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Official biography announced for John McGeoch, guitarist for Magazine, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and PiL

John McGeoch of Siouxsie and The Banshees performing at Palladium in New York City on November 15, 1980.
(Image credit: Ebet Roberts/Redferns)

Influential post-punk guitarist John McGeoch is the subject of a new biography, The Light Pours Out Of Me, which has been written by Rory Sullivan-Burke and is set to arrive via Omnibus Press on April 28.

McGeoch, who passed away in 2004, had a remarkable career that saw him serve stints with several of the most important acts of the UK post-punk era, including Magazine and Siouxsie And The Banshees, plus extensive runs with The Armoury Show and Public Image Ltd. 

His recorded work included Magazine’s first three albums and Siouxsie And The Banshee’s acclaimed early-'80s records, including Kaleidoscope, Juju and A Kiss In The Dreamhouse, alongside stints as a gun-for-hire to the likes of Generation X and synth-pop band Visage. 

Siouxsie Sioux once told The Independent (opens in new tab) that McGeoch was “easily, without a shadow of a doubt, the most creative guitarist the Banshees ever had”.

The Light Pours Out of Me reportedly tracks the innovative guitarist’s story from his beginnings in Scotland and early days learning Eric Clapton licks, through to his transformative time at art school in Manchester and his days with some of the finest bands of the fertile post-punk period.

John McGeoch – The Light Pours Out of Me book cover

(Image credit: Omnibus Press)

Some huge names have since cited his influence on their development as guitarists, including the Edge, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien, Johnny Marr, John Frusciante and Dave Navarro. Many of those guitarists have contributed to the book, as have the likes of Keith Levene, Billy Idol and Peter Hook.

The biography also features artwork by Malcolm Garrett. The man behind artwork for Buzzcocks early singles (and, later, many other names) was McGeoch’s room mate at art school in Manchester and introduce him to Magazine frontman Howard Devoto. Garrett also contributes stories to the book, as do McGeoch’s family. 

Alongside the standard edition of The Light Pours Out Of Me, there will be a limited-edition slipcase edition, featuring an autographed copy of the book (signed by contributors Johnny Marr, Paul Morley, Rory Sullivan-Burke, Emily McGeoch, Dave Formula and Malcolm Garrett) and a 7” of an unreleased live performance of The Light Pours Out of Me by Magazine (recorded at The Factory, Manchester in 1980).

The Light Pours Out Of Me is available to preorder now via Omnibus Press (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.