We are taking a trip down to the Far Out archives and celebrating the birthday of The Cure bass player Simon Gallup. A musician who, at times, flies under the radar in the highly-celebrated group.
Here, we are attempting to laud some much-deserved praise on Gallup by acknowledging his wizardry on ‘Just Like Heaven’, the song which for many typified the band’s exciting new sound.
Gallup, who joined the goth rock pioneers in 1979, was a slightly late arrival after the Crawley band had formed a year earlier and had already released their debut record, Three Imaginary Boys, which he played no part on but his addition to The Cure added another dimension to their sound.
The Cure’s current line-up is, which is incorrectly seen by some music fans as ‘Robert Smith and a host of musicians’, has added a number of different members over the years while replacing its original founders—but one mainstay has been there throughout. Simon Gallup has been right by his side since almost the very start, playing a key role in their success as his basslines provide the perfect accompaniment for Smith’s adventurous lyricism and tonal pursuit.
A shining example of Gallup’s ability to capture both the light and the dark is on ‘Just Like Heaven’. When you hear his performance on the song isolated, it becomes even more scintillating and transports you to an incredible place of solace.
Robert Smith is on record as stating that when he wrote this song, he warned his bandmates that “I’ll never write something this good again.” The track came after Smith had kicked Gallup out of the band in 1982 over an argument which stemmed from a bar tab, of all things.
Smith remembered the incident vividly, stating: “I was on the first floor of this club when they came up and told me there was a problem downstairs. Simon was so wound up that no-one could talk to him—he was screaming at the barman, this young kid who was nearly in tears. By himself, Simon would have never behaved like that but he was surrounded by the road crew so he was behaving the way he thought a rock and roller ought to behave. He didn’t want to pay for his drinks because he thought I wasn’t paying for mine. I told him to shut up and he punched me.”
Adding: “It was the first time he really laid into me, we had an enormous ruck and I said ‘That’s it’, walked out, got a cab back to the hotel, got my suitcase, my passport from the tour manager’s room and got on the first flight to London.”
Thankfully, just two years later, Smith would plead with Gallup to return back into the fold and following this, The Cure would enter their most prolific period in the mid to late ’80s as they released the timeless The Head on the Door, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Disintegration LP’s consecutively. It makes for an imposing back catalogue and a reminder of Gallup’s importance to the band.
Take a few minutes out to enjoy this wonderous track from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me which according to Robert Smith himself, might well be the best song that The Cure has ever produced. But it’s also well in the conversation as being one of the greatest songs of all time, period.
Listen to Gallup’s stunning isolated performance, below.