The Cure's eighth studio album 'Disintegration' is often considered among the group's best, and as such, there's no shortage of accounts documenting its writing and recording in exhaustive detail.
One account, however, that we weren't aware of until recently comes from the keyboardist Roger O'Donnell's website (discovered via a tweet from Rob Manuel originally posted in May 2019). In it, he reveals that the group briefly became obsessed with the video game Elite, leading to the game eventually being banned from the control room.
According to O'Donnell, the band had a lot of spare time while working on Disintegration so would often take to playing Elite during these breaks. However, it soon became too much of a distraction with the producer David Allen becoming just as hooked on the trading aspect of the space-faring sim.
In the blog (now archived via Wayback Machine), O'Donnell writes:
"We were working 6 days a week and only had Sundays off, we would go into Town to Reading now and again to have a wander around the shops and buy random stuff that we didn’t need. We also played a lot of computer games, theres a lot of waiting around in studios when you have nothing to do so playing games on the computer became quite addictive. We played this space trading game where you made money and bought stuff for your space ship like automatic docking and shields and weapons. I cant remember what it was called now (Elite) but eventually it was banned from the control room as it became a bit distracting especially when Dave was spending as much time on it as we were hahahah..."
Not only did we manage to miss this spectacular story the first time around, but we also happened to miss Elite co-creator David Braben's incredible response on Twitter. In a quote-retweet, the developer revealed that the pop group Wham was also a fan of the game and that they apparently played the game in the back of their tour bus. In 1984, they even apparently sent Braben a fan letter, which we hope one day surfaces online.