The Cure may be an institution today, with thirteen studio albums and countless performances under their belt, but way back in 1980 they were visiting the USA for the first time in a whirlwind promotional tour, a bootleg of that historic tour has now emerged online.
Slicing Up Eyeballs, a music blog celebrating “the legacy of ’80s college rock’ has directed us to a neat little digital find today, a stream of The Cure’s first-ever American show that’s over thirty years old.
The stream has been converted from a recently discovered audio cassette which contains a bootleg of the band’s show at Emerald City in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The New Jersey gig was the first show in a six-date mini-tour of the States in April, 1980 in support of the band’s second album, Seventeen Seconds, released the same month.
The tape in question was re-discovered by music journalist Van Gosse, who was originally commissioned by Melody Maker to cover The Cure’s first ever American tour. Speaking about his recent (re)discovery, Gosse writes:
“Way back, when I started writing about music (thanks to Davitt Sigerson), I interviewed lots of people and occasionally taped shows, so I could listen to them again. So….in April 1980, Melody Maker gave me a big assignment to trail The Cure on their first US tour, and write about them. “
“Their publicist, Rhonda, took me to their US debut, at Emerald City in Cherry Hill, NJ, and I taped the attached. Pretty great stuff! They were releasing ‘A Forest,’ but still played all the original stuff, including ‘Killing an Arab’ as the encore. The MM went on strike and my piece never ran, but it was a good time.”
“I remember what a hard case was Robert Smith, very determined, nothing sentimental or artsy about him. Below are my two pieces that did run, in the Voice and a short live review in the MM. And the show itself, thanks to SFJ for compressing and cleaning up.”
According to Cure fansite Chain of Flowers, the cassette bootleg – posted online as its two separate sides – is the first of its kind: a historic document of a previously unrecorded concert.
You can have a listen to the historic setlist, including such Cure classics as “10:15 Saturday Night” “Boys Don’t Cry” and “A Forest”, below: