While the ongoing pandemic has caused havoc throughout the music industry, with most venues forced to close amid strict social distancing measures, it has allowed diehard fans to spend time dipping back through the archives to revisit some of the most memorable moments in music history. Here, rock and roll meet post-punk in a creative meeting of minds.
In 1983 a new sub-genre of punk was well and truly underway. While Siouxsie and The Banshees were the talk of the town, playing chaotic shows worldwide, The Cure and Robert Smith were attempting to recover from the disappointing response to their fourth studio album Pornography which had flopped dramatically. Simon Gallup had left the band and The Cure entered a period of hiatus.
At the very same time, The Banshees guitarist John McGeogh would be ousted from the band as he continued to battle with alcohol problems. With a string of European tour dates lined up, the Banshees needed some help and Robert Smith would step in as his temporary replacement.
“It was an insane period for us, extremely busy,” Siouxsie Sioux once remembered about that period of time for The Banshees. “We were just being totally hyperactive. I think it took its toll maybe a year or so later. John had been hospitalised for stress and overworking, so he was suffering a bit. Robert stepped in, for the second time, as he did in ’79, so the show was still going on, and the touring was all pretty intense and crazy. We went on to record Hyaena together, and then he imploded as well. He just couldn’t cope with it.”
This particular period would prove to be a pivotal moment for Robert Smith and The Cure. Playing and recording with the Banshees removed him from his slumber, reignited a creative spark within and, more famously, allowed him to solidify his now-iconic appearance with boisterous hair and red lipstick. It was during this time that Siouxsie and The Banshees featuring Robert Smith decided to record their very own rendition of The Beatles hit ‘Dear Prudence’. “It was a surprise, but it didn’t really sink in until we’d finished the touring and we were back home for the winter,” Siouxsie remembered. “Then we thought, ‘Blimey! We got to number three!’ Dear Prudence got played a lot on the radio, and of course, we did the Christmas/New Year Top Of The Pops. I don’t remember much about doing it except for I was wearing a new leather dress that a friend had made for me, and stripy tights.”
Recalling how she and the band came to the final conclusion that the next step needed to be a Beatles cover, Siouxsie Sioux said: “When we did the 100 Club Punk Festival , we were wondering: ‘What shall we do?’ And we ended up doing the thing based around the Lord’s Prayer. And Sid and I were laughing, ‘Oh, we should really mess up a Beatles song!’ And that attitude was still there. I remember growing up with the White Album. I loved it for their experimenting. And then it gets fucked up? Much better!”
Below, just a few months after the band recorded the cover, The Banshees appeared on TV shows around the world to perform their latest hit with their newest member.