Donít let me get too comfortable or else Iíll drift right off," warns Robert Smith from under several layers of hotel bedding. Why, you ask, is Bubbly Bobby bedded down anyway? Well, itís not the flu or even severe jetlag, but an invitation from Star Hits thatís the cause.
Itís not all that hard to convince Robert to (ahem!) go to bed. Left to his own devices, heíd never get up until "well after noon" and only serious threats from the legendary Mary, his girlfriend of ten years can force him into seeing the light of morning. "Even thatís a pretty rare occurrence," he chuckles.
Youíd think a guy whose get-up-and-go had got-up-and-went wouldnít do much career-wise, but thatís where Robert Smith perks up. He once maintained membership in The Cure, a studio congregation called The Glove and Siouxsie and the Banshees all at the same time. "The stuff from that period sounds all jumbled up to me now, but I guess it was done by a pretty jumbled up person." His scheduleís gotten a bit less hectic since those days, but The Cure still manage to pop up in the oddest places.
"We just got back from Venice," he reminisces. "Which sounds more romantic than it actually was - we were doing a show after all. And before that we were in the south of France." And though they should be wrapping up a three week American jaunt right about now, Robert doesnít try to hide his hatred for being on tour.
"Itís not so much the actual playing, which I quite enjoy. Itís the things like the crappy neutral colors they paint all hotel rooms, and lots of people using the word Ďfabulousí all the time. I think theyíre completely... DISfabulous!"
It seems flying creates problems, too. Besides not being able to unclog his ears, Robert nearly missed his flight due to some overzealous customs folk. "Iím obviously a surrogate Libyan terrorist," he smirks. "I got stopped and searched four times on my way from the entrance to the gate."
And how does he cope with the rigors of travel? You guessed it, sleeping - or pretending to sleep. "Those eye things (The Lone Ranger things you slip on to catch a few winks - Traveliní Ed.) are great. People think youíre asleep no matter what! You can be sitting up moving around and the stewardessíll still lean over to the person youíre with and ask ĎShall I wake your friend for tea?í"
Tea isnít Robertís drink of the moment. He calls next door for a bottle of beer, and pours half of it into a nearby glass of orange juice. Er, looks delightful, Robert. "Try some," he gestures. "Itís really quite tasty. My dad makes beer, a home brew which we all drink. Thatís responsible for the entire output of The Cure and he doesnít even know it!"
So The Elder Smith is the one to "blame" for Standing On A Beach, the greatest hits album named after a line in the first Cure single "Killing An Arab." Robert admits taking pleasure in the album as a whole, but reckons "Iíve written some real dross, like ĎLetís Go To Bed,í but I didnít like that when I wrote it either. I like performing it now actually - itís like a little bit of cabaret."
He has equally harsh words for the peppy "The Lovecats": "Weíve only tried playing it live three times, and each time itís been a complete disaster. Iíd love to be in some piano bar at three in the morning and go (snaps his fingers) "And a-one and a-two...í"
Suddenly his lipsticked mouth splits into a huge yawn. Getting too comfy? "Well, at home I sleep on this little wooden bench, so this is so luxurious," he grins.
Ouch! With surroundings like that, youíd think heíd be glad to get away for a few months of mattresses and room service, but he claims he canít sleep properly anywhere but his little hovel. Itís no wonder that he suffers from nightmares. "Infrequently," he adds. "But when I have them theyíre really gruesome and they stick in my mind."
"When I was really young, I was hunting for scandal in one of my brotherís drawers and I found this tiny book of my brotherís drawers and I found this tiny book called The Victorian Book of Dreams. When youíre that young you donít think about your dreams meaning anything, you just live with them. But this had these elaborate explanations of what it meant if you dreamt your teeth fell out. I thought that the author was someone in authority who knew all these things. I was scared that if I dreamed the wrong thing I was going to DIE!"
Curiosity didnít kill this Lovecat, and itís stuck with him to this day. "When weíre on tour now, we spend the early part of the day recounting all our dreams from the night before. The funny thing is in the delirium of a tour you can recount what you think is a dream, and itíll be something you really did."
"You know whatís the most interesting thing?" he leans over and whispers. "People who canít tell the difference between fantasy and reality. I think everyone who gets committed just has trouble telling when their dreams end. Iím sure people who see me walking through airports must think Iím just a bad dream!"