27 Geeky Facts About The Cure

Various – 1992

Robert Smith used to tell his record company he had a fear of flying – purely so he could cut down on his touring commitments. “For about three years, 1989 to 1992, I kept the pretence that I had this phobia,” recalls The Cure frontman. “We did two American tours sailing over on the QE2, which was very civilized.” Pic: Rex Features

THE CURE – 1987

The Cure first unveiled their iconic look of smeared lipstick and backcombed hair during a very dark period for the band, while touring 1982’s desolate ‘Pornography’ album. At the end of the tour bassist Simon Gallup (pictured second left) quit the band. Robert Smith recalls: “I was a monstrous person at that time.” Pic: Rex Features

THE CURE – 1996

The Cure’s 1989 album ‘Disintegration’ was initially dismissed by their US label Elektra as commercial suicide. Robert Smith recalls: “They thought I was being ‘wilfully obscure’, which was an actual quote from the letter.” The album went on to sell 2.7 million copies, making The Cure a stadium band in the US. Pic: Rex Features



The Cure’s song ‘Lullaby’ was inspired by the disturbing songs Robert Smith’s father would sing him when he could not sleep as a child: “He would always make them up. There was always a horrible ending. They would be something like ‘Sleep now, pretty baby – or you won’t wake up at all’.” Pic: LFI


For a brief period in 1989, The Cure could lay claim to being the biggest band in the world. That year they played a sold-out show at Wembley Stadium, followed by a gig at New York’s Giants Stadium in front of 44,000 people (30,000 tickets had been purchased in one day). Smith later reflected gloomily: “It was never our intention to become as big as this.”
Pic: LFI


Cure mainman Robert Smith enjoys eating extremely hot curries. “I myself am a phaal eater,” he explained. In case you wondered.


One of The Cure’s earliest tours, in 1979, was as support to Siouxsie And The Banshees. Robert Smith filled on in guitar for the headline band, an experience that profoundly changed his musical outlook: “It was so different to what we were doing with The Cure. Before that, I’d wanted us to be like the Buzzcocks or Elvis Costello, the punk Beatles. Being a Banshee really changed my attitude to what I was doing.”
Pic: LFI


DPA Germany Robert Smith

Robert Smith has been with his wife Mary for over 30 years, but the couple have never had children. And they never will, he says. “I kind of know what the two of us have missed. But I think it is more than compensated for by being able to still be the same to her as when we first met.”

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Robert Smith, pictured here with Bob Geldof, always vowed that The Cure’s music would never be used in adverts. He broke his promise in 2003 when ‘In Between Days’ was licensed for use in a Fiat Punto ad. In 2007 ‘Pictures Of You’ was used in an ad for HP digital cameras.
Pic: PA Photos

Music – The Cure

Once, while extremely drunk, Robert Smith bet a friend that he could go around the outside of a hotel jumping from balcony to balcony. “It took about an hour,” he recalls. “And once I got to a certain point it seemed farther to go back to where I could hear [his wife] Mary screaming. It was lamentable, like one of those Beavis and Butt-Head ‘I bet you can’t do that’ things.”
Pic: PA Photos

The Cure in concert – Boston

Despite having no kids of his own, Robert Smith lavishes gifts on his nephews and nieces, taking them to Euro Disney every Christmas. He recalls: “Minnie Mouse coming up to me and asking me for my autograph with all the children looking on in absolute amazement was one of the best and most disturbing moments of my life.”
Pic: PA Photos


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During the recording of The Cure’s biggest-selling album, 1989’s ‘Disintegration’, Robert Smith became overwhelmed with dark thoughts, brought on by a combination of depression and heavy LSD use. Compounding his gloom, two teenagers from a nearby town had recently committed suicide while listening to The Cure. The band kept a cutting of the news story pinned to the studio wall while recording.
Pic: PA Photos

Music – Top of the Pops

A number of films are named after Cure songs, such as ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ (1999) and ‘Just Like Heaven’ (2005). Meanwhile, there are at least four episodes from the TV-series ‘One Tree Hill’ that have Cure songs as their titles: ‘To Wish Impossible Things’ (Season 1, Series Episode 18), ‘From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea’ (Season 3, Series Episode 47), ‘The Same Deep Water as You’ (Season 4, Series Episode 68), and ‘Pictures of You’ (Season 4, Episode 80).


In an interview with The Guardian last year The Cure frontman Robert Smith opened up about his drinking past. “I had some kind of road to Damascus experience drink-wise when I was 14, and it was at the bottom of a glass. In the past, I didn’t really give a shit about what I was saying, so I would just be drunk all the time. The only way I could get through a day of interviews was to have two drinks with every interview.”


Since the release of ‘Wish’ in 1992, The Cure have released an album every four years. This, coupled with the fact that their new album is the 13th one to be released by the Crawley-based band, could explain its name, ‘4:13 Dream’. Pic: Steve Double/Retna

The Cure

The Cure urged fans in September to boycott iTunes and not buy their ‘Hypnagogic States’ EP from the online store. Writing on his personal blog, singer Robert Smith accused iTunes of ripping off the band’s fans by charging £7.99 for the EP, which contains five remixes of the veterans’ first four singles from their new album.
Pic: Micheal Putland/Retna

The Cure & Smith, Robert

Cure frontman Robert Smith voiced himself in the first season of ‘South Park’ at the request of series co-creator Trey Parker, who is a fan of the band. Smith appeared in the episode ‘Mecha-Streisand’, where he fought a giant mechanical Barbra Streisand. As he walked off triumphantly into the distance at the episode’s conclusion, one of the series’ main characters Kyle Broflovski shouted “‘Disintegration’ is the best album ever!”

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Robert Smith and The Cure featured twice in the second series of ‘The Mighty Boosh’. In one episode The Moon sings the chorus to ‘Lovecats’ and in another a powerful gothic hairspray, ‘Goth Juice’, is said to be “the most powerful hairspray known to man. Made from the tears of Robert Smith. It can hold a satsuma in midair with one spray”.
Pic: PA Photos

The Cure & Smith, Robert

The Cure are often described as a “Crawley-based band”, but Robert Smith was actually born in Blackpool. He explains: “When I came down south, I actually had quite a broad Northern accent and the piss was taken out of me mercilessly at school. That probably didn’t help me integrate.”

The Cure

At a Cure gig in LA in 1986 a deranged fan climbed on stage and started slashing away at his own body, threatening to stab himself. Robert Smith recalls: “It was pretty serious but perhaps some of the crowd who’d smoked too much dope might’ve thought it was some sort of art installation.”
Pic: Neal Preston/Retna


‘Pornography’, The Cure’s bleakest album, was described by NME upon its 1982 release as “Phil Spector in Hell”. On their subsequent tour, the band wore red eye make-up, so that, when they sweated under the lights, it appeared as if they were crying blood.
Pic: Sunshine/Retna

The Cure & Smith, Robert

The Cure became so famous in the early 90s that Robert Smith grew to despise his band’s most popular hits: “For a long time, I didn’t like certain songs because I thought, ‘You’re to blame, you bastard. You made me popular. ‘Friday I’m In Love’ is a perfect example of that.”
Pic: Steve Double/Retna


In 1981 The Cure launched a remarkable tirade against pop crooner Robert Palmer (of ‘Addicted To Love’ fame). They were playing before him at Belgium’s Werchter festival. Deliberately stretching ‘A Forest’ out to 10 minutes in length, bassist Simon Gallup screamed “Fuck Robert Palmer and fuck rock and roll!” before quitting the stage. The footage is on YouTube.
Pic: Rex Features
Pic: Sunshine/Retna

ABACA The Cure

At one Cure gig in Argentina, 110,000 people turned up to a stadium that only held 60,000. The ensuing riot led to the death of a hot-dog salesman. “That was ugly,” recalls Robert Smith. “It was the one time I’ve been really frightened with the Cure, because we were locked in this basement room and we could smell burning, sirens were going off and I thought, We’re not going to get out of this.”
Pic: PA Photos
Pic: PA Photos


Robert Smith has such poor eyesight he can’t focus beyond the end of his hand. He wears glasses when not on stage. He explains: “I’d had really good eyesight before it suddenly started to deteriorate. I thought, ‘Fuck, I’m going to be blind at this rate’. It was around when I turned 30, so it was probably stress-induced.
Pic: Ian Tilton/Retna

the cure mtv

Robert Smith once refused permission for a ‘Stars In Their Eyes’ contestant to impersonate him. He explained: “To me ‘Stars In Their Eyes’ represents a side of British culture I abhor. I don’t just pay lip service to the notion that we’re doing this to be rich and famous, because we’re not. We turned down the ‘National Lottery’, and ‘Stars In Their Eyes’ represents something similar to me, which is shit.
Pic: PA Photos