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Michael Dempsey

OVERVIEW
 
Michael Dempsey is a bassist from England, who has performed as a member of several post-punk and new wave bands including The Cure and the Associates. Although best known as the original bassist for The Cure, he has played bass for longer, and appeared on more releases from both the Associates and The Lotus Eaters.
 
HISTORY
 
Early Years
 
Michael Dempsey was born on November 29, 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 (1963 - 1970).
 
He then went to Notre Dame Middle School between 1970 and 1972, where he met Robert Smith, Marc Ceccagno and Laurence Tolhurst. Here they first played music together as The Obelisk in December of 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 - 1978.
 
In January of 1976 Michael Dempsey became a co-founding member of Malice, along with Robert Smith, Marc 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
 
In 1977 Dempsey, Tolhurst, Smith and Thompson formed Easy Cure, who became known as The Cure following Porl Thompson's departure in April of 1978. Michael 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 Robert Smith, Dempsey had the distinction of being the only other member of The Cure (besides Simon Gallup on the Violin Song demo) 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 October 15 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 Dig You by Cure side-project Cult Hero were also released with Michael Dempsey performing bass and keyboards, respectively. 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 as well. In 1986 Michael made another appearance with The Cure in 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.
 
Associates
 
Upon leaving The Cure he became the bassist for Scotland's Associates, who (like The Cure) were signed to Fiction Records. He had already performed with the Associates prior to leaving The Cure, but made his debut as their new fulltime bassist on Friday November 16 of 1979 at Eric's in Liverpool; the first night of the Future Pastimes Tour; a "Fiction Records Package" tour featuring The Cure, The Passions and the Associates. He remained the Associates' bassist from 1979 - 1983, appearing on the albums The Affectionate Punch (1980), Fourth Drawer Down (1981) and Sulk (1982) along with a number of singles between 1980 and 1983. He also performed with the group on a series of radio sessions recorded for Radio 1's John Peel and David Jensen shows, which were later released in 2003 as the album Radio 1 Sessions Volume 1; 1981-83 on Strange Fruit Records. The original group disbanded in 1983 following the departure of co-founder Alan Rankine, however frontman Billy MacKenzie continued to work under the name of Associates with various collaborators, including Michael Dempsey at times. He has also continued to collaborate with Alan Rankine. After MacKenzie's death in 1997 Michael Dempsey was responsible for remastering and reissuing much of the band's early material as part of the V2 Records project, and has since then been responsible for making available archival Associates materials such as rare tracks and other media via his own company mdmmedia.com
 
One of Michael's most notable but often overlooked appearances was for the legendary British band Roxy Music in the 1982 video for one of their biggest U.K. and American hit singles-Avalon-as the bass player.
 
The Lotus Eaters
 
Between 1982 and 1985 he became the bassist for Liverpool's newly formed new wave band The Lotus Eaters. They signed to Arista Records and released their debut single The First Picture Of You in June 1983 (reaching #15 in the UK charts), followed by the singles You Don't Need Someone New (August '83) and Set Me Apart (1984). The 1984 debut album No Sense Of Sin followed with the single Out On Your Own, and finally the It Hurts single in early 1985. Other members went on to form The Wild Swans. In 1998 The Lotus Eaters released a compilation of Radio 1 sessions recorded between 1982 and 1983 and live material from 1984 First Picture Of You - BBC Sessions which also features Michael Dempsey on bass. Founding members Peter Coyle and Jeremy Kelly later reformed The Lotus Eaters, however Michael Dempsey is no longer a member.
 
MDM Media
 
Michael Dempsey has gone on to work in audio digital restoration, remastering, licensing, media content consultancy and original soundtracks for film, television and other media. His clients have included Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and V2 Records and he has his own company MDM Media specialising in these areas. He is also part of an affiliate company called BDM Music whose other writers include Laurence Tolhurst, Alan Rankine and many other musicians, composers and producers that Dempsey has worked with over the years.