The first time I ever heard of The Cure was in 6th grade in 1987. My Aunt Mary, who I looked up to for musical guidance, had their band name written on her white canvas Keds shoes in blue ink. I was deaf then. I could hear SOME music with one hearing aid, but did not want any kids making fun of me for being deaf, and did my best to avoid ridicule. She picked 'Japanese Whispers' as my first cassette.
Back then, I relied heavily on reading lyrical content so I could connect with the songs. After seeing the “Love Song” music video in 8th grade, I finally got a visual of who The Cure were. Everything changed. I was obsessed. I was on a mission to learn everything I could. I enlisted my sister to write out all the lyrics of every song on my Japanese Whispers cassette. I saved up my allowances to buy 'The Top', and 'Head on The Door'. I practiced hearing and reading their lyrics whilst listening as best as I could. Over and over. It was so hard! I was deaf! I would lie in bed at night with my Walkman rubber banded around my hearing aid, listening to the Kiss Me cassette over and over, while trying to read the lyrics from the tiny sleeve amid a night light in a room I shared with my sister. It drove her mad. My hearing aid amplified the music from my headphones. She couldn't ever sleep
Disintegration was one of the hardest albums for me to hear the lyrics to and was quite challenging. My hearing range was well below the threshold of the high frequencies. It was so hard to hear the lyrics amid the cacophony of unique musical arrangements. I managed to get 'Pictures of You' down pat. Key parts of 'Lullaby' and 'Last Dance', however, escaped me.
June 1994. Age 18. Everything changed again. I had hearing restoration surgery. Oh. My. God. I CAN HEAR! I can hear on the phone! It's not perfect yet, but close enough! I have seen The Cure 8 times in the last 20 years. I’ve made international friends through Cure News and have shared shows with them. I was lucky enough to be in the front row in 2000, San Diego, and was able to hear them fantastically whilst being close enough to read Robert's lips as he sang the songs. The best ever!! I still need the visual to follow his lyrics. Nonetheless, I am thrilled - beyond words - that I am able hear The Cure, and everything else, ten times better than I did long ago. - Jami Lemmer, Phoenix Arizona
I fell in love with Fuli the first time I saw him. It was at a gig in Budapest, during the summer of 94’. I can’t tell you the name of the band I went to see, but I can tell you about Fuli’s style; white trainers, a black baggy long jumper, black teased hair, and a bit of make up. Needles to say, I was taken by his his ‘Robert Smith look’. Obviously, he was already a huge Cure fan back then.
I never thought he would ever talk to me. But then, a few months later, I spotted him again at another gig. After a few glasses of wine and a push from good friends, I racked up the nerve to approach. We started to chat, and the hours slipped away. We talked all night. We had so much in common apart from our mutual love of The Cure. It was incredible. And we’ve been together ever since. Fuli introduced me to this whole Cure craze during the summer of 95’. I couldn’t believe my eyes the first time I saw them live. I was over the moon. He also introduced me to those wonderful Cure friends of ours. We have traveled to see The Cure for over 20 years now. We’ve hitchhiked, slept eight people to a room, and shared piss poor road food across all continents. We have been to more than a 100 shows together. Most importantly, I am ever so thankful for our beautiful daughters, Emily and Nora. They are my everything. Someday they will hear about our adventures, and have funny stories to tell about their parents who followed a band across the world.
- Judit Jurus, Budapest, Hungary
I had been a Cure fan since I was eight years old. At 14, fandom became obsession the day I heard Friday I'm in Love. That album, Wish, brought me a fiery, celestial confidence, something to lean on when all else was failing me. My confidence took shape and form by way of Cure posters, nailed newspaper clippings, and magazine articles about The Cure on my walls & ceiling. There was no room left, except the inner lining of my sock drawer. I lived in this Cure cocoon for five years, dreaming I was as much a part of their lives as they were a part of mine. And then, I grew up. Normal life. Self Discovery. A total 180. It felt odd: like The Cure's music kept me in a world of non-reality, where I would never find my purpose. And thus, one day, I gave everything away. Every last clipping (to a worthy recipient of course).
I stopped listening to The Cure entirely, feeling that their music pulled me back to desolate times I wanted to forget.
17 years later, January 2015, I randomly played Wish again on my computer. BOOM! Complete inspiration hit like no time had passed. I painted, and painted, and was back in. 100%. I went to Las Vegas with my 14 year old heart, not expecting it to break when the show was over. But it did. I added 5 more shows. In California, I stared at the sea, my heart pinching, feeling called to Hawaii, so there I flew - two more shows. But it still wasn’t enough! Out I went, again, to the final three shows at Wembley, in England, waiting for over twelve hours to be the first person let in. Call it what you want – obsession, inspiration, pure insanity. It works for me. And I can’t wait to see them again.
- Tanya Leah, Nevada
25 years ago today, September 23rd 1992. The first time. Life changing experience. The cure has been part of my life for over 25 years now. Over the years the teen angst just changed to adult angst. Thanks to this band i have had the chance to travel the world, meet and form friendships with people around the world and experience great things.
- Antti Elnari Hietamäki, Helsinki, Finland
I can’t precisely remember when and why I came up with the idea to follow The Cure around the globe. It built up quite naturally, adding one concert to the other, one unknown city and country to the other. At the dawn of the new millennium, I did almost everything to follow them. It was the music, sure. It was the band as well: or, more precisely, the people in and around the band. Looking back, however, there was more. You easily could say it was a coming of age-thing, but not for the sake of deceiving myself, as Goethe has put it in his Italian Journey. The aim was – to use his words – to become acquainted with myself by means of the music, the traveling and the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met.
With just a backpack, friends, very little cash and a lot of enthusiasm, I found myself out there, travelling mostly by train, rarely by car, sometimes by taxi, and of course on foot. Walking for hours: from the station to the venue, from the venue to the band’s hotel, from the hotel to the station, from the station to the points of interests and on and on and on, mostly night walks of course. Cities evolve an estranged physiognomy. Perfect for your imagination. Tiny details, fragmented and blurred images from those years still spark my memories in a Proustian rush.
I lost a lot on the road: my luggage in San Francisco, my shoes in Italy, my documents and money in the Netherlands. Life on the road can be frustrating: especially when it’s cold and rainy, or when you just missed a train due to a general strike in Italy. Or even worse, missing almost a whole concert because of the insufficient train connections between Portugal and Spain back in 1998. So, was it really worth it? All the waiting, starving, and mounting moments of physical and mental exhaustion? I always tried to push mental and physical limits and learned about the importance of stamina. Travelling can easily turn into a borderline situation. It definitely helps you to learn about yourself and the people who accompany you. This is exactly what following The Cure meant to me. I experienced extreme happiness, and I met other like-minded people. I’ve seen places I normally wouldn’t have access to. But most of all, I found myself. From all of these things, I now know, that we all have the power to make a difference. Then. Now. Always.
- Christoph Dorz, Bochum, Germany
In keeping with the dysfunctionality of the 80s American family, my father and I shared a bedroom throughout my teen years, while my mother roomed with my sister. This arrangement led my father to become well acquainted with the music I loved. While he didn't mind Rick Springfield, The Police, or Duran Duran—groups I’d favored before discovering the Cure in ‘86 —he was utterly repulsed by Robert Smith and The Cure's music. “Listen to him. He sounds like he’s singing stuck under a truck. He sounds like he’s singing while squeezing out a shit.”
I rather enjoyed his disdain, and even used it as leverage: I had every square inch of my walls and ceiling festooned with Cure posters and pictures. I slowly began encroaching on his side of the room. ‘Just one picture here' I said, 'you can barely notice it!’ Reluctantly, he felt bad for deriding my passion, and eventually caved. Within days every inch of the room - walls to ceiling - was suffocated by The Cure. I wondered how many other 80’s fathers had to lie in bed at night with photos of Robert Smith staring back at them.
As much as my dad hated the band, he still facilitated my fandom. He drove me to and from my first-ever Cure concert on August 8, 1987, Nassau Coliseum. He even warmed up a little to “In Between Days” at one point. When I first got the “Catch” single, I insisted he listen to “Breathe” because, in my mind, how could anyone not find it beautiful? He didn’t like it. “At least he doesn’t sound as much like an asshole in this one,” he said. Despite his disgust, which eventually disintegrated (horrible pun intended), my father never impeded my love for The Cure. When I began to travel abroad to go to Cure Shows in 1989, he said “Brian, you can do whatever the fuck you want, but don’t expect me to like it.”
This February marks the 10-year anniversary of my father’s passing. I would give up listening to The Cure forever for the opportunity to spend one more day with him, his laugh, his good nature, and his incessant ridicule of The Cure. That is by no means a devaluing of The Cure’s music, but rather an indication of how beautiful a man my father was.
– Brian Greenspan, New York, NY
In 2000, my sophomore year of high school, my brother handed me a copy of Disintegration and said, "Play it. You need to hear it." This moment launched my devotion to The Cure. It's hard to explain what the band means to me. They told me to embrace the strange, the different. That it was okay to be comfortable with your sadness and that though it's raining, it doesn't mean you have to be down about it. Their music has gotten me through the best and worst of times and it's a constant inspiration in my writing.
I saw The Cure for the first time, finally, in 2014 at Riot Fest, which only made me love them more. The way they moved and sounded on stage made me forget there were thousands of people around me. For those 2 hours, it was just the band and I. The best moment was when they started playing "Bananafishbones": I started singing and dancing. I heard a voice next to me say "See? She knows it!" I turned and saw a woman. We shared big smiles and high-fived as we jammed to the song. I don't connect with many people at concerts, but it happened at The Cure. I love how their music can bring together so many people, young and old, and make everything right with the world if only for a short while.
When I listen to The Cure I’m transported to another place. A wonderful, whimsical, and sometimes, bleak place. Their dark material doesn’t emphasize the sadness I feel at times, but rather provides me with comfort. Those tracks envelop me and allow my mind to drift to an otherworldly place, letting me forget my problems. And when one of their poppier tracks comes on, it reminds me that whatever I’m going through will pass. Their music brings so much joy to my life. I’m so grateful that my brother was the catalyst for my devotion all those years ago. So, thank you, to The Cure, and to my brother, for the great music and ever- unfolding memories.
- Ashley P.