop Explodes, Wah!, Dead or Alive, The KLF, Frankie Goes To Hollywood fame and Echo & The Bunnymen.

The Clash's influence can still be heard in American political punk bands such as Rancid, Anti-Flag, Bad Religion, NOFX, Green Day, and Rise Against! as well as in the political hard rock of early Manic Street Preachers.

Outside of rock music, Chuck D has credited the Clash as an inspiration for Public Enemy, in particular for the way their use of socially and politically conscious lyrics gained attention from the music press.

Join me on the deepest of dives Banned Biographies has taken so far into the lives and careers of the members of probably THE greatest UK punk band ever.

The Clash Preview, Part 2

October 26th, 2020

So, there wasn't a main episode last month, but that doesn't mean I wasn't busy. In this short preview episode I tell you a little about what's gone on this month including getting on two UK radio stations, figuring out that there have been more iTunes reviews than I realised, and the chance for three lucky listeners to win a limited edition Joe Strummer enamel pin badge from Pin Icons (@PinIcons on twitter).

The Clash episode will be out on Friday, 30th October 2020 and is the longest episode yet. Make sure you check the social media channels and that you're subscribed to the podcast on the podcast platform of your choice so you get the episode as soon as it drops. In fact, why not tell your friends to do the same, and don't forget to leave a rating and review, it only takes a few seconds and really makes a difference. But most of all; enjoy!

Contact

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

Post Buzzcocks Pre The Clash

September 21st, 2020

Welcome back to Banned Biographies, I'm back to cover some of the reaction to the Love Bites: The Story of Buzzcocks episode, give some shout-outs and to let you know that the next episode will be about my favourite of all the original UK punk bands, The Clash!

It should be out on Friday, 25th September 2020. But, i's easily going to be the longest episode to date and I'm not far into the editing. It could happen, but as ever, make sure you check the social media channels and that you're subscribed to the podcast on the podcast platform of your choice so you get the episode as soon as it drops. In fact, why not tell your friends to do the same, and don't forget to leave a rating and review, it only takes a few seconds and really makes a difference. But most of all; enjoy!

Contact

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

Love Bites - The Story of Buzzcocks

August 31st, 2020

One day in 1975 Howard Trafford placed a notice on the Bolton Institute of Technology's noticeboard saying he was looking for musicians that shared a liking for The Velvet Underground song "Sister Ray". Peter McNeish, a fellow student at the Institute, responded to the notice.

The pair travelled to London to see the Sex Pistols play and were so impressed and excited by what they'd seen they invited the Pistols to play in Manchester at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, a gig that has gone down in history as the birth of punk, new wave and independent music that remains a large part of Manchester's musical identity to this day.

McNeish became Pete Shelley and Trafford became Howard Devoto, the pair formed the Buzzcocks and produced the UK's first independently recorded and distributed records, the Spiral Scratch E.P. Devoto then quit to form Magazine leaving Shelley to continue on his own bringing his idiosyncratic views on love to the punk song, fusing pop and punk in a genre that continues to thrive to this day.

The story of Buzzcocks is one of sudden ups and downs, join me on this rollercoaster ride that doesn't look like it's going to stop any time soon!

Contact:

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

Post Siouxsie and the Banshees Pre Buzzcocks

August 24th, 2020

Welcome back to Banned Biographies, I'm back again cover some of the reaction to The Scream: The Spellbinding Siouxsie and the Banshees episode, give some shout-outs and to let you know that the next episode will be about the first non-London band; Buzzcocks!

 

I can't wait for you to hear it and, as it stands right now, it'll be out on Friday, 28th August 2020. But, life is slowly returning to normal so be sure to keep your eyes glued to the social channels just in case I need to push it back a few days. Make sure you're subscribed to the podcast on the podcast platform of your choice so you get the episode as soon as it drops. In fact, why not tell your friends to do the same, and don't forget to leave a rating and review, it only takes a few seconds and really makes a difference. But most of all; enjoy!

 

Contact

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

The Scream - The Spellbinding Siouxsie and the Banshees

July 31st, 2020

It was Malcolm McLaren who provided Susan Ballion and Steven Bailey the opportunity to form a band when he asked if they knew any bands who might want to support the Sex Pistols at the 100 Club at his Punk Festival on 16 September 1976 as an act had pulled out at the last minute. "To say no would have been impossible".

 

Ballion had already renamed herself Siouxsie Sioux by this time and Bailey (though known as Steve Spunker at that first gig) soon chose the stage name of Steven Severin. The early Banshees played an improvised 24 minute rendition of The Lord's Prayer at the 100 Club, playing with Marco Pirroni on guitar and Sid Vicious on drums, because they didn't have the time to learn any songs... or even their instruments.

 

The Pistols may have been punk's ground zero; but the most overlooked thing about Siouxsie is that she arrived quite independently, and fully-formed into that maelstrom year of 1976. Before anyone even uttered the words punk rock, in 1975 she was already strutting off on the bus to the Roxy dressed outrageously, and drawing threatening stares. She was one of the handful who'd been waiting for punk to happen, and who became one of its crucial catalysts.

 

She was at the epicentre of the scene, the so-called Bromley Contingent who discovered the Sex Pistols and who added the fanbase glamour that the band needed. She was the one who arrived topless at their shows, shocking even the Pistols' entourage. She was the one whose snarky tongue sparked the famous Bill Grundy incident on national TV when she wound the presenter up by saying, "I always wanted to meet you," sparking the exchange which ended in Steve Jones calling Grundy a "dirty fucker" - creating the moment which thrust the Pistols, and Siouxsie, into the national consciousness.

 

But arguably Siouxsie's influence runs much deeper than punk. It was her band, The Banshees, that provided the impetus for Robert Smith to reinvent The Cure and when the goth scene arrived in the early 1980s, Siouxsie was right at its centre.

 

However, despite Siouxsie and the Banshees' prolific output in the 20 years they were together, they never quite fit the mainstream. Their modal melodies and spacious textures may have passed a baton to a generation of bands like U2, and their lush, darkly expressionistic lyrics may have laid the groundwork for Goth, but the Banshees' work never sat happily alongside that of their back-to-basics punk contemporaries. they have always remained more influential than successful. Even today you don’t hear their music as much as you do The Clash, Sex Pistols or The Cure. But, in a way that feels exactly how it should be.

 

Join me on a deep dive into the lives and careers of Siouxsie, Steven, Budgie and an array of guitarists and drummers, in this tale of highs, lows, addiction, obsession and rebirth.

Post Generation X/Billy Idol - Pre Siouxsie and the Banshees

July 27th, 2020

Welcome back to Banned Biographies, I'm back to quickly cover some of the reaction to the Rebel Yell: The History of Generation X and Billy Idol episode, give some shout-outs and to let you know that the next episode will be about Siouxsie and the Banshees!

 

I can't wait for you to hear it, however, it may not be with you this coming Friday, 31st July 2020 as things have been a bit hectic these last few weeks and I really want to deliver the best possible content to you. So, it could be another week or more, but either way, keep your eyes peeled to the social channels and make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so you get the episode as soon as it drops. In fact, why not tell your friends to do the same, and don't forget to leave a rating and review, but most of all; enjoy!

 

Contact

 

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

Rebel Yell - The History of Generation X and Billy Idol

June 26th, 2020

In late 1976, William Broad, a 21 year old university drop-out, and his friend John Towe, a shop assistant and drummer, replied to an advert to form a new band. In this band (Chelsea) they began working with Tony James and Gene October. However, James and Broad - now known as Billy Idol - soon outgrew Chelsea and formed their own band, Generation X.

Just days later, the pair, along with Towe and young guitarist Bob (Derwood) Andrews, took to the stage as headliners at The Roxy club, Covent Garden. It wasn't all plain sailing though, and four years later Idol struck out on his own to seek fame and fortune in the US.

Forty years on, Billy Idol remains a giant star in the rock firmament... and the other members of Generation X didn't do too badly over the years either, as you'll find out in this episode.

Contact:

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

The Damned Review/Generation X Preview

June 22nd, 2020

Welcome back to Banned Biographies, I'm back to quickly cover some of the reaction to The Tale of The Damned (Damned Damned) episode, give some shout-outs and to let you know that the next episode will be about Generation X and its lead singer Billy Idol, who went on to become a massive success as a solo artist in his own right. I can't wait for you to hear it, it should be with you this coming Friday, 26th June 2020.

So, make sure you subscribe on whatever platform you get your podcasts from, tell all your friends to do the same, leave a rating and review, but most of all; enjoy!

Contact:

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

The Tale of The Damned (Damned Damned)

May 29th, 2020

While the Sex Pistols are claimed with spearheading the punk movement in the UK, with Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious as its poster boys, and later The Clash took punk rock in a more diverse musical direction, there was one band quietly racking up a string of ‘firsts’: First UK punk rock band to release a single; first UK punk rock band to release a full-length album; first UK punk rock band to tour America; and the first UK punk rock band to split up and then reunite - MANY times.

This band is also still performing live and releasing new material to this day, more than 40 years later. In this episode, Banned Biographies takes a look at the career of one of the hardest working of the original punk bands - The Damned - and its many,many members.

Contact:

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

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