Reviews

Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys, by Lol Tolhurst (Da Capo Press, 2016)

Lol Tolhurst was the founding drummer (and later keyboardist) of The Cure, forming the influential post-punk outfit with guitarist/vocalist Robert Smith in the late '70s. In his new memoir, Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys, Tolhurst invites the reader all the way back to the '60s in Crawley, West Sussex, England, when he first met Robert Smith as a five-year-old schoolboy.

The first section of the book offers a look at The Cure's earliest days playing pubs and developing their unique sound, but it's the glimpse into Smith's psyche during those formative years that longtime fans of the band will eat up. Tolhurst's insight into his former creative partner is always delivered with a fair tone, and if there is any finger-pointing, it's done by the author at himself. Addiction looms large in Cured..., and Tolhurst takes full responsibility for the damage his alcoholism has done to both his personal and professional relationships throughout his life.

As The Cure go from strength to strength in their career, Tolhurst's personal life goes in the opposite direction. He admits that from his very first drink as a teen, he was a "blackout drunk." Although he managed to tour during some of the group's biggest album campaigns, Tolhurst was eventually fired from The Cure during the mixing phase of their Disintegration album in late 1989 due to his addiction problem.

His Cure sacking turns out to be a blessing in disguise, and Tolhurst ultimately finds solace in California, where he settles down and becomes a family man. He even ends up reconciling with Smith and joins The Cure for a 2011 performance in Sydney.

Cured... isn't a book where you're going to find out what kind of delay pedal Robert Smith used on Pornography, but in terms of an inspiring story of rock 'n' roll redemption, you won't find a better memoir out this holiday season.

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