When I was 13 I suddenly got interested in hairstyles. Up until then I was perfectly fine going to my parent’s hairdresser, but all of a sudden I just had to go to a special hairdresser in the big city. It was the hairdresser of one of my high school friends and he told me (and showed me) that ‘big hair’ was definitely an option there, that they would happily create such a hairdo, and even give you some gel or wax to style and keep it in shape yourself. It was 1982, big hair was pretty much the fashionable thing to do. Later we would get more extreme, using all sorts of hair products, including soap, with which you could achieve amazing results, even though it smelled like hell.
It’s not a coincidence that one of my earliest tapes features The Cure, more in particular their Seventeen Seconds album. It’s a beautiful orange tape, with Angelic Upstarts (the 2.000.000 voices album) on the B-side. ‘A forest’ was a modest underground hit at the time. Couple of years later I would dance to it practically every single time I would go out, or at least try to. Personally I preferred ‘In your house’ (Side A, 4th song), all gloomy, melancholic, weltzschmerz type of romanticism.
Some people called it Gothic. For me, it wasn’t such a big leap from the Romantic poets, Wordsworth, Keats, Coleridge. The act was all kids play, in retrospect a bit too pretentious, like mini-versions of Morrissey, but the feeling was real, and the feeling wasn’t at all that desperate, depressed or auto-mutilative. Just kids playing with their emotions.
Robert Smith had big hair, and his hair would only grow bigger with the years. He wasn’t really into make-up yet, just a bit of mascara. Enough to make us long for more.