Cover #21 is The Cure’s “Doing The Unstuck”, from the 1992 album Wish. It was written by Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Boris Williams, Perry Bamonte and Porl Thompson.
The first obviously, earnestly happy song The Cure ever recorded, and the first Cure song I ever loved. It was actually the song that got me into the band in the first place. It was the summer of 1996, and I was in a band called Soma. The frontman was a young man named Jon Martin who frequently teased up his hair like Robert Smith, and the sound of our band was – if kind words could be applied here – at least as schizophrenic and diverse as The Cure’s. Also, we sucked. Really bad.
However, I made some really good friends, and occasionally we made passable music. We’d drive around after rehearsal with Jon’s all Cure mix tape in the stereo, and this song seemed to always be on. Then, later, Janine from camp had it on a mix tape, too, and we used to sing it together. It really seemed to capture a specific mood, a specific moment in our lives when all was angst, but anything was possible.
Look.. um… this might be my favorite song. Ever. I hope I did it justice. I’m not doing it justice here, writing about it, but this song may have changed my life drastically in one of those James Burke’s Connections-style chains of events. If I’d never heard it, my life would be really different. I wouldn’t have gotten to know this person who introduced me to that person who introduced me to this thing which led me to go here and do this or try that. And I’m pretty sure “Doing The Unstuck” is to blame.
“Doing The Unstuck” means “getting off your ass and living,” and for a band like the Cure, who specialize in gloomy navel-gazing, it’s quite a statement. It’s like if the Insane Clown Posse wrote a heartfelt ballad about how violence was wrong.
Robert Smith just turned 50 years old. He’s still got the hair and the makeup, because growing old with dignity is lame. The Cure may well be my favorite band ever, and this was my entry point. I listen to it every year as the weather gets warmer and I start to unthaw from the winter blues.
Also, I quoted the last line from this song in my yearbook quote, because I was that guy.
Next up…: what’s this blog called again? well, there you go.