BOOK REVIEW: Cured – The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys by Lol Tolhurst
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Drummer-then-keyboardist of The Cure Lol Tolhurst, famously evicted from the band following a descent into abject alcoholism, tells his story without bluff or bravado in Cured, admitting his many mistakes along the long and winding road to rock stardom, and then in his recovery from his fall.
Starting with harrowing tales of his alcoholic father, English suburban life in the ‘70s, and misadventuring with best friend Robert Smith, Tolhurst’s story is fascinating in spite of its flaws: he talks often of the “very English” trait of ignoring issues and letting them fester, and how that caused problems within The Cure, yet he seems not to have learnt his lesson from that awareness, as his book leaves swathes of detail out. Notably where girls and drugs are concerned, very few wheres and whys and hows are elaborated upon.
There’s also a tendency to idolise his friend, crowing endlessly about Smith’s genius, never apportioning any blame to the singer in their falling out – so much so that Cured sometimes feels like an AA meeting where the writer is tasked with accepting full culpability as part of a twelve-step program, rather than analysing each situation more fairly.
That said, these are minor quibbles, as Tolhurst’s tale is truly interesting and for the most part, well written, especially in describing the background forces which led to the formation of The Cure and their early work.
Tolhurst has written a love letter to Smith and The Cure, and whilst some would prefer a more ‘warts n’ all’ account of his life with the band, there is little doubt that he was a part of something very special, how he realises how lucky he was to be in the right place at the right time. Cured seems an important part of his recovery from alcoholism and addiction.
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