Book Review: Gift Guide: Rock & Roll Books
Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys
Reviewed by Marc Savlov, Fri., Dec. 9, 2016
A melancholy memoir of spectacular drunkenness and hard-fought sobriety safety pinned to the first wave of UK proto-goth and the Cure's lipstick slashed climb to the top of the post-punk heap, founding drummer/keyboardist Lol Tolhurst's tale of woe and redemption howls. The South Englander of bleak, black-bricked Crawley recounts meeting natural born poet Robert Smith at age 5, forming the "Easy Cure" at 18 amidst the skinhead melees of Thatcher's Britain, and the band's slow emergence as the gloomy icons they would become between the recording of 1979 debut Three Imaginary Boys and career defining Disintegration a decade later, after which Tolhurst was promptly sacked. Along the way there's hilarity, of a sort: a Cramps-like early gig at a mental hospital in Orpington where the band was forced to learn "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree"(!) in mere minutes is memorable. Tolhurst's slow dive into an alcohol-and-drug-fueled bottoming out drives the narrative, so as a recounting of the Cure, little here will be revelatory to die-hards, but there's plenty of Merlot-infused gristle to gnaw on.
Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boysby Lol Tolhurst
Da Capo Press, 336 pp., $27.50