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Robert Smith responds to fans about death, dreams & his tombstone in ‘The Cure News’
11.28.2017
08:47 am
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Robert Smith of The Cure answers your questions!
 

“What would you do in “the last three minutes?”

“Cry or laugh; depending where I was and who I was with.”

 

—Robert Smith of The Cure responding to a fan on how he would spend his last three minutes on Earth from the band’s vintage newsletter The Cure News Issue #2, Autumn 1987.

Cure vocalist Robert Smith was 28 when he started answering questions from his fans in the band’s series of newsletters The Cure News which published its first issue in 1987. During its run, Smith replied to hand-written inquiries sent in about his mythical hair and his aversion to flying—all while slyly avoiding answering a request for his home address. In later newsletters, Smith lets loose on The Smiths/Morrissey and rarely avoids answering intimate questions from fans which run the gamut from amusing to stalker-level weirdness. The vintage Q&As also chronicle Smith’s commentary as it relates to his relationship with his childhood pal, Cure drummer and keyboardist Lol Tolhurst until Lol’s departure from The Cure in 1989.

I combed through every newsletter put out between 1987 to 1991 in search of Smith’s most quotable-quotes—which, I must say, was a shit-ton of fun. I’ve posted loads of Smith’s answers to his fans queries below in the order of their chronological appearance in the various newsletters. I’ve left his answers just as he wrote them, without capitalization and British spellings which in some cases makes them all the more endearing. So without further delay, here’s Robert Smith being very Robert Smith-y while he responds to his fans.
 

A photo of Issue #14 of ‘The Cure News.’
 

Issue #1, March 1987

Fan: How do you get your hair to stick up?
Robert Smith: kms gel and lots of backcombing

Fan: What hobbies do the band have?
Robert Smith: boris rides his motorbike, porl takes photographs and generally arts it up, i read, simon plays computer games (in between searching for the perfect drink!), and laurence…umm…he is interested in spontaneous human combustion.

Issue #2, Autumn 1987

Fan: Do you believe in God?
Robert Smith: no.

Fan: What makes you happy?         
Robert Smith: going to bed.

Issue #3, September 1987

Fan: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened whilst playing live?
Robert Smith: lol on drums!

Fan: What do you think of the following chart acts?
a) The Smiths
b) Madonna
c) U2
d) Bananarama
e) Curiosity killed the cat (the late 80’s British pop band)
Robert Smith:
a) i am delighted they no longer exist, and all it needs now is a runaway truck and morrissey looking the other way..
b) it has to be someone doing it
c) as predictable as five star, and as boring
d) two out of three isn’t bad….(?)
e) aaaagh!! non-entities inert…

Issue #4, January 1988

Fan: What is your reaction if you are told that someone is totally obsessed with you, thinks about you, listens to you, and writes to you every day?
Robert Smith: if they lived with me for a day, they would be writing to someone else by midnight!

Fan: You say your greatest fear is dying, yet a short (?) while ago you didn’t want to reach the age of 25. What happened to change your mind?
Robert Smith: I reached 26.

Fan: What did you dream about last night?
Robert Smith: crashing in a plane and skiing and eyes.

Fan: If a fairy granted you 3 wishes, what would they be?
Robert Smith: to be able to become invisible, to be able to fly and to never grow up…

Fan: What colour lipstick do you use?
Robert Smith: “mary quant crimson scorcher”!

Fan: Do you hate anybody? Who? And why?
Robert Smith: i hate lots of people for many different reasons - some people and reasons for i don’t even know… but none of them too much of the time…

Issue #5, May 1988

Fan: What epitaph would you like on your tombstone?
Robert Smith: i am not here.

Fan: What’s your definition of the perfect cure fan?
Robert Smith: a sincere individualist with a hatred of fashion, bigotry, and soullessness.

Fan: What three possessions would you want with you if stranded on a desert island?
Robert Smith: my telescope, my bed, and a beach ball.
 

Lol Tolhurst and Smith.
 

Issue #6, January 1989

Fan: What’s the funniest thing Lol has ever done?
Robert Smith: pretend to be part of the group.

Fan: Why do you all victimize Lol?
Robert Smith: because he is useless.

Fan: Are you usually pleased with how your photos turn out?
Robert Smith: no - very rarely - but it doesn’t really matter.

Fan: What’s the most embarrassing moment on stage?
Robert Smith: there have been millions - whenever i remember something about myself i hate (which isn’t hard)

Fan: What’s your biggest frustration?
Robert Smith: getting old

Fan: If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?
RS: my birth date

Fan: When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
Robert Smith: me

Fan: Do you believe in U.F.O.‘s?
Robert Smith: sometimes

Issue #8, September 1989

Fan: What is the real reason for you sacking Lol? Have you spoken to him since?
Robert Smith: he lost touch with the rest of us; mentally, spiritually and socially. no, i haven’t spoke to him (i hadn’t spoke to him for several years anyway - that was part of the problem).

Fan: Who has replaced Lol as a scapegoat?
Robert Smith: no-one. we don’t need one anymore.

Fan: Do you ever feel that everything you’ve ever done is completely irrelevant and meaningless?
Robert Smith: often! but it’s not only me.

Fan: Were you drunk whilst performing “Lullaby” on Top of the Pops?
Robert Smith: yes!!

Fan: What is the worst psychological torture you can imagine suffering?
Robert Smith: constantly waking up and then waking up…always in a dream, or would this be any different?

Fan: From the list below, what is the most thing you’ve ever experienced?
a) amazing
b) beautiful
c) sickening/horrifying
Robert Smith:
a) hallucinations
b) hallucinations
c) flying

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.28.2017
08:47 am
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Custom made action figures of Robert Smith, The Cramps, Eraserhead & more!


A nice shot of the custom Poison Ivy and Lux Interior figures by an artist known as “N TT” over at Figure Realm. YES!
 
There are times when I’m out and about on the Internet looking for new and exciting things to bring to all of our dedicated Dangerous Minds readers, and occasionally (or always) I come across something I wasn’t looking for in the first place. And that’s how I happily ended up finding a bunch of different DIY figures and dolls based on the gothy likeness of Robert Smith, the one and only vocalist for The Cure, as well as Poison Ivy and Lux Interior of The Cramps. According to the person behind theses figures, artist “N TT” over at Figure Realm, it was noted that the six-inch version of Lux was made out of an action figure of Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe. Way to make the world a better place by recycling, N TT. Well done.

If you keep up with me here at DM, you know I have a deep affinity for all things action figures and the like. So stumbling on these figures by N TT was kind of like winning the action figure lottery for me. Anyway, good-old N TT has created some pretty fantastic DIY dolls/figures such as Robert Smith, Ivy and Lux (with Mr. Interior wearing a pair of black heels no less) and Jack Nance in character from the 1977 film Eraserhead. And since I know you’re wondering, though it’s not entirely clear, it would appear that N TT occasionally sells the tricked out figures that are posted on this page at Figure Realm.
 

Custom Lux Interior and Poison Ivy figures. Nice.
 

 

This disturbing interpretation of The Cure’s Robert Smith is based on the video for “Lullaby” from 1989. YIKES!
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.14.2017
09:35 am
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‘I’m A Cult Hero’: The Cure side project that featured an eccentric postman on lead vocals
08.14.2017
09:37 am
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Cult Hero cover
 
In mid-1979, Robert Smith, the singer-guitarist-leader of the Cure, started hanging out with Simon Gallup, bassist for the Magazine Spies. The pair got together every Saturday night at a pub in the English town of Horley to beer it up. It was during one of those evenings of inebriation that the idea of making a record with “Frank the Postman”—a local mail carrier—came to be.

Full-figured postman Frank Bell was one of Horley’s stranger legends. When not stuffing letter boxes he was often hanging out with the local wrecking crew, decked out in a t-shirt that proclaimed: “I’m a Cult Hero.” Robert Smith had met him and was taken by his bold personality. Smith was convinced that the mailman had all the makings of stardom. When Bell’s name was mentioned in the pub one night, Smith had a brainwave: “I thought, ‘Get him in the studio and write a disco song.’”(from Never Enough: The Story of The Cure)

For the Cult Hero recording session, Smith, Gallup and Bell were joined by the Cure’s drummer, Lol Tolhurst, and Magazine Spies keyboardist, Mattieu Hartley; former and future member of the Cure, Porl Thompson; as well as the pre-teen duo, the Obtainers, who Smith had recently produced. Smith’s two sisters and a selection of Horley residents also took part. The Cure’s bass player, Michael Dempsey, who just happened to be on holiday at the time of the session, later added synth. By this time, Smith had begun to weigh his options regarding Dempsey, as the two had a chilly relationship and Smith couldn’t stand the thought of going on another tour with him.
 
I'm a Cult Hero
 
The Cult Hero 45, “I’m a Cult Hero” b/w “I Dig You,” was released in December 1979 on the Cure’s UK label, Fiction Records. The A-side is post-punk bliss, with Bell essentially talking his way through the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, while the B-side is a playful hybrid of disco and punk, with amusingly vapid words, again coming from the mouth of Bell. The single appeared on different labels in a couple of other countries; the Canadian issue on Modulation Records actually became a hit, selling 35,000 copies in the Great White North.
 
More more after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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08.14.2017
09:37 am
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You don’t have to pay $500 to see this rare Japanese concert video of the Cure, now it’s on YouTube
06.28.2017
12:12 pm
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It’s a curious fact that the first two VHS products the Cure put out were both Japan-only releases, and both are rather difficult to find today. They’re so obscure that even full-length biographies about the Cure often include no information about them.

In 1985 the band put out Live in Japan, which was a full concert recorded at the Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo on October 17, 1984. The show was the third and final gig on the Cure’s brief visit to Japan, and the second in as many nights at that venue. The tour was in support for The Top, an album that was put out by Fiction Records in the U.K. and Sire in the U.S.
 

 
Today if you want to purchase a copy of the VHS itself, only one Discogs user has ever sold a copy of it using the website, and that transaction cost the purchaser $499. (There are no copies available on Discogs right now.)

Later the same year the Cure put out a video compilation called Tea Party—kind of a first take on what would end up being the Staring at the Sea: The Images video compilation that was later commonly available elsewhere. You can buy a Betamax copy of Tea Party for a whopping $799.99 on Discogs.
 

 
Given that Live in Japan was the first video product the Cure ever sold, that perforce makes it the first official live video ever put out by the band too. The Cure in Orange, recorded in France in 1986, wouldn’t come out until a couple of years later.

Live in Japan has surfaced on YouTube here and there over the years, but it’s never managed to stay online for very long. For a year now, there has been a high-quality version on YouTube, and it’s likely to stay up there because the uploader was apparently the Cure’s drummer on that tour, Andy Anderson.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.28.2017
12:12 pm
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Is this 40-year-old footage of the Cure the oldest known footage of the band?
06.20.2017
12:50 pm
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The Easy Cure in 1977: Peter O’Toole, Robert Smith, Porl Thompson, Michael Dempsey, and Lol Tolhurst (in front).

Here is what might be the earliest footage that exists of the Cure, or as they were then known—as of July 3, 1977 when this performance took place—the Easy Cure. If there is anything earlier than this—which at one point appeared on a VHS home video release in 1986 called Staring at the Sea—I’m unaware of it.

The place was the Queens Square Bandstand in Crawley, and the Easy Cure consisted of Robert Smith (guitar), Lol Tolhurst (drums), Porl Thompson (guitar), Michael Dempsey (bass), and Peter O’Toole (vocals). Previously, Smith, Thompson, Dempsey and Tolhurst had played together in a band called Malice that went through a few lead singers before O’Toole joined in April of 1977. Soon afterward the band recorded a demo in the dining room at Smith’s parents’ house and won a talent contest that saw them signed to a recording contract with the German record label Ariola-Hansa. The Easy Cure name came from the title of a song written by Tolhurst.
 

Michael Dempsey, Porl Thompson, Robert Smith, Peter O’Toole & Lol Tolhurst.

This footage was shot on July 3, which was one of the single hottest days of 1977 in the UK. The highest temperature recorded on that day was 28°C at Heathrow Airport, only 30 miles from Crawley. Seen in the film, a young woman waves a fan to cool herself down, and some of the men watching have removed their shirts due to the brutal heat. The youthful group is apparently performing a song here called “I Wish I Was Your Mother.” Soon after this was shot O’Toole left the band for a kibbutz in Israel and Smith became the lead vocalist.

Take a look, after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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06.20.2017
12:50 pm
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High-quality footage of the Cure playing New York City on their first U.S. tour, 1980
05.12.2017
11:35 am
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The Cure were arresting enough as a band to land its first album Three Imaginary Boys on the U.K. charts in 1979. A year later, with their sophomore effort Seventeen Seconds ready to be released in April, the band arranged for a brief tour of the eastern seaboard of the United States, the first time they had “jumped the pond” after having played entirely British gigs up to that point, with the exception of a handful of dates in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.

The Cure’s first-ever show on the North American continent was not in New York City. It was in scenic Cherry Hill, New Jersey, at the Emerald City Lounge, on April 10 or 12, 1980. Actually, a fanzine review of that Cherry Hill by Frank Chmielewski show survives, and it’s interesting to note how very unusual the Cure seemed to Chmielewski:
 

So original, this Cure, it is really hard to expalin (sic) it. It is not a dance band, yet it is very rhythmic, and has a textured sound. ... The Cure’s music is brain-stroking, maybe.

 
Remarkably, according to Chmielewski one of the openers for the Cure at that show was the Dickies.

Anyway, the Cure headed to D.C. for a show at the Bayou and then traveled to NYC for a three-show stint at Hurrah on West 62nd Street on April 15, 16, and 17. Some of you might recall that Hurrah was the club where in December 1978 Sid Vicious got into a fight with Todd Smith (the brother of Patti Smith) during a Skafish gig, which incident led to the incarceration of Sid Vicious in Rikers Island. It was also where Divine starred in the play The Neon Woman. These three Cure gigs took place towards the end of Hurrah’s existence, as it was defunct by 1981.

It’s not entirely clear which show of the three this footage comes from. The Cure was taped by Charles Libin and Paul Cameron, who took video footage of many bands in New York during that era. For any band playing multiple gigs in New York, their whole M.O. was to watch the first one(s) as prep for the final show, where they would do the actual taping. So it’s likely this show took place on April 17, 1980.

We presented a portion of this footage early last year, but only two songs were available then. Fortunately for us “new shit has come to light,” as a certain fictitious stoner once said. In this clip we have an actual majority of one of the shows, with eleven songs represented from a set that probably would have had somewhere shy of twenty.

Of the Hurrah dates, Robert Smith said that “we’d obtained cult status ... but we only played New York, Philly, Washington and Boston. We played three nights ... at Hurrah in New York and it was packed.” Simon Gallup noted one of the key differences of playing in the United States, that “instead of having cans of beer backstage, we’d have shots of Southern Comfort!”

Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.12.2017
11:35 am
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Intimate footage of the Cure rehearsing for the Prayer Tour, 1989
04.14.2017
02:51 pm
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The Cure has always been a consistently high-quality operation, and their run of great albums in the Thatcher years, starting with 1980’s Seventeen Seconds and ending with Disintegration, rivals the output of anyone during the same period. As the biggest-selling album the Cure ever put out as well as the first without significant contributions from Lol Tolhurst (album credits notwithstanding), Disintegration occupies a special place in the Cure pantheon. It’s the capstone of the Cure’s triumphant progress, one might say.

The success of Disintegration was surely in no small part due to the Cure’s extensive Prayer Tour. May, June, and most of July was devoted to Europe and Great Britain, then (after a month off) they jumped the ocean for a North American tour that started in Giants Stadium on August 20, 1989.

In this intriguing footage, which was excavated last summer, the Cure runs through sections of several key songs off of the Disintegration (“Plainsong,” “Pictures of You,” “Closedown,”  “Last Dance,” “Fascination Street”) as well as “A Night Like This” off of 1985’s The Head on the Door at Bray Studios in Berkshire, England.

Press play and let the gothy goodness wash over you…...
 

 
via Slicing Up Eyeballs
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘I’m alive. I’m dead’: The Cure in Concert, 1984

Posted by Martin Schneider
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04.14.2017
02:51 pm
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Unplugged: The Cure play acoustic renditions of their greatest hits
03.10.2017
08:48 am
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Both retailers and customers seem to have a love/hate relationship with “Record Store Day,” a yearly promotional “holiday” celebrating the independent record store. Labels producing merchandise for the event generally release limited-edition items that are only available for a short period of time at the participating shops. Customers often complain that they cannot obtain the items they want, as they are often scalped by eBay speculators to be resold at exorbitant prices. Retailers often complain that due to the nature of the distribution of releases, they are forced to over-order with the hopes of obtaining even a handful of the most desired pieces. This often results in order-frenzies that leave stacks of unsellable merchandise filling store racks once the hype of the day is over and the online resellers have determined that some of the pieces, no matter how limited, are just not marketable. Bands and record labels complain every year that pressing plant turn-around times are slow because of the backlog of Record Store Day releases clogging the presses. These complaints often call into question the necessity of certain “RSD” releases. I remember quite a few eyebrows being raised over the 2013 RSD release of Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler in all of its 180 gram and $35 price tag glory. Had neither the label nor the smattering of people who actually bought the release, ever heard of a thrift store—ANY THRIFT STORE—where you could easily find a vintage copy of the original for a dollar?

The worst RSD releases are the ones that just seem unnecessary. The slightly less-worse-but-still-ridiculous releases are good items in dumb formats—for example the release of Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde as… A SEVEN INCH BOX SET.

The worthwhile RSD releases are the ones that unearth unreleased vault material by beloved artists or shine the vinyl light of day on music that was previously available only on CD or cassette.

This Record Store Day, April 22nd, brings a release by The Cure which is, in some ways, totally welcome and completely the kind of thing labels should be doing for RSD. It is the first-time-ever-on-vinyl release of The Cure’s Acoustic Hits, which was originally included as a CD bonus in early pressings of The Cure’s Greatest Hits disc from 2001. While this is something to be excited about for vinyl-loving Cure fans, Universal is releasing it as a PICTURE DISC (along with a separate picture disc of Greatest Hits). The problem with a picture disc is that, while an interesting novelty item for collectors, they generally suffer from terrible fidelity. Picture discs are notorious for their awful sound quality. Here was an opportunity to give Cure fans a really terrific-sounding slab of wax of a grouping of songs previously unreleased on vinyl. Unfortunately, what we are getting is a dumb gimmick piece which might look cool in a frame on the wall, but will sound fairly bad on the ol’ hi-fi. Still, if you’re a Cure collector, this will undoubtedly be a must-have. Just make sure you hit the shop early, or you’ll be hunting it down online at twice-the-price.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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03.10.2017
08:48 am
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Christmas ornaments featuring Morrissey, Bowie, Adam Ant, Nick Cave, Siouxsie and more


 
This charming set of Christmas ornaments does a wonderful job of letting everyone in your circle know that you love St. Nick—and that the “Nick” in question is Nick Cave. Matthew Lineham designed them, and he’s done a wonderful job of working in “obscure Christmas memories and puns,” as he put it.

Many of his “obscure” references involve network Christmas programming from many decades ago. Siouxsie Sioux is transformed into Cindy Lou Who, the little girl from Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Morrissey plays the part of “Snow Mozzer” and “Heat Mozzer,” the memorable characters from the 1974 stop-motion animated Christmas TV special from Rankin/Bass, The Year Without a Santa Claus. Former Oingo Boingo frontman and soundtrack maestro Danny Elfman appears as “Elfman on the Shelfman,” a reference to the 2004 children’s book The Elf on the Shelf. Robert Smith is perched atop Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and DEVO‘s familiar energy dome is cleverly done up as a Christmas tree.

Lineham calls the set “A Very New Wave Christmas” but he has sensibly gone where the name-puns and name recognition will take him rather than obey strict genre definitions. Bowie and Cave might not be your idea of “new wave” icons but they were active in the early 1980s, at least.

You can buy the rubber die cut bendable ornaments for $10 a pop (“Mozzer” pair $15), or $50 for the entire set, a significant discount. However, due to the unexpectedly high demand, Lineham wants purchasers to be aware that any ornaments ordered today will be shipped “sometime between Dec 21st & 31st,” so don’t bank on them being available for this year’s tree—however, there’s always 2017, 2018, 2019, and beyond to think of. These seem unlikely to go out of style anytime soon.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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11.30.2016
09:56 am
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Killing Joke, Nick Cave, The Damned & Billy Idol lip-synching for their lives on 80s television


Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke looking a bit confused about how the band ended up on German music television program ‘Musik Convoy.’
 
As a frequent flier on the astral plane that is the Internet I never get tired of flipping through pages upon pages of YouTube in search of footage worthy of sharing with all you Dangerous Minds music fanatics. I cannot lie, I feel like I’ve hit the motherfucking JACKPOT today when it comes to these amazing clips that are also somewhat amusingly strange. And that’s because you are about to see musical gods like Nick Cave, Killing Joke, The Damned and Billy Idol lip-synching for their very lives back in the 80s on the short-lived German music television show Musik Convoy.

Musik Convoy was only on the air for a year but during that time they managed to get quite the cast of characters to “perform” on the show including a 1984 visit by The Cure who performed “Shake Dog Shake” with a beautifully disheveled Robert Smith, his signature red lipstick and hair askew. There are so many strange moments from the collection of videos in this post I just can’t pick a favorite. Like Nick Cave pretending to belt out an emotive version of “In The Ghetto” when you know—and he knows that you know—that he’s totally faking it. Or Billy Idol literally dancing with himself for two-plus minutes while miming “Eyes Without a Face,” or Robert Smith’s distinct indifference with his strange white microphone during another of the Cure’s appearance on the show. And since I’m feeling generous I also threw in twelve-minutes of the Ramones from Musik Convoy performing in front of a mostly solem, confused looking crowd of “fans” and soldiering through four songs: “Howling at the Moon,” Mama’s Boy,” “Wart Hog,” and “Chasing the Night.” I’ve said it before, the 80s were certainly full of fantastically weird times.
 

Nick Cave performing ‘In the Ghetto’ on ‘Musik Convoy,’ 1984.
 
More lip-syncing with the bad boys, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.16.2016
09:48 am
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Three Imaginary Boys: The Cure back in the 1970s when they were still teenagers
11.14.2016
12:21 pm
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An early shot of The Cure (L to R: Lol Tolhurst, Michael Dempsey and Robert Smith) hanging on the railroad tracks. This photo was likely taken around 1976/1977.
 
I spent a fair amount of time recently pouring through nostalgic images and musical performances by The Cure while pulling my post about the band’s first show in Boston in 1980. The Internet will often reward you with great things. Such is the case with these magical photos of Robert Smith and his bandmates, some taken as early as 1976.

If my math is correct (numbers and Cherrybomb don’t go well together) Robert Smith and drummer Lol Tolhurst were just seventeen. Bassist Michael Dempsey probably bought booze for them as he was eighteen in 1976. After you let it sink in that members of The Cure were once teenagers just like all of us, I’ll ask you to come to the realization that unlike most of us they were already on a pretty clear trajectory for greatness.

When they weren’t in school together they were already busy writing songs and by 1977 were playing gigs to a fast-growing fan base. All this noise got the teenage Smith, Dempsey and Tolhurst signed to Fiction Records (run by Chris Parry who was also an early champion of The Jam and Siouxsie and the Banshees). By the time 1979 rolled around The Cure were ready to release their stellar first album Three Imaginary Boys and a couple of follow-up singles you may have heard before “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Jumping Someone Else’s Train.” So strap in and get ready for a trip to a time before Robert Smith’s signature electrified goth hair and lipstick was a thing and see The Cure looking more like the images from your old high school yearbook.
 

Michael Dempsey, Marc Ceccagno, Robert Smith, Allan Hill, and Lol Tolhurst taken sometime between 1976 and 1978.
 

Three Imaginary Boys, likely circa 1976/77.
 
More Cure after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.14.2016
12:21 pm
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The Cure playing a small club in Boston the night of Robert Smith’s 21st birthday, 1980
11.03.2016
09:02 am
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The Cure circa 1980s.
 
Sadly I was too young to have had hung out at the mythical Allston, Massachusetts club “Allston Underground” back when it was open for a blink of an eye from 1980-1981. Had I been born five or six years earlier I would have been able to tell stories about seeing bands like Bauhaus, Mission of Burma, New Order and The Cure who all played a gig at The Underground during their first U.S tours.

The Cure made their way to The Underground on April 20th, 1980 mere hours before Robert Smith was about to celebrate his 21st birthday. And since you only turn 21 once Smith decided to rearrange part of the lyrics to “Seventeen Seconds” from “seventeen years/a measure in life’ to “21 years/a measure of life” which he then dedicated to Boston punks Mission of Burma with whom they were sharing the bill. When it comes to musical folklore I have to say that this little insight sent my brain off to conjure up images of what the rest of the night was like offstage for a newly legal drinking age Robert Smith on the loose with his Imaginary Boys and Mission of Burma on the streets of my beloved hometown. Another interesting twist to this story that made my day is that according to the meticulous Cure-focused site The Cure: The Multimedia Experience parts of the show were shot by a few local Boston art students. Which during my research for the story turned out to include omnipresent Boston videographer Jan Cocker. If (like me) you think this enviable story sounds like a page out of a die-hard Cure fan’s dream diary then I’m with you. And getting into a dreamy kind of mood is great preparation when it comes to the footage you’re about to see.

The videos include some editing and special effects which I actually found added another layer of mystique to this early moment and in The Cure’s long career. And for the record—Smith sounds absolutely incredible especially during the track “Secrets” from the band’s album Seventeen Seconds which was set for release the day after Smith’s birthday on April 22nd, 1980. I’m going to go out on a big fat limb here and say it’s safe to assume it was great to be Robert Smith during those three days. I’ve got footage of The Cure performing four songs at The Underground—“Grinding Halt,” “Subway Song,” “Accuracy” and “Secrets.” I highly recommend watching a few other videos shot at the show here as it includes a show-stopping version of “Killing an Arab” as it must be seen.
 

The Cure hanging out at the wood-paneled Boston, Massachusetts club ‘The Underground,’ April 20th, 1980.
 

A ticket for the April 20th, 1980 show at ‘The Underground’ in Allston, Massachusetts for The Cure and Mission of Burma.
 

‘Grinding Halt’ live on April 20th, 1980 at ‘The Underground’ in Allston, Massachusetts.
 
More Cure after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.03.2016
09:02 am
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R-rated illustrated album covers & rare racy bootlegs from Joy Division, The Cure & Serge Gainsbourg


The cover of the 1987 single ‘Lachez les chiens!’ by French group Super Nana by artist Aslan (aka Alain Gourdon).
 
You may be familiar with the work of the French illustrator known as “Aslan” or Alain Gourdon. Best known for his pin-ups Aslan was a contributor to French magazine Lui starting in 1963 where he would illustrate a different, gorgeously realistic pin-up for Lui each month for nearly 20 years.

Aslan was not only an incredibly talented illustrator and painter but was also quite adept at the art of sculpture. His 1970 bust of French starlet Brigitte Bardot as “Marianne” (one of a number of female images that have been used as a symbol representing the French republic) was the first bust promoted by the Louvre Museum while the author/creator was still living. In the last thirty or so years “Marianne” has been portrayed in the image of other female French icons such as actress Catherine Deneuve model Laetitia Casta. Naturally Aslan’s bust of “Marianne” features a plunging neckline revealing a lot of eye-popping sculpted cleavage.

When it comes to Aslan’s pin-ups for Lui there aren’t very many I can show you here as they are all pretty much gorgeously done X-rated illustrations featuring full-frontal nudity (you can see them here if you’d like). That said, I’m barely going to get away with showing you Aslan’s cool album covers especially when it comes to a bootleg of a performance by The Cure in Amsterdam in 1979 (see bottom) which was apparently used without his permission. The rest—including the illustration that was used for a Joy Division bootleg called “Enigma” that was apparently sanctioned by Aslan (part of a cavalcade of unofficial Joy Division pressings from the 80s that were released following vocalist Ian Curtis’s suicide—are still about as cheeky as they come.

I’ve also included a nice selection of album covers done by Aslan for Fontana Records (an offshoot of Dutch music label Phillips) that were all part of Fontana’s Après Minuit releases that featured artists like Serge Gainsbourg, Johnny Hallyday and jazz great Chet Baker. Like I said, the images in this post, while gorgeous, are most definitely NSFW. If you’ve just become a fan of Aslan and want to see more, I highly recommend seeking out the many pulp novels with his naughty illustrations on the covers.
 

An illustration done by Aslan on the cover of ‘Enigma’ a Joy Division bootleg from 1980.
 

The Cure ‘The Spell’s Unbroken’ bootleg from a live performance from 1985 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, UK with pin-up art by Aslan.
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.02.2016
09:27 am
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Stop what you’re doing and watch footage of The Cure in Orange in 1986
08.08.2016
10:08 am
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Some of you reading this may have already had the good fortune to have seen this vintage footage of The Cure performing at the breathtaking Roman-esque theatre in Orange, Vaucluse, France known as Theatre Antique d’Orange back in 1986. I also have no doubt that some of you might even possess copies of the show (known as The Cure in Orange) on VHS. If you fall into neither of these categories, then you are in for a treat as the show recently popped up on Vimeo.
 

Robert Smith of The Cure debuting his new short hairdo at ‘Theatre Antique d’Orange’ in France in 1986.
 
Shot over the course of two nights by longtime Cure collaborator director Tim Pope, the out-of-print footage contains a staggering 23 songs from The Cure’s mid-80s catalog (like The Head on the Door) as well as 1980’s Boys Don’t Cry and 1993’s Show and other assorted gems. It was also the apparently the first time Smith debuted his new short haircut much to the dismay of his gothy followers.

Though Smith himself has promised that The Cure in Orange would be released to DVD sometime in 2010, that never happened—though you can find bootlegged copies of the show for sale out there on various music-loving Internet sites as well as copies of the original VHS tape. As in the past when this extraordinary footage has made its way online it will likely once again quickly disappear so stop what you’re doing now and watch it before it vanishes.
 

‘The Cure in Orange’ was filmed over the course of two days in France at Theatre Antique d’Orange in 1986.
 
H/T: Slicing up Eyeballs

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Amusing manga of The Cure, Siouxsie Sioux, Marc Bolan, Hanoi Rocks & more from the 80s

Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.08.2016
10:08 am
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Siouxsie and the runaway Banshees
07.28.2016
10:48 am
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Cover
 
If you ever want to know practically everything there is to know about the first four years of Siouxsie and the Banshees, then you need to get your hands on a copy of the Siouxsie and the Banshees Scrapbook 1976-1980. I can’t tell you who compiled it because that information is lost in the rock ‘n’ roll black hole, but this fanzine/scrapbook released in 1984 includes early band history, discography, a list of all known bootlegs, photos and lots and lots of press clippings. It’s a truly work of DIY fanzine art. You would think if someone had taken an effort to compile this amount of information they would at least want to put their name or names on it. According to the back cover, “they” also compiled Volume 2 1981-1984 and similar scrapbooks on The Damned, The Cure and The Stranglers.
 
Scrap Book Page
 
The pre-Internet care that they took compiling the “Bootleg Recordings Known to Exist” section alone is impressive: Three pages of carefully cataloged bootleg information.
 
BootlegListing
 
My favorite tale from the Siouxsie and the Banshees Scrapbook comes from a press clipping of an article that was published in Sounds on September 15, 1979. The setting was Aberdeen. The story starts with this…. “The geezer standing next to me in the urinal said, ‘Hey, have you hear the rumour? Two of the Banshees have run off. They’re not going to play. The bouncers are expecting a riot.’”

On September 7, 1979, the very day their second album Join Hands was released Siouxsie and the Banshees were scheduled to play a show with the Cure opening for them. Before the show, at an in store record signing, the Banshees got into some sort of argument which caused guitarist John McKay and drummer Kenny Morris to storm off and quit. In typical punk form, when Siouxsie and Steve Severin went onstage that night to announce their bandmates disappearance—and therefore cancellation of their performance—Siouxsie encouraged the crowd to beat the shit out of the missing band members if found. The Cure came back on and played a few more songs before they invited some “special guests” to the stage. Siouxsie and Severin entered and together with the Cure, they played the Banshees’ rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Before the song started Siouxsie announced:

“I hope you realize these guys know nothing about the ‘Lord’s Prayer’…It’ll probably be all the better for that. John and Kenny were doing it for the money and you can’t do a good ‘Lord’s Prayer’ with that attitude.”

She’s probably right about that.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Izzi Krombholz
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07.28.2016
10:48 am
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