Friday, March 11, 2022

EMF vs. Robert Smith...sort of

 From NME:

EMF appeared on the BBC show Juke Box Jury (where panellists judged the hit potential of record releases) in 1990 as the mystery guests after ‘Unbelievable’ was reviewed. But who was the only panellist to vote that the song was a “miss” rather than a “hit”?

“Oh man! I think Robert Smith said it’d be a hit, but let’s see what they’re like on their third single. Then he voted it a miss. Which led to all sorts of trouble with him!”


“I only know this because what happened after it has consumed me for a lifetime. Derry [Brownson, EMF keyboardist] called him a fat c-word in the press, Then we did the BRIT Awards [in 1991] and Robert angrily came up to me and said: ‘What’s this about you calling me a fat c-word?!’ And it got really nasty. He had all of The Cure lined up behind him and I was there on my own. I was mortified because I’m the biggest Robert Smith fan ever – all I ever wanted to be growing up was him, and then he’s coming up and accusing me of dissing him. I’ve often wanted to write him an apology letter and say it wasn’t me. I wanted to tell him it was Derry – who in the meantime at the BRITs was having a fight with The Beautiful South on the dodgems! Can I apologise to Robert Smith now?”

Go for it…

“Robert Smith, if you’re reading this, I’m very sorry. It was a despicable thing to say and out of order. Pop stars shouldn’t talk to each other like that – especially to a god like you.”

What was the ruckus with The Beautiful South about then?

“I don’t know! For some reason, Derry and DJ Milf were kicking off with The Beautiful South, who had a reputation. They sing lovely pop songs, but they were quite handy northern lads! [Laughs

More info for the auction

Thursday, March 10, 2022

'Anniversary' poster in Ukraine auction

Curious Creatures Season 2 coming soon

Roger at the 1985 Trouble in Paradise benefit

Robert on what NME has meant to him

From NME:

“The NME has meant many things to me over the years that I’ve been doing this with The Cure. At the very start, it was NME, Sounds and Melody Maker. You kind of fell into one three camps. Even though Melody Maker adopted The Cure after a while and Sounds were the first to put us on the cover, it was NME with Paul Morley’s piece about [1980 album] ‘Seventeen Seconds’ that got me going, in a way. They sent him out to cover us playing a show in Norwich or something, and I suddenly appreciated what it was like to be writer as opposed to just being in a band that was written about.

“NME still has it, of course, but the quality of writing through the early ‘80s was really good and informed me a lot about people that I wouldn’t have otherwise been thinking about. It was an important part of our cultural life and you rely on it to be a voice for good. At times I think it has lost its way, but generally for 70 years it’s almost done as well as us!

“It does feel like I’m a bit of an imposter to still be part of things like [the BandLab NME Awards 2022]. Not that I don’t think we’re good, but when I look around at what other people are doing I’m just like, ‘Really?’ When I’m on stage playing I understand why I’m still doing it because I love it, but when I go home I’ll wake up tomorrow with a thick head and think, ‘What did I say?’”

Go see Jason tonight

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

More Robert art prints for sale

Phil Thornalley recalls playing bass on Love Cats

Phil Thornalley, songwriter and bass player, laughs as he recalls the creation of a certain iconic bass part. Back in 1983, he was producing the British band The Cure when their longtime bass player Simon Gallup stepped away from the band for a while. In Gallup’s absence, a single called The Love Cats was given an unusual bass part.

“Robert Smith, the Cure’s singer, had shown me the principal bassline when we were on tour, and I’d learned it on electric bass. When we got to the studio to record it, I saw this double bass – and Robert said to me, ‘You’ve gotta play that!’ I had to get a tuner out and put some marks on the bass neck, because I had no idea where the notes were. 

“When we started recording, I took the basic bass-line and, as the song progressed, I moved the line around for the chords. I also did a faux walking bassline at one point. Because of my limitations on double bass, I couldn’t play the whole part in one take, so I played each part over two tracks. I’m doing half of the line on one track, and the other half on the other.”

Although the single, released in 1983, was a hit, Thornalley cringes when he thinks what double bass professionals would have made of his bass part. “I’m sure jazz players feel like crying whenever they hear that line."

“In terms of spirit it’s right on, but in terms of technique and choice of notes, I’m flying by the seat of my pants. I’ve never played a double bass again since then. I was in The Cure for 18 months, and at the very last show I played with them in New York, I decided to throw in this disco run... which was totally inappropriate.” 

Read more at Guitar World.

Meeting Robert Smith by Andrew Trendell

From NME:

As we celebrate our 70th birthday, our scribes relive their most surreal encounters, as those three letters provide portals to Macca, Debbie Harry and more.

After about five years of angling for an audience with The Cure’s Robert Smith, I got a phone call on the eve of Glastonbury 2019. “What are you doing next Tuesday?” the PR asked of my post-Glasto plans. “Probably weeping in the fetal position and regretting all my life choices,” I replied. “How would you like the world exclusive interview with Robert Smith?” came the proposition. Reader, my heart exploded.

My pre-Glasto packing and planning was interrupted by consuming 40 odd years’ worth of The Cure’s NME interviews, but I needn’t have toiled quite so much. The Smith I spoke to, fresh from his Worthy Farm headline performance, was effortlessly open, amicable and imbued with the spirit of an artist still very much on top of his game.

Behind the make-up of the icon was a lovely chap with a dry wit and a love of what he does – just as comfortable spilling the beans on new projects and spotlighting relatively unknown acts such as The Twilight Sad as he was revisiting four decades of myth-making and magic. Our chat for clocked in at around three hours – roughly the length of a typical Cure live set – and resulted in a digital cover story and a follow-up feature, but it wouldn’t be the last.

We’d meet again when he’d grace us with his presence at two consecutive NME Awards (at last week’s, he delivered a belting performance with CHVRCHES). Backstage at both events, he jovially shared the inside scoop on the long-awaited follow-up to The Cure’s 2008 album ‘4:13 Dream’. Last week, he revealed that ‘Songs Of A Lost World’ is coming in September. Will it arrive as promised? I’m all here for chatting indefinitely about it until it does.