Phil Thornalley recalls playing bass on The Cure's Love Cats: “I’m sure jazz players feel like crying whenever they hear that line!”

Phil Thornalley
(Image credit: Courtesy of Phil Thornalley)

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. 

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