The Stone Roses They Are The Resurrection
Published Nov 28, 2011If you were to go by pure, raw talent, there may not be a better rock'n'roll band in history than the Stone Roses. With Reni's loose grooves behind the kit, Mani's effortlessly fluid bass lines, John Squire's iridescent guitar jangle and Ian Brown's Northern swagger, their DNA certainly presents the evidence necessary to reach that verdict. But 31 years of history hasn't really been on the Stone Roses' side. The Mancunian band are only heralded for one album, 1989's self-titled masterpiece, which took them six years to release and five more to follow-up. That sophomore album, 1994's Second Coming, was far from what its title suggested. The disappointment of it, along with all the turmoil and embarrassment that followed, should have left a permanent tarnish on the Stone Roses' legacy. But in the 15 years they were gone, people wouldn't stop hoping and whispering about a reunion for a reason. Their influence cannot be understated. Whether it was making "baggy" a fashion trend and or planting the seeds for Britpop, Manchester's finest are the constant source for inspiration. If you ask the Gallagher brothers, it was the Roses who made them start a band, not the Beatles. As Noel says in the liner notes to the band's reissued debut album, "The album, and the band, have achieved mythical status. They inspired us." In 2012, the Stone Roses will make their long-awaited comeback. Their first three shows sold 225,000 tickets in a matter of minutes, which should confirm that demand is high. Slightly weathered and nearing 50, Ian, John, Mani and Reni have all made peace with the past and are now looking forward to the future. Brown has reassured fans it's been worth the wait, stating at their official press conference, "It was important to me, in particular, that we play together before we announce to everyone just in case someone said 'When you play together, how do you know it's not going to be shit?' Well, I know it's not going to be shit because we played together and it sounds magic."
1977 to 1984
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. In 1980, Brown (bass) and Squire (guitar) form a band called the Patrol with Andy Couzens (vocals, guitar) and Simon Wolstencroft (drummer), who would later spend 11 years in the Fall after refusing to join a band later known as the Smiths because he didn't like their singer's voice. The Patrol take inspiration from the Clash, playing some gigs and recording a demo, but they lose steam after a year and go their separate ways. Squire forms a new band with Couzens and a bassist named Mani called the Fireside Chaps, later switching to the Waterfront. Squire invites Brown to join as a vocalist alongside a guy named Kaiser. The Waterfront disband, but Brown and Squire form a new one with Couzens, Wolstencroft and Pete Garner (bassist). Squire comes up with a name for the band: the Stone Roses, from the 1959 spy novel by Sarah Gainham. Brown will explain to the Guardian: "We wanted something that said we were hard but we were beautiful and John came up with Stone Roses. Hard but beautiful, like a typical northerner. And it's something that lasts forever, a stone rose." Wolstencroft leaves and they recruit Alan Wren, the only one to respond to their ad, as his replacement. 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.
1985 to 1988
The band hire a manager, Howard Jones, who previously managed Factory Records' club the Hacienda; he sets them up with legendary producer Martin Hannett to begin working on a new album. At some point, Hannett locks them in a room and refuses to let them out until they write a new song; they emerge with "This Is the One." They play their first headlining show in London supported by the Last Party. Sessions with Hannett begin at Strawberry Studios in Stockton, Manchester and they record their debut single, a double A-side called "So Young" and "Tell Me." They premier a new song titled "I Wanna Be Adored" during a session at Piccadilly Radio. After a tour of Sweden, they return to Manchester to play their first gig in their hometown and to finish their album with Hannett. Upon completion, they decide to scrap the album and just release "So Young"/"Tell Me." The unreleased album will later surface in 1996 as a bootleg under the name Garage Flower, without the band's permission. During a gig at Clouds in Preston, violence breaks out. Mani tells the NME: "About three songs in, people started whacking each other with chairs, pool cues. It seemed like the entire town of Preston had turned up to have it with us." Failing to make much of an impact, Wren and Brown begin spray-painting "Stone Roses" to get attention, which comes both positively and negatively. They hire a new manager, Gareth Evans, and work on new material that sees more of a songwriting collaboration between Brown and Squire. Their sound begins to veer away from the goth-infused post-punk and take more of an influence from indie pop. They release a new single, "Sally Cinnamon," in early 1987. The single sells out of its 1,000 copies upon release. Bassist Pete Garner leaves and is eventually replaced by Mani, who was previously in the Waterfront. They play a show at Dingwalls in London in early 1988, which is attended by Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis and a rep from Zomba. Both make offers, but Travis goes so far as to hire New Order's Peter Hook to produce their next single, "Elephant Stone." Hook is tapped to produce the band's debut full-length, but opts out due to commitments to New Order. Instead, they hire John Leckie, who is best known at the time for producing XTC and the Fall. Stone Roses get an opening stint for local heroes James, but do everything they can to turn it into a headlining slot, from postering bills with their name as headliners to delaying their start time. In the crowd is a impressionable 16-year-old named Liam Gallagher as well as a rep from Zomba named Roddy McKenna, who signs them to offshoot imprint Silvertone. The label buys the "Elephant Stone" sessions from Rough Trade and releases the single in October.
The band begin recording their debut album with Leckie. They release "Elephant Stone" and "Made of Stone" as singles but neither make a dent in the charts. The Stone Roses is released in April and debuts at number 32. Despite the poor chart performance, the album receives universal praise and goes on to sell more than 300,000 copies in the U.S. before they ever step on American soil. Bob Stanley, a Melody Maker writer and co-founder of Saint Etienne, writes: "this is simply the best debut LP I've heard in my record buying lifetime. Forget everybody else. Forget work tomorrow." Sounds writer John Robb, who will author of 1997's The Stone Roses And The Resurrection Of British Pop, writes "the Stone Roses have revolutionized British pop." NME will eventually call it "the greatest British album ever." Squire designs the soon-to-be iconic album cover, a Jackson Pollock-inspired painting titled "Bye Bye Badman" featuring paint spatter inspired by Northern Ireland tourist attraction Giant's Causeway and sliced lemons nailed to the canvas, a nod to the Parisian riots of 1968. They perform on the BBC's The Late Show, where one minute in the power goes out, causing Brown to shout "Amateurs!" in the background. They release another double A-side single, "Fools Gold/What the World Is Waiting For," which reaches number eight. In the NME Readers Poll, the band win Band of the Year, Best New Band, Single of the Year for "Fools Gold" and Album of the Year. 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."
1990 to 1993
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." In May 1990, the Roses host a show on Spike Island, a reclaimed toxic waste site. Nearly 30,000 fans attend the show, which is later described as the "Woodstock of the baggy generation" by critics. "One Love," a brand new single, is released in July and charts at number four. Unhappy with their contract, the band sue their label Silvertone over how they were paid. They begin to toy with the idea of just playing live gigs and bootlegging them to sell themselves. The label takes out an injunction to stop the Roses from signing with a new label; however, a year later the courts rule that the band can be released from their deal. The Stone Roses sign with Geffen for a deal reportedly worth ￡20 million for five albums and a ￡2.3 million advance, but Silvertone appeal the verdict and paralyze the band from recording for another year. The eight-minute-plus "I Am the Resurrection" is released as a single in March 1992. Mani eventually reveals to NME that the song's famous coda came from being "in the studio and throwing it down. There was lots of eye contact, and then [we all thought] right, stop. And then... bam!" While they spend some of the money relaxing in the south of France, Brown reportedly fills a bag with money and walks around central Manchester, handing it out to the homeless. The band move to Wales to begin recording their next album, but aren't productive. Brown tells Clash, "We just sat smoking weed and listening to tunes at a grand a day, then we went sledging on antique silver trays for the week. Did a bit of mountain biking. I feel like we wasted the three years, definitely." John Leckie bows out of producing after a bunch of false starts at various studios. Speaking to 102.1 CFNY in 1995, Brown explains, "[Leckie] wanted insurance in case the record didn't sell, he would make some money on it. When we first met we was on the dole and he just said, 'Let's make a record.' This time he wanted the money… a little nest egg." Leckie recommends Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones but they hire Simon Dawson (Aztec Camera, XTC) and Paul Schroeder (The Verve, A Tribe Called Quest) and record in Wales. During the sessions, Brown crashes his Ford Fiesta into a cow and runs over a pheasant. The album is delayed in part as Squire, Brown and Reni become fathers. They fire their manager Gareth Evans, who launches a ￡10 million lawsuit for wrongful dismissal. Their publicist and newly named manager Philip Hall passes away from cancer, again prolonging the album's completion. Squire begins to distance himself from the band, taking charge of the sessions and refusing to attend Hall's funeral. Brown tells Uncut, "I knew there was something the matter with the kid then. Nobody enjoys funerals, but I thought differently about him that day. I thought, 'Little fucker…'"
1994 to 1995
Britain is taken over by a new wave of Union Jack-waving bands the press calls "Britpop," a guitar-led pop sound highly influenced by the Stone Roses' debut. A fellow Mancunian band named Oasis begin to fill the void left by the Roses' extended absence with the release of their debut album, Definitely Maybe. After five-and-a-half years, the Stone Roses finally release their follow-up in December. No review copies of the album are given to the press, as the band want the fans to hear it at the same time as everyone. Mostly written by Squire ― which he will later admit he was forced into taking responsibility for ― Second Coming is an immediate letdown. It debuts on the British charts at a disappointing number four. Brown will tell Clash in 2009: "At the time I thought it was great, and we were great and we were going to smash it. When I look on Second Coming now, there's only a couple of tunes in the groove and it's mostly just rock; just boring, I understand now. We should have taken it all back to basics again, whereas we turned into dinosaurs. The freshness wasn't there, you know? It was dark. The first album's great because it was all light. I wish we'd stayed in the light." Weighed down by lengthy, Zeppelin-esque hard rock, the fluid, baggy jams of their debut are mostly non-existent. Despite strong sales, the long-awaited album receives unenthusiastic reviews, most of which cite disappointment in the band's ability to not only match the brilliance of their debut, but also fail to compete with critically and commercially successful artists like Blur, Oasis and Manic Street Preachers. Brown tells Simon Reynolds in Spin: "Our momentum was definitely stopped. But I don't think anybody's took it off us. Suede or Blur aren't anywhere near where we were in 1990. I thought that after house music, things would leap forward. But they went back to the '70s Bowie impersonators, drama students." Reni leaves the band in March 1995, though a reason is never officially given. Rumours circulate that it was everything from heroin addiction and fall outs with Brown and Squire, to losing interest in the band. Mani tells Raw, "He didn't want to do it anymore. His engine wasn't running after the break." Reni is replaced by Robbie Maddix, and the band also add Nigel Ippinson to the line-up as an additional player. They have to bow out of their headlining slot at Glastonbury after Squire breaks his collarbone mountain biking in California. Pulp save the day by filling in, stealing whatever thunder the Roses had left. Brown tells Clash that Squire's accident is the only reason they pulled out. "We didn't want to bring another guitarist in at the time. I later learned that we could have got Slash. Slash was up for doing it, which might have been good, but it wouldn't have been the same." During a Japanese tour, Brown is beaten up in Tokyo by three Australian bodybuilders. NME reports in October 1995 that the band will return to the studio to begin working on their third album. Eventually the band book a UK tour for the end of the year and sell out every date the day tickets go on sale. There are rumours that Squire is heavily into cocaine, which Brown will later discuss in numerous interviews. Squire eventually tells the Guardian, "The only thing I did to excess were guitar solos."
1996 to 1997
In April, Squire issues a statement announcing that he has left the Stone Roses. "I believe all concerned will benefit from a parting of the ways and I see this as the inevitable conclusion to the gradual social and musical separation we have undergone in the last few years," he writes. The Roses respond with their own statement that reads: "We feel as cheated as everyone else who's heard the news. We are in the middle of recording the next LP. We're disgusted, yet feel strong and more optimistic than ever." Former Simply Red session guitarist Aziz Ibrahim becomes the new guitarist. They experience a career low performing as headliners at the Reading Festival. Some fans begin booing and pelting them with various objects, while others were reportedly brought to tears in disgust. Guardian writer Dave Simpson will recall, "It was pitiful. It was easily the worst gig I've ever seen by a major band." On October 29th, Ian Brown announces the band's demise. "Having spent the last ten years in the filthiest business in the universe, it's a pleasure to announce the end of the Stone Rose," he writes. "May god bless all who gave us their love and supported us throughout this time, special thanks to the people of Manchester who sent us on our way, peace be upon you." Mani joins Primal Scream and is said to have saved that band, who were on the verge of breaking up. Mani will later admit that he would have only joined three bands after the Stone Roses: Primal Scream, the Jesus & Mary Chain and Beastie Boys. Primal Scream release the album Vanishing Point, which charts at number eight in the UK. Squire forms the Seahorses, playing guitar and writing songs. He settles on Chris Helme as singer, after a friend sees him busking outside of a Woolworths. The Seahorses record their debut album with renowned producer Tony Visconti, best known for his work with David Bowie, Thin Lizzy and T-Rex. Featuring a song co-written by Liam Gallagher, Do It Yourself is released in June 1997, debuting at number two in the UK, where it will sell more than 300,000 copies. Ian Brown announces he will follow in his grandfather's footsteps and become a gardener. He later tells the Guardian, "What a beautiful, simple life. Really honourable. A beautiful existence." But music gets the best of him and Brown begins working on a solo album, which he writes and records with what's left of the Roses: Mani, Robbie Maddix, Aziz Ibrahim and Nigel Ippinson. Reni is sent to prison for contempt of court after launching a verbal attack on the magistrate. He serves three of the seven days.
1998 to 1999
Ian Brown releases his first solo album, Unfinished Monkey Business, in February. Like the Seahorses, it goes on to sell over 300,000 copies in the UK, but debut at number 4 on the UK charts. The album is said to be written largely about Brown's acrimonious relationship with Squire. The song "Can't See Me" is written about Brown seeing Squire shortly after the band split; Brown waved, and Squire hid behind a newspaper and walked away. About the success the album receives, Brown tells the BBC, "With the Roses I knew we were great, I felt that we would achieve something. On my own I had no idea. It felt good to me, but I truly didn't have any idea what anyone else would think about it. The fact that people went out to buy it gave me the confidence that I'm on the right lines." While reviewing singles for Melody Maker, Brown makes some controversial comments about a Divine Comedy track featured on a Noël Coward tribute/charity record. "Violence comes from Romans, Nazis, Greeks ― they were all homosexual," he says. "And I've got gay friends that will back me up. I just think Noël Coward is an old tosser who got on with the Queen Mother and... I don't think he's anything to be idolised. He's their hero, not ours." Brown is jailed for 60 days in Strangeways (aka HM Prison Manchester) after threatening to chop off an airline stewardess' 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.) Squire sends Brown a box of Maltesers for Christmas, a gift they exchanged every year as tradition. With the box is a note that reads, "I still love you." Brown admits to turning Muslim while incarcerated to get served better food. About the experience, he tells the Guardian, "[The inmates] took me in and looked after me. The lads were beautiful, there's an honesty there. They were criminals, but they were honest." The Seahorses enter the studio to record a second album but instead of finishing announce they're breaking up on January 23, 1999. They issue a statement that blames "a general divergence of musical directions." Although it is later revealed that Squire had become dissatisfied with Helme's songwriting. Brown releases his second album Golden Greats, which charts at number 14 in the UK and goes gold. The album delves deeper into electronic programming and global sounds, while featuring songs he wrote in prison. 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.' I did, though, want to include a jail tune on the album." Brown also collaborates with UNKLE on a single called "Be There," which charts at number 8 in the UK. Squire reportedly forms a band with "a model singer" and former Verve bassist Simon Jones, but the band dissolves in less than a year. Reni also forms a new band called the Rub. The Stone Roses reunion rumours begin, though Brown's website immediately issues a statement dismissing them.
2000 to 2003
Primal Scream release their sixth album, XTRMNTR in January. Reni begins writing and recording new material with the Rub. Brown is forced to destroy 15,000 copies of his "Dolphins Were Monkeys" single when they are printed with the wrong B-side. Mani teams up with New Order's Peter Hook and the Smiths' Andy Rourke to start Collective, a business venture that runs the Bar Cuba nightclub in Macclesfield. They intend to produce a television show starring the three bassists, but it never gets picked up. Brown has his highest chart result with third album Music of the Spheres, which debuts at number three in October 2001 and eventually goes gold in the UK. It's his first solo album featuring a producer, Dave McCracken. The album features his best song as a solo artist, "F.E.A.R."; NME lists it as #67 on its "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years" in 2011. The Rub play their first shows. Mani has a cameo in Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People. Primal Scream release their seventh album, Evil Heat. Squire releases his debut solo album, Time Changes Everything. The album charts at number 17 and is received well by the press. He tells the Guardian, "I just thought, 'Fuck it! I'm not going looking for another singer.' It just couldn't be the same as it was with Ian." In the same interview, Squire elaborates on why he left the Roses. "I didn't believe in the band any more," he says. "I realised that the person inside Ian wasn't the person I loved. I couldn't find him. I looked into his eyes and he was a different person. It was a frightening experience." A compilation is released titled The Very Best of the Stone Roses, which the members collaborated on packaging. Brown releases Remixes of the Spheres, a companion to Music of the Spheres.
2004 to 2006
Squire releases his second album, Marshall's House, though it just misses the Top 40 in the UK. The album was co-produced by Simon Dawson, who worked on Second Coming. Each song shares inspiration and a title with an Edward Hopper painting. He plays his first ever solo show that doubles as an art exhibition at the ICA in London. The Guardian give it a negative review, writing "it's not entirely clear what he has to offer as a front-person." Both Stone Roses albums make cameos in a scene from Shaun of the Dead, when the characters played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are desperately throwing records at zombies. Thanks to Pegg's Shaun, Second Coming is spared. The Sun reports that Squire is planning to form a supergroup with Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and Dhani Harrison, son of Beatle George, but months later Gallagher's camp deny it. Brown has a cameo role in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; at the beginning of the film he can be seen reading Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and stirring his drink. Brown plays a full set of Stone Roses songs with a hired band in southeast England. Brown releases his fourth solo album, Solarized, which charts at number 7 and goes gold in the UK. The album features a collaboration with Noel Gallagher, who reworked his song "Teotihuacan," which was featured on the soundtrack to The X-Files: Fight the Future. Brown collaborates once again with UNKLE on a single called "Reign." Mani forms Freebass along with one-time business partners Peter Hook and bassist Andy Rourke after they indulge in an organized "bass off." Mani tells the Manchester Evening News, "We decided to find out once and for all who is the best bass player ever to come out of Manchester. We locked ourselves into a room for a few days and got down to some serious rhythm playing." During an interview with BBC 6Music, Brown responds to Squire's comments that he's a "talentless knob" by saying, "For me, right, he split up the best band in the country at the time, the Roses, and he went on to do what? Nothing. Nothing to write home about, so he must be a bit bitter because he's got to watch me steaming forward. There's no stopping it, I announce shows and they're gone in a day. It must be killing the kid. They say he was the best guitarist of his generation, which I think he is. Was. I hear his music now and what's happened to his guitar playing?" At a 2005 concert in San Francisco, a fan "rugby tackles" Brown, who then gets into a fight with security. After a 15-minute break, Brown returns to finish his set, but is later arrested by the police at his hotel. He is released without being charged. Mani joins Brown on stage at the Blackpool Empress, site of a legendary Roses gig in 1989, to play bass on "I Wanna Be Adored." Reni, Mani and Squire attend an Arthur Lee and Love gig in Manchester, fuelling rumours a Stone Roses reunion is in the works. Mani puts the kibosh on it to the BBC when he says it will happen "the day after Manchester City win the European Cup." Brown pens an anthem for the UK general election titled "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." Asked by Time Out about reforming the Stone Roses, Squire says, "The plan is to make a ferocious guitar record on my own. And then to put the Roses back together." A month before Glastonbury, rumours spread that the Stone Roses will reunite for the festival. Brown denies them, telling City Life, "I think musically we're too far apart to get back together. If you play one of my solo albums, then play one of John's, I think we're miles apart, so I can't see how we'd got together musically now. Music's an intimate thing, and I don't know how we'd do that now." Mani also responds, telling BBC 6Music, "Last time I saw John we had a talk about it and it's something we wouldn't rule out, but I think Mr. Brown may have completely different ideas about it. It's something I'd like to do ― close the book properly. There are still a lot of fans out there would like to see it. It's something that's not at the forefront of me mind, but totally not a million miles away from it either." Inspired by Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison concert, Brown approaches Strangeways about performing a prison gig, though he's turned down by the jail's governor. Squire designs the artwork for the War Child benefit album, Help: A Day in the Life. The Greatest, a compilation of Ian Brown's music is released. It reaches number five on the UK charts. Primal Scream release Riot City Blues. The day he was honoured as a Godlike Genius at the 2006 NME Awards, Brown once again says the Stone Roses will not reunite. "Listen, if I was in the gutter and my kids lived on the kerb, I'd go and get a job in B&Q before I'd reform the Roses," he tells the Daily Record. "I gave everything I had to the Stone Roses and ended up hitting a brick wall. I'm never going to give anyone a foothold on that wall again."
2007 to 2010
Former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke holds a charity concert for Manchester Versus Cancer, where Brown and Mani reunite to perform "I Am the Resurrection." An invitation is extended to Reni to play drums but he declines. Reni is asked to join Fun Lovin' Criminals as their drummer but ignores the offer. During an exhibition for his artwork, Squire tells the Manchester Evening News that "music has been put to one side for good. I'm enjoying this far too much to go back to music." He's asked about a Stone Roses reunion, to which he replies, "A reunion is highly unlikely. I'd have to stop painting and that's just not in my plans." Brown releases his fifth solo album, The World is Yours, which charts at number four in the UK charts. Guests on the album include Sex Pistols' Steve Jones and Paul Cook, the Smiths' Andy Rourke and the Happy Mondays' Paul Ryder; Paul McCartney is too busy to make an appearance. Primal Scream release Beautiful Future. Mani tosses around the idea of reuniting the Roses for a 20th anniversary the next year, telling Don't Stop: "Me, John and Reni are up for doing it and Ian just needs some working on. Next year is the 20th anniversary of the first album. It's the ideal time to do it. It's something I would love to do before we are all fat and bald. Start the campaign." Reunion rumours build again with The Mirror reporting that the Roses have booked a 21-date tour in the summer of 2009. Squire responds with a new piece of art that reads: "I have no desire whatsoever to desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester pop group the Stone Roses 18.3.09." The Stone Roses is commemorated for its 20th anniversary with a collector's edition box set. NME publishes a special issue about the album, which it calls "the greatest debut album ever." Brown releases his sixth solo album, My Way, which charts at number eight in the UK. He tells XFM that the lead single "Stellify" was originally written for Rihanna, but he chose to keep it because he wanted its "great sound" for himself. In an interview with the BBC, Mani says he's content with no Roses reunion: "Unfortunately Mr. Brown isn't up for it at all. But maybe it is better left as it is. There's a chance we could destroy the myth/legend that's built up and we always said we'd never do it for money, so I suppose if we stick to our principles then the best thing is to leave it where it is."
A film based on the Stone Roses' legendary "baggy Woodstock" concert on Spike Island goes into production. The script is written by actor Chris Coghill, who played Happy Mondays dancer Bez in 24 Hour Party People. Mani's mom passes away and there is said to be an "emotional reunion" between Squire and Brown at the funeral. The Sun reports the meeting has initiated a Stone Roses reunion. Mani is quick to quash the reunion talk by telling the NME, "I'm disgusted that my personal grief has been invaded and hijacked by these nonsensical stories. Two old friends meeting up after 15 years to pay their respects to my mother does not constitute the reformation of the Stone Roses. Please fuck off and leave it alone. It isn't true and isn't happening." Former Happy Mondays frontman and close friend of the Roses, Shaun Ryder, tells The Sun, "I think [a reunion will] happen, I really do. There is more of a chance now than ever of them getting back together. Ian's just split with his missus and I bet she's hit him for a few quid. The only reason they will get back together is if Ian needs the cash. He never has before, he's a millionaire." On October 14, once again, rumours begin floating around that the Roses will reform when a major music PR firm announces a press conference will be held on October 18 to make a "very important announcement." Reni texts the NME saying, "Not before 9T will I wear the hat 4 the Roses again." On the 17th, a friend of Ian Brown shows a writer for The Sun a text from Brown that reads, "We are going to rule the world again. It's happening." On October 18, the band hold a press conference announcing their reunion. Brown begins by saying "our plan is to shake up the world." Adds Mani, "We've come together and rehearsed and went through a few songs and it's just something magical when us four are in a room together, and you can't put your finger on it and it's just so beautiful to catch back hold of it again." When they're asked about recording new material, Brown says, "We'll just keep writing and if it's our standard, we'll go. We're not here to destroy anything, you know; it's as precious to us as what it is to someone who has followed us for years. I've heard a few people saying, 'You shouldn't do it, you're going to destroy the legacy,' but that's not our intention." Brown also adds that "the new songs are way more important than the shows." It comes out that the band had been meeting and rehearsing for months without anyone knowing. Rumours as to why the Stone Roses have reunited begin to travel around: the most sensible being that Brown needs the money to help pay for his divorce, the least sensible being that superstar footballer David Beckham, a massive Roses fan, cajoled them into it. The first reunion shows to go on sale are for Manchester's Heaton Park in June 2012, which holds a capacity of 75,000. The first two shows or 150,000 tickets sell out in 14 minutes. A third date for the venue sells out within minutes. A world tour is planned for 2012.
The Essential Stone Roses
The Stone Roses The Stone Roses (Silvertone, 1989)
There is only one essential Stone Roses album. Never mind the five compilations that followed or the second album that failed to satisfy even the hungriest fan, their legacy rests entirely on their debut. But ask any band with a more celebrated discography if they'd trade it in for a modern classic like The Stone Roses and they'd do it in a heartbeat. Closing the enormous gap between dance and rock music at the time, while evoking the spirit of '60s pop and psychedelia, its impact is felt all the way from the brooding first notes of Mani's Rickenbacker on "I Wanna Be Adored," through to the famous coda that closes out the epic "I Am the Resurrection." The album has earned every accolade from "the greatest debut album ever" to "the greatest British album ever," but unlike a lot of British exports, it also made a sizeable impression in North America, selling more than 300,000 copies in the U.S. before the band even played a gig on this side of the pond. It is a classic, to say the least.