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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

25 years ago tonight

It was 25 years ago tonight that I saw The Cure live for the very first time. And for only $15! My seat wasn't the best, but not bad for buying tickets just 2 weeks before the show. Thanks to mom for buying it for me at the Maison Blanche in the Oakwood Mall.

What sold me on the show? Had to be this description in the New Orleans Times-Picayune of them being "a bizarre British pop/rock band". How could I resist? :)

This was the preview article from the New Orleans Times-Picayune (most likely from the Lagniappe section on July 24th, 1987), which featured an interview with Lol. Love how he casually mentions that they have some new guy, Roger O'Donnell, on keyboards with them for this tour. :)



No live setlist reports in 1987, but as soon as I got home, I wrote out my first Cure setlist. Was so happy to get 'Charlotte Sometimes'! That was my favorite song at the time, and I couldn't believe they played it. Also didn't realize at the time how lucky I was to get to hear so much of the 'Kiss Me' album played live.


First thing I did when I got in, was to head to the merchandise stand. I bought my first Cure tour t-shirt (front - back), tour book, and Cure poster (the one with the band up top and their autographs below).

I found my seat and started to look through the tour book. Sort of skimming through it, until I got to a page with this new guy on it. I had limited knowledge of the band, but knew enough to know that Lol was the keyboardist, had been there from the start, I really liked him in the videos, and this Roger O'Donnell character looked like such a poser! He better not be trying to take Lol's place! Did I mention what an idiot I was? :) If I had only known back then how much I would come to love and admire Roger's work with the band!

And then the lights went out, and some weird ass video started (Eyemou, but I had no idea about that back then). I remember being creeped out and wondering just what in the hell I had gotten myself into. :)

I wish I remembered more about the show, but the memories are pretty vague. Loved the light show, thought it was very cool how there seemed to be a spotlight shining out from Boris' bass drum, with swirls of smoke in the light, happy that they played 'Fight', which I loved, and 'Charlotte Sometimes', which as I said above, was my favorite Cure song, and would remain so until I heard 'The Same Deep Water As You' two years later. The main thing I took away from the show was just how good they were live. Especially Boris and Simon. I thought Simon was the most awesome bass player I had ever seen. Also, I thought he was a total badass. :)

I only owned 2 Cure albums at this time, 'Standing on a Beach' and 'Kiss Me'. Both on cassette, both purchased together. I spent much of that Summer wearing those tapes out. Mostly while swimming, boom box blasting them out. :) So it was pretty nice that nearly the entire setlist was made up of songs I knew from those 2 albums. Only song I think I didn't know was 'Three Imaginary Boys'.

In the weeks/months after the show, I would slowly go through the band's back catalog, discovering 'Faith', 'Seventeen Seconds', and I saved it for last on purpose, 'Pornography'. I was stunned. This was the music I was meant to fall in love with. But The Cure had seemed to move away from these types of songs in recent years, and seemed to be more of a "pop" group. That was a dirty word for someone who had just discovered Alternative Music a year before. I wanted that "dark" band back, not this group that was wearing costumes and dancing around like idiots in the 'Why Can't I Be You?' video. A video which almost made me decide to NOT go to the show, btw. :)

Of course it was just one year later when news stories started to appear in NME and Melody Maker, talking about The Cure returning to the bleakness of those earlier albums. I was so excited! I couldn't wait to hear what that would sound like! Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. :)

I know this isn't news, but it means a lot to me, and brings back some pretty good memories. While I was much more of a Smiths fan at the time (Morrissey was my hero, my icon), this show really opened my eyes to the fact that The Cure were much more than some quirky British band that made goofy videos. They were an excellent live band, one of the best I had seen. A belief that would be forever solidified in just 2 short years, when I'd be blown away, while standing alone at the bottom of a hill in Dallas, Texas, at my first show on the Prayer Tour.

64 comments:

  1. ont s auraient bien passé de lui!! lol fesais une bonne job:)

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  2. I just celebrated my 20 year Cureversay last month. :)

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    1. Happy 20th, Chrissy! When and where?

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  3. Congratulations Craig! I just celebrated the 25th anniversary of my 3rd Cure show on July 14th. Having Chain of Flowers for the last 16 years has certainly made being a Cure fan easier. You've provided an invaluable resource for tickets, travel, news, and connecting fans. I would guess I have seen 10 to 15 Cure shows I wouldn't have seen or even known about if it wasn't for COF. Thanks!

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    1. Aw, thank you for such nice comments. Can't tell you how much that means to me. Especially today.

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  4. Congratulations Craig! November will see my own 25th of my first cure gig. Roma, palaeur. I don't think I have the ticket but I have a big poster in my studio, framed. Proud. Happy anniversary!

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    1. Happy 25th in advance, Pasta! And in Roma! Wow! What memories you must have!

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  5. Yeah, not really news but, had you not gone and see that show, we wouldn't be here talking about it so......:)

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    1. Oh, I think I still would have bought Disintegration and seen the Prayer Tour, even if I wouldn't have seen this show.

      I almost didn't go. I saw the Why Can't I Be You? video, and really hated it. Who were these fools in costumes, running around like idiots? :) But the chance of maybe hearing Charlotte Sometimes was enough to convince to look past the idiocy. :)

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  6. Great story. It's interesting how events like going to a concert can forever change your life. We appreciate your hard work, Craig.

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    1. Thank you, Stan. Sincerely appreciate it.

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  7. Cool! My first time was a couple weeks earlier in Massachusetts.

    I remember it like it was yesterday and love that I can see the setlist today!

    http://www.cure-concerts.de/concerts/1987-08-07.php

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  8. Thanks for sharing this Craig. Loved reading that article with the Lol interview and seeing your hand drawn setlist. Incredible how many songs they played off the "new album."

    I made my own setlist for my first show (Worcester Centrum, July 1996) and it still hangs on my bedroom wall in my parent's home.

    Seeing them live also took me from casual fan to crazy fan.

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    1. I was at that show too! Although, I don't remember it as much ;)

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  9. wow! 25 years... my first was leysin 1990... VERY memorable! they told us, robert was dead... but they just overslept in the hotel... so... thats 22 years! 48 concerts...
    but most important: 16 years of chainofflowers!! while the swing tour happened, i stumbled over your site, while searching for audio recordings... and look where you are!! i check it every day! :-)
    thx a lot for everything!!

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  10. Happy Cure Live Anniversary, my brother from the other side. I'm in my 25th too but don't when it was. Lyon 1987, someone knows the precise day ?
    Thank you so much for keeping faith in that amazing band and story. Hope that The Cure will someday recognize the work you acheived, for us and for them.
    Your fan, forever.

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    1. 25 Nov?

      http://www.cure-concerts.de/concerts/1987-11-25.php

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  11. Happy Cure Live Anniversary, my brother from the other side. I'm in my 25th too but don't when it was. Lyon 1987, someone knows the precise day ?
    Thank you so much for keeping faith in that amazing band and story. Hope that The Cure will someday recognize the work you acheived, for us and for them.
    Your fan, forever.

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    1. 25 november 1987. Here the setlist: http://www.cure-concerts.de/concerts/1987-11-25.php

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  12. Thanks so much for sharing this with us and congratulations! We now know the spark that started the flame..

    My first show was Dreamtour - I had missed out seeing them in '92..
    Not so much Australia as a country these days, but Perth often got overlooked as a venue because we're so far away from everybody else..
    Before Wish, and I'll probably be corrected by Brad (:p) but before Wish they had been in Oz for the first time to tour Seventeen Seconds!

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  13. Dearest Craig,

    The Cure was already long my favorite by the time I got to see them live. How different it must have been to be a casual fan!

    Reread your Chain of Flowers book for my thanks to you. ;)

    Cheers,
    Kate

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  15. Thanks for sharing Craig. That was really fun to read. Man, what I'd do to go back in time and see the setlist performed with you.

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  16. The first time you never forget ...
    I will celebrate the 20th anniversary on next 31 October: it was the concert in Milan of Wish tour. It was the last show with Simon (he had health problems), for this reason the concert was a very tense and intense.
    Then I add myself to all the compliments and thanks for COF: remember you can fill up the sky, you don't have to give in!

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  18. My first time seeing them was on the Wish Tour, the show was a debacle from a personal point of view, my best friend passed out before Open started, too much booze, and I he is a quite a big guy, no one wanted to help me lift him up, which sucked, but anyway, here I this little guy hefting this giant over the barrier and then thinking, shite! and was caught up in the best most glorious swell of emotion as Open came on and the crowd surged! beautiful, I did eventually find said friend later and laughed about it....ridiculous! Lovely memories Craig, they are news for me, sharing our love for this band is always incredible and this is the best website ever, I visit it everyday, multiple times in case something has happened! My brothers hassled me the day you posted the End of the World video and watched it over and over again. In fact one of my brothers when I ask to look at something on the net, will say to me "Let me guess Chain of Flowers?" : )

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  19. hey Craig. My first Cure concert was also that summer 25 years ago. The Kiss Me Kiss Me tour. Oakland Coliseum. Crappy seat. Still got the ticket stub. $17.50

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  20. Great story, thanks for posting .

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  21. Great post Craig!!! Congratulations on your 25-years!!! Thank you sooo much for all you do for all us fans!!! Very much appreciated!!! ;0)

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  22. Craig, thanks for sharing. 25 years, a measure of life. xx

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    1. I wish there was a, 'thumbs up' thingy for your comment. Perfect.

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  23. a quarter of one hundred years!! woohoo!!

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  24. Craig, I got very nostalgic while reading this wonderful narrative, almost tearful in fact.

    I came to love this band only about a dozen years ago. I remember my first visits to COF, and thinking how odd it was that a fan would be so dedicated to a band. I wondered what all the Cure spottings were about, and why I should care about trivia. I was an idiot to question your efforts. How many thousands of times have I been to COF since then? COF has become a much-loved habit, one that I've gladly kept even as I age ages beyond the person I was when I first discovered you.

    You have always been there for the band and the fans, even when times weren't so good.
    You are brilliant, passionate, and much-admired by your followers, and we can never really convey how much your dedication to getting the news, etc. out has meant to us. I wish you long life, good health, happiness, and enduring connection with our favorite band. <3

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    1. can i co-sign here? stated perfectly! :) thank you, craig. so much.

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  25. Thank you for sharing this, Craig. Brought me back there too - reading this made my day!

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  26. Thank you so much for sharing Craig. What would we do without you?
    You made me go back to find the setlist of my first Cure show at Dodger Stadium 1989. WOW, what a setlist! I remember standing on a chair in the front next to Punky Brewster and all the smoke on stage thinking this is the coolest band - I hope they don't break up.

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  27. Thanks for sharing your great memories Craig!
    I heard my first Cure song in 1983 (LGTB) and became an instant fan. However, my first show wasn't until 1996. And most recently Milan & Rome! Such wonderful memories with this band, and the people I've met because of it. Thanks for doing an awesome job with COF :)

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  28. I made many trips to Lakefront arena...but none for a concert. It was always basketball games. I always thought it was built nicely for concerts.

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  29. What Disintegration was for you, Bloodflowers was for me 12 years ago,
    I'm still considered a new fan. Ha Ha.
    My first concert was the Trilogy show in Brussels, what a night :)

    This band is important in my life, and you are connected with this in so
    many ways.
    I am here several times a day looking for news etc.

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    1. and I forgot the big THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING in caps!!!

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  30. congrats Craig! :) My very first anniversary was on Simon's birthday this year - one year since the second night of Reflections. Being 19 and Australian sucks in terms of being a Curefan! But here's to many more gigs in the future for us both.

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  31. Congratulations, Craig. I've been quietly following your website since 1996 -- it's become my daily dose of Cure. Thanks, and keep up the good work :)

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  32. Great memories and interesting as well – Nice one!

    I had an older brother who got into The Cure via John Peel (greatest DJ the UK ever had), so I borrowed Faith off him and slowly got hooked.

    First single I got was the Hanging Garden / Hundred Years double single with A Forest & Killing an Arab Live.

    A friend got me a ticket to see them at St Austell on the 1st night of the Head on the Door tour & I’ve never looked back.

    The Cure are simply the finest band ever.

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  33. Thank you Craig! What a great piece and what great memories. It really made me think of my first Cure gig (Albert Hall Greenpeace show in 1986). I don’t post often, but I always check COF first everyday when I go on line. Keep up the good work mate! Thanks again.

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    1. also went to that - Waterboys were 1 of the support acts - a fine evening

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    2. Great set list, loads of stuff they apparently hadn't played for a while: Shake dog shake, The Drowning man, Faith and Pornography. So loads of surprises as I was expecting mainly Head Tour songs.I also remember the bloke from Shriekback tripping over his own mike lead and falling flat on his face!

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    3. well remembered, john otway also played. i juts managed to get the last train back to oxford. happy days

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  34. Hey Craig! Happy anniversary to you. Thanks for all that you do to keep us all up to date with the latest happenings in the cure universe. My 16th anniversary of my 1st cure show is coming up next month....august 25th....guess which city.

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  35. Great memories. Thanks for sharing them.

    Cheers.

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  36. Such sweet memories - made my heart ache, just a bit, and my eyes, tear up JUST a smitch. ♥

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  37. First time was July 87 in Oakland CA. I was a freshman in highschool, my first concert...with my mom. Then September 89 for Prayer in Mountian View. Only tour I missed since was the WMS tour because I was in New York when they were in CA and in CA when they were in NY.

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  38. Great memories Craig. First Cure gig for me was in 1992 at Cambridge Corn Exchange on the UK Wish warm-up tour when they played a few smaller venues before embarking on the main tour. Seem to remember I didn't have the Wish album before the gig, think it wasn't yet released or only just had been, so I hadn't heard most of the Wish songs. Hearing FTEOTDGS for the first time blew me away, still adore that guitar solo after all these years.
    Happy anniversary Craig and thanks for all that you do.

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  39. I saw them live for the first time in 1987 too. It was at Reunion Arena in Dallas, TX. I can't remember if this was before or after we had a Ticketmaster outlet in Waco. But, I almost didn't get to go because we had to order over the phone with a credit card. My friend's mother let us use her card to buy the tickets. I also remember reading in a music magazine(the only way I was able to find out about shows) that The Cure were supposed to be playing Joy Division covers on this tour. I thought that was odd because they didn't play any covers that I was aware of. Any way, it was a great show and to hear The Kiss, Like Cockatoos and Shiver and Shake live made me appreciate them more. Eyemou playing with the image of the big red lips on the white curtain covering the stage was brilliant. Then the band comes on stage and you just see their silhouettes behind the curtain until Robert sings, "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me". It was amazing.

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  40. Great post Craig - I too don't post very often - but am always checking for updates... have been following your website/blog for years... as others have commented, we Aussies don't get quite the opportunities as the rest of the world - but last year's Reflections Tour at the Opera House went a long way to help rectify that... Have only seen The Cure 5 times - and loved every moment of each of them...
    Have always been thankful that The Cure have continued to keep you busy... may they keep it that way for many years to come! THANKS!

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  41. Hello from Russia! Your post dedicated to your first Cure-experience 25 years ago - it was touching and really heart-warming. And, of course, we are just a little bit envious - most of Russian fans saw the Cure for the first time one month ago when the band played in Moscow at Maxidrom festival, though many of them, of us started to listen to the Cure in 89 - 92, and some of us were very lucky to see them live during Bloodflowers tour in Poland (Lodz). Since then we followed the band around europe when we had an opportunity :) 25th anniversary congrats! and thank you so much for you hard job - you inform us about anything Cure - live shows, upcoming records and we are immensely grateful! Without you there wouldn't be a Cure fan community, so huge and friendly))
    Always with CoF, CTC Fanclub Moscow Russia

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  42. Craig, a great read! Great memories :)

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  43. I love this post, Craig. I've been filling out my FB timeline lately by logging in each Cure show I've attended as "life events"--I've never kept track of how many shows I've seen, so it's been a true adventure. It has brought back so many memories of key moments in my journey as a Curefan--which, I'm not ashamed to say, is probably one of the most significant journeys of my life. It's made me who I am. And I feel that level of nostalgia from you in this post.

    I want to thank you, as I have many times before, for maintaining this site--it was invaluable to me as I pieced my memories together. It's been funny, eye-opening, and sometimes even shocking to go back over all the show reviews I've submitted over the years! Turns out I don't hold back when sometimes! LOL

    Thank you for this glimpse into the roots of CoF. I loved reading it.

    angel.

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  44. I love this post, Craig. I've been filling out my FB timeline lately by logging in each Cure show I've attended as "life events"--I've never kept track of how many shows I've seen, so it's been a true adventure. It has brought back so many memories of key moments in my journey as a Curefan--which, I'm not ashamed to say, is probably one of the most significant journeys of my life. It's made me who I am. And I feel that level of nostalgia from you in this post.

    I want to thank you, as I have many times before, for maintaining this site--it was invaluable to me as I pieced my memories together. It's been funny, eye-opening, and sometimes even shocking to go back over all the show reviews I've submitted over the years! Turns out I don't hold back when sometimes! LOL

    Thank you for this glimpse into the roots of CoF. I loved reading it.

    angel.

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