For me, it originally started in the late 1990’s whilst travelling on supporters buses to watch my football team. The drink would flow and music (normally of an indie/rock vibe) would be played.
There was one track however which stood out for me. I had no idea who sang it and did not want to expose my lack of knowledge to the other trendies on the bus, as anyone exposing their lack of knowledge would be ridiculed and probably made to walk home. It later transpired that the song was I Wanna Be Adored by the Stone Roses. I loved this track on the compilation CD more than any other and I always looked forward to hearing it on the bus, everyone did, but I was young and ignorant at the time, I never looked further into who was behind this great song and if anything this added to the mystique for me.
Forward 4 years, a works night out and my work friend (later to become best man at my wedding) invited me to his house prior to the night out, for a few drinks and to a listen to some tunes. Whilst there I fast forwarded some songs and then THAT bass line kicked in, the song that I loved boomed around his kitchen and I nodded my head in approval, my mate noted this and was clearly impressed with my taste in tunes, “I didn’t know you were a roses man” he said, I nodded in agreement that I was indeed a “roses man” and said no more, to avoid any risk of ridicule, no young man wants to be exposed to ridicule.
A reasonable night out followed and as I prepared to head home my mate invited me to his for a few more beers and an invitation to watch the infamous Stone Roses gig on Video, of their gig at the Blackpool Empress Ballroom. I quickly agreed, so we headed back to his and he put the video on and briefly introduced me to his wife as a “fellow roses man”, a tag I was beginning to enjoy. Rather bizarrely he decided to strip to his boxers and make himself a cup of tea , at this point I am fearing the worst but I want to see this Roses video and I am a fast runner.
Never mind, the coolest man I have ever seen has just walked out on stage declaring “Manchester In The Area”. The video continues and my mate stands up to announce he’s going to his bed. His wife’s sat on the sofa (first time we had met) looking at me, presumably hoping I am also going to leave and I am sitting there just hoping not to get kicked out, as I want to continue to watch the video, let alone that I live miles from their house, so I just grin at her like a maniac and my somewhat warped thought process at the time was that if I looked mad she might not throw me out, it works.
My mate’s wife departs after Waterfall (I got the impression that this video had been on before and me staring at it whilst clearly heavily under the influence was not her idea of good company) and I am invited to sleep on the sofa if I want, whilst watching the rest of the video – “if you want you can turn it off” ? The video completes and I decide to find out more about this band, I also rather annoyingly develop a habit of only repeating soundbites from the gig, such as “we’re still in the area”, “who is and who isn’t”…which I would randomly bring up at work as a new way of striking up a conversation, luckily my new found best friend understands me as I was gaining a lot of baffled expressions mostly..
I then embark on a process of attending HMV to buy every Stone Roses CD I can find and its here that I learn that there is more to the Roses than I could possibly have imagined from that Blackpool Video. I don’t care what anyone says, the vocals/music behind many of the brilliant Second Coming album, Tears, Tightrope, Love Spreads etc, is fantastic and that’s before I come across tunes such as All Across The Sands, This Is The One, Don’t Stop and the outrageously brilliant Made Of Stone . The entire first album is genius but, Made of Stone to this day makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I hear it. From these days onwards I am hooked and its time to find out more.
I am now mesmirsed by the stone roses and embark on reading all about them on the internet, I read old interviews, current interviews, watch old footage and become obsessed in a way for a band that I never thought would be possible. I follow my works motto of having a healthy “work/lifestyle”Â balance and take it to new levels by allowing myself to spend at least a third of my day reading/discussing the roses on the various online forums. I am by now convinced the Roses will reunite before long….
I was hooked on the stone roses and work now became a non stop misson to source more obscure information about what I now considered to be the greatest band in the world. Then I found bootleg gigs,, Glasgow Green, Leeds, Tokyo, all purchased and adored by me to the point where the CD collection in my living room became a Stone Roses collection, endless copies of Stone Roses bootlegs “(its all the same fucking songs” – quote the wife).
Things came to a head with my obsession when after about a couple of years of reading about the roses and posting on forums, there was a rumour on the I am without shoes forum, that the roses were rehearsing in a club in Manchester, the poster of the topic also quoted the venue and encouraged people to check out the reliability of his story. So I did, I phoned my then girlfriend and (somehow) now wife, I asked her to phone the venue and pretend to be a music journalist and find out if the Roses were rehearsing. The bloke that answered laughed and replied no, my fingers were well and truly burned, my wife called me a ” fucking arsehole” and a little bit of a reality check hit me.
I then began a period of following Ian’s solo career, reading the seemingly never ending bitterness with Ian and John made me sad but again I fell in love with Ian’s solo stuff and his brilliant official forum, giving me a closeness to Ian meant I knew what was happening before most of my mates. Every reunion story I would receive endless texts from mates who had now accepted I was “a roses man”Â, stating “this is the one” and all the rest of it, all usually denied on the official forum by the time I had read the text.,
By 2011 I had settled myself into knowing that Ian’s solo’s stuff would carry me through. I listen to music channels with the kids but I have long stopped listening to bands, outwith of Ian’s solo stuff, happy to have a bounce twice a year at Ian’s gigs.
Then it happened, The Sun printed a story stating the Roses would reunite at a press conference to be held at 3pm on Tuesday 18th October 2011. At first I refused to believe but no denial came from Ian’s official forum, like so often was the case before. Excitement was rising and JohnRobb was indicating that it was game on, that it was really going to happen, it was now me texting my mates that “this is the one” and not the other way around.
On the Tuesday I logged into IB official forum and found the proof, a magicial photo in brilliant lighting of 4 seats under the wonderful subject of “Well here we are….” and I knew it was true. Its been 10 days and in that time I have signed me and my mate up for Friday night tickets in Manchester, bought NME (twice) for the only time in my life, read every single article about the Roses online and check forums/google on average 5X an hour, to see if there’s been any news. I have become obsessed and feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders, refreshed, I feel 15 years younger, this is probably why I spent a ton on an Ian Brown inspired parka jacket last week, which I headed to a club to in Friday past, sweated my bollocks of in that place, all so I could look like Ian Brown. Its only a matter of time before I start greeting folk with “who is and who isn’t”Â all over again.
I cannot describe the way this reunion has made me feel and going by ticket sales, a whole lot of others. I’ve read a lot of self appointed critics having the odd dig, “ÃÂ£ÃÂ£ÃÂ£” and scoffing at Ian’s vocals, “he can’t sing live”, well i’ve seen him 8 times and I have never left thinking that. Those folk that state these things are missing the point in any case., Leona Lewis can sing live, good for her but she doesn’t speak for me when she sings. Ian and the band capture that vibe brilliantly for me, in both albums they’ve done and at many of the gigs I hav heard and its one that at different stages every year since they split that new,fans have been able to relate to but that we have had no way of expressing our admiration. In a massive park in Manchester you will be able to bottle the love, such is how strong the atmosphere is going to be.
Come 29th June 2011, I am sure the negative folk who have had a go at the stone roses for reuniting, will have a belting day on the internet, sneering from afar. I’ll tell you this, nothing will come close to the feeling that 75,000 fans will feel when the Stone Roses come out in Manchester Heaton Park. For so many folk they will think different things on that day when they see the Roses reunited at last. I will think back to the day the press conference was completed and my wife said “I am so pleased for you”Â and this is something that many of us who have waited for years were so pleased to hear as the Roses made many a dream come true for their loyal fans, cheers lads .