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Siouxsie Sioux

From Academic Kids

Susan Janet Ballion (born May 27, 1957) is better known by her stage name Siouxsie Sioux (pronounced "Suzy Sue"). Born in London, she is the lead singer of Siouxsie & the Banshees, an influential, London-based punk/goth band. She is also the lead singer of another band, The Creatures. She often uses the name Susan Dallion so that her mother won't get so many phone calls from fans.

She was one of the suburban bored teenagers known as the Bromley Contingent, that also included fellow Banshees founder Steven Severin and others.

Contents

Early life

Siouxsie Sioux, was born Susan Ballion in Guy's Hospital, in south London, the youngest of three children.

Her mother, Elizabeth Betty, did not possess any front teeth because her father's brother, Johnny, had gone berserk one night and punched her in the face.

The Ballions had met in the Belgian Congo, she was a French-speaking secretary, he was milking serum from poisonous snakes as part of his work as a laboratory technician. Mr. Ballion's alcoholism meant Betty had to work full-time as a bilingual secretary. She never talked about "it" and he was an "it" as far as the family were concerned. Alcohol finally killed Mr. Ballion when Susan was 14. At age 15, Susan survived a life-threatening illness known as ulcerative colitis, an experience she described later as "Surreal. It completely de-romanticised the body for me."

Younger than her two siblings, Susan was left to keep her own counsel, and look after herself as best as she was able. The garden at their home north of Petts Wood grew into a jungle - high hedges, a crisis of roses - until the neighbours ganged up and complained. The Ballions must prune their hedges, they insisted.

She attended Mottingham Secondary Modern School for Girls in Kent and went on to work as a waitress.

Professional career

Siouxsie's first gig was as an unrehearsed fill-in band at the 100 Club's "Punk Rock Festival", two nights in September, 1976 organized by Malcolm McLaren.

One of her first public appearances was in company with the Sex Pistols on Bill Grundy's controversial television show, in the course of which the host tried to chat her up.
"Grundy: What about you are you in it for the money or are you just having a good time?
Siouxsie:I'm having a good time.
Grundy: I'll bet you are...
Sioux: I've always wanted to meet you...
Grundy: We'll meet afterwards shall we?"

In 1976 The Bromley Contingent followed the Sex Pistols to France and Siouxsie was punched by an Arab. She was wearing a cupless bra, black vinyl stockings and a black armband with a swastika on it. She liked Salon Kitty and disliked those who banged on about being in the war; the swastika was intended as a campy joke and she did not, then, appreciate the panorama of implications. "The Nazis were not only anti-Semitic but anti-anyone different, anti-anyone like me." The regalia backfired. The National Front started to pay attention and she was horrified.

Siouxsie married Siouxsie and the Banshees' drummer, Budgie in 1991.

Siouxsie is the featured vocalist on the title track to Basement Jaxx's 2003 album Kish Kash. (Strangely the track is spelled "Cish Cash")

16/6/2005 10:14:13 PM ( Source: PA)

Siouxie won the Icon Award at the Mojo Honours in London, June 2005.

Current lifestyle

Siouxsie lives a comparatively quiet life nowadays. Fed up with fans staring through the windows of their basement flat in west London, she and Budgie moved to France in 1992. Now they live in a converted farmhouse in a small village between Toulouse and Bordeaux where they have a garden, cats and mountains of books. A few years ago they set up their own label, Sioux records, and have just finished building a studio in their house.

Albums

Siouxsie & the Banshees

  • The Scream 1978
  • Join Hands 1979
  • Kaleidoscope 1980
  • Juju 1981
  • Once Upon a Time/The Singles 1981
  • A Kiss in the Dreamhouse 1982
  • Nocturne (Live) 1983
  • Hyaena 1984
  • Tinderbox 1986
  • The Peel Sessions 1987
  • Through the Looking Glass 1987
  • Peepshow 1988
  • Superstition 1991
  • Twice Upon a Time/The Singles 1992
  • The Rapture 1995
  • The Best Of 2002
  • Seven Year Itch Live 2003

Film appearances include The Punk Rock Movie (Don Letts, 1977); Jubilee (Derek Jarman, 1977); Out of Bounds (Richard Tuggle, 1986); Batman Returns (Tim Burton, 1992); Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven, 1995); The Craft (Andrew Fleming, 1996); The Filth and the Fury (Julien Temple, 2000); 24 Hour Party People (Michael Winterbottom, 2002).

References

The Guardian Weekend, January 14, 1995

External links

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