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The Cure => General The Cure Discussion => Topic started by: mrd6376 on July 14, 2007, 22:13:32

Title: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: mrd6376 on July 14, 2007, 22:13:32
Few bands shake up their line up as consistently as The Cure. Is this all Robert's doing? Or do previous members just tend to leave out of their own initiative? I believe Lol was fired, but in general, is Robert just difficult to work with???  :smth100
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: Janko on July 17, 2007, 23:15:50
Quote from: mrd6376 on July 14, 2007, 22:13:32
Few bands shake up their line up as consistently as The Cure. Is this all Robert's doing? Or do previous members just tend to leave out of their own initiative? I believe Lol was fired, but in general, is Robert just difficult to work with???  :smth100


WELL, THE THING IS THAT ALL THE BANDS EITHER FALL APART OR CHANGE THEIR LINE UP THROUGH THE YEARS. I CANT REMEMBER ANY BAND THAT DIDNT CHANGE ITS LINE UP...

THEN AGAIN - THE LAST LINE UP LASTED FOR TEN YEARS AND IN TIME THEY BECAME REALLY, REALLY GREAT SOUNDING... BUT THERE WAS A CERTAIN LACK OF CREATIVITY...

SO, ROBERT IS NOT THAT HARD TO BE WITH, I GUASS!
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: Ulrich on April 16, 2014, 16:51:30
Edit: the post I replied to is now gone (trolling probably).

My take on the line-up changes: Robert has said in interviews, that he needs to keep the band working, if someone is not focussed he might be replaced...
It's not like he's a "dictator" (like the press think at times), it's just that he works on his vision for the band and if someone doesn't share that, he's free to leave (not many were "sacked" anyway, most left on their own wish). And we all know some left and came back again...
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: dsanchez on April 19, 2014, 20:46:44
Quote from: mrd6376 on July 14, 2007, 22:13:32
Few bands shake up their line up as consistently as The Cure. Is this all Robert's doing? Or do previous members just tend to leave out of their own initiative? I believe Lol was fired, but in general, is Robert just difficult to work with???  :smth100

The core of The Cure (Robert Smith, Simon Gallup and Jason Cooper) remains unchanged for many years (Cooper joined the band in the mid 90's, so we're talking about almost two decades now). I only remember a dispute between Robert and Simon which ended with the later leaving the band in 1983 (Philip Thornalley replaced him for "The Top").

In 1984 we had Andy in the drums, but he was replaced by Boris because of -if I remember correctly- alcohol problems.

In 1989 Robert fired Lol because his contribution to the band was nil. His part on keyboards was done by Roger.

After the Prayer Tour Roger decided to leave to do his own thing. Perry Bamonte replaced him.

In 1993 Boris and Porl decided to leave the band by themselves. Boris left to play with his girlfriend's band. No Robert's fault. Perry took Porl's place in guitars, then a few years after Roger O'Donnell came back on keyboards and Jason Cooper replaced Boris in drums.

In 2005 Robert fired Perry and Roger for unknown reasons (http://web.archive.org/web/20071009051053/http://www.perrybamonte.de/v2006/about/interview-2006/).

In 2009 Porl Thompson left The Cure to do his own thing. Reeves Gabrels replaced him in 2012.

So in general, I wouldn't say Robert is the main responsible of the line up changes.
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: Ulrich on April 21, 2014, 12:12:20
Edit: it might be added that both Michael Dempsey and Mathieu Hartley were "asked to leave" because of "musical differences" or something like that...

Quote from: dsanchez on April 19, 2014, 20:46:44
I only remember a dispute between Robert and Simon which ended with the later leaving the band in 1983 (Philip Thornalley replaced him for "The Top").


1982, right after the "14 Explicit Moments" tour, I think. Lol and Robert then recorded "Let's go to bed" and "The Walk" without a proper bassist, then Thornalley came in for live shows and "The Lovecats" in 1983. He was off doing engineering work, so RS played bass on "The Top", but Thornalley was there for the live shows (as can be heard on "Concert").

Quote from: dsanchez on April 19, 2014, 20:46:44
In 1984 we had Andy in the drums, but he was replaced by Boris because of -if I remember correctly- alcohol problems.


In a band like The Cure, alcohol wouldn't be the big problem, I guess. :lol:
But apparently he was flipping out and attacking people, wich (understandably) was too much for Robert.
He was replaced by Vince Ely, then Boris (who stayed for much longer than just the tour).

Quote from: dsanchez on April 19, 2014, 20:46:44
After the Prayer Tour Roger decided to leave to do his own thing.


In fact I remember Roger telling on his website (while he was out of the band around 2006/7) that the mood in the band was very bad at the time (1990) and "something had to give", so finally he gave in and left... :(

Quote from: dsanchez on April 19, 2014, 20:46:44
So in general, I wouldn't say Robert is the main responsible of the line up changes.


As I said before, I don't think it's Robert as the "dictator" who sacks people because they said things he doesn't like. BUT, The Cure has always been his band, his ideas, (mostly) his songs, his vision. Other band members can get tired of being restricted to Robert's vision and might want to do their own thing.
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: cheyler on April 29, 2014, 01:02:18
I have a feeling this message will be criticized (what a prophet I am...) but...
We now know why Porl left in 2009.
I'm now thinking (based on statements from various band members) that Porl got Roger chucked out of the band twice, once in 1990 by generally making everyone miserable complaining that there was too much keyboard and not nearly enough guitar...on the album and during the live gigs.  Hence 'Never Enough' and 'Wish' and the guitar-heavy gigs on the 'Wish' tour.  Fantastic stuff without a doubt but...  The 'Prayer' tour was pretty psychedelic, the lighting and the light show on the backdrop were excellent, the video of the Munich show isn't perfect but it's the only thing in existence.  Listen to the live gigs from 1984-1987 before Roger joined, there is much more guitar and much less keyboard.  I can't blame Porl for wanting to basically protect his job...although I do love Roger's contributions very much.  Porl's attitude soured after the album was mixed and the bottom dropped out over the course of the 'Prayer' tour.  Then once again in 2005 for the same reason, wanting to avoid another confrontation (although confrontation isn't entirely accurate when describing the 1990 'difficulty') by getting Roger and Perry removed beforehand and getting Robert to agree to basically a rock band with just a few keyboard samples synced to a click track.  And it worked...to an incredible degree.
Simon left in 1982 because he punched Robert.  The drug use in the band was making things pretty fraught, Simon mentions this in the interview segment on the 'Trilogy' dvd.
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: Ulrich on April 29, 2014, 12:30:08
Quote from: cheyler on April 29, 2014, 01:02:18
I have a feeling this message will be criticized (what a prophet I am...) but...
We now know why Porl left in 2009.


Nothing to critize about your "theory" (which is as good or bad as any other), but your choice of words makes me wonder: what do we know? I read nothing but guesswork here and it's all about 1990 and 2005, but no word about 2009. So we "know" nothing at all.  :roll:
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: cheyler on April 30, 2014, 20:13:15
Thank you ulrich.  We don't know anything, you are correct.  I think the video from the final concert in 2009 and the video from last year pretty much tell the story of what happened in-between.  Why?  Who knows, and it may surprise you but I don't care why he did it either.  I'd be kind of disappointed if my speculation about the different line-up changes was correct but it feels right.  Most people don't care, just gimme the good songs and good albums and good concerts.  After more than 40 years of listening to music and hearing reading and even seeing all the rotten things people do to bands, and the rotten things bands do to people and each other, sometimes that side of things kind of takes over.
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: MeltingMan on May 01, 2014, 11:27:54
Quote from: mrd6376 on July 14, 2007, 22:13:32
Few bands shake up their line up as consistently as The Cure. Is this all Robert's doing? Or do previous members just tend to leave out of their own initiative? I believe Lol was fired, but in general, is Robert just difficult to work with???  :smth100

I can understand your point of view. Only the number of ex-members could easily form a new band,
theoretically. In a group with strong characters is also an uncontrollable dynamic which occasionally lead to tensions and, sometimes, to break-up but this is not the end. Good for us as fans!
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: Ulrich on May 04, 2014, 11:28:10
Quote from: cheyler on April 30, 2014, 20:13:15
We don't know anything, you are correct. I think the video from the final concert in 2009 and the video from last year pretty much tell the story of what happened in-between. 


Can you elaborate on this? How do these 2 videos (which one from last year exactly?) tell that story in your opinion?  :?

Quote from: cheyler on April 30, 2014, 20:13:15I'd be kind of disappointed if my speculation about the different line-up changes was correct but it feels right.


As I've just been looking at Roger's memories about "Disintegration", he tells a different story, so to me it does not "feel right".

Roger:
Quote
...
The songs from the album weren't difficult to play live but some of the older songs with multiple parts posed a challenge for only one keyboard. There was a lot of pressure on me to do it alone as Boris and Paul were adamant they didn't want Perry to be asked to join the band. This of course changed when I left.

The Pictures Of You video shoot Glencoe Scotland 1990:
It was shot long after the end of the tour in January 1990 I think. The atmosphere within the group was terrible, there was very very bad feeling between Simon and Boris which was later turned on me.
(...)
So we were all set up in the snow and playing the song over and over again in front of some fake palm trees in the freezing cold drinking brandy. We actually had battery powered amps and played the song for real, I think you can hear a bit in it. The next day we tried to get home but the whole of Britain was gripped in this massive storm and we only got as far as Birmingham I think. Yeah not very good memories of that trip and it was the beginning of the end for me. I couldn't take the drama and the back biting and all the shit anymore, four months later I got in my car and drove away.

http://www.rogerodonnell.com/disintegration/ (http://www.rogerodonnell.com/disintegration/)

Which in my humble opinion tells a lot about the things happening in 1990...
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: cheyler on May 05, 2014, 01:27:48
Elaborate?  Sure.  At the Coachella gig he appeared to be (mostly) male and at the book party he appeared to be (mostly) female.  I'd rather not speculate in any more detail, I just had breakfast.

If there was a very bad feeling between Simon and Boris and it disappeared after Roger left then by the most basic laws of physics Roger was a part of the problem, even if it was only that he was a target for one and not for the other ('I hate him and I want him out'...'Well I don't!').  Third parties are also well known for fostering bad feelings between two other parties so it's difficult to know the real source of the problem until later if ever (example: Matlock/Rotten).

'Feel' is subjective, whatever's true for you.  Right or wrong doesn't mean squat, it affects no one.

I was very interested at the time to see where that particular line-up was going with the concept that really started with 'Disintegration'.  They did not come to my city (at the time) on the 'Prayer' Tour then we get 'Never Enough' (which in keeping with tradition seemed to be a reaction to the previous goings-on).  Significant line-up change then, don't mean to overstate Roger's contributions, the significance of the change was more philosophical and operational than ability.  I LOVE guitars, Wish, the tour (saw that one), Show, Paris, golden years indeed, from summer 1990 until Dublin in December 1992.  Porl leaving turned me off for eight years.  ...although loved 'Mint Car' when it came out...
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: Ulrich on May 05, 2014, 09:37:44
Quote from: cheyler on May 05, 2014, 01:27:48At the Coachella gig he appeared to be (mostly) male and at the book party he appeared to be (mostly) female.


Ah, that finally clears it up - I thought you were talking about CURE videos here...

Quote from: cheyler on May 05, 2014, 01:27:48
... then we get 'Never Enough' (which in keeping with tradition seemed to be a reaction to the previous goings-on).


I agree with this - after the "softer" singles before this (Lovesong & POY) this was another "turnaround" (and "Wish" would partly be similarly guitar-driven).
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: cheyler on May 05, 2014, 22:29:27
Nope, I wasn't specific as to Cure/other.  Bit off topic but I can't see making another topic to ask you a question.  Do you prefer the guitar stuff ('Wish' etc.) or the keys stuff or like it all for the most part?
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: Ulrich on May 06, 2014, 12:05:00
Quote from: cheyler on May 05, 2014, 22:29:27
Do you prefer the guitar stuff ('Wish' etc.) or the keys stuff or like it all for the most part?


I guess I am one of those sad persons who go "just gimme the good songs and good albums and good concerts..."! ;)
I loved what they did with the keys on "Disintegration", incredibly atmospheric. However, two more albums like this might've become boring, thus I enjoyed the guitar-driven stuff from the "Wish" period too.
(I think I even saw Roger playing guitar on "Open" in the year 2000 or so...?)
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: cheyler on August 03, 2014, 02:35:16
Something else occurred to me recently, with Porl coming back in '05 it made both Perry's and Roger's positions untenable.  Both would have to go even if it wasn't suggested by Porl.  Keep Roger but chuck Perry?  You've got the Disintegration band with a different drummer.  Endless comparisons and expectations...  Everyone would be clamoring for the new 'Disintegration'.  Keep Perry and dump Roger?  Wish band with a different drummer.  Endless comparisons and expectations again.  The only way to make it work and be seen as its own entity was to try something that had never been tried before, bad luck Perry and Roger.  And it worked.  I'll treasure those few years.
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: cheyler on September 11, 2014, 17:49:55
I've been thinking about that a bit recently, the line-up changes over the last twenty years or so.  Reeves was probably the most logical choice since he had played on one of the band's recordings already ('Wrong Number').  I'm guessing Perry would never be asked back again (to replace Reeves) because it would then be the 'Wild Mood Swings' band again and Robert has never re-constituted a previous line-up once it has split up.  That's probably why neither Roger nor Perry returned after Porl re-joined in 2005; if Roger stayed then it would be the 'Disintegration' band (with a different drummer) and if Perry had stayed it would have been he 'Wish' band (with a different drummer).  There's still a chance that my theory about Porl wanting them both out being correct but more it's more likely that Robert just didn't want the inevitable comparisons to previous line-ups...a nod to Ulrich there...more likely paranoia on my part.  Perry is more suitable as a guitarist but...onwards and upwards is probably Robert's philosophy.
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: Ulrich on September 12, 2014, 09:49:59
Your theory has a big hole in there. What we have now is basically the "Wild Mood Swings" (+"Bloodflowers" & "The Cure")  line-up (with a different guitarist). Can't see any logic in your theory, sorry.  :roll:
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: cheyler on September 13, 2014, 02:00:33
Either way, the current Cure line-up is still different than any previous line-up.  Guitarists can come and go, which is unfortunate especially in Porl's case, although The Cure have only had three (besides Robert) over 35 years.  I'm betting Robert would prefer a new member to re-forming one of the old line-ups on any sort of long-term basis, a 'final gig' reformation nothwithstanding.  I think Reeves is not a particularly good fit for The Cure but I really like the guy and find it impossible to wish him out of the band.  I don't really wish Perry was back although he is a better fit having been there during a couple 'classic' eras but it would be the 'Wild Mood Swings' and 'Bloodflowers' band again and would be a 'step backward' in a way rather than 'forward progress'.
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: dmscheuer on September 13, 2014, 03:57:54
QuoteI don't really wish Perry was back although he is a better fit having been there during a couple 'classic' eras but it would be the 'Wild Mood Swings' and 'Bloodflowers' band again and would be a 'step backward' in a way rather than 'forward progress'.


I don't quite follow the logic either.

Then why have Porl in and out, back in again, then out of the band again?

Why have Simon in and out then back in again too?

And regarding the "Robert is a dictator" theory - I think Robert said this himself? I have to dig around, but I am fairly certain that Robert called himself a dictator re: The Cure, not that some past band member or fan claimed he was the dictator......
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: Ulrich on September 13, 2014, 14:40:20
Quote from: dmscheuer on September 13, 2014, 03:57:54
And regarding the "Robert is a dictator" theory - I think Robert said this himself? I have to dig around, but I am fairly certain that Robert called himself a dictator re: The Cure, not that some past band member or fan claimed he was the dictator...


Wasn't it the media who saw him that way? Anyway, Robert said he's not the dictator sacking people for saying something he didn't like. He just has to look that he has a working band...

Quote from: cheyler on September 13, 2014, 02:00:33
I don't really wish Perry was back


Yeah right, a new opinion every other month?
http://curefans.com/albums-and-songs/series-of-live-concert-cds/msg760894/#msg760894 (http://curefans.com/albums-and-songs/series-of-live-concert-cds/msg760894/#msg760894)
Quote...will definitely not be going to any future gigs (unless Perry comes back). 

:roll:
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: cheyler on July 08, 2015, 20:01:50
Quote from: Ulrich on May 06, 2014, 12:05:00
Quote from: cheyler on May 05, 2014, 22:29:27
Do you prefer the guitar stuff ('Wish' etc.) or the keys stuff or like it all for the most part?


I guess I am one of those sad persons who go "just gimme the good songs and good albums and good concerts..."! ;)
I loved what they did with the keys on "Disintegration", incredibly atmospheric. However, two more albums like this might've become boring, thus I enjoyed the guitar-driven stuff from the "Wish" period too.
(I think I even saw Roger playing guitar on "Open" in the year 2000 or so...?)


Roger did play guitar on 'Open' during (at least) the European leg of the 'Bloodflowers' tour.  I believe Roger was playing the harmonics, RS was playing the distorted parts and that allowed Perry to play his parts as played on the 'Wish' tour.  The mix was sometimes poor so it didn't sound quite right, but for 'Open' to work, in my opinion, all three parts HAVE TO be played.  'Open' in 1992 with Perry mixed right up front is my favorite Cure guitar song of all of them.
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: plasticpassion on December 25, 2015, 10:32:06
Speaking of changes, I'm having a difficult time adjusting to the 'look' of Reeves Gabrels. He's okay on guitar but refuses to play a hollowbody and carry on the sound that Porl made so famous. Also the beard, grey hair, and glasses just doesn't fit with the look of the cure.
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: Ulrich on December 25, 2015, 10:49:23
Well I agree that Reeves looks a bit "out of place" compared to the rest of The Cure (but so did e.g. Lol Tolhurst at times). However, I don't really care much about their "image", hair etc. any more, to me the music is the most important part. And musically, I think Reeves fits in well with what Robert wants The Cure to sound like.
Title: Re: Why does the Cure almost always change their line-up?
Post by: simons-sideburn on December 06, 2016, 16:10:58
no matter which persons are in the band it doesn't matter.
The sure is that  a keybord player is always necessary for the cure.
I remember their concert in 2008 and it was very sad to listen keyboard  prerecorded sounds together with some songs.Robert also was trying to play violin parts with his guitar and it wasn't so atmospheric like the 2016 tour.