On December 3 founding member of The Cure Lol Tolhurst will be reading from his new book at Indy CD & Vinyl. Tolhurst played drums as well as keyboards in The Cure and is featured on every album released before Disintegration. He also briefly reunited with the group in 2011. Currently, Tolhurst is making music in the group Levinhurst.
In his book, Cured: A Tale of Two Imaginary Boys, Tolhurst writes about the history of The Cure but also focuses on the friendship of Tolhurst and Robert Smith. Both members have known each other since they were five years old. They grew up in the middle of punk and laid the foundation for what would eventually be known as alternative rock.
Tolhurst will also DJ an after party with A-Squared Industries at Pioneer in Fountain Square starting at 10:30pm.
NUVO: Your book is called Cured: A Tale of Two Imaginary Boys -- what does it mean to be an “imaginary boy”?
Lol Tolhurst: You know you’re the first person to ask me that question, actually. To me that came from a title of a song and the title of our first album. But it was also, in a way, alluding to how we felt where we lived.
NUVO: Does this resonate with your and Robert [Smith]’s time when punk was first starting?
Tolhurst: Well, yeah, and this was 1976. We were about 17 and we had just got the band together. We were suburban kids and lived quite close to London but we weren’t as close to the capitol so not just metaphorically but graphically we were outside the scene. It was a useful thing to hang ourselves on, or a useful monicker.
NUVO: I know that you were a Bowie fan when you were younger. How did his death affect you?
Tolhurst: To me, the Bowie album I liked the most was Low. That was my favorite album because it came out, and I don’t know how many people remember this, but it came out in 1977 which was the height of punk as well. So you know it wasn’t a punk album but it was at the height of Punk and that was something that affected me in those years as I was young. Going from teen to man it was very pivotal for me. He grew up very close to where we lived so he was a local lad as it were. This is going to sound weird, but in a strange way it made it all the more apparent that I’m getting older. When Elvis died it was very far removed from me. But when Bowie died, and then Lemmy, and then everybody else, it’s become a lot closer, you know?
NUVO: Do you think 2016 is the right time to release your book? Have you been thinking about writing this for some time?
Tolhurst: It was the right time because if I had done this in my 30s or 40s I wouldn’t of had enough perspective on the events. I’ve had 25 years to think about a lot of stuff that went on, and how it went and what it meant.
NUVO: Historically, have you preferred recording albums or playing live?
Tolhurst: They’re two different beasts. Recording is a process that becomes satisfying a very long time after you’ve done it. When you’re doing it it’s very tedious most of the time because you’re constantly reviewing things and redoing things. It’s insanity because you’ll come see somebody record in a studio and you might spend 10 hours listening to the same 10 seconds of music. And at the end of it, to outsiders, it may sound like nothing’s changed. But in fact it has changed and you’re happy with it. The reward or pay off for you two or three years later is that you listen back to something and you haven’t heard it for a while. You’re removed from it. And it sounds like you want it to and you’re excited by it.
The thing about playing live is that it’s much more visceral and immediate. That is its downfall as well, it’s kind of like a soccer match. You play it—if you win, if it’s a great show, and there are good feelings. The next day it’s on to the next place. Touring tends to go in waves. It can be very up and down. But it is much more instantly satisfying. Plus I like to travel. I’ve always, and I make notes of it in my book, been a restless person. So I like to the next city or the next town or the next country.
NUVO: Did you talk to Robert Smith much while you were writing?
Tolhurst: I talked to Robert when I started. In 2013 I told him what I was going to do and in May of this year I gave him a copy of the book. I’ve kept him involved all the way along.
NUVO: Are there any other books written by musicians that inspired you while writing?
Tolhurst: Inspired is the wrong word. I have certain truths about writing. I did a lot of research for this and read a lot of other people’s books. Two stuck out to me—one was Steve Martin, the comedian. Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life, I really liked that. Also Duff McKagan from GunsNRoses, It’s So Easy (and other lies). I like Duff because he seemed very honest to me. I talked to him about it. I contacted Duff and we’re like pen pals now.
It made me realize that if you’re going to do something like this — if you’re going to put a book out, you’d better be prepared to be honest and reveal yourself. You can’t hide behind stuff because it won’t bring truth. That was the lesson there. Steve Martin’s was by and large about his relationship with his father. And as you’ll know from my book I have a lot of discussion about my relationship with my father. I identified with that.
If you go:
Lol Tolhurst Book Signing and Q&A
Saturday, December 3, 6 p.m.
Indy CD and Vinyl, 806 Broad Ripple Ave.
Spellbound ft. Lol Tolhurst with A-Squared Industries
Saturday December 3, 10:30 p.m.
Pioneer, 1110 Shelby St.