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What The World Is Waiting For- Stone Roses live in Hamburg 1989

Rose Tinted Memories (Part 2)

part one is here…

1990 kicked in, ecstacy, floppy fringes, baggy clothes and new bands were ushered in on the coat tails of The Roses and the Mondays”¦ Roses singles were re-issued by Silvertone and cracked the Top 40 ”“ did you have an original 12”!? (was the serial number in red/blue or black) and then the band made the News when they were arrested after re-painting the FM Revolver offices after they were disgusted with the video put together for the re-issue of ”˜Sally Cinnamon’”¦. Even the Smash Hits crowd had caught on”¦

Stone Roses live in Hamburg 1989
What The World Is Waiting For- Stone Roses live in Hamburg 1989

Obviously Gareth Evans, their Manager, thought it was time that the band went for the stars, and rumours of a massive outdoor gig, somewhere on Merseyside started to emanate”¦, Spike Island was born”¦. But before that”¦

15th May 1990 ”“ the band embark on 5 Scandinavian warm up dates as a precursor to the main event. Me and Stuart decide to go to the first date in Copenhagen”¦. I buy the flight tickets off of a mate of a mate, who worked for a small travel agency in the centre of London”¦ come the day of the gig, he hasn’t sent the tickets (all before internet bookings of course)”¦ A mate of mine is going to drive us to Gatwick for the flight”¦ He arrives at mine (slightly late)”¦we drive to Central London, eventually pick up the tickets, fly down the Westway to pick Stu up, only to find 10 minutes later that he’s left his passport at home ”¦ Four to the floor all the way down the M25, M23, only to find that we’re too late for the 3pm, but there is a 5pm from Heathrow, ”˜you might be able to get on that one Standby’”¦ Get there and there’s only x1 seat. We toss a coin, and I win. It’s only 3 hours before the gig”¦ I arrive and get a cab to the Venue, I see that it’s about £20 to get in and decide that after paying £190 for the flight, I wasn’t paying another £20! Asked for the Tour Manager”¦ 5 minutes later Steve Adge arrives and exclaims ”˜What are you doing here!’ And invites me in”¦” Met a Manc lad, who’s here with his Dad! Times are changing”¦ Not a great warm up , the band are quite rusty and you can tell they haven’t played for a while.. it’s a bit quiet and Ian has a go at the crowd”¦ ”˜Shoot You Down’ is all over the place. We do get a first hearing of ‘One Love’, which breaks down and ”˜Something’s Burning’ ,in an elongated set list which includes ”˜Don’t Stop’ and ”˜Elizabeth My Dear’ but Ian’s vocals and harmonies are all over the place, a precursor of what was to come”¦”¦.

After the gig, I wait around (I’ve got no hotel as I’d arrived so late)”¦. I go to a bar next door with the band”¦. Reni tries to pair me off with some more Danish lovelies, but , I’m not in the band”¦ End up back at their hotel late on”¦ Ian Brown chewing my ear off “eh, I want you to tell me all about yourself””¦ I’m almost dead after the day’s exploits and just want to go to sleep, but he wants to talk”¦. Eventually he let’s me be, I get some kip on Alan, the Roadies, floor”¦

Saturday 27th May has gone down in folklore as the culmination of the ”˜Summer of Love’”¦27,000 tripped outpeople on an island in the Mersey Estuary ”“ Spike Island”¦. I went up with a van load of mates from the Camden Scene, and we didn’t get there til 6.30”¦ Quite luckily really”¦ We met Stu and he’d been there since mid-day, sunburned and de-hydrated”¦. Everybody was ”˜on one’ and house music was blaring out from the main stage ”“ no support bands – as per usual ”“ but I do remember Gary Clail “Beef ”“ how low can you go”, and wasn’t sure if he performed it, or was DJing”¦. So NO BEER, the queue was a mile long ”“ got backstage and it was the same there, everybody looking for booze or other substances”¦”¦ Much has been written of this gig, and you HAD to be there, a good band performance, but in truth the sound was shocking, blown about all over the place. We stood _ way back and I don’t remember much, apart from ”˜coming up’ when the fireworks went off and then being ”˜off it’ all the way back on the long journey back to London ”“ ha!

Saturday 9th June 1990”¦ and we’re off on our travels again ”“ this time Stuart and his mate Fred drove us up from London to Glasgow Green”¦ Arrived 7 hours later and parked up by Celtic Park”¦ walked up to the Green, ”˜on one’ by now, and see the Big Top at the other end, and a big queue snaking it’s way down from there”¦ Walk up past the queue of Breaker drinking Scots in Reni hats and baggies, and look out for Spike (from Seemore Travel) who is getting us in”¦ He arrives with Steve Adge and gives us our ”˜passes’”¦. It’s a long way to go ”˜til Kick off”¦ Beautiful, warm, Summers night”¦. Dave Booth is Djing in the tent, and the sun finally goes down. The opening chords to ”˜I Wanna Be Adored’ break out just after 10pm, and 7,000 mad Scots go mental”¦ the band are on top form, the sound is fantastic AND LOUD!! Condensation is dripping from the roof and raining on us”¦. “Resurrection” seems to go on for hours, and then it’s all over”¦. Out of the tent, and backstage ”“ the band holed up in a Porta-cabin”¦ We see Spike, and he’s talking to his mate Gareth Evans ”“ I ask Gareth “why did John’s guitar go all over the place in ”˜She Bangs the Drums?’ (something to do with his effects pedals, I believe), and Gareth laughed and said ”˜that’s John Squire for you!’”¦.it was the only low point in an earth shattering display from 4 mates at the top of their game ”“ little did we know that this the last time that these 4 members, the ”˜classic’ line up, would play together in public for 22 years!

And, the night wasn’t over yet ”“ we were told to head for the Sub Club for the afterparty”¦ We got in easily with our Passes”¦ The Roses arrived at the Club, and I remember Ian Brown walking around saying “thanks for coming” and shaking hands”¦ I remember getting my arse pinched by a group of Glaswegian lasses…haha”¦. Then we came out, and the sun was coming up”¦ Stu decided to sleep in the car, as he had to wait for the AA to arrive and sort out an oil leak”¦ I went off with John Robb and photographer Ian Tilton and a couple of their mates, and got my head down on someone’s floor for a few hours in Glasgow’s West End”¦ We did manage to get home the next day, despite a few mishaps on the way, but we were exhilarated”¦ Little did we know that it would NEVER be this way ever again”¦. (well until June 2012 anyway!)

9 COMMENTS

  1. There were support bands at Spike Island, I remember
    a band I think called Ruff Ruff & Ready
    Some African band old bloke who seemed to bring all his family with him, and Gary Clail who was there. Also I remember Frankie Knuckles

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