I have to start by addressing your signature, Marika:
This song is about me.
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.