Anniversary — November 13, 2009 at 10:14 am

Roger O’Donnell to share memories, photos of recording The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’

Roger O'Donnell and Lol Tolhurst of The Cure, circa 1988-89

Roger O’Donnell, former keyboardist for The Cure, plans to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Disintegration by offering up his written recollections of that landmark album’s recording sessions, along with never-before seen photographs of Robert Smith and Co.

As noted by Chain of Flowers, O’Donnell took to his Facebook fan page yesterday to announce the upcoming anniversary project, writing that, “Over the years a lot of people have asked me what it was like recording Disintegration and I never really give good answers so I decided to write it all down.”

O’Donnell adds:

“I’m in the process now of putting all my memories and lots of exclusive never-before-seen photos from that period together. I’ll post it on my website before the end of the year. I know lots of shit gets said and history is inevitably rewritten a lot of the time, but this is the truth as I remember it, shit and everything.”

Released May 1, 1989, the Cure recorded its masterwork — which is due to be reissued next year in an expanded, remastered 3CD set — between November 1988 and February 1989 at Hook End Manor Studios in Reading, England. The sessions were famously fractured, thanks to Smith’s ongoing depression and growing frustrations with founding member Lol Tolhurst’s reported drinking problem.

Although Tolhurst long has denied it, Smith and the rest of the Cure always have claimed he didn’t contribute a note to Disintegration (the purported keyboardist is credited with “other instrument” on the album’s sleevenotes). He finally was sacked from the band, and O’Donnell — who served as a touring keyboardist during the Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me era and played on Disintegration — became a full-fledged member, playing with the Cure through 1990, and then again from 1995 until 2005.

As a tease for his Disintegration project, O’Donnell posted the photo seen above on his Facebook page, noting that it “looks like it was my birthday and I think Lol was obviously trying to give up drinking hahahha.”

In other O’Donnell news, the keyboardist this week announced a new project entitled Unterbruke, which will release its debut Detach early next summer. “It’s loud, it’s heavy and it’s dark… I’m not going to use the “G” word, but you can make your own minds up,” he writes. He’s also planning to post his solo albums Grey Clouds Red Sky, Big Buildings and My Days Beyond as free downloads from his website.

Keep an eye on O’Donnell’s Facebook page and website for his Disintegration memories.



  1. When I first click, I thought this said Rosie O’Donnell to share memories, photos of recording The Cure’s ‘Disintegration!!!

  2. Very cool walkthough of the studio they recorded Disintegration at, Hook End…very spooky now as its in total disrepair…

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