As I walked up the steps of the Sydney Opera House on my way to see The Cure on Tuesday night I said to my friend,
“As long as they play 10.15 on a Saturday Night I’ll be happy.”
The Opera House was buzzing. The Vivid Festival website had announced that The Cure would play their first three albums. I looked around and realised most of the crowd around me were teenagers when those records first came out. We sat down, barely able to contain our excitement. We had tickets; many of our mates hadn’t been able to get them.
The house went dark. As soon as I heard the opening bars to the first song, 10.15 on a Saturday Night it happened:
I’m sitting on the kitchen bench in my best friend’s house on a Saturday night, drinking wine we’d stolen from her parents’ fridge. I am 14 years old and Robert Smith understands my angst.
And I’m crying for yesterday
And the tap drips
Drip drip drip drip drip drip drip…
The albums played in order had us captivated. Then the band played the non-album singles and B-sides we loved. I’d forgotten some of the words to their songs but not the way I felt when I heard them for the first time. Like every other generation of teenagers before and after us, we thought that only our friends and our heroes understood our pain.
When Robert Smith sang F-I-R-E-I-N-C-A-I-R-O-O, I remembered the girl I used to be; one minute all hormonal torment, troubled and bereft over a 15 year old spotty boy and the next laughing hysterically with my girlfriends.
Even Robert Smith couldn’t help but smile. He was wearing a lovely skirt over his pants. I gave up that look when I had children. I gave up a lot of things when I had children.
For three hours I wasn’t a 40 something single mother, I was a 14 year old with all the hopes and dreams and despair that my future life held. With 2000 other people I shouted out the chorus of Killing An Arab. Then my friend turned to me.
“Interesting choice of song. The day the Cure ticket sales were announced, Barack Obama revealed that the US had executed Osama Bin Laden,” he said.
The band came out again and Robert Smith announced:
“And then after Hanging Garden something strange happened…this happened,” and the band broke into ‘Let’s Go to Bed’, ‘The Walk’ and ‘Love Cats’. The crowd went nuts. We screamed, we danced, we went wild. Then Robert finished with,
“See you next time for The Top’.”
We were a devoted audience, we sang our way through the encores. We left feeling like we hadn’t in years. Before the years of child rearing, tax paying and getting to work on time reality struck we had our music.
After the gig I drank vodka with my old friend. We talked of parenting in broken families and teenagers still getting used to living in two homes, playing each parent off against the other to get out of doing homework.
I would tell you
That I loved you
If I thought that you would stay
But I know that it’s no use
That you’ve already
The next day I turned on the car radio and heard a 20 something radio commentator joke,
“How did the 40 and 50 year olds cope last night with seeing The Cure and actually hearing the words to the songs for the first time straight?”
Who says we were straight? Just because it was a school night doesn’t mean we were straight. We weren’t straight the first time we heard them either.
Back then we would
Burn like fire, burn like fire in Cairo…Then the heat disappears and the mirage fades away…
My daughter turned 14 last week.
I went to an expensive all girls private school where they obsessed over what we wore and how we spoke every day. So I swear way too much. When people meet my kids, especially my youngest, most think,
“What an adorable child.” It is usually at this point she bursts into song:
“Stick your head down the loo, don’t taste it, don’t waste it, it might be a poo.”
My name is Lou Lou. My mum calls me Lulabelle and my brothers nicknamed me Bosom, or Bos when I was five because I had no boobs (go figure). They still call me that even though I am 39 and a half and three quarters and I have three kids of my own. That is my family’s sense of humour. This is another one of my theme songs. What is your theme song?
DON’T BRING LULU
(Lew Brown / Billy Rose / Ray Henderson)
Your presence is requested, wrote little Johnny White,
But with this invitation, there is a stipulation,
When you attend this party, you’ll be treated right, but
There’s a wild and wooly woman you boys can’t invite, now…
You can bring Pearl, she’s a darn nice girl, but don’t bring Lulu.
You can bring Rose with the turned up nose, but don’t bring Lulu.
Lulu always wants to do, what we boys don’t want her to,
When she struts her stuff around, London Bridge is falling down,
You can bring cake or Porterhouse steak, but don’t bring Lulu.
Lulu gets blue and she goes cuckoo like the clock on the shelf,
She’s the kind of smartie, who breaks up every party,
Hullabalooloo, don’t bring Lulu; I’ll bring her myself.
We all went to the party, real high-toned affair,
Then along came Lulu, wild as any Zulu,
She started into Charleston, and how the boys did stare, but
When she did the hula-hula, then she got the air, now…
You can bring Flo, her dad’s got dough, but don’t bring Lulu
You can bring Lil, she’s an awful pill, but don’t bring Lulu
Lulu has the reddest hair, auburn her and henna there.
How can we boys keep our heads?
Bulls go wild when they see red.
You can bring peas and crackers and cheese, but don’t bring Lulu
When she gets sore and slams the door, the plates fly off the shelf.
She can make a fella wild on sasparilla
Hullabaloo loo, don’t bring Lulu, she’ll come here herself.
You can bring ham and crackers and jam, but don’t bring Lulu
Lulu goes wild, and when she’s wild
She climbs upon the shelf.
She can make a pastor be a dancing master.
Hullabaloo loo, don’t bring Lulu
I’ll bring her myself.