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Diary (1978)


New Recording Session


INFO

In January 1978, Easy Cure went into PSL studios with producer Trevor Vallis to do more demos for Hansa. The songs from the last recording session were: Plastic Passion, I Just Need Myself, Rebel Rebel and Smashed Up.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"They were giving us all these old songs to cover. We couldn't believe it. This was 1978 and we thought we'd ba able to do all these new songs we'd written and all they wanted from us were versions of really banal old rock 'n' roll songs...
"Anyway, they said 'This is a very well-known producer and this is your last chance boys', so we went in and did Plastic Passion, I Just Need Myself, Rebel Rebel and Smashed Up - the worst song we ever recorded. The only really remarkable thing about the whole day was that Lol got knocked over by a bus! We had to spend a couple of hours holding him up in the pub, pouring brandy down his throat. He spent the rest of the day playing drums and bleeding. It was cack.
"On top of all this I had suddenly realised that I actually hated the songs we were doing and that, even if Hansa liked them, we wouldn't follow through."
Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Easy Cure Met Lockjaw


INFO

On 19 February 1978, Easy Cure played again at The Rocket, this time supported by Lockjaw, a local punk band featuring bassist Simon Gallup.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"They were really hardcore, really like The Clash whereas we had more melody, like The Buzzcocks. All their songs were really fast and it was the only time they ever played The Rocket because the place was torn apart. They only got to play there in the first place because they had a record out and we said they were a big group!" Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"Putting that record out was a big mistake. We sent a tape to a record company called Raw Records and they thought we were really good suburban punk band but we were actually shit. They signed us and put out this record - Radio Call Sign backed with The Young Ones. If I see any around today, i break them.
"I actually knew about Lol from school because he was going out with a girl I knew and she used to go around saying he was really hard - I used to cross the street whenever I saw him coming!"
Simon Gallup on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Do The Hansa


INFO

On 29 March 1978, the contract with Hansa has been dissolved when the company wouldn't release Killing An Arab. Robert Smith wisely ensured that the rights to all the original songs reverted to the band.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"They just wanted us for what we looked like, not for our music, they didn't even listen to the demo tape we gave them. They just liked the photograph of ourselves we sent with it." Robert Smith on A Visual Documentary (1988)

"They said even if 'Arab' was a good song they couldn't put it out because we had to keep in with the Arabs. It was so ridiculious." Robert Smith on A Visual Documentary (1988)

With Lockjaw Again


INFO

During April 1978, Easy Cure met with Lockjaw again, this time at Lakers in Redhill.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"Up until then, I'd only known Simon just to say hello but we spent a really good evening together drinking from about five o'clock till two in the morning and we became good friends." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"When Lockjaw and Easy Cure used to play gigs together, me and Robert used to go off together and ask the deejay to put on things like Night Fever so we could disco dance while all the punks pogoed about." Simon Gallup on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

New Equipment


INFO

On 17 April 1978, Robert Smith invested in some new equipment.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"I bought a Bon Tempi organ, a Top 20 guitar and cacky little WEM amp - my ideal set up. The sounds on Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True album were really cheap and they were the sounds I wanted." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

The Cure


INFO

On 3 May 1978, Porl Thompson left. The band also decided to change their name.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"The songs were getting straker, more minimal and I was beginning to loathe Porl's lead guitar. I tried to get him to play chords but he didn't like that and it got even more complicated when he started going out with my sister because we'd be rehearsing in the house when my mum and dad were out and he'd be somewhere else with my sister. I remember we decided we needed to talk about it so Lol, Michael and I went out into the greenhouse for some reason and sweated in 98 degrees of heat discussing the future of the group. We decided not to have any more rehearsals for a couple of weeks and, when we started again, we just didn't tell him." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"The music was in the process of changing and, as I was known as the fast guitar player, when punk came along I became obsolete, so I decided to do something else. I did a course at art college and played in two sorts of Roxy Musicish bands; The Exotic Pandas and A Lifetime Of Trials." Porl Thompson on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"I had always thought Easy Cure was a bit hippyish, a bit American-sounding, a bit West Coast, and I hatet it, which put Lol's back up as he'd thought of it. Every other group we liked had 'The' in front of their name but The Easy Cure sounded stupid so we just changed it to The Cure instead. It upset a few old fans but... well, there you are... I thought The Cure sounded much more it." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

New Demos


INFO

On 18 May 1978, The new three piece Cure played at The Rocket in Crawley.

And, on 27 May 1978, they went into a small studio in Sussex, called Chestnut, to record an 8 track demo, which was financed by Simon's brother Ric Gallup. For £50, they recorded Boys Don't Cry, It's Not You, 10.15 Saturday Night and Fire In Cairo, and sent the tape to all the major record companies.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"Lol was working as a chemist, sitting in a lab doing nothing. Michal was working as a porter in a mental hospital wheeling all the dead bodies out in the morning, and I was fed up with being on the dole. So, we made the tape and send it out." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Mourning The Departed


INFO

On 9 July 1978, The Cure played a special gig at The Rocket called Mourning The Departed.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"A lot of people said 'Oh, you've got to get Porl back, there's no guitar solos or anything' so we put on this concert where we used this backing tape I had made at home with an organ and a drum machine and church music and we held a 40 minute mock religious ceremony. We had a seance in the pub - brilliant! I nailed a piece of wood a priest's outfit and we had this kind of Cabaret Voltaire backdrop.
"The best thing that happened was Porl arrived in a hat and an old mac, in disguise, and we didn't know he was in the audience until, just as we finished playing, he walked up and poured a pint of beer over Lol's head! Suddenly we were friend again!"
Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Summertime Cure


INFO

On 14 July 1978, the played again with Lockjaw, this time at the Buccaneer in Eastbourne (ten IMG - Brighton). And, the next day The Cure played at Lakers Hotel in Redhill.

Telegram


INFO

On 19 July 1978, Robert did a week-long party for all the local punks in his parents' house, while they were on holiday. And every day they awaited replies from the record companies.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"Every single company rejected us except Polydor." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Chris Parry signed bands like The Jam, Otway And Barrett and Siouxsie And The Banshees for Polydor. But, he started thinking about his own label.

"Demo tapes came in by the sack load to Polydor and I just grabbed a bunch every Friday night. So there I was, Sunday afternoon, browsing through the sports pages and I just heard 'Drip drip drip' and I thought 'That's rather nice' so I played the tape again and 10.15 and Boys Don't Cry were really very good. The idea of a three-piece excited me too, the fact that they were a little bit spacey and that this little cassette had come from the backwoods and no-one else had touched it.
"My reaction was it had mood, it was atmospheric and I liked it, so I wrote them a letter asking them to get in touch."
Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

The Cure Met Chris Parry


INFO

On 10 August 1978, The Cure met Chris Parry at Polydor.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"The Polydor letter was the only good one we received so obviously I phoned up. Parry asked if we would play in London and I said no, we should meet first and just talk. If would have been stupid if we'd played our first concert in London and it had been awful - not our audience - so we arranged to meet him first at Polydor." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"We arrived absolutely on time and a doorman of military bearing told us he wasn't in so we waited, frudtrated, in the foyer. Eventually we asked if he was coming back and, just at that moment, this figure went past the door. The man said 'There he is' and Parry looked as though he'd committed some criminal act, which he may well have done for all I know. He looked very much like he was related to Colonel Gaddafi - same sort of army bouffant hairstyle and craggy jowl." Michael Dempsey on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"He looked Italian, very suave, a bit like a bank manager. We went to the pub and, as he talked to us, he was absent-mindedly spilling his beer on his shoes. That's when we decided he was the one for us - someone totally capable of embarrassing himself." Lol Tolhurst on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"We actually met in my office. They walked in and I liked the look of them from the beginning. I was struck by Smith in his high-waisted trousers, and I was pleased to find out he was the singer. We got to know each other over a drink. I had a couple of pints and fell over a bit, and they appreciated that." Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"We weren't really used to drinking at lunch time so our heads were reeling." Michael Dempsey on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"It was quite a pleasant afternoon really. We just got very drunk on Directors bitter. He had bird shit on his shoulder - the first person we'd met involved in the business who didn't take himself seriously. He seemed to be doing it because he enjoyed it.
"I remember this gypsy woman was pushing an enormous plant along. Stratford Place in a wheel barrow and he just turned around and said 'I've always wanted a plant like that. Excuse me lady, how much d'you want for your plant?' She said '£15' and he said 'I'll give you £12' and handed over the money. We thought it was a set. He just stood there with this huge plant with a pink flowers in the middle, smiling like an idiot. When he got it home though, he discovered the pink flower was false - just stuck on."
Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"The flower was attached, and remained so for years. They pulled it off actually, at a party. Now there's symbolism for you!" Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"He said I can't offer you the world and we appreciated that, but when he told us that he actually wanted to sign us to his own label we were obviously a bit disappointed - we thought he was going to sing us to Polydor. After he had explained his ideas more clearly, however, we decided that we liked the sound of it after all." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"They were all quite happy people, quite sharp. I liked Dempsey's understated English sense of humour. Lol was flapping around here and there, but it was obvious that Robert was the leader and had views on things, checking me out more than the others." Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Fiction


INFO

On 12 August 1978, The Cure played again at The Buccaneer in Eastbourne, and, on 27 August 1978, Chris Parry drove to their next gig at Lakers in Redhill with his friend Dave Alcock.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"Lakers was a hotel which held gigs on Sunday nights featuring this jazz/funk/reggae fusion band called The Hotpoints. They headlined and we had the non-stage." Michael Dempsey on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"They were playing on the floor, not on the stage. Dave and I joined the few people down the front and I remember I turned round to him and said 'This band are gonna make me an awful lot of money'. It's not that I'm very money-orientated, it just came out that way. I insantly thought they were going to be very successful. I thought they had a very universal appeal which is why I must have translated my excitement into money terms - because bands with a universal appeal can't help making a lot of money. I thought 'This is really sharp and incisive and young'." Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"He saw us play and then we went to this other pub called The Home Cottage where everybody used to go after our gigs because it sold such horribly strong bitter. He talked more about his ideas for the new label, about how it would go through Polydor and how he'd been looking for a group to start it off and he wanted to know if we'd be prepared to take this risk, otherwise he said he'd sign us direct to Polydor. Well, we'd given it a lot of thought by then and decided that we'd be better off on an indepentent anyway, more comfortable. We thought Polydor would try to hype us and, after our experiences with Hansa, we decided to sign with Fiction.
"Actually, he was going to call the label Night Nurse, but we said we wouldn't sign if he called it that so he changed it to 18 Age which was also useless. We said 'What happens when we get to 20?' So Fiction it was."
Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"He never explained what he saw in us. We were a three-piece, The Jam were a three-piece and I got the feeling that maybe he thought 'I'll go for another one' - not consciously but like when you need a pair of shoes and there's a tendency to go and buy a similar pair to the ones you're used to." Michael Dempsey on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Signed Cure


INFO

On 13 September 1978, The Cure had signed a six month contract with Fiction, and the same day they played at Lakers Hotel in Redhill.

On 17 September 1978, Chris Parry drove to Lakers to see the band again, this time with Adrian Thrills from New Musical Express.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"He got quite into it but he didn't really go for them as I thought he would. I mean, I really thought they were quite exceptional. I remember playing him Billy Mackenzie's Mental Torture tape on the way back and he said it was mental torture, so obviously Thrills was not the right guy because I thought Billy was briliant too, my other new protege to be signed to the label." Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Morgan Studio


INFO

On 20 September 1978, The Cure went into Morgan Studio 4 and until the next morning they'd recorded five tracks: Killing An Arab, 10.15 Saturday Night, Fire In Cairo, Plastic Passion and Three Imaginary Boys.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"I was still working at the time so I had to pretend I was ill. I said I had boils on my bottom! After that, for my sins, I got them!" Lol Tolhurst on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Two Dates With Wire


INFO

Chris Parry booked them two dates with Wire, at Kent University in Canterbury on 5 October and London Polytechnic on the 6th.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"The were so much better than us, I was horrified. They used white lights, dressed in black and white and their music was rigid, dramatic and very powerful, I immediately wanted to change in that direction, to get harder because we were small and lightweight in comparsion.
"I remember we were very nervous because this was the first proper concert we'd ever played and, on the way home, we crashed our van into a wall and nearly decapitated ourselves.
"The next night we didn't make it to the venue. We got a lift from this blike Phil who lived in Horley and had a van. But the van broke down and we had to wait for someone to come and fix it so we arrived at the gig at about eight-thirty, much too late, and Wire had just gone onstage. We asked if we could play after them but they thought it was a ploy and said no.
"I remember Bill was really furious. He said 'You just can't do this or people won't book you'."
Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"I wasn't very happy. We went across the road to this pub and they started going on about wanting to turn professional, wanting to get paid for it. So I agreed to put them on £25 a week or something. I thought 'Fuck it, why not?' Again a major decision made under the influence of alcohol!" Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"Lol and I were working - I was still a porter in a mental asylum and Lol had left college and was looking to be a research chemist - so it wasn't a lot of money but it gave us a sense of purpose that all our waking hours could be channelled into the group." Michael Dempsey on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Back Into Morgan


INFO

On 12 October 1978, they went back into Morgan to recording more tracks for their debut album.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"We recorded solidly for two days and nights and got home at 8am on the 14th. Some of the songs were atypical of what we wanted to be like but we didn't have any control over the production side of it. Bill wanted to produce in a certain way which horrified me and he got in Mike Hedges, a tape-op, to engineer because he wanted someone young with few preconceptions.
"We had so many arguments - I liked the production we'd done on our demo which was, after all, the reason he signed us, but he was quite adamant about it and, as he was paying for the sessions, he had us over a barrel.
"I liked Killing An Arab, 10.15 and Boys Don't Cry but I hated Object and I was unhappy because, up till point, everything we'd done, we'd done ourselves and he was still a sort of outsider who'd taken over. Hedges was on our side though, he'd mediate and moderate in his own inimitable fashion!"
Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"I had a production concept - here was a three piece but, rather than make them sound like a five piece like I did The Jam, I wanted to make it totally different, elusive, translucent, stripped right down to the bones. I liked the lyrics and I liked Robert's voice and I was convinced, after the punk trash, that people would want something more mysterious.
"I wanted to give The Cure, and the label, the option of anonymity rather than being another label marketing another three chord thrash. I had an advantage over Robert. I had a clear idea of what he didn't want. We had many arguments - he'd get sulky and my temper was worse then than it is now so I would take umbrage. I'd think 'Fucking hell, I've got enough problems trying to sort out the label without this. Why can't they see I've got their best interests at heart?'."
Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"The band didn't really know what was going on. Everything was new for everyone except Chris. Robert knew what he wanted but he didn't know how to express it. We used very little technology. He just wanted to use his old Top 20 guitar which cost 20 quid in Woolworths and a cheap HH amp which was the worst in the world for distortion." Mike Hedges on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"He wouldn't change his amplifier and we had an argument late one night. He liked the sound and that was okay but it didn't work for some songs and anyway, after the guitar solo on Three Imaginary Boys, it fell to bits. He was also unwilling to change his £20 guitar and I thought 'Jesus, here I am investing money in an album for some git who refuses to listen to reason'.
"We could have had a rough Kinksy-Stonesy sort of sound but it wouldn'd have worked internationally, I knew the punk thrash was never gonna get beyond Britain so I said 'Fine, if you wanna be a punk band, all direy and turgid, which you will be if you continue to use the equipment you've got, you can. But you'll be thrown off the label'.
"If Robert felt I had him over a barrel, he was perfectly right. I had other problems too. Getting a performance out of them was hard because Lol was a very temperamental drummer and could only play well if he felt well. Dempsey wasn't playing well either and, listening to it now, I think the album's highly flawed."
Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Without Image


INFO

On 21 October 1978, The Cure played at Lakers again. And, on 25 October 1978, they were supporting The Young Bucks at The Windsor Castle in Harrow Road. After this show they went back into the studio for an all night recording session.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"That was the concert where Bill decided we should also change our image. Before we played he said we all had to shape up and we thought 'He's going too far now, asking us to look different.' Back in the studio, Dempsey was really upset, really drunk, and he never got drunk. He couldn't play but he insisted he was okay. I was horrified - he kept telling me and Lol that we were playing out of time!
"That sowed some seeds of doubt - I mean, Bill could have waited until after the show to have his say. The only good that came out of it was that he gave us some money to buy some clothes."
Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"Dempsey looked a dork so I told him so. I mean, here I was with a lot of faith and belief in the band and they'd just amble on stage looking horrible, fucking disgusting. I liked their view that style wasn't going to be thrust upon them but Dempsey wore corduroys, Hush puppies and a grandpa jumper, Robert had a coat that he wore a lot which looked very nondescript, and Lol used to turn up wearing any sort of trousers and shoes, a white shirt, and a bit of a beard and I thought 'These guys are the dog's breakfast! The music is great but they look shit'." Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"Robert would have none of it. Maybe he bought himself a pair of brothel-creepers or something but I bought myself some awful clothes. The only image we had was this leather jascket that belonged to a hoodlum we knew. Lol somehow got hold of it and started wearing it. So did Robert." Michael Dempsey on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

The Cure Live


INFO

On 28 October 1978, they played at Lakers. And on 6 November 1978, they played again at The Windsor Castle. The next two months, they played gig after gig under Chris' scheme.

Another show was on 20 November 1978, when The Cure was supporting The UK Subs at the Moonlight Club in West Hampstead. Singer Charlie Harper had previously asked Lol to join his band when they'd met at the Croyden Greyhound.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"What a fucking glorious night! They were everything I loathed about that particular part of punk culture - old rock 'n' rollers. Horrible. I remember they said 'Hey, we gotta use your gear man' and I said 'You can't call me man. This is 1978!' We were really good that night, really aggressive." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Supporting Gen X


INFO

At the end of November 1978, The Cure embarked a short tour supporting Generation X, driving back to Parry's house near Watford gig after gig. to sleep there.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"I remember we arrived at High Wycombe and this bloke said to me 'Are you using the lights?' and I thought 'Well, obviously we want to use lights otherwise no-one will be able to see us' so I said yes. Then he said 'D'you wanna use the PA?' and I said yes again so he said 'Okay, £25' and I said 'Is that all?' I thought he was saying, if we used the lights and PA, that he could only pay us £25. He looked at me peculiary and I suddenly realised that he was charging us! So I said we hadn't got the money - we only had about £15 for petrol and stuff to get back from High Wycombe - and he said 'No £25, no lights or PA'. So I said 'Right, we won't use them then'.
"We'd brought along these two Yamaha A40 bins which we used in pubs as our PA system and we were going to use them as monitors and I had this HH mixing console as I always mixed from the stage with someone in the audience giving me signals for bass up or vocals down, so we wheeled it out and we had two standard lamps either side of us and we played like that.
"The blokes who were doing the lights and sound for Generation X were called Mac and Nigel and they thought it was great that we reacted like that. So the next night, at Northampton Cricket Club, thay came up to us and said we could use the lights and PA for nothing."
Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"I thought they were really nice people. It looked me some time to get used to their music thought - I didn't think it was that brilliant at first." Mac on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"Mac was my older brother's age and we thought he was kinda funny. Nigel and he were amazed to be able to talk about Hendrix and Nick Drake with 18 year olds." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

On Tour


INFO

On 30 November 1978, The Cure were attacked by skinheads, then stayed in a hotel for the first time, and the people from Polydor had travelled to see them.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"All the Polydor people were going 'Great show lads' and buying us free drinks. I remember drinking loads of Southern Comfort and thinking at was really good and, about two hours later, lying with my head down a toilet thinking it wasn't that good at all." Lol Tolhurst on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"We all had to share a room. two beds between the three of us, so Lol went on the floor because he was so drunk. He threw up in the sink and all over the carpet and it was really humiatiling because, when we woke up, he'd completely ruined the room, sprayed vomit all over the walls and everything and it was our first stay in an hotel!" Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"I must say I don't think I enjoyed that time on the road. It wasn't exactly tiring because it was still quite fun but we were always really hung over on cheap and nasty beer, playing in front of people who neither knew us nor wanted to know us.
"When we asked Parry why we were playing these places, he had a good way of dealing with it. He was always very jokey, very avuncular, and there was no way you could pin him down. As soon as we complained, he'd say 'Oh c'mon, have a beer'. I think he wanted to build up what he called a grass roots following. He had two expressions he was constantly bringing out at that time to do with his grand scheme-one was grass roots following and the other was ground swell. I think he got them from a book of economics or something. He had another expression-atomise-but that was mainly used in connection with The Associates."
Michael Dempsey on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Toilet Incident


INFO

On 3 December 1978, The Cure played at Locarno in Bristol.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"After the gig, I wandered back through Gen X's dressing room to go to the toilet but someone at the door said I couldn't go in there. Well, I was desperate so I pushed past and went in, and there was Billy Idol up against the urinal in a rather compromising position with a young lady. He gave me his famous sneer but I thought 'Sod it, I'm not going away, so I walked right up next to him and pulled out my willy. He was going 'Don't be nervous, don't be nervous' and I turned to him and went 'Alright Billy' and pissed all over him!" Lol Tolhurst on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"Lol had this unfortunate ability to stumble across people in some sort of canal act." Michael Dempsey on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"We did one more date on that tour before they kicked us off and that was Dunstable California Ballroom because I don't think they could get anyone else to do it. The toilet incident obviously didn't go down too well but, as well as that, we were beginning to get too good a reaction, and that made them nervous." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

John Peel


INFO

On 4 December, The Cure recorded the first session for John Peel's show on Radio One. They performed Killing An Arab, 10.15 Saturday Night, Boys Don't Cry and Fire In Cairo.

Drip Drip Drip


INFO

On 8 December 1978, The Cure played in Oxford.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"That was the worst gig we ever did. It was snowing, we broke down, we ran out of petrol, we loaded all the stuff in and it was about 10 feet square. I started singing without any drums because Lol had gone for a piss outside and there were only about 20 people there anyway, all blokes, really drunk, and one just shouting out all night 'Play that drip drip drip one again!' We played 10.15 Saturday Night about eight times because it was the only song he wanted to hear and every time we got halfway through something else, he'd throw a beer glass at us and shout 'Play that drip drip drip oneagain!' Horrible." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Ain't No Blues For The Summertime Cure


INFO

On 16 December 1978, The Cure received their first coverage in the New Musical Express. Inside this magazine there was an article Ain't No Blues For The Summertime Cure, written by Adrian Thrills.

London Dates


INFO

On 19th December 1978, they played at Hope And Anchor in Islington and it was reviewed by the press.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"I had flu and was doped up on Night Nurse and disprins. Halfway through the set I collapsed with a temperature of 102. We were really worried that the gig was gonna be reviewed and that people would think we were always like that." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Twice In One Day


INFO

On 22 December 1978, The Cure played twice in one day.


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"My dad worked there and pulled strings to get us booked as the cabaret. It was really funny - we got no reaction at all! We played for 25 minutes, got very drunk, then drove like madmen to the Music Machine where we sat outside for two hours because the bouncers wouldn't believe we were the support group to The Pirates." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

Killing An Arab


INFO

Around this time, The Cure celebrate the release of their first single Killing An Arab b/w 10.15 Saturday Night on Small Wonder, a small label chosen by Chris Parry when Polydor wouldn't it release before Christmas. It was pressed 15.000 copies!


WHAT THEY SAID..?

"It was so completely different that I knew the punters would like it. It was something you could pogo to, so it was a winner for punks and, among these punks, were the people I really wanted to get at - the people who read music papers, the active ones. So I made sure we got a really good poster campaign. I used Bill Smith to do the designs - quirky but right for the time, a little bit different.
"The design certainly wasn't to Robert's taste, I knew that, but I wasn't terribly concerned. I just wanted him to concentrate on the music. He had a lot of good songs and I was worried we weren't gonna get them down or that someone would come along and do them better.
"I thought, 'this band are just enjoying themselves too much; they lack weight, lack concept, lack awareness of what they've got in their hands'. So, I picked this old man's face, reserved it to make it look more ugly, than put it out on posters throughout London."
Chris Parry on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"The reaction was astonishing. One minute we were nothing and the next we were the New Existentialists." Robert Smith on Ten Imaginary Years (1988)

"The thing about Killing An Arab is that it is only a reference point in our career, but it could have been a millstone. I can't understand it, but when people have an idea of the typical Cure sound, that's it. But that's just from that era. It's good that we got away from that sound because it could have killed us." Robert Smith on A Visual Documentary (1988)