Tears, Fears, and the Making of a Mad World

It Started With Two Guys From Bath

The Tears for Fears duo, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, grew up in England’s city of Bath during the 1970s. Before anyone really knew them, they were bandmates in a ska group called Graduate. Orzabal was the principal songwriter, and everything was written on guitar with a “desperate attempt to become current.”

Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith sit at a bar.
Photo by Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images

Those were the days when he and bandmate John Baker were playing Simon and Garfunkel songs in a hairdressing salon on Saturdays. Orzabal recalled how they were “good enough to get a record contract,” despite being only 18 with a bit of radio play.