Monday, November 16, 2009

Memories of Disintegration

Update: Roger will be posting his memories, and the answers to your questions, very soon. You're in for quite a treat. : )

As he mentioned a couple of days ago, Roger is putting together his memories and photos from the Disintegration era, and will post them on his website by the end of the year, but he wants to know if there's anything you've always wondered about and would like to know? Just post your questions for him in the comments, or email them to me and I'll post them for you. (Thanks Roger)


  1. which keyboards he used during the making of the album & also which ones during Prayer Tour.

  2. If he knew by the time that they were recording a historical album and if it was hard to play such strong songs alive.

  3. Roger, thanks for taking the time! Can you talk a bit about HOMESICK - if you know how the song came about, the beautiful piano solo, etc... Thanks!

  4. I'd like to know if there were any songs you thought should have been included but weren't, and vice-versa. Did everyone pretty much agree on the flow of the album, or were there a few tracks whose inclusion (or non-inclusion) caused a stir?

  5. What was with Simon and that bandanna/bolero hat combo?

  6. even though the cure has been identified as a "post punk band" a "pop band" and so on. how does the band feel about being viewed as a goth band? the minions of the black-clad, thank you all for being you!

  7. Two questions, so you can pick one.

    1)What was it like after Lol was fired? More than ten years in the band, there from the start and then gone in a bitter way. Was there any remorse at the time? Was his absence felt, or was he more or less "absent" before he was fired?

    2)Geek question. How were the songs recorded? Were synths sequenced and then the other instruments added? Or were the drums and bass laid down, then the other instruments? Always been curious about the technical ways the Cure approached recording.

  8. What alcohol and drugs were used during the making of the record?

  9. My question(s) - pick any that you see fit:

    1) Disintegration is obviously known as a moody album. I have always wondered, what was the mood in the studio and the interaction among you guys during those days?

    2) Do you recall any 'special' moment for yourself during the songwriting? I.e. you coming up with some idea, a piano or keyboard part in a specific song?

    3) How did playing those songs in the making (including the B-sides) compare to what it sounds as a finished album?

  10. I've always wondered which parts to songs were composed by which members. I've heard that Robert composed the keyboard parts to the songs. Is that true? Did he also compose various bass and drum parts, as he admits to being very controlling? I'm not sure in what areas he controlled things. Did he do all the demos. What was jettisoned? How did you and the other members feel about this atmosphere? Was it really that oppressive?

    Thanks very much and I'm glad you're happy in your new work.

  11. From JC: "I would like to know if the situation with Lol was as bad as it's been reported for so long...did he really have almost nothing to do with the album, and if it was a one sided thing(the split) or if some members of the band actually stuck with Lol?"

  12. What were the main inspirations for the songs? The real ones, I mean, not Robert's legendary hyperboles, equivocations, prevarications, etc. ;-)

  13. First, thank you for everything. Second, can you talk about the song Disintegration?

  14. Plainsong. Greatest Song Ever? Discuss.

  15. Please don't. Let's keep this clear for just the questions that fans would like Roger to answer. Thanks.

  16. Was there a feeling at the time that you were all creating an album that many people would see as legendary?

  17. Firstly, thankyou to Craig and Roger for this opportunity..

    Another Lol question: I imagine first coming into the group with Lol's situation becoming more and more detrimental to the group may have been an awkward experiance for you..

    Did you feel in any way intimidated by Lol, or I guess did you feel any guilt 'taking over' Lol's role given he was a founding member and the obvious history that he, Robert and Simon shared?

    I guess I want to know like the others if it was really as bad as Robert made it out to be.. Seems to me all Lol really needed was support, but after Robert's breakdown around Pornoraphy/Top, I imagine he (Robert) had too much pride and his mentality would have been 'If I got through it on my own then so can you.'

    Thankyou again.

  18. we can ask anything, and i have a million questions, and yet cant think of any..

    what is one of the oddest things that has happened before/after a prayer tour show?

    how does disintegration rank in your opinion?

  19. what was the reason you left for, and was it entirely your decision or was it made for you?

  20. Would you go round three with Robert?

    Cheers and good luck

  21. I'd like to know, what is the favorite song on the album for each member?

    Also, which song(s) were the last to be written and/or make the album?

  22. love disintegration!!! i have great memories of the cure in l.a. back in 1989 at the dodger stadium with a full moon a little rain :)food fights fans jumping on stage we were wild for the cure :)opening acts love and rockets the pixies :) what great moments the line up of course robert simon porl roger and boris what a great line up! -Dugzy

  23. This is just an expansion on what mudfeld asked,,,From conception to final track, who had the basic idea for each track and how much was changed during recording...for example i know fear of ghosts was your song, how close is the final track to your original conception?

    and what songs from the album do you really enjoy playing live or don't particularly like ( whether it be having played it too much..or just didn't care for the song, and if there was another, say a B-side that you wished was played live)


  24. From Jim M.: "My question is about the Prayer Tour. How were the songs chosen for the tour? Were there any songs practiced but not performed live on that tour that you felt should have been performed? Finally, who's idea was it to do The Perfect Girl on the Prayer tour?"

  25. Hi Roger and thank you (and Craig obviously) for this.
    What records were you listening to in the studio? Did any of them have a particular influence on a song, or a riff?

    Second question: why did you choose to place the lyrics "Your name like ice into my heart" inside Last Dance? I love those easter eggs :-)

    Good luck with your career (which I don't think will include a "round three", as Shawn asked...)

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  27. Which songs on the Disintegration album are Simon's?

  28. I guess a lot of these questions have been answered more or less

    Any Sex Stories from the Prayer Tour ???? :)

    How would you describe the mood that druggs put you in during recording and touring (if there were any) ?
    Did it add to your creativity or did it act like brakes most of the time (physically tiring) ?
    Do you think there is still some aftermath on your health today ?

    During Disintegration, The Cure were at the top of their verve.
    When a band, after years, seems to lack the same creativity and depth, do you think it is because there's no drugs anymore - or - because people are getting old - or - because they're just not as involved anymore - or - not as perfectionist anymore ?

  29. Mind, when a teacher assumes his pupills are smart, they start acting smarter.
    So the public opinion might also have a big impact.
    (Which is why Saffron got in at some point.)

    Do you believe the "potential" always stays intact ? (I think)

    (Sorry for the long question Craig)

  30. First of all, big THANKS to Roger O'Donnell and Craig for this wonderful opportunity!

    Pick one or two or all ;d please

    1. Robert has admitted in public that he took lots of LSD when making the record... did you and the other band members joined him tripping?

    2. What is your worst memory of making the album... was it all doom and gloom for anyone involved?

    3. During the Prayer Tour, what was your and the other band member's reaction to Robert's improvised lyrics on Faith every night. Some of them( Rome, Konstanz) are really heart-breaking.... I imagine you crying behind the keyboard... I would... ???

    4. Could you describe the day's routine during the Prayer Tour?

    5. When playing live, did you feel how powerful a band you were or you didn't realize how extraordinary you were on stage?

    6. Did you fall out with Simon, Porl or Borris during the tour and if you did, what was the reason?

    7. How you react when you hear a bootleg recording from that period?

    8. Do you own any live recording of good quality from the Prayer Tour?

    Big thanks again!!! Roger, you are truly awesome!

    With love and respect

  31. Dear Roger,
    honestly, thanks (to Craig too!!) for making this possible, as the present Cure members seem to have gone into hibernation for the anniversary year (I somehow expected that but...) Very much appreciated.

    If I'm not getting it totally wrong, Disintegration was the first time you actually went to the studio with the band, wasn't it?
    I'd like to know how you felt about working with the other guys on song writing and whatever goes on when making an album (sorry, I'm by far not such an expert as all the other Cure fans seem to be when it comes to those things)...

    ...did everything just click? Or was it more grinding? Was there anything that surprised you? About yourself, about the others?

    Hope my question is not too vague.

    (I find all the drug-related questions quite funny. What's that, fishing for scandals or what...?)

  32. From Frank van Hal: "Could you ask Roger if there is ever a concert filmed during the Prayer Tour. There are rumours, but nothing is ever confirmed. Thanks in advance."

  33. From Fabien G: "Here are a few questions to Roger.

    - How did you feel things had changed between the time when you were 'recruited' for the Kissing Tour, the recoding of Disintegration, and on the Prayer Tour?

    - Did you feel really like a full member of the band? If you thought there was something wrong, would you dare to say it, or forget it
    because "it was not your band"? Or were you happy to be in a band
    where you had you voice and not a "session" musician?

    - Was there one of your demo at the time which not not used, but you thought it was so good, you re-worked it for yourself and used it on one of your own release?

    - How many demos did you write at the time? How many did you present them? Could they ever surface (please!)?

    - I love that flower shirt you wear on the promo photos, did you
    chose the pattern yourself, do you still have it?

    - Was the record sleeve made only by Robert and andy Vella, didn't
    the band talked about it before / had any say when they saw the
    rough? i've read several times that 'the band' wasn't very happy to see Robert's face on the cover. What did you think about this?

    - What's the most stupid things you've made at the time? And you're most treasured memories?

    - How did you learn Lol would be left out the band? I imagine you
    talked widely with Robert about it? How was the decision taken?

    - It is often reported that people are arguing about stupid things
    when recording or on tour. Could you describe us what could be such an argument about, which would help us understand how tensed (or
    futile) the mood in the band was at the time?

    - Did you kept any recordings from the Prayer Tour shows? which ones?

    - it was written that you were 'sacked', because in the end you were getting closer to Robert than Simon (Simon having a baby), could you feel that? (How was it to come back with Simon in 1996)? How was it like in the few weeks before that eventually happened? How did it happen in the end, did it came out of the blue to you? Did Robert called you? or Chris? Or you recieved a letter explaining the reasons why? Were you angry at that decision, the reasons, the people, and the way it was done? Or rather relieved?

    thank you for your answers, for everything you played in The Cure,
    and congratulations and good luck with your work.

    Fabien G"

  34. Another one from Fabien G: "I hope you won't take it too bad! :) You always refer to brazilian,
    jazz, electro, ambient, something music, and then, you joined The Cure, a kind of pop rock cold wave combo. I think it's Boris who
    made the link between you and the band, but you could have say "no".
    So, I mean, how did you take the decision to accept the offer? Was it "better this than nothing"? How important the money aspect influenced your decision? Could you detail a bit the process that led to your arrival in the band?"

  35. How did David Allen influence or contribute to the process? Was he just there to get the right sound or did he help set the atmosphere?

  36. From Jose: "I'd like to know who wrote each of the songs of the album, we know some of them but i'd like to be 100% sure. Thanks for everything, Jose (Jrcure)."

  37. Hello Roger !

    1) The song 'Forever' is one of my many live best cure moments, during your time in the cure this was played sometimes every tour.
    What was the reason to play this ? was is discussed during soundcheck, on the setlist, taked too inbetween encores, or just a spotanic act that you just have to follow when Robert starts it, and just joined in ?

    I asked Robert one time, and he said ‘Only when I’m drunk enough we play it’
    And we said ofcourse ‘Drink more drink more ;o) ’ And he said ‘ I drink a lot and make his famous smile’

    2) Did the cure talked about to make a ‘final’ forever version to record ?

    Its so many stories about this song, I cant get enough, tell me more !
    I’m lucky enough to heard forever live 3 times, first time in London Olympia ’92 & Hamburg ’02 at the color line ( with you in the group), Thanx for the time you give us during the time in the cure and u was always so nice to us fans, taking time to sign and chat !

  38. Untitled. Would like to know how you came up with your part. Amazing keyboards, amazing song.

    Did the use of the click track during the recording impact your playing?

    What was your favorite Disintegration song to play live?

    Are you proudest of your work on Disintegration or another album?

  39. Lindsey: It's a fake account. Some pitiful person trying to pretend like they're Robert. Sad.

  40. How many songs were recorded during disintegration session? How did you select tracks to be released on the album and B-sides? How many songs have never been released? Have you ever considered publishing them?

  41. figured after i noticed the "L" haha. thanks craig :)

  42. From Trent V: "I was wondering about if they knew how well it might be received and the subsequent pressure for the follow up to better it after it was considered 'a masterpiece'."

  43. From Jacira:

    "- In which Disintegration songs can we see your own "hands" in the composition, as the record was made during the rough time with Laurence Tolhurst?

    - Do you see yourself coming back to The Cure or your solo work is fulfilling your needs and freedom as an artist / composer?

    A big hug from a Brazilian fan that met you in 1996 because of a small petition ;D! Success!
    Jacira Collaço"

  44. Hi Roger - glad you are doing well. Thanks for this fantastic opportunity!
    My question is: When you first joined The Cure, what was it like playing/composing/recording this (for the most part) amazingly atmospheric emotional music - compared to what you had done previously with the Furs and Thomson Twins?
    Did it take you a while to adjust, or did it just come naturally for you?
    Thank you! Steve.

  45. Hi Roger. My question is, now that you have seen the track list for the bonus material on the Disintegration 3 Disc remaster, are there any of the previously unreleased songs that you are particularly glad are finally seeing the light of day?

  46. Not a real question about Disintegration..but something about the prayer tour.

    I read in interviews that at the time Robert compared the album to Faith (not pornography like many people think).

    So lots of songs from Faith would be played during the tour but that did not happen (only in London and Paris and maybe some more venues more songs from Faith besides Faith where played)

    So why was that? To much depressing songs in the setlist?

    Another one: Why choose Fascination street as a US single and not Lullaby like the rest of the world?

    Is it true that Robert didnt want the singles Lullaby and Love song on the Vinyl version of the album?

    Greetings Marco

  47. another question about Lol, was he really as worthless as the others make him out to be (was it mainly just the disintegration era) or is he actually an ok musician who just went through some bad times...
    i don't mean this question to be mean spirited just curious...

    and are there really no good videos of the prayer tour none hiding in your closet whatsoever ,)

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  50. Just a comment- looking forward to reading about Roger's was definitely an era :)

  51. I remember an interview with Robert from around the time Disintegration was released in which he said something to the effect of Disintegration being a move away from the commercially successful (POP) music of Kiss Me. At what point did the band realize that Disintegration had the potential to be as globally popular as it ended up being?

  52. Well, we have reached quite an amount of questions on our own! I guess this'll force him to cancel his Unterbrucke world tour and stay home to answer all of them :-D

  53. Hey you, yes you ANDREWV127 - where did you find the track listing for the 3-disk release? Did I miss something?!?!!?

  54. Kent: Yes, I think you did. : ) Been up at since early October.

  55. From Mate G:
    "Were you there when the fire broke out and Robert saved the lyrics to Disintegration? What was it like?

    Do you think any of the B-sides should have been on the album?

    Do you get royalties still for the album and videos?"

  56. To MateG:

    I thought he saved lyrics in general...When did he mention Disintegration? I remember when the fire broke out, he saved his lyrics and pictures...and then made the song Pictures of You..

  57. @KentButabi - Robert told us.... here is the link

  58. okay, g forgot his login so i'm posting a question from him:

    "Did you write anything for the Disintegration album (or during that era) that Robert rejected? And have any of those song ideas been used for your own projects, or ever be used in the future?"

  59. Hi Roger,

    thanks for this opportunity, and thanks to Craig too

    i have some questions, i'd love to hear answers to all but.. ;-)
    on facebook you say it's not going to be a tell all but if you feel like answering anything of these - thank you

    1) who thought up Plainsong and Closedown?

    2) who thought up these amazing keyboard parts in Disintegration song?

    3) what do you know about the background of Disintegration song? did Robert tell anyone of the band what is it about?

    4) do you know of any video recording of Prayer Tour show?

    5) did you write untitled? the music was your idea?

    6) did you prefer not to travel with he group by bus but fly by plane from one show to the other? (or was it swing tour, can't remember)
    if so, why? were the cure all so gloomy and unapproachable at the time ;) ?

    7) did you talk with Lol? how did he feel towards you since you were the person to replace him

    8) do you own the recordings of band rehearsing the album (Disintegration) in the studio?

    9) what exacty are Fascination Street lyrics based on?
    is it something only RS knows? or did you take part in the event, was it new orleans '87 or so.. what's the event the song's based on?

    10) when you did Pictures Of You video, were the palm trees real or not? i guess not?

    11) which cave did you shot Lovesong video in?
    was it cold there?

    12) how many songs / demos were recorded IN TOTAL in Disintegration session? all the songs listed on deluxe cd to come out 2010, all there was recorded ever during that period?

    12) what was your attitude towards performing Lullaby, Pictures of You on Top Of The Pops?

    13) i can't remember with which performance on TOTP it was, but when the TOTP crew realized the cure are going to appear in full make up, they weren't much enthusiastic about it but you finally made it, can you tell more about this situation?

    14) on your facebook you say you may undig some photos & videos of the period, will you do that... please? we're all curios..

    thank you Roger for your amazing input into disintegration and in all the other cure records and for your solo work as well
    your part in this album is what makes it (Disintegration LP) among many other things, so special
    thanks for anything you ever played in this band
    and for your will to answer our questions

    Anna, Poland

  60. anna, i can answer #11 for you. if you watch picture show they show the "cave" they shot the video in. it was in a studio and there was much phallic talk about the stalagmites that were made.

    ps: the palm trees were brought in for the shoot

  61. From Francesco: "While you guys were writing/recording Disintegration, what was your perception of the material you were coming up with? Were you aware you were creating a masterpiece, an album that would stand out and become a classic? Or did it feel like making just a new album? "

  62. From Kamahl : Why are people so unkind?

  63. Here's what I want to know ... what exactly were those "Other Instruments"? PS. Hi Roger.

  64. "Memories of Disintegration" = ROGERS BIGGEST BLAG.


  65. what happened neil? he steal your girlfriend or something? clearly you are insane and/or jealous.

    you get all kinds out here on the internet. sigh.

  66. Is thre a video recording of the full show of the prayer tour 89?
    will it be released?

  67. Roger will be posting his memories and answers very soon. You're in for quite a treat. : )

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  69. Hmm, Neil... where's the vitriol coming from? Maybe your complaints have some merit, but a reason for it might help your case. The fact is, from a fan point of view, he recognizes the passion we have for a band that he was a part of. He's gracious enough to share some of his memories with us. No one expects anyone from the Cure (past or present) to give us anything more than music, but anytime anyone gives a little extra for the fans it's something special.

    And what's wrong with Moog wankery? You're a Prophet '08 user, aren't you?

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  72. i think roger is great, and has always been very friendly to us fans, and actually my fav cure song (fear of ghosts0 is by roger....however his solo stuff, although i like most of it...i do think he uses the moog a little too much...i will be enjoying a nice piece by roger ten comes that moog sound (sometimes it works but..then i hear this moog riff and it turns me off, sounds like shopping at a grocery store or elevator music at that point) just a lil critique from a fan...
    on such songs like treasure apple it works...but like i said; feels to me sometimes he uses the moog so much, just to use it and throw it in there for the sake of it...

    but what do i know...just a preference....

  73. Did you enjoy your Cure makeover?

  74. Where and how was the thunder and rain sound recorded?

  75. Hey Roger. I had the pleasure of seeing you play in Dublin during the Disintegration tour :) I recall joining in with the audience to request 'Catch' but Robert kept declining and eventually said, "We don't have the f**king keynotes." (?)Something along those lines?? I was just wondering, was there a technical/line up reason why it wasn't possible to play the song? Cheers!

  76. who chose the set lists for te prayer tour, was it mainly robert , or a consensus,,,and why was faith not played during the american tour. What i liked about the tours from tis era and frm 87 nd as far back as 84 is th fct tha B sides were played...why not anymore'?

  77. thanks Sofia!

    yes now I recall watching Picture Show and a bit about the cave

  78. When you were and the others were making Disintegration, did you or anyone else ever feel it may be a bad move after the Kiss me album. And when it turned out to be a big hit, was anyone truely surprised?

  79. Oh yeah one other question. Did you and Perry get alone well even when he was still a roadie?

  80. Craig, I'm quite sure that you've got a very good reason for leaving the comments made by 'Neil' alone, and J., you seem to know who 'Neil' really is. Hmmmm...

    In any event, as J. pointed out, vitriol of that magnitude would be much easier to take if the reader understood the reasons for it, especially since to my knowledge, Roger has yet to publish any assertions regarding his role in the creation and recording of 'Disintegration'. Why not save the venom until after you read what he has to say? Or are you basing your convictions on old information?

    Games, games, games... *sigh*

  81. According to his latest update, Roger is having doubts about publishing his memories. Boo! C'mon Roger, you can't build our hope up like this only to dash them!

  82. Adam, I just came in here to post about that!!

    From Roger's blog -

    "I have finished writing my memories of Disintegration but have run into a bit of a brick wall about publishing it. As I discovered recently you do have to break a few eggs to make an omelette and Im not sure if those eggs really deserve to be broken. I have already been
    asked to do restrain it in one way before anybody has even read or seen it.

    It is a very interesting piece and has unlocked long forgotten memories in both myself and the other contributors who include Dave Allen, Richard Earl and Bruno Brunning but wether I will publish it now I really dont know."


  83. You never might be for a very good reason.

  84. He should still get around to answering these questions regardless, right?

    It's a shame, I would have loved to have heard his recollection of events. But if there is a very good reason for them not to be shared (let the speculation begin) then so be it.

  85. brokenhearted too..
    but i really hope he publishes something..

  86. i read he's not doing it anymore (possibly?)

  87. Just an update. Looks like Roger WILL be posting his memories. Just waiting on a couple of other people to submit their contributions. : )

  88. Thanks for the update, Craig, that's good news! Very exciting, the whole thing :)