On July 9th, 1978, The Cure played their first gig under that name at The Rocket in their hometown of Crawley. The band had previously been named The Easy Cure, a suggestion by founding member Lol Tolhurst—that was literally drawn out of a hat.
The band in its very first incarnation made its live debut as Malice on December 18th, 1976 at Worth Abbey in Crawley as a 5 piece, that did not originally feature frontman Robert Smith as the singer.
Regarding the anniversary on July 9th, 1978, Robert Smith recently stated to BBC6:
“I mean it’s been longer than that since we’ve been playing, the band itself first played in ’76 but but we dropped the Easy Cure name and became The Cure went down to a three piece on July the 9th. I still have the poster of from the Rocket Pub in Crawley, I found it in a box which is quite weird that I would have kept it.”⠀
On why they dropped the “Easy” from the band name, Robert had this to say in an interview featured the book Ten Imaginary Years:
“I had always thought that Easy Cure was a bit hippyish, a bit American-sounding, a bit West Coast, and i hated it, which put Lol’s back up as he’d thought of it. Every other group we liked that ‘The’ in front of their name but The Easy Cure sounded stupid so we just changed it to The Cure instead. It upset a few old fans… well there you are…I thought The Cure sounded much more like it.⠀
In the recent BB6 interview, Smith also revealed that he has a copy of The Cure’s first official show and claimed he’s going to release it at some point:⠀
“Yeah I’ve got it on tape, I’m going to release it. It was recorded on an old cassette. I used to record everything from the side of the stage, it’s a bit, scratchy, grungy…it’s noisy.⠀
We started the first part of the show with something called Mourning The Departed, which was horribly pretentious. We made this music and we dressed up and we had a seance in the pub before the show and it was all very tongue in cheek but kind of funny. It set the scene for those that didn’t understand what we were doing, which is why we dropped the “Easy” and become The Cure. There were a lot of locals that missed the guitar solos and were outraged that we turned into this horrible post-punk band, but yeah it was good. It ended in a fight as proper gigs usually do, it was a good night.”
Listen to the full interview below.
And you can watch The Cure’s 40th Anniversary concert below via a fan video upload.