Could it really be true this time? New rumours have surfaced suggesting The Stone Roses are to reform.
A press conference has been scheduled for Tuesday 18 October. The subject of it is still under wraps, but people are speculating that it will be used as an occasion to announce the Stone Roses’ return.
Earlier this year a UK tabloid newspaper claimed that the band, who split in 1996, were set to get back together for gigs this year. That rumour was quashed by the band. But this time..?
The Stone Roses’ self-titled debut album, released in 1989, was named the greatest British album ever by NME in 2006.
Noel Gallagher is another big fan of ‘The Stone Roses’. He said: “The whole album is so well executed. It’s the exact expression of what that group was about. It was so fucking on the money that it could have been recorded tomorrow morning.”
In the mid-1980s, Mani’s friends were amongst the first people to import Ecstasy into Britain. They financed their drug deals by stealing Rolex watches in Europe, then exchanging them for Ecstasy in Amsterdam.
Before their debut album emerged, The Stone Roses picked up some woeful early reviews. In 1988, ‘Melody Maker’ described one live show as sounding like “fingers scraping down a blackboard”.
The famous false coda in ‘I Am The Resurrection’ was not planned. Mani recalls: “We were in the studio and throwing it down. There was lots of eye contact, and then [we all thought] right, stop. And then… bam!”.
New Order bassist Peter Hook was offered the chance to produce The Stone Roses’ debut album, but turned it down as he was busy recording ‘Technique’. Earlier he had produced the ‘Elephant Stone’ single, a job that has earned him $50,000 in royalties to date.
Liam and Noel Gallagher both saw The Stone Roses supporting James at Manchester’s International 2 venue on May 30, 1988. At that gig, Noel was invited to audition to be The Inspiral Carpets’ singer. He didn’t make the grade, but later became their roadie instead.
The Stone Roses were great friends with fellow Madchester band the Happy Mondays. They even had nicknames for each other. Ian Brown was known as Mean Boy because of his aggressive stare, while Happy Mondays’ bassist Paul Ryder was known as Big Arm.
The Stone Roses recorded their debut album at Battery Studios, northwest London. Former glamour model and singer Sam Fox, who was on the same label, would often turn up to hang out and make tea.
Simon Wolstonecroft was the original Stone Roses drummer, before being replaced by Reni. He went on to play with The Fall, but before that was a member of The Weeds – considered by many Manchester scenesters to be the city’s great ‘lost band’.
Manchester United FC use ‘This Is The One’ as their entrance music for home games. Ian Brown is a season-ticket holder in the Stretford End at Old Trafford, and is such a huge fan he insisted his 2006 NME Goldlike Genius Award was presented by Reds legend Teddy Sheringham.
After leaving Guns N’ Roses in 1996, guitarist Slash offered to replace Squire in the Roses following his departure in that same year. The group rejected the offer.
Early Stone Roses gigs frequently ended in violence. Mani recalls one gig at Clouds in Preston, March 29, 1985. “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.”
The Stone Roses’ appearance on ‘Top Of The Pops’ alongside the Happy Mondays in November 1989 has gone down in legend. What the cameras didn’t show was the druggy carnage backstage. Mani recalls: “We all got pilled up and started necking everything we could find. We were beating on the Fine Young Cannibals’ door and trying to get them E’d up, shoving coke at anyone we met.”
The Stone Roses took their name from a 1959 spy thriller of that title by Sarah Gainham. It was published in the UK in 1971 as a mass-market paperback. It’s out of print now, but you can find second-hand copies on Amazon. Here they are pictured in an early incarnation, with guitarist Andy Couzens (left) and bassist Pete Garner (centre)
Although most of ‘The Stone Roses’ was penned at speed in the weeks after the band signed a record deal with Silvertone, ‘I Am The Resurrection’ was one of the first songs they ever wrote, back in 1985. Only, as Ian Brown explains, “It used to be at breakneck speed and we slowed it down.”
The Stone Roses bonded with John Leckie, who went on to produce their debut album, at a Stockport pizza restaurant in 1988. Leckie recalls: “Reni said, ‘What’s your favourite record ever?’ I came out with Love’s ‘Forever Changes’ and they all fell about and said, ‘That’s our favourite record as well!'”
On August 12, 1989 The Stone Roses played their biggest gig to date at Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom, in front of 8,000 people. However, their sense of triumph was shattered when they came off stage to learn that one of Mani’s best friends had killed himself after being arrested for drug possession. The bassist reflects: “Everything we did was tinged with sadness.”
While recording their debut album the band were stoned for much of the time. “No wonder that LP sounds so mellow,” remarks Mani. “We were constantly stoned to fuck.”
Elbow guitarist Mark Potter once delivered a pizza to The Stone Roses while they were recording 1994’s ‘Second Coming’ in Bury’s Square One
Studios. More on The Stone Roses