It was only at the premiere for The Stone Roses – Made Of Stone, you realize just how seminal, how influential this band really were.
Every conversation we had with Mancunians and other assorted scallies, mainly in the smoking area outside the venue, revolved around the effect the Manchester quartet had had on their lives: they did the jobs they did because of the band, their style, clothes and musical tastes all stemmed from Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni.
The group held that same sway over Made Of Stone director Shane Meadows; all of which makes the film, part-documentary, part-concert film, all the more powerful. It is, in effect, a love letter to those heady times of the late 80s and early 1990s.
In keeping with the spirit of the film, we decided to ask some industry figures about their feelings about the band, their memories and their thoughts about Meadows’ film. The answers were as revealing, and surprising, as Made Of Stone itself.
“As soon as I saw the release on the schedule, my heart sank – you know that any film about your favourite band is never going to live up to your expectation. However, having seen the screening, Made Of Stone has totally shattered that universal truth, and I can’t wait to get my hands of the Blu Ray to re-live it, and explain to Mrs Newman why they were just so fantastic. Congrats to the C4 team on another amazing job. I’m now looking forward to The Smiths documentary, (directed by Tarantino, obviously…).”
“I’m not usually a huge fan of music DVD but this was one of those titles that, having seen it once, I can’t wait to see it again with the added reward that I can plough into the bonus content.”
“They were great, it’s great to see stuff by such a fantastic band. I was slightly too old to go to Spike Island but the staff in my shop went. In those days we weren’t open on a Sunday and a Bank Holiday Monday, so they went from Guildford on the Sunday for Spike Island on the Monday. I used to love playing the first album in store. It’s one of my favourite albums of all time, definitely in my top 10. I would have liked more history, but that’s a different thing all together. I quite liked Spike Island as well, it’s quite a good evocation of the time. Releases so close to each other are really good for the industry as a whole and for the band too. The documentary is the better one.”
“I would not be living in the UK or running Manga if it was not for the Stone Roses. During my second year of high school, aged 14 years old and growing up in Australia with my two brothers we discovered Fools Gold. We were caught up in the heady rush of acid house, but seeing these four baggy northern lads shambling around the Pennines in that iconic video stirred something in us deeply. I bought a bass, my twin brother bought some drums and my other brother sang. Along with three other friends we formed Yummy Fur (later 6 Mile High), Australia’s only baggy, rave-rock band and we toured, recorded and played for 11 fun filled years. My musical career highlight was supporting The Roses during their Second Coming tour of Australia. They were wicked live (still are) and good guys, especially Mani. After that we toured some more (opening for Jesus and Mary Chain, Swervedriver and the Prodigy) and settled in Melbourne. I started working in a record shop and we then moved the band to London. The band fizzled out around 2002 but I moved into music and then video game distribution at Pinnacle and that’s how Manga found me. So thanks Ian, Reni, Mani and John. They will forever be my personal Fab Four.”
“The eponymously titled debut album by the Stone Roses was so far reaching, that the first time it may have caught your ear, was while looking at shoes in Dolcis, not that you’d admit to it. The record was everywhere. It was inclusive, it was for the people, not just the cool kids, everyone was invited, yet despite all that, it retained credibility. They were annoyingly cocky as a band, arrogant even, they were portrayed as bad boys in the press, but were politically aware and outspoken. They looked unlike any other band of the time, like stylish hippies minus the hair, which looked truly awful on almost anyone else. The group always seemed at odds with itself, and each other, but when you’ve recorded a debut like that, it doesn’t really matter. Well, not until you sign to Geffen for 4 million. And then in typical Mancunian style, they imploded spectacularly and in doing so, they left an entire generation wanting more. I think that’s why the reunion has been so successful. Of course there is nostalgia involved, but there were fans of all ages at the concerts, the music is special and has been adored and will continue to be, by generations to come. I don’t think we’ll see a band like the Stone Roses again, sadly I don’t think it’s possible… we can live in hope though.”
The Raygun’s Manchester correspondent
“Being in my late teens and living in Manchester I was into Chicago house and rave at the time (89/90) and had little interest in ‘guitar’ bands, then the Roses come along for the first time I heard a rock band that you could dance to and had the attitude that fitted into the club culture I was immersed in. When dance clubs started playing I Am The Resurrection and of course some Mondays tracks I was sold!”
“The Stone Roses are basically the reason I do what I do. The ‘it’s not where you’re from it’s where you’re at’ outlook on life made me realise I wanted to do something, anything to do with music rather than doggedly pursue a degree in English literature. That in turn led to music shops (as they were then) and then on to all that subsequently happened career-wise. On top of that there’s the total and utter conviction that the first album, some of the gigs at the time and then the subsequent resurrection will be the high points of my musical experience. My hairs are standing on end as I’m writing this. I wrote years ago that the first album captured a time, a place, a feeling – that it was everything, all at once. Nothing has changed.”
Regional manager, HMV, northwest and Yorkshire
“I was 20 when The Stone Roses was released and working in a tiny Our Price in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. Before the Roses for me there had been The Smiths and my Clash vinyl, but no one else. The tunes speak for themselves but the band bought everything else a young man growing up in the North wanted: swagger, arrogance, fashion, football, disdain for the media, unwillingness to play the game. They were a gang, Lads, as well as a band. Everything was done on their terms. The gigs were inclusive, euphoric, emotional.
I was 44 when we went to the first night, the Friday night, at Heaton Park, the last gig I’d seen them play before that was the all nighter at Brixton Academy in 1995 nearly 20 years before…I’m told that gig was fucking immense…!…I felt the same seeing them in 2012…the only difference was sobriety. ‘It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at…’ indeed.”
Formerly at Our Price, Asda etc. Now Demon Music Group
“Colin (Auchterlonie, above) and I drove up to Heaton Park for the first comeback show, I think we both felt it was important to be at the first show and see them on home turf. It was an amazing night… I was completely arseholed but still remember it really clearly. The Finsbury Park shows were great, but not as good as Heaton Park. The Roses for me still massively relevant, and two records I still play a lot now. While I was a bit too young for it the first time round, I bought Second Coming the day it came out and then went back and bought the first. I know people cite bands who they think were culturally important, but in reality no Arctic Monkeys without Oasis, no Oasis without the Roses. I still don’t get why people think Second Coming is so bad. It’s got some great tunes on it (Tears, Love Spreads, Begging You, Ten Storey…).”
Ben Stanley, formerly at Clear Vision, now at Demon Music Group
“Mine is not a huge contribution – I never even saw the band play live (I always thought it was too risky, given certain problems that plagued them for years) – but you can never understate the importance of the band in the immediate post-acid house years. I was caught up in all that mullarkey and the Stone Roses’ first album soundtracked that era, particularly the hours when we all piled back to mates’ houses, or the times we were going to and from dubious venues around the south east as much as any other. I remember getting sent a promo of Fools Gold, with the full-length version of their opus featuring on both A and B-sides (handy, meaning I’ve not worn the vinyl out, as I surely would have if it had been on one side only), this was the song of choice before I went out and when I got back. I remember going to Manchester and the Hacienda in 1989 and seeing the sea of flares in the queue outside, the importance of their appearances on The Late Show and Top Of The Pops, all featured heavily in Made of Stone, can’t be understated. Meadows’ film is a homage to those pivotal years.”
Tweets by @theraygun