The Stone Roses: Michael Eavis Interview

On the aborted Glasto appearance
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As part of the 20 year celebration of the Stone Roses first album in April 2009. Clash spoke to Micheal Eavis about The Roses' appearance at the Pilton Party and how he would love them to play Glasto.

The Stone Roses have always been on our wish list. And they still are… they are going to reform aren’t they? Well you hope so anyway. They never played the festival itself but the Pilton Party they did later in the summer (’95) was the last proper gig they did together, all four of them were there together weren’t they? We talked their agent into them doing it and promised them the headline slot the year after.

So it was the Pilton Party to prepare for the big slot in 1996. Now Pilton Party is a fund raiser for the people in the village and I didn’t really think that they were going to turn up and I still can’t believe that they did. Even their agent wasn’t feeling too confident about it! The NME chap came down, Steve Sutherland, and even he didn’t think they’d appear. So when they did actually turn up I just couldn’t believe my eyes as the whole band was there. It was really only the villagers and a few locals that turned up, then me and the chap from the NME standing there. It was terrific. They played so many of their old songs. It was the best thing the Pilton Party had ever seen. Everyone has played that party at points. Coldplay have done it a couple of times now. Then Coldplay did it in ’98 on the strength that they got the 1999 headiner slot on the Friday night. That was the golden rule. You did the Pilton party then you got treated with respect after. It’s a good thing for the village too. It raises about £40,000 for the villagers, which keeps everyone happy. What more can I say? We were just mesmerised. And Ian Brown… he’s so socialable isn’t he? He doesn’t have a nasty rock star agenda does he? He’s just so pleasant and you really get the sense that he wants to be here.

I didn’t quite believe the story of John Squire’s injury to be honest. I think there was another problem going on there. I think there was more going on than just the collarbone incident. I think the band were falling out at that point and the broken shoulder came at the same time. Jarvis [Cocker] then obviously came in (with Pulp) and did a good show. And that was really the last big thing Pulp did.

If the Roses had managed to stay together a lot would have been different. They pre-empted the whole Oasis thing, which then became massive. They played in 1994 on the second stage and that was the best gig they ever did here I think. I think Oasis took all the glory that The Stone Roses should have had. It’s probably too late now but we’d be thrilled if they got back together and did a comeback gig here - that’d be great. But then Ian Brown comes every second year anyway and does some Stone Roses songs.

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