Former The Cure star Porl Thompson has legally changed his name to Pearl and vowed to dedicate the rest of his life to art after selling off stage gear and equipment linked to his former band.
The multi-instrumentalist, who co-founded The Cure with Robert Smith in 1976 and spent three stints with the band until turning his back on music in 2012, insists only a call from his hero Iggy Pop would make him consider putting down the paint brush and returning to the studio or the stage - and even then it would only be for a short time.
Thompson, who launches his first-ever U.S. art exhibition, Through the Eyes of Birds, at the Mr. Musichead gallery in Los Angeles on Thursday evening (05Mar15), says, "I doubt if I would go back to music in a full-time way unless Iggy Pop calls... If he was looking for somebody, I'd be intrigued - just for a period.
"But the freedom to move about and paint and sketch is the agenda now. I've not given enough time to painting. I've been painting since I was a little boy and I'd like to dedicate my time to that. I don't have a great deal of connection with the music world.
"I've buried myself in what I've been doing. I spend a lot of time on my houseboat in England and I don't get out... You have to immerse yourself in the art."
His debut art show features paintings inspired by his treks through the canyons in Malibu, California over the past 18 months, and the exhibition only came about when Mr. Musichead owner Sam Milgrom spotted the pieces hanging at the home of a friend of Thompson's.
The former rocker tells Wenn, "It has taken so long for me to put on a show here because in the past, my commitments with music took up a lot of time... I gave some paintings to friends and they were spotted and Sam at Mr. Musichead showed some interest. I had no intention to do the show; I wanted to build up the work, but it came at the right time."
And, as for the name change, the artist explains, "It's really all about starting afresh. Friends have always called me Pearl and it really seemed to fit with my new path. I'm legally Pearl now. I think it's good for your mind to say, 'Right, that was then, this is now'."
Thompson hasn't completely given up on music - he kept hold of a couple of his old guitars after 2012's gear auction and last year (14) teamed up with Dj and actor Sumach Ecks, aka Gonjasufi, to record tracks for an upcoming "experimental" album.
He adds, "I'd had enough of music in 2012 but I thought he was cool and so we jammed for a few days, but I won't be going out on the road or committing to any music ventures. I'm not really in that area right now.
"I definitely have not enjoyed any of the limelight side of things. I'm quite a private person really, always have been."