The Cure – “A Forest”

The Cure – “A Forest”

A little retroactive housekeeping today, the day I finally cross The Cure off my live bucket list. I’ve done a couple posts focusing on their Seventeen Seconds classic “A Forest”, but both have some notable content omissions I’m rectifying now.

One of my earliest posts was a live clip from 1981 of the band playing the song at the Werchter Festival in Belgium. It’s a great clip of a young band coming into their powers, but I didn’t provide the entertaining context of the performance. Mixdown remedied that just yesterday:

When they were onstage playing their 15-song set, Palmer’s roadies told them to cut it short as the festival was running behind time.

Robert Smith: “We’d only been on for about a half an hour and everything was running late so Robert Palmer’s road crew started motioning to us to stop. 

“This bloke ran on and said ‘If you don’t stop playing, we’re gonna pull the plug’.”

After “Play For Today”, a visibly seething Smith told the audience, “This is the final song because we’re not allowed to carry on anymore, ‘cos everybody wants to see Robert Palmer, I think.”

They ripped into “A Forest”, deliberately stretching it out, much to the anger of Palmer’s crew. 

At the end, Gallup yelled, “I hope you’re not arresting me. Fuck Robert Palmer! Fuck rock ‘n’ roll!”

Smith: “It was fucking brilliant. Unfortunately, when we finished, they threw all our stuff off the back of the stage …”

Sound Chronicles: The story behind The Cure “A Forest (Fuck R.P. Version)” @ Mixdown

And a month after that, I put together a “making of” for the song from a few sources and included a number of other live performances from over the years, but somehow neglected to include the official video for the song. Oops.

And in that post, I linked to a guitar tutorial for the song by Anyone Can Play Guitar; here’s another one from Sparky Guitar, one of the other sites I subscribe to. Their public videos show the parts being played, whereas the subscriber versions have on-screen tablature.

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