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Music News of the World (8.21.98)

BIRTHDAY

The Creatures' Budgie

Today is the 41st birthday of Peter Clark, better known as Budgie, the drummer for British punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees and a current member of the Creatures.

Budgie was born in St. Helens, England. He played in the Liverpool, England, group Big In Japan before joining the Slits, the once-all-girl British punk band with whom Budgie recorded Cut (1979). The cover of this album, which featured the three female Slits naked, caused quite a stir. Budgie soon left the Slits to join Siouxsie and the Banshees, the band comprising Sex Pistols groupies who had been together since 1976 in various incarnations.

Siouxsie and the Banshees, a primitive art-punk band that specialized in eerie, goth-like music, had been attracting attention primarily because of their stage show, during which the leather-clad, heavily made-up lead vocalist, Siouxsie Sioux, often exposed her breasts. Budgie joined the band in 1979 for an in-progress U.K. tour, during which the group's previous drummer and guitarist had defected. (The Cure's Robert Smith filled in on guitar for the remainder of the tour.)

After releasing Kaleidoscope (1980), Siouxsie and the Banshees, with Budgie now a permanent member, began their first U.S. tour. In 1981, the band played Yugoslavia and released Juju, which contained the #22 U.K. hit "Spellbound." Siouxsie and Budgie also formed a side project, the Creatures, that year.

In 1982, Siouxsie and the Banshees issued A Kiss in the Dreamhouse, which included the darkly erotic singles "Slowdive" and "Melt." But songwriter/guitarist John McGeoch soon left the band and subsequent albums suffered without his contributions. By the time of 1986's Tinderbox, many critics began labeling the Banshees as passť, but the LP still gave the band its first appearance on the top 100 of the U.S. albums chart, primarily because of the popular cut "Cities in Dust." Following the release of the 1987 covers collection Through the Looking Glass, Siouxsie and the Banshees had their first American chart single with "Peek-a-Boo," from the techno-influenced Peepshow (1988). In 1989, Siouxsie and Budgie issued the only Creatures album to date, Boomerang.

In 1991, Budgie and Siouxsie got married and performed on the first Lollapalooza tour. That year's Superstition was the Banshees' best-selling album and yielded their only U.S. top-40 hit, "Kiss Them For Me." Siouxsie and the Banshees returned in 1995 with The Rapture, which featured some production by ex-Velvet Underground member John Cale. In 1996, Siouxsie and Budgie decided to disband the Banshees and concentrate on the Creatures.

The Creatures are now in the middle of a tour that includes stops in London, Mexico City and New York City. They are planning to release an album next year.

Other birthdays: Kenny Rogers, 60; Jackie De Shannon, 54; Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), 46; Joe Strummer (the Clash), 46; and Kim Sledge (Sister Sledge), 40.

--Frank Tortorici


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