The Life And Times Of The Stone Roses

By those who were there
Clash36cover.jpg
Below we talk to those who were there for their take on some of the seminal events in The Stone Roses' story including NME writer Andrew Collins, photographer Kevin Cummins, Roses tour DJ Dave Haslam, New Order bassist Peter Hook, producer of their debut album John Leckie, A&R at Zomba Records Roddy McKenna, editor of the Avanti! fanzine and Melody Maker writer Dave Simpson and news writer for Sounds and NME Tommy Udo.

FROM MANCHESTER WITH LOVE

The Hannett-produced ‘So Young’/‘Tell Me’ had captured the archaic sound of the youthful band, but by a year later their sound had developed dramatically. The now four-piece Roses were making a name for themselves in their hometown with their refined melodic transformation into psychedelic renegades. Building a staunch following with two further singles - ‘Sally Cinnamon’ and ‘Elephant Stone’ - it was only a matter of time before word would get out...



The guy who managed the Hacienda, Howard Jones, was their manager briefly. I think most people in Manchester’s initial introduction to the Roses was when we saw their name graffitied all over the place.

KEVIN CUMMINS



I’d heard of them as they were the young pretenders around Manchester at that time. I had seen ’em as well and thought they were okay. I was in this period of going out all the time and having a good time and they were always there. We were like the old guard that they aspired to be.

PETER HOOK



In music you tend to have people who imitate and you have people that innovate and the Roses set themselves apart instantly by the way that they looked. I know that sounds quite shallow but the Roses had their own universe. It wasn’t about, ‘is our music different?’ It was about, ‘are we different?’, ‘do we have something new to say?’ and ‘how are we going to be noted?’

DAVE HASLAM



Gareth asked me to produce their next track, ‘Elephant Stone’. It was funny because I’d done it for nothing but Gareth insisted on paying me. He asked me how much I wanted and I said I didn’t have a clue and had did it for the pleasure. Then I remember him taking out this fucking huge wad of notes and him peeling off what he presumably thought was the right amount of money, and I shoved it in my pocket because I was embarrassed ecause it didn’t feel nice doing it like that. But when I got home and checked it, it was a thousand quid! So I was over the fucking moon!

PETER HOOK



I was contacted by a longstanding contact from Manchester, a lady called Lindsay Reade, who was Tony Wilson’s wife. She phoned very excited about a new band she was co-managing, called The Stone Roses. She asked if she could send me a cassette recording of the group, I said of course, and she sent it down to me. I remember driving back from a lost cause gig in Wales when I was introduced to the Roses. I had a function on my cassette player that could repeat a song – and I put one track on repeat for almost the whole journey back to London. It was a song called ‘Here It Comes’, which has the killer line in it: “I’d rather be no-one, than someone with no-one”. I had to find out more about. I contacted Lindsay and said, ‘I like this, I’d like to come and see them play live’, because I put great emphasis on being impressed by a band from a live point of view. [So I did], and I was just knocked out by the performance. Directly after the gig I went across the road from the International to the offices of the co-manager at the time, Gareth Evans, and sat in a meeting with him and the band, where I basically told them I thought it was brilliant. We were talking about what bands they were into, and what kind of music I was into, and we just really hit it off. Because I’d had some commercial success as a junior A&R guy I was allowed to go out and sign bands, and that was the first band I came across.

RODDY MCKENNA



Live they were great. Reni was just a brilliant, brilliant drummer, and they had that real sense of rhythm. What I loved about them was their Byrds-esque guitar, Ian being a magnetic and mesmerising frontman, and Reni just being a great drummer. I was an indie DJ at the Hacienda and their records started to sound brilliant in the club; they were quite stripped down. Around that time your typical indie band, like The Wedding Present, were just a clutter of noisy, shoutiness and the Roses just sounded so much cooler.

DAVE HASLAM



I was rather surprised and excited when I was asked to go up to Manchester to review The Stone Roses at the Hacienda. The date that I saw them was February 27th 1989. They were doing a few sort of smaller gigs, just getting a bit of interest going in the album before it was released. It was just absolutely astonishing. I said in my review that I would be telling my grandchildren I saw The Stone Roses at the Hacienda. I was really glad I was there.

ANDREW COLLINS



I’d go down to the studio and they’d be playing ghetto blasters with all this different music. It was like hanging out at someone’s flat for an old fashioned record session. Dub reggae, obscure hip-hop, deep Chicago house music, and interspersed with that, The Clash and Zeppelin. It was a cacophony of wonderfulness.

RODDY MCKENNA



- - -




- - -


‘THE STONE ROSES’

In May 1989, the eleven-track debut album was released. It was indie, but not as we know it; tinged with chiming psychedelia and shuffling beats, you could actually dance to it. It was the sonic milestone that marked the first crossover between guitar-based music and the electronic dance culture that was consuming the British isles at that time. The magic of the Roses was instant, and their appeal widespread.


I think the other thing you’ve got to remember about the Roses and The Happy Mondays is how fucking shit British music was at the time. Bands like The Wonderstuff and The Sundays - all this really kind of dead indie or horrific corporate pop. The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays were like a real antidote to this, and it was a real sense of something pretty fuckin’ exciting. It definitely hit me between the eyes.

TOMMY UDO



I just couldn’t stop playing it. It was like nothing I’d ever heard in a lot of ways, it kind of had everything. It had Byrds-like, kind of Smiths-like guitar tunefulness, it had the beginnings of what became club culture immersed somewhere in it, and it had this kind of really hazey sort of almost acid feel, and I had never done acid, but it sounded hallucinogenic in a funny sort of way. The lyrics were fabulous; it had brilliant arrogance and brilliant little political snipes.

DAVE SIMPSON



One of the great things about the band was how they changed perceptions of Manchester. Those of us that aren’t part of a London scene, ie: the majority of the population, we know how hard it is to be noticed. We know how London-centric the media and industry is, so to have the Roses come through really turned all of that on its head and that is a very valuable part of what they did.

DAVE HASLAM



I always think it’s important when something new happens in music. I think it’s always important that there is some kind of stylistic statement that is in some way offensive to the generation that has gone before. Whether that is wearing straight trousers when everyone is wearing flares, or wearing huge flares at a time when that was considered anathema. It was really quite amazing going to the Ally Pally show and seeing really young kids wearing these huge Joe Bloggs flares. I felt like I was dressed like an accountant compared to these kids. I definitely felt the generation gap.

TOMMY UDO



The Stone Roses really unlocked something. Most young men in Manchester back then found it hard to express themselves artistically in fear of being chased down the street, but the Roses had this dark versus light thing that you can hear on the first album; there’s stuff that’s deep and sensitive and there is stuff that’s upbeat and rabble rousing - all great bands should have more than one side to their music.

DAVE HASLAM



New Order’s manager Tom Atencio had got them a ten-day club tour of America. And one day Gareth phoned them up and said, “Listen, when we arrive at the airport, how many people will be there? Because I want it to be like The Beatles.” Tom explained that they were just a club act doing 600-capacity venues and that wasn’t going to happen. Gareth’s response? “Well we ain’t fucking coming then!” Crazy.

PETER HOOK



The good thing with the Roses’ first album is that it sounded like them - it didn’t sound like they’d been given a load of money and put in a studio and told to make an album and it had been given too glossy a finish - it actually sounded like them, and that’s why it was great. I think it really captured their sound - John Leckie was obviously brilliant, just like Martin Hannett was with Joy Division. He made an album that was timeless.

KEVIN CUMMINS



- - -




- - -



THE BAND

Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni had become household names. They’d even appeared on the national institution that is Top Of The Pops - sharing the stage with brothers-in-arms The Happy Mondays, and performing ‘Fools Gold’ in all its loved-up glory.


Everybody after the first album thought The Stone Roses was all to do with John Squire, and I used to go round to people and say, ‘nobody’s getting it’. This band wasn’t about John Squire; this band was to do with the chemistry of Ian Brown, Mani and Reni, and their taste just as much as it was about the brilliant guitar playing and guitar heroing of John Squire. Their interest in music was so diverse.

RODDY MCKENNA



John Squire definitely wanted to be an enigma. I think he felt - not uncomfortable around the press, but uncomfortable around other human beings a lot of the time. He was quite hard to talk to, because I got the impression that he thought everything I asked him was some kind of trick. I don’t know if that’s the case, but that’s kind of how it came across to me. He was quite hard to talk to and to get anything concrete out of.

TOMMY UDO



Ian Brown was probably the most interesting, but at the same time he had quite a lot of trouble articulating what he wanted to say. I think he is becoming incredibly more articulate in later years; he is a really good talker now, but I think he was young, he was confident, but he didn’t have a great deal to actually say.

ANDREW COLLINS



Mani was a really warm, wonderful human being. Funny guy, he thought a lot about music, had a lot of opinions.

TOMMY UDO



I think Reni thought he was a better singer than Ian. I think technically he probably was but he didn’t have Ian’s soul. Ian Brown has a very distinct, very soulful and very passionate voice, whereas Reni was just a good singer and I reckon there was a little bit of a competition between the two of them there; a little bit of friction that I thought was a bit sad. I think Reni always harboured an ambition to be a singer.

PETER HOOK



I play drums, and I’ve never seen anyone play like that - he is an absolute natural. He played like a jazz drummer. Reni was one of the true drumming greats, and I find it incredible that he doesn’t play any more. It’s almost a criminal offence.

DAVE SIMPSON



- - -




- - -



SPIKE ISLAND

On 27th May 1990, around 27,000 people from around the country descended upon the site of an abandoned chemical factory in Widnes, near Liverpool. The masses had come to see The Stone Roses headline their own massive outdoor concert, following DJ sets from the likes of Frankie Knuckles and Dave Haslam, and cement their status as a certified phenomenon. The event, though since dogged by reports of bad sound, captured the band at their peak, and has been dubbed “the Woodstock for the baggy generation”.


They ran out of beer - there was no beer in the bar; God, there was loads of horrible things about it. People were probably “on one”, as they used to say in those days, so they probably enjoyed themselves anyway. I wasn’t. I was too scared to take ecstasy.

ANDREW COLLINS



We were at the height of Eighties excess at Spike Island with the NME. We felt we could do anything we wanted, so at Spike Island we arrived in a helicopter so we could do an aerial shot of the place. Because it was a manmade island we thought it would make a great shot as a backdrop for the live pictures. So we flew there in a helicopter, and when we landed backstage these two goons came over to ask if we had backstage passes. We just kind of asked, ‘Do you really think we’re trying to sneak in like this?’

KEVIN CUMMINS



I was stood with Gareth and his partner and Reni comes steaming over and he was going fucking MAD! He says, “I fucking told you to go out there and take off all the bootleg hats! They are all out there selling those hats; will you go and sort it out?” And Gareth says, “Believe you me Reni, we will go and do that immediately and get those bastards thrown off the site.” And as Reni steams off, Gareth turned to his partner and said, “I told you it was a bad idea. We’d better get those hats off the stall!” He was a rip-off genius.

PETER HOOK



They had a really cheap PA system, which was hidden behind the screens at the side of the stage, and the sound was blowing around all over the place because the place was so exposed. But on stage it sounded great. When we came off they were really buzzing because they thought they’d played a really great gig, and everybody was saying, ‘Fucking hell, that was a bit shit, wasn’t it?’, and I was thinking, ‘No it wasn’t, it was fantastic!’ The only place you could hear it properly was on stage. It was the kind of PA you’d put in a youth club or something, it was terrible.

KEVIN CUMMINS



It was like a massive pilgrimage to witness and be part of something very special. It wasn’t a gig - it was a statement! That’s what it felt like. People didn’t go there to hear a perfect sound from the PA, they went to say they were there.

RODDY MCKENNA




- - -




- - -



IN THE DOCK

FM Revolver, the Roses’ label prior to Silvertone, had taken it upon themselves to re-release ‘Sally Cinnamon’ with a video in early 1990. Enraged, the band went to their offices and proceeded to empty tins of blue and white paint over the walls, the furniture, the boss, his girlfriend and their cars. This landed them in court; appearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court in October of that year. They were ultimately found guilty and charged £3000 (plus costs) each. Later that year, the band started proceedings to extricate themselves from Silvertone/Zomba, as a result of irregularities in their original contract.


I got a call from the NME saying, “The Stone Roses are appearing in court in Wolverhampton today. Get down there and do a report on it”. So we went down and there was no one else there; no one else knew about it. They had done this ridiculous thing with paint, which was a very sort of artistic gesture of vandalism, and they were appearing in court and nobody was there. We watched them as they came in. Basically the charges were read out and they lead them out again. They didn’t say anything. While we were standing there, because I’d been to art school, I drew a court picture of them, which NME ran the next week, cos there was no photographer there.

ANDREW COLLINS



To the outside world it’s perceived as Zomba are a terrible label; a crappy contract trying to tie up a poor little band, and it’s not as simple as that. Basically you had a scenario where the band signed an initial deal which was very unfair towards the artist, but the reason for that was that Gareth would not spend the necessary money to get a proper music business lawyer to look over the contract, so he got his own building lawyer in.

Normally in the music business you issue a contract and the lawyers blue line it, because you purposefully put in a load of things you know are going to be taken out - it’s a standard negotiating position. So what he does is he signs the contract and sends it back, giving the record company things like merchandising rights. So the record company always knew that contract was unsafe and would have to be improved. Basically the band had signed a new contract that gave them much better terms and conditions, so the record company were working on the basis of a new contract, but crucially one member of the band hadn’t signed that new contract. Gareth kept on saying he was going to get on to it, and [Silvertone boss] Andrew Lauder never put pressure on him. So when the band fell in with this smart lawyer, John Kennedy, when they fell into his conniving hands, he took the view that he was taking Zomba to court on the basis of the original contract. The record company was made out to be a far worse animal than they actually were, but they didn’t pay the going rate for the band so they lost them.

RODDY MCKENNA



I just thought a band like The Stone Roses should not be involved in that kind of crap. They should be making another fantastic record instead of being stuck in a court room. And of course and that was the start of the destroying of the impetus that really killed them. I think that was the biggest thing that killed the Roses; they lost that impetus, and for band that had done everything together - rehearsing day in day out, touring - they were just hanging around, and when you hang around you start to moan, and you start to find fault with people. The whole thing just gradually fell apart. It was obvious then there was something not quite right.

DAVE SIMPSON



- - -




- - -


THE HIATUS

‘One Love’ was released as a single in the summer of 1990. The protracted legal battle to extricate themselves from Silvertone (their original contract didn’t include CD sales and, when CD sales rocketed in the late Eighties, the label apparently withheld the format’s royalties from the group) meant that it was their last new offering for four years. They would eventually sign with Geffen Records. In the meantime, the quartet retreated into a self-imposed exile, in which sporadic recording sessions produced songs that were scrapped, remade, rewritten and scrapped again. Nobody was quite sure what they were up to...


I remember just before they went away as it were. There was a rumour doing the rounds that they’d been in bars in Manchester saying things like, ‘We want to be the band that never does anything again. We’re just gonna disappear and become a full stop in the history of rock - never do anything again.’ Maybe a bit like Arthur Lee or Brian Wilson or something like that.

TOMMY UDO



In the court case, all of Gareth’s skeletons got taken out of the closet and danced in front of the band, and they realised they had been completely mismanaged by him and they sacked him. So then they end up going into a scenario where they’re unmanaged, they’ve got no A&R guy, they’re being told by everyone that they’re worth millions, they’ve got a lawyer telling them he’s going to negotiate a fantastic deal with Geffen, so no wonder they went AWOL.

RODDY MCKENNA



There were a lot of rumours about what was happening with the Roses. I think every so often journalists would be sent to try and find out - you know, talk to someone in the cake shop down the road from the studio or something, There’d be rumours that Mani had grown a massive beard and wanted to be called Moses. There was a hilarious story that Matthew Priest from Dodgy started, that Ian Brown wished to be addressed as ‘King Monkey’. It just seemed ridiculous.

DAVE SIMPSON



There’s some suggestions that the band themselves were pretty frustrated. Depending on who you speak to, it was John Squire or Ian Brown that held them back, but certainly there were tensions within the group. From what I can gather, Mani, Ian Brown and Reni would have been quite happy to have put out an album maybe a year or two years later and continued to tour and continued to work the band as a fairly normal band would go, but I think the difficulty seems to have been John Squire.

TOMMY UDO



There were all sorts of darker stories as well, that they were doing all sorts of hard drugs, and there being fifty-two versions of the same songs, and all this sort of thing. And I think there was an element of truth in nearly all those stories from talking to the band. They never really denied it… Although the thing is you speak to one band member and he’ll tell you a slightly different story to one of the others. Everyone has a different villain of the piece. For Ian the villain is John, and for John the villain is, well, all of them really. It was obvious, really, the band relationships were falling apart.

DAVE SIMPSON



- - -




- - -


‘THE SECOND COMING’

The title said it all. Expectations were high for the Roses’ follow-up album, and when it finally arrived on December 5th 1994, it fell in the wake of the Britpop wave that washed over Britain. Lead single ‘Love Spreads’ signalled the new direction the music was taking: chunky Zep riffs, gravelly blues, tribal rhythms... The naivité of their debut had given way for an assured yet often indulgent successor. Ultimately, the expectations were just too great a burden.


A lot of things were starting to change at that time. Oasis were just starting to break through, and Nirvana had been and gone. It was a pretty different musical landscape. I think a lot of the people that had bought that first album five years before had grown up and weren’t really interested in music anymore.

TOMMY UDO



It sounds like a record that’s taken a long time to make. It sounds like a record that’s been made in difficult circumstances and with different processes involved in making those songs. It’s a flawed record, but it’s not the stinker some people said it was.

DAVE SIMPSON



It was alright, but it didn’t have the vibe or the atmosphere or the simplicity of the first record. A lot of these records you hear them once and they sound sensational, and everyone gives them a five star review, but you don’t want to hear them again. It’s like a fairground ride - you go on it and it’s really exciting and fantastic, but you don’t want to go round it again.

JOHN LECKIE



THE FALLOUT

Whatever fractions there were in the band came to a head in March 1995, when Reni announced he was leaving - the reasons for which have never been fully explained. Former Simply Red drummer Robbie Maddix replaced him, and the band soldiered on.

However, the planned UK tour in April was cancelled outright, and then in June, they pulled their Glastonbury headline slot. This was blamed on John’s broken collarbone, which he acquired while cycling on holiday. The postponed tour finally resumed in November, wit hall dates selling out in a day. Glory was short-lived: the following April, John Squire left the band - Aziz Ibrahim, also formerly of Simply Red, took his place.

The band limped on for another six months before their final, disastrous appearance at Reading Festival in August 1996, when the emotionless guitar-playing, sub-standard vocals and overall poor sound was met with boos from the disappointed crowd. It was the Roses’ last stand.


Ian told me that John started using drum machines on tracks, and that Reni felt sidelined. And he also told me that Reni had seen this kid playing drums in New York, in Times Square, who was better than him on drums, and he never recovered from that shock. It was like, ‘I’m not as good as this’, and it disillusioned him. So the last thing he needs is someone saying ‘I’m gonna get a drum machine in on this track, Reni’. But then John’s denied that, so where do you go from there? I don’t know the truth of it. There’s always been a lot of rumours about Reni and hard drugs, which has never been proved. He did some gigs in his own group, a few years later, when he wasn’t playing drums, and he didn’t look like some out-of-it drug addict to me.

DAVE SIMPSON



There were people alluding to the fact that Reni was involved with the wrong type of stuff, if you know what I mean, and went seriously off the rails, but knowing what a professional he was… you should have seen him – this guy was driven. In the studio you couldn’t get Reni to stop playing the drums. This was a guy who truly believed in what he was doing, and knew that he was one of the best drummers. [So] for him to see this thing fall apart about him, and the fallout between John and Ian - it’s no wonder he went off the rails.

RODDY MCKENNA



I and quite a few people thought it was bollocks that he [John] had broken his collarbone, or that was the reason for the cancellation. Anyway, they took out an ad in the NME with a picture of an x-ray of his collarbone, because obviously they knew that we didn’t believe them. Regardless of what actually happened, it was pretty convenient that they didn’t play Glastonbury, because I don’t think they were anywhere near ready. You’ve got to ask yourself, what were they doing bombing about on Californian mountain bikes a week before this supposedly hugely important show anyway? What was going on there?

TOMMY UDO



I heard John had a pretty terrible drug habit, and that was becoming a debilitating thing; he’d become paranoid and insular, didn’t get out of bed or leave the house for days on end, and he would decide that he was gonna give it all up to become a painter, which is what he ultimately did. I don’t think John really cared. I just get the impression he didn’t really give a shit. Not so much just about The Stone Roses - about music in general.

TOMMY UDO



The breakdown in the relationship between Ian and John was very severe. John got heavily into cocaine, and he got very into… everything was him. He believed the hype that the whole thing was him.

RODDY MCKENNA



I remember just before [Reading] they gave a press conference. It was really inspiring - it was kinda like a team talk at half time or something like that. I remember before thinking, ‘This might turn out to be really good after all’. They were dead upbeat. Any cynicism I had was put on hold. The Stone Roses was not John Squire. Very often bands have survived the loss of a very fundamental member like that - Manic Street Preachers or whatever - something else may just come of this. Of course, I was proved pretty damn wrong as soon as Ian Brown opened his mouth later that night. I think it was obvious that it was all over.

TOMMY UDO



[Reading] was painful. There were people in tears, there were people with their fingers in their ears - it was excruciating. It wasn’t just that the music was awful, or that Ian was out of key, they had stuff like… they had a girl dancer on stage in big boots or something, and I remember Robbie Maddix saying, “Come on, make some noise, this is The Stone Roses”, and I just thought how pathetic that sounded, because this was a band that had never needed to do that sort of shit, and it was demeaning. It was one of the most appalling gigs I’ve ever seen, and I hated every minute of it. It was like watching your childhood die in front of you. Bloody awful…

DAVE SIMPSON



- - -




- - -


THE END

By Autumn 1996, it was all over. John Squire formed The Seahorses (an anagram of ‘He hates Roses’, incidentally) but they split after only one album. His own solo career has so far produced two albums, but he now focuses all his time on his art and painting. Mani is now bassist in Primal Scream, injecting the band with a new life force and musical cohesion. Reni has dabbled in groups since - reportedly currently jamming with ex-members of Black Grape (Shaun Ryder’s post-Mondays group) - but lies low in Manchester, with little known of his whereabouts. Ian Brown carved a hugely successful solo career, having released five albums to date, and is an elder statesman of British indie.


I know that Mani felt a sense of relief when he left - finally calling it a day. It set them free to at least go on and do something else that they actively wanted to do, not that they felt they were locked into somehow, or obliged to do.

TOMMY UDO



They had become a laughing stock in some ways, but to come out of that with three of them with decent careers, especially Ian Brown, is really heart-warming really.

ANDREW COLLINS



It still really saddens me what happened with the Roses, because they were, or they should have been, one of the great pop phenomenons who went on for years and made ten albums, you know what I mean? But then the other way of looking at it is that for a certain period of time they were the best band on the planet, and nothing will ever take that away.

DAVE SIMPSON



REUNIONS

Could they ever get back together? Should they?


They didn’t fall out in the sense that they were punching each other in the face. It was kind of a natural falling apart. If it happened and a new generation of people went and saw them and loved them then that would be fine, but I think I would keep away.

ANDREW COLLINS



The thought of them getting together and playing again really makes me happy. I couldn’t give a fuck about The Smiths, but I would be delighted to see the Roses play again.

PETER HOOK



I think Mani would certainly do it, John would certainly do it, Reni would apparently do it, but Ian doesn’t want to do it. It’s not for musical reasons, it’s because he doesn’t get on with John anymore, because they haven’t spoken for a decade. Which is a very sad situation, because they grew up together - they became friends in their infancy, and they were absolutely entwined for so long. I think in a way the only way the Roses will ever reform is if that relationship is healed, in which case it would be the cherry on the cake of that relationship healing. But whether it can be healed, I really don’t know.

DAVE SIMPSON




THE LEGACY

Today’s stars of indie are greatly indebted to The Stone Roses. They showed, by embracing the punk ethos, that you didn’t need technical efficiency to be a good band - great songwriting and a real belief in what you do was their key to success.


If you listen to The Libertines and Pete Doherty, it survives in there. It never really seems to go away. The album still sounds as fresh and new as they day it came out, but I think that’s more a telling indictment of rock music today and the way it is - it hasn’t really moved on from there. Songs like ‘Fools Gold’ and ‘Elephant Stone’, they reached out to other things, and there was that kind of dovetailing with rave culture, and that’s the aspect of it that doesn’t really seem to be present in all the bands that are influenced by them. I think with The Stone Roses there was always something looking outside - using their influences as a stepping stone rather than as a prison.

TOMMY UDO



Subsequent generations probably won’t quite grasp how important they were. But they were the most important band around that time, because they were so different; they heralded a brand new type of music and established a new way of appreciating music, which was based more on dance culture.

ANDREW COLLINS



Indie [before the Roses] was quite grim, quite bookish and quite a stigma that you consumed it at home, alone and feeling miserable. So their debut album redefined indie as something that was quite communal and something that was celebratory. And that’s where they got a lot of their power from; it was tribal, it was a community and it redefined indie. So when bands like Oasis and Kasabian came along they were directly benefiting from this. They were very rooted, authentic and proud of where they came from. Stardom came to them rather than them going to stardom: which was very much part of what the Manchester music scene in the late ’80s was all about.

DAVE HASLAM



A CLASSIC ANNIVERSARY

‘The Stone Roses’ is twenty-years-old, and has aged remarkably well. It defined a generation, had a direct impact on subsequent, and stands as a favourite album of every discerning music lover the world over.


There are lots of great tunes on it; it’s amazing how many you remember. Nearly every song on there could have been a single if they wanted to.

ANDREW COLLINS



It never really sounded of its time. It always sounded like it came fully formed from Mars. It didn’t sound like anything else around, so it hasn’t really dated. It still has that sense of innocence and experience blending, and a sense of head-rushing psychedelic discovery. That record is imprinted on the back of my head. If I didn’t hear it for another fifty years, I would still be able to sing every song, because it’s in my DNA now.

DAVE SIMPSON



The fact that we’re sitting here talking about it twenty years on… We didn’t think we’d be doing that because it was very much of its time, but it still sounds great; it’s still a great album. Even for generations who never saw The Stone Roses it’s a great album. My daughter’s twenty-two, so obviously she’s too young to have been there first time round, but she still listens to it all the time.

KEVIN CUMMINS



I think The Stone Roses were an absolute unique group. I think they had the ability and the world at their feet. One of the saddest things is when they recorded a whole album of them all writing together when they went to Cornwall and they scrapped it! I’ve said to Mani, “Mate, where’s that record you made in between albums? You’re sitting on a fortune there!” And he’s like, “You know, I don’t know… I need to remember to ask Ian.” They make New Order look well managed!

PETER HOOK




Have your say

Sign in or Register to leave comments
-