Stream: The Cure’s first American concert — newly discovered tape of Cherry Hill, NJ, 1980

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By: Van Gosse  posted on June 6, 2012 (
The Cure's first-ever American concert, recorded by journalist Van Gosse, who recently re-discovered the tape — considered to be a previously unknown recording of the band's U.S. debut — and shared it online at
*** Click here to listen 
*Subkulture do not own this article. 
In April 1980, The Cure embarked on its first American tour, playing six East Coast shows — including three in New York City — in support of sophomore album Seventeen Seconds. Journalist Van Gosse, dispatched by the now-defunct Melody Maker, tagged along to document the trek — not just in print; he recorded the band’s first-ever U.S. concert on April 10, 1980, at Emerald City in Cherry Hill, N.J.
As Cure fansite Chain of Flowers notes, this cassette recording — newly re-discovered by Gosse himself, and posted online — is a heretofore unknown recording of this historic concert.
Of the tape, 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.”
Below, you can stream the two sides of Gosse’s cassette. Not surprisingly, the audio is not pristine, but, given its age and the era in which it was recorded, it sounds surprisingly good. Over at Gosse’s site, you can download the show itself (Warning: Some Chain of Flowers readers say it set off their antivirus software) and two articles Gosse wrote about later shows on the U.S. tour.