Banned Biographies

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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.
In a change to our regular programming, instead of a documentary about an iconic band this month, I bring you the first in what I hope will be a regular feature of the podcast peppered between the documentaries.In this episode I sat down over Zoom to chat with Paul Lally, Paul Banks and Ellie Porter from the Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign.Lally set the group up two years ago after Shelley passed away in order to commemorate the singer with a blue plaque on his childhood home. £12,000 and a lot of fundraising activities later, the plaque was unveiled on 4th December 2020 by Malcolm Garrett, the artist who was recently awarded an MBE and designed early Buzzcocks album and single covers.The Campaign isn't stopping there though, in this interview you'll find out what other plans they have for the years ahead as well as some personal stories including how they each discovered the music of Pete Shelley, Buzzcocks and punk in general.Visit their site to find out how you can help out either financially or as a volunteer: peteshelleymemorial.com  Contact:Twitter: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
Welcome back to Banned Biographies, I'm back to cover some of the reaction to the Teenage Kicks: The Story of The Undertones episode, give some shout-outs and to let you know that the next episode will be a very different affair.Instead of a documentary episode I've conducted my first interview for the show. You may remember during the Love Bites: The Story of Buzzcocks episode that I mentioned the Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign. They recently unveiled a blue plaque at Pete Shelley's childhood home in the first of many initiatives to memorialise him.It will be out on Friday, 25th December 2020 as a present to all of you who have listened over the last eight months, or even if you've just started listening, but it's especially for those who may be spending the season alone because of lockdowns or protecting their family members. 2020 has been a bit crap, here's to a better 2021.As a present to me, why not tell your friends to subscribe and listen. Also, 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!ContactTwitter: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
It all started on a two-week camping trip in County Donegal, Northern Ireland in August 1974. Friends Michael Bradley, Billy Doherty and brothers Vince and John O’Neill decided they wanted to start a band. The group had existed as an idea for about six months in the minds of John, Vince and Billy.For a while, the unnamed group hade no instruments with which to practice, so there were no songs either. But it didn't stop them discussing the future of the band, who would play what instrument, and what kind of songs they were going to make. There was one more obvious problem that needed to be overcome: They didn't have a singer. Doherty invited local Irish Dancing legend and choir boy, Feargal Sharkey to join as singer and soon The Undertones were born, playing scout halls, school halls and social clubs before their big break.This unlikely group of lads from Derry, a town which was in the midst of getting over the Bloody Sunday shootings of 1972, made a point of rebelling against the fervent political and sectarian turmoil of their surroundings by making some of the most innocent, pop-influenced music of all the 1970s punk bands, a couple of which have stood the test of time and feature on compilations to this day.Teenage dreams really are hard to beat.Contact:Twitter: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
Welcome back to Banned Biographies, I'm back to cover some of the reaction to London Calling: The History of The Clash episode, give some shout outs, announce the winners of the Joe Strummer badge giveaway with Pin Icons and to let you know that the next episode will be about Northern Ireland's originators of pop punk, The Undertones!I seem to have lost a week somewhere this month, hence this episode coming out on Thursday rather than Monday. I have a fair amount of editing to do on The Undertones episode, but not a staggering amount, so I'm hoping that I may even get it out on time on the 27th November, but if not I'm confident it won't be more than a week late.In the meantime, why not go and leave a rating and review on iTunes, call it an early Christmas present from you to me! Enjoy.
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!ContactTwitter: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
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!ContactTwitter: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
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: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
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! ContactTwitter: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
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.
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: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
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: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
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: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
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: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
Welcome back to Banned Biographies, I'm back to cover some of the reaction to The Sex Pistols Story, give some shout-outs, pose some possible changes to the format that I'd like to hear back from you about, and finally, to let you know that the next episode will focus on The Damned. Can't wait for you to hear it, it should be with you this coming Friday, May 29th 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: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
The 1970s was a turbulent time in the UK what with a national energy crisis, a financial crash, strikes leading to the three-day-week, runaway inflation and record unemployment figures. Was it any wonder then that people felt disenfranchised, frustrated and nihilistic?Out of this bubbling tension exploded a band that epitomised the national feeling. The Sex Pistols single-handedly invented the punk genre both in terms of sound and aesthetics, and in just a few short years - and amazingly, only one album - shook the foundations of the establishment and inspired countless young people who felt like they didn’t belong to form bands and make their voices heard.This first full-length episode of Banned Biographies takes an in-depth look at the ups and downs of punk's most iconic band as well as some of the other notable and notorious figures caught in their wake.ContactTwitter: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
In this teaser for Band Biographies, a brand new podcast documentary series charting the careers of some of the most notorious bands ever to grace the world's stages, I tell you a bit about myself and why I wanted to start this series. The first episode, which will drop in a few days, will focus on the lives and careers of the members of - as well as some of the key people around - the original, iconic Sex Pistols. So, make sure you subscribe on whatever platform you get your podcasts from and tell all your friends to do the same, but most of all; enjoy!I'd love to hear back from as many of you as possible, you can contact me at these places:Twitter: @BannedBiogsFacebook: @BannedBiographiesInstagram: @bannedbiographiesE-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com
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Podcast Details

Created by
Tom Austin-Morgan
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Apr 20th, 2020
Latest Episode
Dec 25th, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
17
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
Yes
Order
Episodic
Language
English

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