Percussionist Andy Anderson—most well known for his membership in The Cure from 1983 to 1984—has passed away from cancer.
He was 68 years old.
Born Clifford Leon Anderson, on January 30th, 1951, Anderson had joined The Cure for the band’s first performance since the hiatus that resulted from Simon Gallup’s departure from the band during 1982’s Pornography tour.
During his brief stint in Hawkwind, Anderson was recruited into The Cure along with Derek Thompson of Australian industrial band SPK, to join a reformed live band for the filming of the Oxford Road Show in Manchester on March 8th and 11th of 1983, which was broadcast later on the 18th of that month.
From the book Ten Imaginary Years:
“The Cure were offered a spot on The Oxford Road Show. The programme’s director wanted two songs – “Let’s Go To Bed” and “Just One Kiss” but, out of sheer perversity and because he wanted people to realise The Cure did still exist, Robert elected to play ‘100 Years’ and ‘Figurehead’.
All he needed was a band. Parry had a tape of Brilliant and was impressed with the drummer, Andy Anderson, who’d played with Hawkwind among others; he was drafted in along with Derek Thompson of SPK.
Robert Smith: “It was a real pleasure. I was singing live again for the first time since Simon had left and I realised, then, how much I was missing it.”
Chris Parry: “Whilst watching the replay of the Oxford Road Show with the group, Peter Powell and the BBC Staff, I was filled with an immense joy as at that moment I knew my struggle with Fiction, The Cure, was not to end so lamely.”
Anderson replaced original Cure drummer Lol Tolhurst, who had recently shifted to keyboard duties starting with the singles that would be later collected on Japanese Whispers, for which Anderson contributed percussion to the single “Love Cats” for its June recording session in Paris.
Anderson would continue his services to The Cure’s Robert Smith by performing with The Glove on the project’s only album Blue Sunshine, and live in studio for the band’s Riverside performances, which featured the tracks “Punish Me With Kisses”, “Orgy”, and “A Blues in Drag”.
Anderson’s brief tenure with The Cure continued with his contributions band’s 1984 album The Top, such as bombastic percussion in “Shake Dog Shake”, or playing spoons to create that distinctive clicking noise in the song “The Caterpillar”, along with his conga drum percussion.
Of this wild and psychedelic period, Robert Smith told The Guardian last year that Anderson “used to make a huge pot of magic mushroom tea at the start of every day and it just went on from there”.
Anderson would continue to tour throughout 1984 with The Cure, most infamously captured on various television programs, The Cure’s Concert live LP, and on the concert film “Live in Japan.” The concert, which occurred on October 17th of that year, was the last Anderson performed with the band, before his seat behind the kit was taken over by Boris Williams just three weeks later, with Vince Ely filling in the interim.
Anderson’s legacy in post-punk music continued with collaborations with many luminaries such as The Gun Club‘s Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Midge Ure, Jimmy Somerville, Peter Gabriel, Iggy Pop, and more!
Anderson’s death was initially reported via his personal Facebook page by friends in London, such as Sean Dumore, and later confirmed by Cure co-founder and friend Lol Tolhurst.
It’s with a heavy heart, I have to report the passing of a Cure brother.
Andy Anderson was A true gentleman and a great musician with a wicked sense of humor which he kept until the end, a testament to his beautiful spirit on the last journey. We are blessed to have known him.
— Lol Tolhurst (@LolTolhurst) 26. Februar 2019
Our respects to Andy, his friends, his family, and his loved ones.
There are some great photos of Andy and The Cure by Richard Bellia from Lol’s personal collection over at Chain of Flowers.