Happy Birthday to Michael Stephen Dempsey – born November 29, 1958!
Michael Stephen Dempsey is a British bassist from England, who has performed as a member of several post-punk and new wave bands including The Cure and Associates.
Dempsey was born on 29 November 1958 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now known as Harare, Zimbabwe); the son of Nancy and William. He moved to Salfords in Surrey, England in 1961, and attended Salfords County School from 1963 to 1970.
He then went to Notre Dame Middle School between 1970 and 1972, where he met Robert Smith, Marc Ceccagno and Lol Tolhurst. Here they first played music together as The Obelisk in April 1972, giving an end-of-year performance for their classmates. Although he is ordinarily known as a bass guitar player, Dempsey played guitar for The Obelisk’s only known live performance, whereas one Alan Hill played bass.
He later attended Saint Wilfrid’s Catholic Comprehensive School (1972–1976), and Crawley College from 1976 to 1978.
In January 1976 Dempsey became a co-founding member of Malice, along with Smith, Ceccagno, and others. The band also later featured Laurence Tolhurst, and Porl Thompson. They played only a few live shows in December of that same year.
Easy Cure and The Cure – 1977–1979
In 1977 Dempsey, Tolhurst, Smith and Thompson formed Easy Cure, who became known as The Cure following Thompson’s departure in April 1978. Dempsey appeared as bassist on The Cure’s singles “Killing an Arab” (1978) and “Boys Don’t Cry” (1979) and on the 1979 album Three Imaginary Boys. Other than frontman Smith, Dempsey had the distinction of being the only other member of The Cure (besides Simon Gallup on the unreleased demo, “Violin Song”) to sing lead vocals. He sang the cover version of the Jimi Hendrix song “Foxy Lady”, which appears on Three Imaginary Boys. He made his final live performance as a member of The Cure on 15 October 1979 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on the last night of The Cure’s tour in support of Siouxsie and the Banshees. In November of that year, however, the singles “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” by The Cure and “I’m a Cult Hero” / “I Dig You” by Cure side-project Cult Hero were also released with Dempsey performing, respectively, bass and keyboards. The Cure’s Three Imaginary Boys album and singles from 1978–1979 featuring Dempsey were later repackaged for the US market as the Boys Don’t Cry album in 1980, and he appears on the band’s early Peel Sessions between 1978 and 1979.
In 1986 Dempsey appeared on the music video for a new version of “Boys Don’t Cry”. In 2004 the deluxe edition of Three Imaginary Boys was issued featuring a second disc of rare and previously unreleased material recorded between 1977 and 1979, which again feature Dempsey on bass. He also appears on some tracks on the deluxe edition of Seventeen Seconds.