If you ever want to know practically everything there is to know about the first four years of Siouxsie and the Banshees, then you need to get your hands on a copy of the Siouxsie and the Banshees Scrapbook 1976-1980. I can’t tell you who compiled it because that information is lost in the rock ‘n’ roll black hole, but this fanzine/scrapbook released in 1984 includes early band history, discography, a list of all known bootlegs, photos and lots and lots of press clippings. It’s a truly work of DIY fanzine art. You would think if someone had taken an effort to compile this amount of information they would at least want to put their name or names on it. According to the back cover, “they” also compiled Volume 2 1981-1984 and similar scrapbooks on The Damned, The Cure and The Stranglers.
The pre-Internet care that they took compiling the “Bootleg Recordings Known to Exist” section alone is impressive: Three pages of carefully cataloged bootleg information.
My favorite tale from the Siouxsie and the Banshees Scrapbook comes from a press clipping of an article that was published in Sounds on September 15, 1979. The setting was Aberdeen. The story starts with this…. “The geezer standing next to me in the urinal said, ‘Hey, have you hear the rumour? Two of the Banshees have run off. They’re not going to play. The bouncers are expecting a riot.’”
On September 7, 1979, the very day their second album Join Hands was released Siouxsie and the Banshees were scheduled to play a show with the Cure opening for them. Before the show, at an in store record signing, the Banshees got into some sort of argument which caused guitarist John McKay and drummer Kenny Morris to storm off and quit. In typical punk form, when Siouxsie and Steve Severin went onstage that night to announce their bandmates disappearance—and therefore cancellation of their performance—Siouxsie encouraged the crowd to beat the shit out of the missing band members if found. The Cure came back on and played a few more songs before they invited some “special guests” to the stage. Siouxsie and Severin entered and together with the Cure, they played the Banshees’ rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Before the song started Siouxsie announced:
“I hope you realize these guys know nothing about the ‘Lord’s Prayer’…It’ll probably be all the better for that. John and Kenny were doing it for the money and you can’t do a good ‘Lord’s Prayer’ with that attitude.”
She’s probably right about that.
More after the jump…