‘The Mirror’ reported yesterday (Tuesday 17 March) that The Stone Roses were due to reform this year for a 21-date UK tour, plus a date at Coachella in April. However, spokesmen for both guitarist John Squire and vocalist Ian Brown have now denied the rumours.
A Stone Roses reunion would seem to make sense, given that this year is the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album. In theory, a tour would coincide with a planned reissue of the album, remastered by original producer John Leckie.
The Stone Roses, pictured here at their now-legendary gig at Spike Island in May 1990, are one of the few major acts who have thus far resisted big-money offers to reform. Other notable refuseniks include The Smiths, Talking Heads and The Jam.
In thus far refusing to reform, The Stone Roses have missed out on the enormous growth in the live music industry since they officially split in 1996. It’s thought that a major comeback tour now would net them more cash than they made during the whole of their recording career.
From a fan point of view, a Stone Roses comeback tour would give the band a chance to make up for the tawdry way in which their career ended. Drummer Reni quit in 1995, shortly after the release of second album ‘Second Coming’. Guitarist John Squire left the following year, paving the way for a famously disastrous headline performance at Reading 1996.
A partial Stone Roses reunion almost took place in March 2007 at former Smiths’ bassist Andy Rourke’s charity concert in aid of Manchester Versus Cancer. Ian Brown performed a solo set and was joined by bassist Mani for a performance of ‘I Am the Resurrection’. Reni was due to play drums, but didn’t turn up.
Most reports suggest that Ian Brown is the one band member holding back a Stone Roses reunion. However, guitarist John Squire has thus far appeared equally averse to the idea. After releasing two poorly-received solo albums in 2002 and 2004, Squire immersed himself in his art career. At one gallery opening, Squire told the Manchester Evening News that he was giving up music for good: "I’m enjoying this far too much to go back to music".
Another factor that militates against a Stone Roses reunion is the lasting enmity between singer and guitarist. Ian Brown and John Squire have not spoken since the band split. In a 2005 interview Squire revealed that tensions still ran high. Discussing recording sessions for ‘Second Coming’, he said: "When he (Brown) was stoned, he was at best a tuneless knob and at worst a paranoid mess".
Should The Stone Roses reform for live dates this year? Twenty years on from the release of their debut album, is the time right for a reunion? Have your say at NME.COM/BLOGS.