The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’

is one song of many that gives me that tingly, time-slipping-away-from-me feeling about which I’ve previously written. Sometimes I’m surprised at what songs will do it. Don Henley’s ‘The Boys of Summer’, Yaz’s ‘Situation’, Pet Shop Boys’ ‘West End Girls’, to name a few.

I first heard the album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me while at the Dearings’ house one summer afternoon in Alameda. Their oldest daughter, Bethany (15 to my 12), was the moddest of the mods in our Naval housing development, a true “skate betty” if you will. She had all the great modern rock tapes of the early to mid 80s, Cure albums included. I wasn’t a big Cure fan growing up. They didn’t creep me out like Love & Rockets (more specifically Daniel Ash), but I just didn’t much get The Cure at 12 or 15 or even 18. Except for ‘Just Like Heaven’. Bethany played KM, KM, KM and I heard that song for the first time – and caught the video late that night on the MTV – and thought it was pretty and well-crafted and a emotive tune. I only heard it those 2 times that 1 day. I didn’t get a copy of Bethany’s tape to listen to over and over. Somehow I missed hearing the song on Live 105. In fact, I didn’t hear that song again until just before my senior year of high school when we moved to Olather and got the MTV again after 3 years of living in the country without. Oh, I’d heard The Cure plenty since then as Disintegration and Wish had been released in the interim and it seemed like everyone I knew had a copy of Wish. But one night that summer before senior year I caught the video for ‘Just Like Heaven’ on 120 Minutes and remembered how much I liked that song way back when (or what seemed like way back when – it was only a 5-year span: summer of ’87-summer of ’92). It gave me that tingly feeling that I’ve now come to realize as the feeling of traveling through time. Hell, even listening to Dinosaur Jr.’s version of ‘Just Like Heaven’ gives me that feeling.

I don’t really have any grand point or dramatic theme with this post. I just heard ‘Just Like Heaven’ on the radio this morning and it did what it always does – sent me back in time. Maybe that’s the point of this post: that time seems more collapsed these days, and while it doesn’t seem to take so much to get to 2001 from 2006 as it once did to get from 1992 to 1987, 1987 still seems an absolute eternity from 2006. Seems insane to think ‘Just Like Heaven’ is almost 20 years old and The Cure have been making albums for only slightly less longer than I’ve been alive. And it’s probably a bit insane to have music act upon you as such a forceful time machine. If so, you can call me crazy. I’ll have on my headphones and won’t be able to hear you anyway.

The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’