Author Topic: What do you think of Lol?  (Read 16720 times)

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Offline Dillinger

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What do you think of Lol?
« on: April 14, 2007, 17:05:27 »
i was wondering, what do you as cure fans think of lol? what did you used to think of him? im not really sure. i think he was great up until about 1985 but after that he was completly redundent. its often said he contributed to all the albums up to disintegration but he doesnt seem to have done much on the head or kuiss me either, in the hot hot hot video for example he has a trumpet and ALL he done was that little bit at the end which i doubt he done in the studio and look at this clip from 1985/86 - he doesnt do anything for either track. he was good entertainment but pretty pathetic, and he would have recieved the same money as the others for playing live even though most of the time he wasnt the one playing the keyboard bits. what do you think?



by the way, im aware the above was probably really incoherrent




Offline japanesebaby

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2007, 18:13:04 »
i guess it's pretty obvious that lol's output was important in the early 80s. maybe he wasn't the greatest drummer in the world but he did what he needed to do and i think it worked perfectly for the band during that era. it's hard to imagine anyone else drumming there but lol. then he started to become less and less important after he (was) moved to keyboards.
i think this is pretty obvious especially concerning the output on live shows: and hmm, also proof that the keyboard parts at least up until 'wish' really aren't that demanding: lol could pull it, even when he was starting to be a bit of a wreck, then perry could do it very well although he hadn't even played keyboards before in his life. with lol, maybe the best example: just watch some video where lol is "playing" 'the hanging garden'. just watch what he's doing... his output famously is huge there - well ok, that's a bit cruel to say, i know.

anyway, i think lol managed to pull some live keyboard playing mostly because the keyboard parts were so simple anyway. they pretty much are: whereas keyboards as an intrument might widely be recognized as being an important part of the "classic" cure sound, yet the parts themselves aren't very demanding at all. it's actually very easy stuff, most of the time. and even though i've never liked roger as a person, it's of course evident that neither of those two (lol or perry) couldn't ever have managed to play any of the stuff on 'bloodflowers' for instance - they needed a "proper" keyboardist for that.

anyway, i guess it's easier to figure out what lol' output for live shows was than how much he contributed on the albums. i guess robert generally (used to be) quite dictatorial over the material ending up on the album. then again, KMKMKM is said to have included more output from several band members - i remember porl and simon being mentioned with several tracks but how about lol? i doubt it, yet i admit i can't remember right now... sorry.


anyway, one just cannot look at the promo videos or some mimed performances in order to figure out what everyone's output on the recording session was: all those mimes are completely crazy most of the time - because come on, they are only mimes!
(even when they weren't as dead-drunk as during that dreadful bananarama episode)
listen to the proper live performances in order to find out about the live output.
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Offline Dillinger

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2007, 18:55:17 »
the reason i mentioned  hot hot hot was because it looks like they just gave him something to do for the sake of it. i still doubt he put much into kmkmkm

Offline japanesebaby

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2007, 19:05:27 »
the reason i mentioned  hot hot hot was because it looks like they just gave him something to do for the sake of it.

yeah, lol & the trumpet: just watch any of those millions of WCIBY? mimes that they did around 1987 and lol has the trumpet in every one of them. so it was already "customary" by the time they did the promo video for hot hot hot!!!: lol & the trumpet - even when they were miming outdoors...


... there he is!  ;)

surely trumpet was an easy choice on songs like WCIBY? & hot hot hot, which do have those synth-trumpet sounds anyway. so you could say they gave it to him because it would look better on stage than standing behind keyboards.
anyway i think they probably gave it to him so that he'd look like a complete dumbass - you know they were sort of constantly bullying him by that time, weren't they?

poor lol. i don't really want to laugh at him, since there was a time when he was surely sharp too.
let's laugh at this dude instead - because i bet he can't play that trumpet either!!



 :-D

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Offline Dillinger

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2007, 19:48:37 »
wheres that picture of them by the sea from? i wear ive seen a video of porl actually playing it but i might be wrong on that. i dont want to laugh at him either but he always seems to amuse me when he's drifting round all these videos like a drunk at a party

Offline japanesebaby

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2007, 20:06:10 »
the mime by the sea: they were in cannes film festival, promoting 'in orange' in may '87.
the mime was shown on french TV in a show called 'zénith'.
it's this one:
http://www.impressionofsounds.com/tvsion/23-87-88-09.html

you'll find more stills/pics from there from www.picturesofyou.us (just look at the pictures/photos from 1987).

about lol: i used to think he was kind of unintentionally funny in some of those mimes from that era. or tragically funny. or just tragic. i mean i guess after one's seen enough of them i guess it ceases to be funny.
anyway, one thing that's kind of funny for sure is that he was certainly wearing some awful clothes in 1987. ok the whole band   were wearing those utterly dreadful suits back in '85 so everyone looked pretty bad. but not in '87 anymore. robert was actually kind of stylish at times (in his very own unstylish way haha: i mean a white shirt and a black jacket - but with sneakers).
anyway, i was reminded by an interview on 'select' magazine from august 1991 where robert commented all of their promo videos. about 'catch' he said:

"It cost twice as much as any other video we've made: £120,000. Lol ruined it. We made this beautiful video and this old bastard in coalminer's jeans wanders down the spiral staircase not even bothering to pretend he's playing the violin."


uh. there you go, what comes to both how lol was dressed up and how well he managed to fake he was actually playing something there.  :?
anyway this was around '91 so it's not surprising.


i wear ive seen a video of porl actually playing it but i might be wrong on that.

sorry, you mean playing what?
i'm afraid i didn't quite understand what you meant.

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Offline Dillinger

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2007, 20:59:43 »
haha, that quotes great, il go find the catch video now

i mean the trumpet.



edit: hmmm i dont really see where all the extra money went. the mimes are generally good to watch anyway because none of them can do it particularly well, the best is in the hanging garden video  :lol:

Offline Bloodflower

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2007, 04:53:26 »
I think Lol, in his prime (1979 - 1982), was important in The Cure, and a worthwhile individual in regards to the band. But after PORNOGRAPHY, I think he sort of became unimportant; from what I've read, he had almost nothing at all to do with the Japanese Whispers / The Top era. And I also doubt he had much to do with The Head on the Door.

I think his musical usefulness was never that high, though, unless he had more to do with the writing process than I'm aware of. And I don't believe his claim to have written the words to All Cats are Grey. It just doesn't seem likely to me in the least. And I also kind of wonder if Robert would have even allowed it, even then; as far as I'm aware, none of the other members had anything to do with lyrics until Kiss Me, when Simon gave Robert a line for A Chain of Flowers, the line being "All I want is summer."

Generally, though, I think Lol was utterly replacable, except in his limited drumming ability; without Lol's inability to drum well, the band likely would not have been the minimalist operation they were. But then, if Boris had self-control, it would have worked even better -- because who doesn't prefer real drums to the tape for One Hundred Years?

That last bit -- about self-control in music -- also applies to Porl, whom I disapprove of because he now seems to lack completely the ability to play songs like One Hundred Years without turning it into a "guitar song." It's not to me; it's just not. The same applies to Faith, where I thought his creeping guitar effect was really badly done on the Festival DVD (you know, where he slides his fingers up the fretboard to make that odd, spidery-crawling kind of sound -- he does it on The Drowning Man and others, too). 

I long for a four-piece Cure with self-control... and keyboards.... So that they can play songs like The Figurehead and Plainsong alike, without butchering one for the sake of the other....
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Offline japanesebaby

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2007, 06:25:43 »
i mean the trumpet.

you've probably seen porl miming trumpet, surely not playing it. there are some mimes where they  fooled around and started switching instruments etc.. like the famous azzurro '87, 2nd night: i think most everyone was running around with a trumpet in hand there (except robert).
anyway, i'm pretty positive none of the guys know how to play trumpet in earnest.

@bloodflower: once again you have the patience to put it properly into words while the rest of us are just fooling around with a trumpet.  ;)
it's really hard to even imagine boris drumming on the early cure stuff(!). maybe his personal style is too strong, i mean maybe it would be somehow distorted even if he'd put himself under such self-control required(?). anyway, maybe the whole thing is too imaginary since he's not even in the band anymore.

porl is surely another artist with a strong sense of personal style. he pretty much takes a songs and plays it in his own style, whatever the song was... maybe i do not miss the "authentic" cure style as much as other do. i guess i'm much more interested in hearing these today's reworkings of the old songs being performed by people who do have a strong sense of personal style, rather than let's say hearing them being played by people who'd more or less just try to "do it as it should be/as it originally was", who don't go for putting they own personal fingerprint on the material. like perry on guitar compared to porl - there was no fingerprint on perry's playing. and so i guess i can pretty much enjoy their "product" now, since i can appreciate and enjoy the personal styles being strongly displayed there in the music - even when they are maybe not always my favorite versions what comes to arrangements. the truth is i maybe don't always agree with every arrangement idea they have now - maybe there's too much porl and his guitar on some songs: yet, i can marvel and enjoy the sheer skill of it, hearing such skilled individual displaying such a highly personal style. i mean the fact that porl does all these things, whatever the song was, seems to me indicate that he's so self-secure and so comfortable with his own style. i think it's totally different from a person who only knows one style of playing and then plays everything in this style - just because he doesn't know any other way to do it. i don't think this is the case with porl though. there's nothing fake like that in his way of playing, hw does what he does because it just comes out so naturally. and that's maybe the main reason i like porl so much - i'm generally not that much into guitarists that prefer that sort of style. but for me the style itself doesn't matter that much, the musicianship does. maybe i like to observe to that more than the style. and porl's just such a completely natural musician, it's generally a pleasure to observe what he's doing, whatever it was, whatever the song. even when i sometimes find myself thinking "ok now he's totally over the top there!" on some oocasions i can still be totally captivated by him. then again, on a bad day he can suck even on songs where his style is most essentially at home - the style doesn't save anything if he's simply not playing well.
uhm, sorry to wander off there.... i guess we were supposed to talk about lol. :lol:
anyway, i can enjoy and appreciate the fact that the cure today is trying to do it differently and not just copying the old blueprint there. i do understand your point of wishing to hear a four-piece cure with self-control. i would be curious to hear it too but i also consider it to be a kind of imaginary wish, a "what if" kind of thing only. because even if they replaced a few musicians there... i'm not sure that would do the trick. i'm not sure they'd do really well nowadays if they (anyone of them) tried to restrain themselves and "force" themselves back into the old minimalist style. it might be an interesting one-off experiment to try but to make it a style... in my opinion it might just be a bit artificial, trying to revert back to a certain previous style. because it's not just porl, everybody's style has evolved and developed since those early days. they are not the same minimalist musicians anymore... so why try to go back there?
hmm i'm not sure if i can explain myself properly... maybe i'm just rambling....

anyway, in comparison with porl: simon on the other hand seems to be able to move back and forth between the styles of the old cure / newer cure more easily, more "authentically" so to speak, no?

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Offline Bloodflower

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2007, 08:35:20 »
I have to start by addressing your signature, Marika:

This song is about me.

Isn't it?

Moving on....

Perhaps, Farquad, you're thinking of the saxophone? Porl certainly played some sax.

I think everything I think of regarding The Cure is, at this point, somewhat imaginary. But I don't think it's any more imaginary than the people who lust after the thought of another Disintegration. I honestly think that Jason is on the way out, and I think Boris (who spent a fair deal of time at The Cure sessions, if I've been properly informed) is a decently likely candidate for drummer; this assumes, though, that there isn't some kind of huge bad-blood thing between Porl and Boris. I say between Porl and Boris, because, as I said, Boris spent a good deal of time with the band during The Cure sessions; now that doesn't necessarily mean that he was only there when Porl wasn't, to be clear.

In some ways I liken Porl Thompson, in his current incarnation, as The Cure's Yoko Ono. I certainly like some of the stuff they've done since his reentry, but I feel that he's turned The Cure into something that it's never been to me: A hard rock band. It's like an eternity of Never Enoughs. I like the song decently, but compared to the rest of the catalogue, it pales to me.

Porl is amazingly talented and creative, but his lack of restraint has really depressed me. Maybe I wouldn't feel this way if he went to keys, leaving Robert as sole guitarist, or if Robert went to keys, leaving Porl. Or maybe this all stretches from my infatuation with the three-piece of Jason, Simon, and Robert. The versions of the songs they played were so perfect. I get goosebumps at the thought of them playing a song like Cold (whose intro on The Prayer Tour drives me mad -- the bass is so incredible when it's playing those opening notes).

I would love to have seen reinterpretations of newer (post PORNOGRAPHY) songs done by a three-piece, or four-piece. If they did it right, I think a song like Bloodflowers could be really interesting with a three-piece, without keys and with only one guitar. I'm not a (talented) musician. I'm not able to say whether it could really be pulled off, I can't say how important the second guitar is to the song; but I think if a song like Plainsong can be redone without keyboards, then Bloodflowers can be pulled off without keys and a second guitar. And then, who's to say they can't play keys the way they did in The Dark days? Simon stepping on things....

I certainly do not want the band to sound live like they do in the studio, don't get me wrong. I think some of the things played after The Cure album were really static and boring, because everything (with the exceptions of the vocals) sounded just like the studio versions. Porl's ability for improvisation (which I don't feel we've really seen much of in his latest stint) is something I laud greatly, but I don't think that a three-or-four-piece would be incapable of improvisation. My favourite versions of Forever, for instance, are from '80-'82.

There is definite beauty, I feel, in a band playing within certain sonic boundaries. And while I enjoy very much Porl's solo notes on The Blood, as an example, I find him persona non grata on tracks like At Night and The Figurehead, neither of which require a second guitarist.

I think Robert and Simon both still have it in them for minimalism. I definitely think they still have it in them. Just two years ago they were playing it masterfully. The bass was so heavy and prominent... it just blows me away. And it's probably that which gets me so badly -- I want so fully for them to do something like that again that the introduction of a 'noise-guitarist' kind of tears asunder my dreams.

Hoping for something forever gone
But something we will always want

PS. Oh, and Simon can definitely move back and forth between minimalism and... well, whatever its antonym is ... with ease.
Another Curefan for The Dark Christmas album.

Offline Dillinger

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2007, 15:18:37 »
i dont think they would let boris back, simply because that would then be thecure again, all the members the fans love back together and what if they released a crap album? it would disapoint alot of fans and some would lose all hope with them and robert wouldnt risk it. that said i would like boris back and for them to make another head on the door or kiss me kiss me kiss me. i wouldnt want to see them go back and start pretending they were still at the same musical level of 17 seconds and try and emulate it, they could go for another kmkmkm or the head though i think. the problem there though is the question of roberts song writing ability, bloodflowers was amazing and i prefer it to disintegration even but i dont think he could write another just like heaven, inbetween days, close to me etc. he is too old to write those type songs now i think


and yeah i guess i got conmfused and porl was playing sax then

Offline Janko

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2007, 23:26:55 »
 :smth023


I LOVE LOL!

I WAS ALWAYS INTO THE BAND
NOT SO MUCH INTO ROBERT SMITH
I BELIVE THE CURE ARE THE BAND THAT ALWAYS HAS A CERTAIN CHEMISTRY
THROUGH THE YEARS THE PEOPLE CAME AND WENT AND ALL OF THEM CONTRIBUTED THE ELEMENTS THAT MADE UNIQUE THE CURE SOUND
THATS THE REASON PORNOGRAPHY SONGS SOUND LESS PERFECT THESE DAYS
AS A MATTER OF FACT I THINK PLAYING 100 YEARS NOW IS A BIT LIKE CHEARING BECAUSE ROBERT CLEARLY DOESN FEEL LIKE THAT SO THERE CAN NEVER BE THAT LEVEL OF ENERGY

LOL WAS ONE ELEMENT THAT WAS A GREAT PART OF THE BANDS SOUND AND WHEN HE STOPPED PLAYING DRUMS (BECAUSE HE COULDNT PLAY THAT DISCO RHYTM FOR "LETS GO TO BED", I THINK) THAT ELEMENT WAS FOREVER LOST

ALCOHOLISM IS A SERIOUS DISEASE. LOL WAS ILL. SO IT IS A BIT CRUEL TO THINK OF HIM AS A HOPELESS LAZY DRUNK... AND THEN AGAIN HE DRIED UP IN TIME...

ANOTHER THING IS THE FACT THAT LOL WAS FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE CURE AND HE DID HAVE PRETTY GOOD CASE IN 1993...

WHEN LOL LEFT THE BAND, THE CURE BECAME MORE ROBERT SMITH'S PROJECT

P R E S E N C E WERE A GREAT BAND AND THEIR SONGS ARE PREMIUM QUALITY!

ALSO, LEVINHURST ARE GREAT BAND! GREAT SONGWRITING!

...

ALL IN ALL, NOONE SHOULD DISMISS LOL
HE'S A GREAT GUY!

 :smth023
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Offline Dillinger

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2007, 00:12:36 »
i dont know why but that was a really nice post.


i dont agree about 100 years though, if he only sung what he really felt then basically the entire catalogue would be unplayable

Offline japanesebaby

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2007, 00:29:52 »
i dont know why but that was a really nice post.

it was! and that's why i said let's rather laugh at robert with a trumpet than at lol. :-D

then basically the entire catalogue would be unplayable

i don't think so.
there's a notable emotional difference in robert's singing on 'pornography' and on other recordings.
nowhere else does he manage to "sing with such power and also sound like he was about vomit at the same time" like i remember one reviewer somewhere said - if that was what janko meant, then i agree: he just can't do 'pornography' material like that anymore.
but it certainly doesn't apply to their entire catalogue - that would be almost like saying they only have one kind of songs...
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Offline Dillinger

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Re: What do you think of Lol?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2007, 01:37:45 »
well he has been happily married for twenty years now, has had break downs, no further drug troubles he is now a fully fledged star with legions of followers. so that rules out tall the ones about failed love, ones influenced by drugs or about experienceas from them, any looking for love ones or "im an outsider" type ones. i read it differently to you i think, i thought he meant lyrical content rather than the actual music. in that case i agree that *some* of the early stuff isnt "right" anymore. its a shame, especially with the hanging garden  :( i would rather they didnt play it then play it badly though. however, i think 100 years can still be done.

i also wonder if his voice could do it properly anymore...