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May 25th, 2005

Looks like there’s a bit of a war going on in the posted comments (under the News section) at the official Cure site after a particularly upsetting rumor was posted to a widely known fan site, Chain of Flowers, regarding members of The Cure leaving the band. So now there’s a blurb on the official site that says “REMEMBER: www.thecure.com deals in NEWS not RUMOURS”. Seems to me like a personal jab.

I was tempted to post my thoughts at the site, but felt it would be more befitting to unleash here instead and avoid all the drama. I tend to be long-winded and have often turned a comment into a full-blown editorial. :)

The thing is, both sides of this little argument have points, although for me I admit I am leaning toward siding with the underdog, Craig. Personally, it disgusts me when some people automatically take Robert Smith’s side because a) they are butt-kissers who think by defending the man he might send them a personal email or become their friend (fat chance) and b) he’s not a god, just a very talented person who has made some great music over the years.

But honestly, who do you think is out there caring more about the fans: this guy running the fan site and investing all his time for no paycheck, or Robert Smith? One fan argued that Robert doesn’t need “us”. Oh really? I think he damn well does need our hard-earned cash or he wouldn’t be in business. Another fan mentioned that Robert must love the fans to be re-releasing past albums with new material. Not necessarily. The man just has good business sense. “Let’s get the fans to pay for re-hashed material all over again. We’ll just slap some outtakes and old live stuff on there to give them a reason to own two copies of Seventeen Seconds”.

Look, I bought the reissues too, and will buy anything else the band releases, but frankly, that bonus material is nothing to write home about. Let’s just chalk it up to what it is: a way to make more money. Call me skeptical, jaded or negative, but that’s what it comes down to. I’m not so in love with the band that I can’t see it for what it really is. Maybe if this was the 80’s and they were still releasing a new album every year, I’d come to their defense and agree it’s “all about the music”. But when they’ve been recording a new album once every four years and from between 1995 to present have put out more live and re-issued material than anything else, it’s hard not to see it being about the financial gain.

So this guy posts something that turns out to be untrue and suddenly the very same people who have his site bookmarked and probably visit it five times a day are jumping down his throat for an innocent mistake. Then they bring up the fact that not everything on his site shows the band in a favorable light. Since when was being a fan about blind worship? This is the very same crap that I used to get into heated debates about on the now defunct alt.music.thecure newsgroup because I had the “audacity” to not like a particular Cure song. Oooo shame on me! This whole “if you can’t say anything good about the band, then you’re not a true Cure fan” shit has got to stop already. It’s really pathetic.

That being said, I hope Craig doesn’t take down his site because of this. Regardless of what people are saying in the posts at The Cure site, there is no denying that Chain of Flowers has been a very informative and helpful site to the many people who love The Cure, and it would be missed. Yes, Robert is correct that the official site only posts facts, but for how often these facts are posted, without COF there would be a large hole left in our quest for Cure information.

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  1. Paul W.
    May 28th, 2005 at 23:32 | #1

    I just read on Yahoo! that “two veteran members” of The Cure are gone from the band now, and at least one of them isn’t super happy about it.

    My opinion on Robert Smith, the materal the band has been releasing, and who loves the fans more … well, I agree that Smith is probably long past caring too much about the fans. His “paycheck” has long been cashed and I doubt he needs to keep making more and more money. However, I think anything new he does he’s doing “for the music”, because it’s something he needs to do as an artist. Re-hashes and outtakes and old live material could indeed be a way to make more money, but what often happens with bands that get into ruts is they still have contractual obligations that require them to release a certain number of albums during a certain length of time. So this stuff he’s putting out could be all about fulfilling a contract. Sure, a contract ultimately comes down to The Cure getting paid, but that may not be sheer greed after all. These are just thoughts, I don’t have any way of knowing what’s really going on.

    As far as the fan site vs. the official site and over-zealous fans, I hope Craig keeps his site going. It’s one thing to admire an artist and devote some time and energy to public displays of that sincere admiration that you can share with like-minded fans, and it’s quite another thing when fans become fanatics – when they start putting the band on a pedestal, when they become “true believers” who can no longer tolerate anything but blind worship and slavish devotion.

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