A key part of The Stone Roses mystique was bound up with there hatred of
the traditional gig. Having completed one national tour they took
themselves off the orthodox circuit and started staging huge events. The
approach paid off handsomely as the Roses well knew. They'd been staging
one-off spectaculars for years.
The first high profile event was at Blackpool Empress Ballrooms at the
tail-end of Summer 1989. Attended by fans who'd traveled from all over
country it provided the music press with the perfect opportunity to speak
its mind about there snowballing popularity. The reviews said it all. The
was now. The Stone Roses were the most perfect band imaginable, and anyone
aged between 16 and 25 who didn't agree was best
advised to go see the doctor.
The Blackpool show was followed in November 1989 by a keenly anticipated
performance at London's Alexandra Palace. It wasn't quite the splash
down the Roses had wanted, but this hitch hardly mattered. By now, they'd
Though their interviews occasionally gave the impression that they had
nothing to say, they had plenty of fascinating messages to impose. Their
were full of intrigue. Weird religious references, lines drawn from ancient
works of literature, and on more than one
occasion, lyrics that made them out to be revolutionaries. This side of
them came from John Squire. Long
fascinated by events like the Paris riots of 1968 he gave the Stone Roses
the edge that so many of their peers were
lacking. As proved by "Elizabeth My Dear", a tender one verse ballad on
the debut album, this particular bunch of
cherubic northereners apparently had their sites set on the monarchy.
So, as everyone knew, The Stone Roses felt duty bound to be the biggest
band in the world. They fell short,
inevitably, but for a fair while it felt like they might just do it. John
Squire was being handed all kinds of strange
accolades, he and the rest of the band had their faces all over the press
and television, and they were about to
release one of the greatest singles of all time. "Fools Gold". It was released
in November 1989, it flew into the
charts, and it was said to have marked the beginning of the nineties.
Seven months after "Fool's Gold" they reached the pinacle of their career.
Taking over a nature reserve in industrial
Cheshire, they laid on what several over-excited journalists called the
Woodstock of their generation. This was Spike Island. 30,000 people, a
set for the Roses, and - despite the organisational problems that always
seemed to dog them, something of a triumph. The next stop it seemed was
Spike Island was followed by a legendary Glasgow show that took place inside
a huge big top.
"One Love", widely expected to be a number one was about to be released,
the Americans were
getting interested, and the critics - as ever, were in something of a lather.
As it turned out, "One Love" got to number four, the Roses became embroiled
in a legal tussle with
Silvertone, and they began their five year disappearance. Inevitably in
only added to the
In the course of their time away few of the Roses disciples forgot about
them. They couldn't.
Having heard the records and been present at the events they were well
aware they'd been
involved in something very very special. As the dust settled, the historical
verdict became clear.
They were one of the most important groups in British music history, worthy
of every bit of praise
that had ever been thrown their way.