Simon Gallup (The Cure)

English musician and bassist of the post-punk band The Cure Simon Gallup was born 1 June 1960 in Duxhurst, Surrey. After moving to Horley, Surrey in 1961 he attended Horley Infants and Junior Schools between 1961 and 1971, followed by Horley Balcombe Road Comprehensive from 1971-1976. Between 1976 and 1978 he worked in a plastics factory and became the bass player for local punk band Lockjaw, who later evolved into The Magazine Spies (1979–1980), also known as The Mag/Spys.[1] Lockjaw and The Mag/Spys played regular live shows with Easy Cure and later The Cure between 1977 and 1979, and after collaborating in the studio on the Cult Hero recording sessions in October 1979, both Gallup and keyboardist Matthieu Hartley left The Mag/Spys to join The Cure. Former Mag/Spys Gallup, Hartley and Stuart Curran later performed together under the name of The Cry and later Fools Dance during Gallup’s hiatus from The Cure between 1982 and 1984.

Gallup joined The Cure in 1979, replacing Michael Dempsey on bass guitar and first performed on The Cure albums that make up “The Dark Trilogy”: Seventeen Seconds, Faith, and Pornography. He also has been credited for occasionally playing the keyboards, particularly after Matthieu Hartley’s departure in 1980. He took over keyboard for many of the songs that Hartley played. Examples of songs he played keyboard on live include “At Night”, “A Forest”, “A Strange Day” and “Pornography”. During “Cold” he multi-tasked playing bass guitar and bass pedals. On the Swing Tour in 1996, he played twelve-string acoustic guitar on “This is a Lie”. On the Dream Tour in 2000 he played a Fender Bass VI on “There Is No If”

During the Pornography Tour in 1982, a series of incidents prompted Gallup to leave The Cure, including an incident on 27 May 1982 after a live performance at Hall Tivoli, Strasbourg, France when he got into a fist fight with Robert Smith at a nightclub in Strasbourg reportedly over a bar tab. Robert, said that “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. 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. That was at 6.30 am and I was home by half past 10. I left a note saying I wasn’t coming back. Simon returned the same afternoon. I’d left so I suppose he thought he could do the same. Good idea … we had three days off!”.

Gallup and the rest of The Cure completed their Fourteen Explicit Moments Tour in support of Pornography, with a 1982 live performance at Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium singing an improvised song, “The Cure Is Dead”, with Gary Biddles singing abuse about Smith and Tolhurst. Smith, on drums, then threw his drumsticks at Biddles, and they stormed off stage. Tolhurst played bass guitar and Gallup played rhythm guitar during this last concert. A second incident, occurred weeks after the first incident, and resulted in Gallup leaving The Cure to form Fools Dance with Biddles. Initially, at this concert, The Cure decided to play “Forever”, with instrument changes; Gallup played guitar, Tolhurst played bass, Smith played the drums, and Biddles, a part-time roadie and friend of four Gallup’s, doing vocals. As soon as he got on stage, Biddles started singing insulting abuse about the other members.

Gallup left the band and started The Cry with Gary Biddles and Matthieu Hartley. Their first gig was at the Covent Garden Rock Garden on 19 April 1983. They later changed their name to Fools Dance, which released two EPs; Fools Dance and They’ll Never Know. Biddles sang most of the songs that were released by this band, Gallup sang on one called “The Ring”. When asked why he left The Cure, he said, “It’s just basically that Robert and I are both really arrogant bastards, and it got to such an extreme. I suppose you just can’t have two egocentrics in a band, and Robert was sort of ‘the main man’.”

In 1984, Smith asked Gallup to return to The Cure, an offer which he accepted. Since then, the two of them have remained on good terms. Gallup also served as best man at Smith’s wedding in 1988. In late 1992, Gallup again took a brief break from the band during the Wish Tour after he had to be transported to hospital, suffering from pleurisy after being ill for several months. During this time, he was replaced on bass by former Associates and Shelleyan Orphan member Roberto Soave. Gallup is the second-longest-serving member of The Cure, which has led to him being referred to as Robert Smith’s right-hand man. He performed on every album except Three Imaginary Boys, Boys Don’t Cry, Japanese Whispers, The Top, and Concert.

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