My ex-girlfriend Cindy once sold me sanctuary. Now she shares videos on my Facebook timeline, which, who-woulda-guessed, has become one of my favorite places of refuge and protection. This morning she shared one of my favorites, She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult:
Here's the long version if you'd really like to geek out on it like I do.
The Cult as a band is a good metaphor for Cindy's and my relationship. They started out as a decent gothic rock band, releasing songs such as Sanctuary, notable for its good depressing lyrics nestled among a harmonious jangle pop guitar riff. Sounds about like Cindy and me when we were first in love. Nice, different, surprisingly easy. The world dragged us down while we sought sanctuary in each other. The Cult evolved into an edgier, yet also more predictable hard rock band with singles such as "Fire Woman." Just as the ease with which Cindy and I intertwined our lives became harder the longer we stayed together.
Back when Cindy and I were living together I had the cassette tape to The Cult's album Sonic Temple. I would spend hours playing and rewinding, playing and rewinding the song Edie (Ciao Baby) until Cindy would finally break and yell at me to turn my boombox the fuck off.
Cindy and I dated for three years, from 1990 to 1993. So much has changed in our lives since we lived together twenty years ago. I'm married to a man. That's one big change. And I have a kid. A kid who Cindy now babysits. It's sweet how we've stayed close after our breakup. I'm actually much more fond of her now than I ever was when we were life partners.
I'm proud that Cindy still loves me enough, after our breakup, after our insane emotional rollercoaster-relationship, after my neurotic obsessions, that she still, after all this time, thinks back fondly of our mutual love of The Cult and shares a memory.
Here you go, Cyn. One more time. Thanks for sharing the love.
My husband is ten years younger than I am, so I find myself regularly hanging out with him and his friends who grew up in an entirely different pop culture era than I did. I was fourteen when "She Sells Sanctuary" came out. Will was four. When I was four I was singing along to Helen Reddy's "Delta Dawn" on the radio while standing on the back seat of my mom's big boat of an orange station wagon while we cruised down The Belt to buy some pop in glass bottles.
Many people I meet around Will's age or younger appreciate The Smiths, but they've never heard of The Cult. If you're a fan of The Smiths, check out The Cult's early work. Guitarist Billy Duffy got The Smiths' guitarist Johnny Marr hooked on guitar. Duffy was also in the band The Nosebleeds with Morrissey before they moved on to The Cult and The Smiths. Sometimes no matter how gifted two artists--or two lovers--are they just don't work well together.