San Diego Radio Sucks Quite A Bit

Friday, March 27, 2009

20 Days 'til Coachella - The Cure

The Cure were my favorite band of all time, until a certain bunch of guys from Oxford put out a ton of great stuff in a row and took over the number one spot. Yes, Radiohead is arguably the best band of our time, but The Cure will always hold a special place in my heart.

I remember my journey to see them for the first time. It started in New Hampshire in June of 1989, where I was visiting my uncle. I was 18, it was the summer before I left for college, and my parents were determined to get some goddamn family time in before that fall even if it killed all of us.

"But I have tickets to The Cure!" I protested, when my mother told me of the planned vacation.

"We're going to see your uncle in New Hampshire, and you're going too!" she crabbed back.

"Well, I'm coming home early," I protested. I've always had this way of getting what I wanted, and deep down, she knew I'd bitch until I was coughing blood if that was what it took to see this band.

The compromise was simple: I'd go with the fam' to NH, but I could take a train from Boston the night before, have some friends pick me up at the train station, get dropped off at my house (sans car) and have my friend Barry pick me up for the show in Auburn Heights, about 45 minutes away from my parents' house.

We got to Boston and I managed to do a little CD shopping. I remember buying three CDs, including my first The The album, Mind Bomb, and my first 10,000 Maniacs CD, Blind Man's Zoo. Somehow, I didn't have a portable CD player with me, so all I could do was read the liner notes and lyrics all the way back to Detroit. If you've ever read the lyrics to Mind Bomb, you'll have a little piece of the puzzle of why I am the way I am.

After a brutal 18+ hours on the Amtrak with no muzzles nor restraints for screaming children, I finally made it to my hometown train station. My friends picked me up, dropped me off at my house, and I eagerly called my concert buddy.

"Are you ready to see The CURE!?!?!"

"I caaan't... I have footall practice," he whined.

"Barry, if I miss the fucking Cure I'm never going to forgive you!" I screamed, slamming down the phone.

I called the first person I could think of, my friend Jen from my high school. Thank god, she was home when I called. Her tone was ecstatic, perhaps she knew what I could offer her for that night.

"I JUST WON FRONT ROW TICKETS TO THE CURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" she screamed in my ear.

"Oh, great," I replied, "I'll be in the third row.


"Hey I've got a call waiting, see yo tonight," I hoped.

Luckily, the person on the other line was another Jen I knew, and she was willing to drive to the show, as long as I could get a ride to her parents' place in Plymouth.

Long story short, we finally made it. Walked in between the openers and the headliner, and it was one of the defining moments of my life.

Keep in mind, this was on Disintegration.

Since then, they've had some triumphs, some flops, and some stuff I've never heard. Smith is nothing if not prolific, so some of it can be forgiven. Here's a quick rundown of my ratings of every album since Disintegration:

>> Wish (1992) - a very good sophomore jinx to Disintegration
>> Wild Mood Swings (1996) - the first Cure album that could suck termites from walls
>> Bloodflowers (2000) - renewed my faith in The Cure, it took me a week of having it in the house to finally listen to it because I was so afraid it would suck.
>> The Cure (2004) - still haven't heard it, I took a pass on this one. I know, I suck.
>> 4:13 Dream (2008) - when I first heard it, I thought, it's one of their worst. I still feel that way, but it's so much better than so much other stuff out there that I think it's still more than 50% good.

So yeah, I'll probably be watching them, though I've seen them so many times, I think I'd be OK missing them for a couple of other bands. If you haven't seen them, this might not be the perfect venue for their show, but give it a shot anyway.

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