Memories of a Music Lover Sarnoso: The Cure and Their Influence in Mexico

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The joke arose spontaneously. Talked five years ago with a few friends about the nearby visit of The Cure to Mexico in 2013 and talked about the virtues and shortcomings of their leader everlasting, the peculiar Robert Smith, when it occurred to me to say: “Pity that he has always wanted to imitate Saul Hernandez”. Everyone laughed good-win, but in this irony lies a truth that marked the country rock at the end of the decade of the eighties of the last century. Not that Smith had wanted to imitate Hernandez, of course (in fact I don’t know if the british have heard on some occasion the mexican), but precisely the opposite.

Let’s go back to 1986, when it emerged that that more than a current musical was a clearly marked business: Rock in your language, sponsored by the now defunct record label BMG Ariola. By that time, The Cure has arisen in Crawley, England, ten years ago, had already recorded seven albums (Three Imaginary Boys, 1979; Boys Don’t Cry, 1980; Seventeen Seconds, 1980; Faith, 1981; Pornography, 1982; The Top, 1984 and The Head on the Door, 1985), and its melancholy sound, dark, with a voice full of anguish Robert Smith, it was a seal, which has been consolidated with its following two albums: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987), and that for many it is his masterpiece: Disintegration (1989).

The movement of gothic rock or dark who by that time headed by bands such as Siuoxsie and the Banshees, Love and Rockets, The Sisters of Mercy, Cocteau Twins, Human Drama and even, somehow, Depeche Mode and The Cure, had a great influence all over the world and in Mexico, in particular, where it was very diffused by the radio station Rock 101, hit certain sectors of youth of the urban middle class. There began to appear groups of mexican rock darky, some of which were adopted (and adapted) by the nascent business that would be Rock in your language. In this way, ensembles and soloists which until that time belonged to the dark scene and supposedly underground, they signed willingly with a label that promised recordings more or less decent and a good promotion of their music. Projects such as Alchemy, Neon, Santa Sabina, and Caifanes, among several others, became part of the catalogue of BMG Ariola.

The last two mentioned were perhaps in the beginning embraced with great passion because gothic. Musically, Santa Sabina and Caifanes were very different. The first achieved from the outset a particular sound that somehow made them listen to the original and very different to any band dark English or american.

Caifanes, in change, at least on their first two albums (and even before, since that was The Unusual Images of Aurora) did not hide his taste for imitating openly to The Cure and not just in her music but in the way they dress, cut their hair, to makeup, to move on the stage.For many of his fans (in the most strict sense of the word), their leader, Saul Hernandez, was “the Robert Smith mexican” and said it with pride, without desire of any criticism, without the intention of parody. I don’t know for sure if Hernandez liked the comparison. However, what is obvious is that had it as a physical model (to verify this, just look at the photos of Caifanes in 1988), and vowel (timbre angst of Hernandez owes a lot to Smith and to verify this, just listen to any album of Caifanes —not only the 1988— or Jaguars).

The funny thing is that the singing style of Saul Hernandez, taken from Robert Smith, would be imitated over time by other vocalists mexicans and they are there as two living proof, the singers (is a say) of groups as a Porter, and Capo. In fact, when I ran I the magazine The Fly on the Wall, often received demos the grouping of various parts of the country. In the cover letters that often accompany them, they told me that his was an original sound, unique, something never heard of. However, he listened, and in their vast majority had a lead singer that tried to imitate the voice of Hernandez (who imitated their time…).

Thus, The Cure has not come to the territory outside the two or three occasions in which he has presented in Mexico. Thousands of caifanófilos (and others that are not) have been in their concerts to listen to their songs, being ever dark and underground, now part of the mainstream of pop music. Weather vagaries, ironies of fate.