I make no apologies for today’s Memory. I have written before about my unrelenting love of The Cure and earlier this week I had the privilege of seeing them in the wonderful setting of the Royal Albert Hall.
More significantly for this site, the show itself was a trip down memory lane, as the band played their first three albums in their entirety. One of those albums was the first Cure album I ever bought.
It was, I believe, October 1982, during the school half term. I was back staying with my grandparents in London. Ever since returning from New Zealand I had been trying to find a copy of the song I had first fallen for, ‘Charlotte Sometimes‘, without success. I therefore saved up my pocket money with the intention of visiting the HMV store at Oxford Circus – at the time the country’s largest record store – to see if I had any more luck there.
This wasn’t the first time that I had travelled into London by myself but I was under strict instructions to go straight there and straight back to Gran and Grandad’s house afterwards.
Getting there was easy enough. The Jubilee Line ran straight from Queensbury (where my grandparents lived) to Oxford Circus station, and the store was right next to the station at that time.
I walked quickly from the station and then hesitated at the door of the dark, imposing store. Trying to look as if I did this every day, I wandered in and sought out the Cure LPs.
Disaster! The one album that they had, ‘Faith’, had no track by the right name. Disappointed, I turned and left the store.
Outside, I paused before getting going into the station. There was a chance that the song might have another name over here. And there was a song on the album titled ‘Other Voices’. And didn’t ‘Charlotte Sometimes’ begin ‘All the faces/All the voices’?
With that rationale, I strolled back into the shop and bought my first Cure album.
I was, of course, horribly wrong. ‘Other Voices’ is an entirely different song. I don’t know who was more disappointed, me at that discovery or my sextagenarian grandmother at having to listen to 40 minutes of Goth’s finest when I returned.
The disappointment didn’t stop me liking the album and from that day a record collection was born. I own at least one copy of every album the band has ever made – including the slightly rubbish ones – and they in turn led to me meeting my wife. I owe a lot to ‘Faith’