On Disintegration & Certain Beginnings


I remember my first real stereo in the 90’s.  It was a large ordeal with detachable speakers, two cassette decks, a radio tuner, and a compact disc player. It was probably relatively expensive and and kind of a big deal to have my own “entertainment system” and not have to share with my parents in our living room. This was mine, to play music alone in my room, for my ears only.

The Cure was on the radio a lot in those days. Friday I’m In Love was in constant rotation, and Just Like Heaven and Love Song were played a lot as well. The first thing I did to complement my new stereo was run out and get a copy of The Cure’s Disintegration.  It was several years old by the time I bought it.  I’m not sure why I picked this one – maybe I had cassettes of the others already. Maybe I liked the artwork. Not sure. I just know that purchasing this particular album was a very defining moment for me, both personally and musically.

Now, I’m not here to discuss it, but I wont deny that there is a great debate whether The Cure is Goth or not. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. One likes music because it stirs something within them, (or at least i do,)  whether it slips neatly into a compartment or not.

Disintegration is such a lush, layered album. With my stereo set up on the shelves of the headboard of my bed, I would plug in some headphones, light some black candles – why did all of the black candles back then smell like leather, musk, and men’s perfume? – and lay down and listen. This album is so comforting to me – there are layers upon layers of notes and tones to find in the songs. There are so many possible meanings in their words.  I would close my eyes and get lost in the guitar and lyrics. Sometimes, i would think about my own attempts at writing and, when inspiration struck, get up and work on that.  At this age, having the freedom to listen to music of my own choosing without any interruption at all was the epitome of heaven.

My fourteen year old self was particularly struck by the lyrics of Untitled. One of the most fantastic things about music and lyrics is that the listener can interpret them any way their heart desires. I was fascinated by the idea of love and relationships. I hadn’t had anything even close to a relationship with a boy just then, but  I was always obsessed with stories of unrequited love.

Hopelessly drift in the eyes of the ghost again
Down on my knees and my hands in the air again
Pushing my face in the memory of you again
But I never know if it’s real

Never know how I wanted to feel
Never quite said what I wanted to say to you
Never quite managed the words to explain to you
Never quite knew how to make them believable
And now the time has gone
Another time undone

Never quite said what I wanted to say to you
Never quite managed the words to explain to you
Never quite knew how to make them believable
And now the time has gone
Another time undone

Hopelessly fighting the devil futility
Feeling the monster climb deeper inside of me
Feeling him gnawing my heart away hungrily
I’ll never lose this pain
Never dream of you again

The Cure playing Untitled live in 1997: this is also around the time that I was able to experience  seeing them live for the first time. More on that in another post.

This entry was inspired by the first few lines of an intro into my own personal story of finding the Goth subculture but sort of took on a life of its own.  The Cure’s Music has been a staple of my everyday existence for decades. It seems only fitting that the story starts there.

Can you remember the first band or song that took you down a certain path in your life and how it made you feel the first time you sat down alone, put on some headphones, (or stood in the middle of a crowded concert but felt like you were the only person there,)and gave it a really good listen?

Thanks for reading,








2 responses to “On Disintegration & Certain Beginnings

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