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Siouxsie and the Banshees: The Authorised Biography Paperback – September 10, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sanctuary Publishing; illustrated edition edition (September 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860743757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860743757
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Brady on June 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one book I just can't put down. I fell into the Banshees quite by accident in 1984, having discovered them via their connections to the Cure's Robert Smith. Hyaena was my first purchase, and although I felt like something of a "Johnny-Come Lately" fan I have followed them ever since. This great book tells the warts and all story of the band, from their chaotic, what-a-shambles beginings through their many trials and tribulations, to their ultimate break-up and unfortunate reunion. For fans this is a MUST. If, like me, you have always assumed that Sioux's last name is Dallion, as is it spelled in many alternative rock source guide books, then you will learn that it's actually Ballion. And that's just the begining.
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Format: Paperback
I just re-read this book for the first time in about ten years. I remember my original impression of it was that the band seemed to be a constant mess, and that Sioux and Severin in particular were just hateful people. Reading it again, it's worse than I remember. I love hearing about the band's history but the book seems to be little more than Sioux and Severin insulting and dismissing just about everyone they ever worked with, and then some; ex-band members, managers, former friends, fans, even concert attendees. There's little talk of the creative process of songs or albums, just the alleged hardship they had to endure during the making of each. Siouxsie strikes me as the most willfully difficult and contradictive person on the face of the planet. She doesn't like compliments, but then doesn't like insults. She doesn't care what people think, yet gets very upset by negative reviews. She wants to be a pop star but cringed when 'Dear Prudence' sounded too pop, or when a song they've written can be perceived as "catchy". Just about every story she tells results in her supposedly slugging, kicking, or beating someone senseless. She had next to nothing positive to say about anyone she had ever encountered. Severin isn't much different, though perhaps a little less violent. Budgie, by contrast, is much more light hearted about things. Someone had to be.

Another thing that was just tedious was their approach to drugs and alcohol. They seem to think they hadn't sunk to the gutter because they didn't do heroin, but gleefully boast about doing acid, cocaine, LSD, and just about any other drug on the planet. They seem so proud of it. This is in addition to being endlessly drunk.
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I have loved Siouxsie and the Banshees since discovering them in high school, so of course I was eager to read this book when I heard it was coming out. After reading it, I have to say that it wasn't as enjoyable as I thought it would be. The reason for my discontent lies in the fact that, maybe unlike a lot of fans, I am less interested in reading about the making of the music, i.e. the mechanics of the songwriting, which instruments they used, which producers, etc, than I am in reading about their lives as people, their personalities, their likes and dislikes, their personal lives, what drove them to become who they are, stuff like that. This book contained a little of that in the early chapters discussing the Banshees' biographical information and a little later on, but most of the rest of the book contained lots and lots of info on stuff that I found I didn't really care about. It is not that I am completely disinterested in the nuts and bolts of the music, all the moving around, and all the shows they played, but I found that after I finished the book (and I had to push myself to keep reading as I regularly found myself lost in trying to remember which producer was which and so on), I felt that I didn't really "know" Siouxsie any better than I did at the beginning. To me, she has always represented the ultimate punk ice queen, visually stunning yet unapproachable, unattainable, and, yes, cold. Even as a fan, I always felt that she was someone that I could not really relate to although I thought her musical output was genius and I admired her.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book and couldn't put it down! This is one of the best books out there about Siouxsie and the Banshees! These are interviews with Siouxsie along with members of the band and other important figures. They (Siouxsie and others) tell the stories about the band's history, the songs/albums, etc. If you're a Siouxsie fan - you have to get this book! Another good book for a Siouxsie fan (and its hard to get) is Ray Stevenson's Siouxsie and the Banshees Photo Book. Get this book and the Photo book!
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I just finished this and I enjoyed it immensely. Yes, there could have been more pictures, or color pictures, but the "dish" was terrific. Written in interview snippets with band members, associates and friends, you get a clear picture of what was actually going on with the band and behind the scenes while we were all busily worshiping Siouxsie.
I learned plenty from things I must have missed reading up on since first stumbling upon the Arabian Knights video around 1981, up to and including their sad break up in 1995...Who knew that behind Robert Smith's back he was unaffectionately referred to as "Fat Bob," or that PEEPSHOW was fueled most specifically by cocaine, that FEAST was hammered out in two weeks, that Siouxsie ruled the band with an iron fist (well, you HAD to know that). I still worship the music, but now I appreciate the humans who created it, whiny and childish as they seemed at times.
It's a great read, I love Siouxsie's occasional foul mouth and the fact that she had the audacity to have been photographed for the cover of the book in a Burberry blouse. And you'll have fun at the end of the book highlighting all the gigs you actually saw and horrified at how many you allowed yourself to miss. (Discography and extensive index included)
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