Gary Biddles, a onetime roadie for The Cure who sang in Fools Dance and Presence in the ’80s and ’90s, each of which featured members of that band, has died, according to former Cure keyboardist Lol Tolhurst. The details surrounding Biddles’ death are not yet known.
Former Cure drummer Andy Anderson also chimed in on Facebook: “This is very sad new’s indeed, He was a great friend, back in the early days with the Cure.”
To diehard Cure fans, Biddles is perhaps best known for the band’s impromptu jam “The Cure Is Dead,” which closed the final concert of the Pornography tour in Brussels on June 11, 1982, and featured Biddles on vocals, Robert Smith on drums, Simon Gallup on drums and Tolhurst on bass. You can hear the performance below.
In “Ten Imaginary Years,” Smith recalls:
“Before the concert, Lol and I sat in the dressing room, miserable because we knew it was the end. The show was quite flat and, during the encore, Biddles came on and started singing ‘Smith’s a wanker, Tolhurst’s a wanker, only Simon’s worth anything in this band’. I was drumming, so I stopped, threw the drumsticks at the back of his head and told him to fuck off. Everyone looked at each other… and that was it.”
After Gallup left The Cure, he and Biddles formed the band Fools Dance, which released a pair of albums during its short-lived career before Gallup re-joined The Cure. Then, in 1990, after Tolhurst was fired from The Cure, he, Biddles and former Cure bassist Michael Dempsey formed Presence, and released the album Inside in 1990. The band recorded a second album in 1992 that was never released until being posted on Soundcloud last month (stream it in full below).
Presence had reunited and was working on new material.
According to Chain of Flowers, Smith dedicated “A Forest” to Biddles during The Cure’s concert in Lima, Peru, on Wedensday night, introducing the song by saying, “This is for Biddles” (see video below).
The Cure, “A Forest,” Lima, Peru, 4/17/13
The Cure with Gary Biddles, “The Cure Is Dead”
Fools Dance, “I’m So Many (Talk Talk)”
Presence, “Act of Faith”
Presence, Closer (Unreleased second album)