The Stone Roses ‘didn’t know there was no shower’ after being covered in paint for NME cover shoot

"They had to go back to Ian Brown's flat in Chorlton from the city centre covered in paint"

The Stone Roses “didn’t know there was no shower” after they were covered in paint during the photo shoot for the famous 1989 NME cover.

That’s according to the photographer Kevin Cummins, who has told BBC Radio 5 live that there was nowhere for the group to wash the paint off after he got the shot he needed. The picture was taken by Cummins in a Manchester warehouse during a three-hour shoot.

“They were desperate to shower and go,” he said. “I had to tell them then that the whole building was locked up apart from this one room and there were no showers. So they weren’t best happy. It was November as well in Manchester so you can imagine what it was like outside. They had to go back to Ian Brown’s flat in Chorlton from the city centre covered in paint.”


Cummins also revealed that his football team, Manchester City, were the inspiration behind the chosen colours. “Just for my own benefit really, because a couple of them were Man United fans, I wanted to use sky blue and white paint. It didn’t occur to them until half-way through why I did it.”

He continued: “The NME was always a black and white weekly paper and once we started using colour it was a way of expressing something a little bit differently I think. And then the drugs changed and there was all psychedelic and ecstasy around and I just thought it would capture the zeitgeist really. I wanted something that would sum up that period.”

The image appeared on the cover of NME in November 1989, just a few months after the release after The Stone Roses’ seminal self-titled debut album. The group reformed in 2011 after originally breaking up in 1996. They played a series of gigs around the world in 2012 and 2013.

There were rumours the band were working on what would be their third album although there was never any official confirmation of that happening. Pressed on any information about forthcoming Stone Roses material at a charity event last year, Brown remained taciturn. “Is something happening? You never know, but I’m not here to talk about that.”