Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About the Stone Roses
Published Dec 08, 2011Despite repeatedly denying the possibility of a reunion, British rock icons the Stone Roses recently announced that they will be reforming in 2012 for a high-profile tour. Just like they sang way back in 1989, the Stone Roses are resurrected.
For many, the story of the Stone Roses is dominated by a single moment: the release of their eponymous debut album. But as we show in our new Timeline feature on the band, there's more a lot to these Mancunians than just one album. As a primer, here are five particularly notable facts from that piece.
Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About the Stone Roses:
5. Singer Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire met in a sandbox, and again in a fight.
Though they allegedly first meet in a sandbox as children, Ian Brown and John Squire properly become friends at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. Brown helps Squire out of a physical altercation and the two immediately bond over the Clash and Sex Pistols.
4. The Stone Roses were fashion icons.
Interest in the Manchester music scene is strong thanks to the Roses, as well as Happy Mondays, James and the Inspiral Carpets, and it's given the nickname Madchester (coined by the Happy Mondays). The scene also spawns a sound and fashion known as "baggy": the music is an amalgam of '60s psychedelia, funk, house and guitar-driven rock, while the fashion is inspired by rave, hippie, football and retro cultures. Reni sports a bucket hat that becomes so iconic and influential it earns the nickname of the "Reni hat."
3. The band members vandalized their former record label.
All four members are arrested and charged after painting the office walls of FM-Revolver, their former label, in retribution for reissuing their 1987 single "Sally Cinnamon" without permission. The damage is estimated at £23,000. Eventually they are let off with a fine of £3,000 each. Mani later tells Mojo, "The paint business had to happen, cos this cheeky bugger kept putting this shit record out. We warned him… but that's the way people deal with things in Manchester. If people keep taking the piss, you go and fucking batter 'em. Only we didn't: we thought we'd make an artistic statement."
2. Ian Brown spent time in prison after becoming violent during a flight.
Brown is jailed for 60 days in Strangeways (aka HM Prison Manchester) after threatening to chop off an airline stewardess's hands and hammering on the cockpit door during a flight from Paris to Manchester. (All because the stewardess offered him duty free when he didn't want it.) ... He tells the BBC, "I wrote a lot of lyrics in prison, but they'd all be like 'crawls upon the shoulders, hatred in the eyes.' I wrote about 50 songs in there that were all about jail. I've come out and thought 'I've only served eight weeks, I can't really write a concept album about jail.'"
1. The Who's Pete Townshend gave the Stone Roses their first gig.
The band play their first gig on October 23, 1984 opening for Pete Townshend at an anti-heroin event in London after sending him a note reading, "I'm surrounded by skagheads, I wanna smash 'em. Can you give us a show?" The Stone Roses impress onlookers and they soon receive label offers.