Stone Roses- key figures talk about the band
Stone Roses- key figures talk about the band

********************************************************************************************************
The Roses reformation has sparked a mass interest in the band. Here are some quotes about the band from John Robb’s ‘North Will Rise Again’ oral history of Manchester book...
********************************************************************************************************

Stone Roses- key figures talk about the band
Stone Roses- key figures talk about the band

”˜It’s not where you’re from, its where you’re at”¦’
The long and strange adventures of the Stone Roses

Ian Brown
I got to know john in about 1977. He was getting his head kicked in at school and I knew he lived up our street. I wasn’t hanging out with him at the time but I jumped in and helped him out.
That night because I felt a bit sorry for him because of the fight I took some records round. I already had ”˜God Save The Queen; the day it came out. I also took the first Clash LP and the Adverts ”˜One Chord Wonders”˜. I knocked on his door and took round these tunes. He had Beatles ”˜Live At The Hollywood Bowl’ and the Beach Boys ”˜Golden Greats”˜. I played my stuff and he got it straight away and he got really into the Clash.

Pete Garner
I met Ian and John at a place called the bridge near where we all lived in Timperley/Bowden. I had seen them around a couple of times. One night we started chatting. I remember Ian saying he had been to see the Stranglers which I was impressed by as he must have been about 13. There was a bit of piss taking going on! John was quiet; he didn’t say much apart from that he played the first Clash album every day, Ian was more into the Pistols and the Jam. John for some reason was never having the Jam.

Andy Couzens
You couldn’t even sit under the bridge. It was too small, just a footbridge between back gardens. We sat on it smoking having the odd drink, pulling girls. There was no drugs- even none of us drank properly- Pete might have drank, I never fucking drank never and I don’t like dope. I never have. I remember trying it. I do remember everyone thought that dope was for hippies. I remember us all trying some oil, fucking terrible. I remember it just freaked me out completely. We were out in my car somewhere and Si Wolstencroft who used to hang out at the bridge had to drive home,

Ian Brown
We started a band called The Patrol in 1979. I played bass because it was the easiest thing to play. I must have been a frustrated singer then because I used to write the words and do the backing vocals. I used to say the intros the songs as well. Andy Couzens was the singer. We had met him at college. He was weighing into this kid fighting him and we were impressed with his bottle because the other kid was bigger than him and we thought lets ask him to be the singer. He was wearing winkle picker shoes, a long black Crombie and had a spiky hair cut so we knew he was coming out of the same sort of thing that we were.
He was a rich kid to us who had his own van and lived in a big house. So we rehearsed at his house in the cellar. He had the amps and the drum kit, I think my mate Si Wolstencroft and John broke into a school and nicked the school PA. We suspended it down a manhole for two weeks to hide it then sprayed it bright green because the Clash had one that was bright pink.
(The Patrol line up was John Squire guitar, ian Brown bass, Si Wolstencroft drums, Andy Couzens vocals. Pete Garner was the unofficial roadie because ”˜I couldn’t play’ and taped all the band’s rehearals)

Pete Garner
Si was into Topper from The Clash. He was aspiring to that sort of level.

Ian Brown
Si was first kid I met at school. He was the only person to have docs on so I clicked with him straight away. I have been mates with him since I was 11. After The Patrol he played on the original Smiths demo that got them the deal, he said they won’t get anywhere with that weirdo on vocals!

Pete Garner
Ian was a pretty rudimentary bass player. His was playing was pretty basic- classic punk style. John’s guitar was really Clash. Their songs were like a three chord versions of The Clash and called ”˜Jail Of The Assassins”˜, ”˜Up On The Roof’ and ”˜25 Rifles. They recorded a demo of ‘Jail’ and ”˜25 rifles”˜
at some 4 track studio in Stockport. The master tape the studio used had something else on it, and you could hear the old songs leaking through- he didn’t do a good job on the demo.

Ian Brown
We had a song called ;”˜Jail Of the Assassin’ because we thought that was what Strummer had written on one of his stencilled shirts but I’m not sure if he had.

Pete Garner
As far as I know John wrote everything- ”˜Jail’ was from a slogan on a Strummer t shirt, it was a total John thing doing that- picking one thing out and making a song out of it. They also had a song called ”˜Stars And Stripes’ which was like their version of the Clash’s ”˜I’m So Bored Of The USA’.

Ian Brown
I guess we were Clash copyists really. We played in youth clubs and we played the Portland bars in town- that was our big gig. One night we could have supported Adam and the Ants at the Mayflower in 1979 (jan 26th 1979 on the ‘Young Parisians’ tour) but we couldn’t find our van to get into town and no one had a motor and we couldn’t find Andy that night so it was ”˜fucking hell we could have supported Adam and than Ants’ – they were not that big then but everyone knew them- they were a great band though ”˜Xerox’ is a top song. (indeed it is!)

Pete Garner
I booked a gig for the Patrol supporting Adam And The Ants at the Osborne.I rang to see what time the Ants were playing and the support band couldn”˜t make it. I said I know a band who could play and I could get them down. Ian and Andy said brilliant but they couldn’t find couldn’t find John. He was sat in a field being artistic! It would have been a bad idea I guess. We were too young really- a bunch of 16 year old playing to an early Ants crowd of big Mohicaned crazies.

***************************************************************************************************
More than any other Manchester band the Stone Roses were involved in the punk and post punk youth culture, looking for adventure and taking risks on the frontline of abrasive late seventies early eighties youth culture they were running with the gangs, wearing the clothes, fighting the fights- they were a mish mash of punk rock, skinhead, two tone street culture and as the Patrol fizzled out they drifted of into running with the scooter gangs”¦
***************************************************************************************************

Pete Garner
Ian sold his bass and bought a scooter, him and John had got into scootering and Mani who I think was around at the time. I was appalled at the time! I was disgusted when they turned mod! Ian got into soul and stuff and I got into the Stooges and the Dolls.

Andy Couzens
The last Patrol gig was at the college that we went to. The last song we played was a cover of ”˜Blockbuster’ by The Sweet with both me and Ian singing. That was the real turning point- everyone’s tastes started to change slightly after that. Ian got really into his scooters and going out with a scooter mob and hanging out in the Horse And Jockey in Chorlton- he was really into it- like everything he did he sucked it dry.
Ian had the first scooter. I went with Ian to buy a Lambretta. I had a Lambretta. He’s one of those people, Ian, who can’t wear a watch, or anything mechanical, it breaks when he goes near it. He bought this Lambretta and it never worked. The thing with lambrettas that you have to take them apart and clean them. John bought a Lambretta- he didn’t ride it that much but spent a lot of time pulling it apart painting it, getting everything copper plated. Ian’s bike was this amazing chopped down thing painted pink.

Ian Brown
Punk was going by end of 78. We still liked The Jam, ”˜Setting Sons’ had jut come out. I was into The Pistols but they had split up so I was now into the Upstarts- their ”˜Murder of Liddle Towers’ was a big tune, Cockney Rejects- ”˜Flares And Slippers”˜, The Jam, Sham 69’s ”˜Ulster”˜, that was their first record and then ”˜Borstal Breakout”˜, ”˜Angels With Dirty Faces”˜- great records. I was really into them and then I started getting into early mod bands. I’m getting older now so I started going to the Russell club and saw Secret Affair, Purple Hearts and the Chords on the same night and a band called the Killermeters from Yorkshire. I saw the first ever Madness show when they supported Dexys Midnight Runners- the local Longsight skins nutted Chas Smash off the stage when he was doing his mad dance- The Specials supported the Clash and Terry Hall had a blonde Sid Vicious style haircut- they were great.

Andy Couzens
I always thought that Ian looked a bit like Bruce Lee- he had the same jawbone- I never actually saw him use any karate but I remember he had trained in it for years. When I first met him he was still into karate. He actually did it when I first met him or he had just stopped doing it. He was a massive Bruce Lee fan. I remember us having fights in Piccadilly gardens fights with beer monsters waiting for buses. A mate of ours called Kaiser, (original singer in the Waterfront- John Squire’s band between the Patrol and the Stone Roses) me and Ian fighting and a couple of lads with us from the scooter runs, one called keg another one called Mike Phoenix big northern soul freak, them two were menaces they would start fights everywhere you went, middle of Piccadilly at night, I don’t remember Pete being with us at the point, I remember john getting breaking his nose a lot ha ha ha club Tropicana on oxford rd palm trees inside, remember coming out of there one night and we got a right hiding…we used to go to a club called Berlin a lot.

Ian Brown
We got right into scooters in 1978. We weren’t mods. You were not allowed to be a mod to be on the scooters. We didn’t have mirrors on our scooters. We would take the leg shields off and have them all boned down. I had a pink one and I put Angels With Dirty Faces on the side of it. I had 2 tone suit and I had a green parachute outfit. We used to go London to get 501s, you couldn’t get ”˜em up here. We would get the first train down and last one back at night and you would have the whole day in the Old Kent Rd markets and the old mod shops and get Ben Sherman’s and button downs and buy second hand paisley shirts and tonic pants- Sta press pants- which would get taken in- these were dead baggy ones and they were dead smart. We would wear Doc shoes and monkey boots as well. Back in ”˜74 when I went to school and wanted a pair of docs and my mother said you’re not having a pair of bovver boy boots- you had to start on monkey boots just like in the film ‘This Is England’.

Mark Seargent
Once the ethics of the early sixties mods had spread across the country, in the industrial midlands and north, part of the blueprint transmorphed. Northern soul grew from the mod scene, as did the scooterboys of the eighties. In the north of England scooters were both a relatively cheap mode of transport as well as part of a rite of passage in formative teenage years for many working class youngsters. Scooters and alternative music seem to have gone together since the early sixties, first generation mods with R & B, Brit -beat and Jamaican ska, Skinheads and their offspring of the late sixties and early seventies embracing Motown, Stax, Glam-rock and Trojan plus the advent of the Northern soul scene. The larger towns and cities north of Watford had scooter lads right through to and way beyond the mod revival of the late seventies. In Manchester, always at the cutting edge of what was happening, it was no different, working class youngsters, some who would later become household names through their musicianship were part of the scooter riding underground. From The Buzzcocks, through the Stone Roses, Charlatans, Inspiral Carpets to Oasis and beyond, the Italian style of classic Lambrettas and Vespas was and indeed is an integral part of life for some disaffected youths who subscribe to elements of their formative years from there onwards. ‘A way of life’ is a much used and abused term, in the case of the relevance of scooters to those who grew up with them, theres not a better description that comes to mind.

Ian Brown
When you went to school in your docs you would think your were ace! you think you’re the boy. I had cherry red docs and would polish them up. We were not Perry boys but we did wear kickers as well and Lee jeans and Harrington’s also wicked Fruit of the Loom sweat shirts.
We didn’t have wedge haircuts so I suppose we were mod /skin/Perry boys because of the way we looked. We used to fight with the Perry Boys when they come to Scarborough when we were on a run. A lot of the original punks in Collyhurst became Perries in 78/79. They were the first Perrys.

Ian Brown
That was when I first met Mani when was I was on the scooters. I used to hang out with lads from Chorlton and we knew lads from all over the city- Levvy, Longsight, Ardwick, Clayton, Wythenshawe. We also used hook up with this crew from Moston and Failsworth and we heard about this kid up in Moston who had a swastika on his head, this skinhead who was causing all this trouble- fighting kids. I don’t think he was a proper skinhead because when we went up there he had a white school shirt and black school kecks on, he was just a fucking idiot. He was causing untold grief so the idea was that 15 of us were going to give it to him. So we went down from Chorlton to this council house in Moston.
Mani was there, he’s got a thick flying jacket on, one of those US bomber ones. I remember the first time I set eyes on him and I thought he’s not a fighter, he’s a lover- he’s just here for the cause- not here for the fighting. I remember thinking that the idea was that we were all going to wade in and stop this kid and his habits but this kid called Dave Carter said ”˜let me run up the stairs see if he’s in.’ So he run up the stairs and the next thing this skinhead comes rolling down the stairs with all his head mashed in. Dave Carter done him on his own and rolled him down the stairs! He was a pile at the bottom of the stairs- job’s done.

Ian Brown
In 81/82 I went all over- Great Yarmouth, Brighton. Not that many kids from Manchester used to go on all the runs. A hundred of us would go to Scarborough but only a hardcore of 10 or 15 went south but there would be 10 000 other scooters when you got there on these scooter runs. We used to meet outside Horners in Ayres rd. We were the Chorlton crew- the Trojans. We had chrome helmets with a foxes tail hanging from the back of them. We would take 15 hours to get to Brighton because we had to use the A roads We would sleep in a bin bag in a ditch. The idea was to go there and get girls, it was really all about girls and cheap spend, the soul all nighters. We’d meet up with people like Steve Harrison (went on to manage The Charlatans), Clint Mansell (footnote, went on to front Pop Will Eat Itself)

Clint Mansell
A case of mistaken identity,I’m afraid.
The Roses used to say they’d bump into me on scooter runs!
But I’ve never been on a scooter in my life!
I met Mani for the first time when they played Ally Pally and he said ‘it’s great to see you again from all those scooter runs’ but I had to tell him ‘it wasn’t me…’
Shame,really-it certainly would have given me some cred!
I wonder who it was?

Ian Brown
I used to be into the northern soul all nighters. I was getting into soul- old soul and Motown at the Beehive in Swinton. I met Cressa there. I used to go to the Black Lion on Blackfriars st in Salford on a Monday night, it was a pound to get in and a tenner to book the room. My mate Mikey said will you go halves with me and we can book the room ourselves. At the time I had left school and was at college because I didn’t want a job and I was a kitchen porter so I didn’t have any money. I was doing my O levels again because I only had 2. My mate said go halves with me and we will share the profits but I said I haven’t got any money so I didn’t do it. He then paid me a tenner a week to stand on the door and check who was coming in. He was a big lad- 6 foot 4 and I would say who was coming in and he would make sure who came in! At the end of the night we would go to the Cypress Tavern and have a drink and an eat.

Ian Brown
John had been playing guitar a bit and kept a band going with Andy Couzens on guitar and Mani on bass and with Kaiser on vocals. Chris Goodwin was on drums who ended up in the High. They were called The Fireside Chaps then the Waterfront. I knew Kaiser through scooters from 1980/81. I had actually met Kaiser in the 1981 riots in Manchester when it kicked off. I went down to Moston in the riots and watched Kaiser and the rest of them chucking bricks at buses. Kaiser has been in the army for 20 years since then. I last saw him at the Pistols in Manchester in December 2007.

Andy Couzens
There is a gap after The Patrol. John started making models. I remember taking him down in my car with a bunch of models to Cosgrove Hall (Manchester based animation studio where they made TV series ”˜Chorlton And The Wheelies’ and ”˜Dangermouse”˜. Founded in 1976 by Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall, its first series was Chorlton and the Wheelies, the lead role being named after Chorlton where the company was based. John Squire worked there at this period). He always wanted to make an animated cartoon with models and he was now doing it for a living. I started getting into the Misunderstood (managed by John Peel The Misunderstood were a psychedelic rock band originating from Riverside, California. In the mid-sixties they moved to London and were one of the key underground psychedelic bands of the period releasing two critically acclaimed singles-“Children of the Sun” and “I Can Take You To The Sun”. )
and stuff like that. At the time there was fuck all to go and watch, nothing. The International had just opened and there were loads of bands like Jason and The Scorchers- loads of stuff from the States. I went and they were crap, all rubbish. Brigandage (great early eighties London based punk rock band who were never around long enough to fulfil their potential) who had showed a bit a of promise fell apart on its face. It was a really horrible period. Manchester was really horrible then, it was shite. I still lived in Macclesfield at my parent’s house before I moved into a flat above the Arndale in the city centre and Pete moved there just after me.

Pete Garner
I was living on top of the Andale by then- I remember Andy Couzens moved there after me. (in Cromford Court- on top of the Arndale centre which was on top of the legendary Cromford Court where all the bars had been in the sixties)

Andy Couzens
I had started playing with John again at this time. This was as the Waterfront by now. I think we sat and watched a Marlon Brando film one night and got the name from there. Initially we had been called the Fireside Chaps which we thought was funny but when it came to the point of doing the demos we thought, ”˜fuck we can’t put that on a demo tape box ”˜ so we changed the name. We never played a gig but we went on for about a year of rehearsals in 82/83.

Ian Brown
The Waterfront played me the demo that they had done- they were sort of Orange Juicey and I wasn’t into that side of it but I thought wow! It sounds dead tuneful- like a proper band, they were into Josef K and Glasgow Postcard sort of stuff as well as Green On Red, early REM, Rain Parade- I never liked any of that. They said do you want to join up singing so I rehearsed a couple of times with them- the idea was for me to join up on vocals with Kaiser and have two vocalists. We never played a gig and it didn’t really happen.

Andy Couzens
Ian started coming down and at one point we had two vocalists. Kaiser’s voice was good on the demo. He could sing quite sweet and with a bit of time we would have developed. We had the pair of them doing a question and answer vocal thing and it was great, really good.

Andy Couzens
The Waterfront demo was recorded somewhere in the back end of Denton, somewhere up Mani’s way- in a little studio that someone had set up. We already had done some demos with the Patrol in Rusholme a couple of years before in a studio just off Great Western St where Mick Hucknall did a lot of stuff with his punk band Frantic Elevators- the only reason I know that was that we met him in there.

Ian Brown
In 1981 I was 17 and staying in Withington at my girlfriends but then I broke up with her and that’s when I moved into William Kent Crescent in Hulme. I sold my scooter and moved there.
I was in William Kent till 1984 and in Charles Barry Crescent in early 84. I had two and half years in Hulme before I moved back to Withington in mid 85.
When I first moved into Hulme the families were still living there. You would get a house full of junkie rich kids from Alderley Edge living next to a bus driver with his family
It was them kids who brought the drugs into Moss Side- the class A’s and the heroine- not the people who lived there with their regular lives. It was all weed in Moss Side before that, I was at 313 and I remember the Fall’s drummer Karl Burns was at 316.

Andy Couzens
I would go round to Ian’s in Hulme. He was living with Mitch, the mother of his children, she was at college with us all- she worked on Brookside. All I remember was his wok! He loved his wok, he fancied himself as a bit of a cook!

Ian Brown
So I had moved to Hulme. It was well handy for town. We used to go to the Berlin club and places like that. Later on we went to Devilles and then the Ritz (Probablly the oldest surviving club in Manchester on Whitworth St with its sprung dance floor it still retains the feel of a classic old school venue/club. Great place) on a Monday. This was before the Hacienda- John Gannon the DJ is still there? fucking hell! honestly! (longest running DJ in Manchester gannon has been packing them in at the Ritz and Rockworld for more than quarter of a century)
I was just hanging out with no ambition to do music. I was seeing a lot of bands. I did see bands like The Meteors and King Kurt, I was not massive into them, I knew kids that dressed like them- I didn’t dress like that though.

Ian Brown
It was Michelle, my girlfriends 21st- the mother of my two eldest- birthday party. Gluebag Glen brought Geno Washington and his bands back to the party in Hulme. I had never heard of Geno Washington at the time, to me he was just this dead cool old black guy who kept telling me that I was a star. He was saying ”˜look how everyone loves you, look how popular you are. You’re a star. You should be a singer!” He then said ”˜where can I get a spliff?’ so I took him to the Reno club in Moss Side and stood outside whilst he got a spliff. I always remember him smoking the spliff in the street and this copper coming up and saying what the fuck are you doing? And he said ”˜I’m Geno Washington, I can do whatever I like!’ and carried on smoking the spliff. I thought that was so cool and the cop said ”˜go back in there and smoke it’ and didn’t even bust him!

Ian Brown
So he kept going on all night- ”˜hey man you’re a star, you should be a singer man, look at how the people like you,’ and I said ”˜it’s our party, these are my friends! that’s why they like me!

Ian Brown
It was Geno Washington who had sewed the seed. I told John what had happened at the party and he said why don’t we give it a go. The Waterfront had now finished. He was still playing is guitar on his own all the time. You would go round and he always had his guitar round his neck. He would be playing it always- watching telly or walking around, making a brew with the kettle and a guitar round his neck.

Ian Brown
Me and John were still sort of mates even though we had not seen each other properly for a year because we were leading different lives, but we said lets get this band thing going so we met up and we wrote this tune ‘Nowhere Fast’ a song about our attitude that you don’t have to go to work, its punk rock! no fucker is gonna tell us what to do. By then I’d had a few shit jobs and now I was on the dole and that was it. I was never working for no-one again. You soon adapt to living on beans on toast. To make money you do the odd insurance job- you had your record player nicked- that sort of thing- mind you in Hulme you would get burgled all the time anyway.

Ian Brown
We started getting the band together. I rung Pete up to see if he was up for it. He had not been into the scooter scene so I had not seen him for a couple of years. I said Pete ”˜do you want to play bass in this band?’ and he was up for it. At the time John didn’t want Andy Couzens to be in the band- he said he’s different to us, he’s a rich kid. I said he’s got the van, the drum kit, and the amps. I remember John saying we got to it right as it is, we can’t have Andy in it but I said we got to have him in.

Andy Couzens
I always thought there was something about Pete. He’s just a great bloke Pete, someone who is great to have around. Whether he could play or nor was irrelevant. The fact was he was great to have around, it added to the thing. John came in the end, getting John in was almost like a default- he was like ”˜oh fuck it go on then..’ It just felt right John said he would only do it if Pete’s in the band. It just ended up getting The Patrol back together- the big reformation.

Peter Garner
The first rehearsal was February/March 1984 and the first song we did was ”˜Nowhere Fast”˜. This is with Si (Wolstencroft) who was now our drummer.

Andy Couzens
I had got Chris Goodwin in on drums initially. He came down for one rehearsal and left his kit in the cellar. It was like he was just looking for somewhere to store it.

Pete Garner
You’ve got to remember that the only bass line I knew was The Sweet’s ‘Blockbuster’. I couldn’t play bass atall and I had only played that once at that Patrol gig. I think it was a case of ”˜always get your mate in on bass.’ At our first rehearsal everyone strapped on guitars and I was thinking ”˜what the fuck do I do!’
In the next few months we rehearsed everywhere. We even did the Boardwalk once and never went back because the room was shit. Later on we rehearsed at the Chorlton Lock Up which had something to do with Spirit rehearsal studios. (This is where I met the band, my band The Membranes had just to Manchester from Blackpool and we were rehearsing next door to them. The other band in the rooms was Carmel.)


Mike Pickering

I remember the Roses really early on, seeing them a couple of time when they rehearsed in Spirit in Chorlton behind the car showroom in a place with Carmel next door. The Roses were a bit psychedelic- not a Goth band like some people say. They were not scallies- maybe in their attitude but they didn’t dress like scallies. Ian was at the Hacienda all the time- he lived there! So I knew him really well.

Andy Couzens
The first rehearsal was actually at my parent’s house. We wrote a song that night- ‘Nowhere Fast’ ”“ it had another title then, I cant remember what the name was now. John had a bit of a riff and Si started drumming. We just worked on new stuff, there was no Patrol or Waterfront songs. It was a total clean break. We rehearsed a lot- a few times a week.
I was still at my parent’s place.

Ian Brown
Me and Andy drove down to London. We walked into a studio and saw this PA on the floor. We picked it up, put it in the back of his car and drove back to A1 music in Manchester and swopped it for an amp and then swopped another bit of it at Spirit for a drum kit. We had started rehearsing at Spirit in town by then in 1984.

Ian Brown
We had the Clash last album (‘Cut The Crap’ was the Clash’s patchy swansong- the songs sound great on the live bootlegs from the time though) and we thought- look how crap they are we can do it! We saw the death of the Clash and they were the number one band for us. The Smiths had come out of Manchester that year and were now big. I used to go to parties with Andy Rourke and everyone knew Johnny Marr because he used to run round the pubs telling everyone he’s going to be number one and a year later he was!

Johnny Marr
People always say I did that but I swear I didn’t!

Johnny Marr
When I was putting Freaky Party together I got really tempted to really go and personally talk to Ian Brown and say ”˜listen- come and be in our band. I knew Ian Brown through Pete (Garner) and also Si our drummer had gone to school with him. We had met a couple of times. We had that kind of respectful rivalry. I knew John Squire better. We were checking each other out like you do- we would talk about records and there was an unsaid understanding that Ian and john were an item- so that’s what stopped me asking Ian. I always respected and liked John and they had a real good understanding of each other- me and Andy were like that and me and Morrissey were as well in a different kind of way.

Ian Brown
Johnny Marr is a great bloke, proper, really into music. He was only 23 when the Smiths spit and we were 25 when we did our first album. We might have looked 19, I thought if we don’t do it this year we will never do it.
We did love The Smiths music and the fact that they had come out of the Manchester area and made it really gee’d us up. I got all the early Smiths tapes because Pete lived opposite Melanie who was going out with Andy Rourke at the time and she gave Pete all the tapes of them rehearsing. I thought the first album was a bit disappointing not produced good but ”˜This Charming Man’ was a great pop tune.

Ian Brown
Morrissey was great pop star because he was so unlikely with his national health glasses on- no way could he be a normal pop star! He was clever as fuck and his interviews were funny as fuck. That was inspiring to us to see someone making it who was like yourselves- not that Morrissey was that much like us!

Pete Garner
I liked the Smiths as people. When I was about younger I had met this kid who was into punk because we both got the same bus home from work and that turned out to be Johnny Marr. I was impressed because he liked the Heartbreakers. I had just bought the ”˜Live At Max’s Kansas City’ (classic Velvet Underground live album recorded in 1970 and released a couple of years later) album and I went round to his house. I knew him from those times and he worked at X Clothes and I worked at Paperchase in town.

Johnny Marr
When I was working at Aladdin’s Cave on the ground floor of the Arndale (in those pre- Afflecks Palace days a real hive of alternative culture was in the underground market below Afflecks ehich was noted for ”˜Bowie bootleg tapes and Tukka boots’ amongst other things) I used to get the bus with Pete in the mornings and each night. He became a really good mate. He could see the way I was dressing and all of that and was interested. I really liked this guy. I remember we were getting the 99 back to Wythenshawe one night and he was trying to come up with a name for his band that he had just started in. He knew I was a Stones freak. He got off a few stops after me saying the name has got to be as good as the Rolling Stones. When I got home and the phone goes five minutes later and it was Pete and he says ”˜I’ve been talking about it-what about the Stone Roses’ and I said ”˜naah! that’s too obvious Pete!’

Pete Garner
Another weird Ian connection here as well was that a mate of mine from school, Steve Pugh, was a mate of Johnny Marr’s and he introduced me to Johnny and then Steve Pugh became a mate of Ian’s
Andy Rourke used to go out with girl who lived opposite me- so I got to know all them. Johnny Marr and Mike Joyce were brilliant guys. I had already met Morrissey at Paper chase (cool alternative book and record shop managed by Pete- he was the first person your author got to know in Manchester because he would take my fanzine, ”˜Rox’ and sell it) where I worked when I was 16. He came up to the counter and said ”˜can you still get lyrics from the first Dolls album?’ and I said ”˜you’ve got to be kidding! ”˜
He walks off and then a few months later he does that New York Dolls book (”˜the New York Dolls’ by Morrissey on Babylon books, is as you would expect a fanatsic account of one of the greatest rock n roll bands ever- full of barbed wit and fierce rhetoric, it’s one of the great rock n roll books which remains curiously undiscovered)) which I had to have being a massive Dolls fan.

Johnny Marr
I got Pete into a lot of that stuff although I think he was already into the Dolls. Pete lived between me and my girlfriend. He was this great guy. There wasn’t many of them around, it was one of those rare things of someone who wants to be in a band. He was working in the original Paperchase. I was in there all the time. He had dead long hair and he would talk through his hair all the time. That was around the time I had started rehearsing with the Smiths.

Pete Garner
We were not musically influenced by the Smiths even songs like ”˜Boy On A Pedestal’ were nothing like the smiths. The weird thing was it was just another four guys from Manchester- bass, drum, guitar and vocals. Johnny Marr was into the same music and we shared a drummer! We were both into punk then we would take another route. Ironically when the Roses eventually got massive their audience was ex-Smith’s fans! The Roses eventually inherited the mantle of the truly English band. Johnny was a brilliant guitarist. I remember him always being a brilliant guitarist better than John was in the beginning but they were both great in the end. Johnny used to take his guitar to school!

Andy Couzens
Si had left to join the Smiths when they started up. So we started auditioning drummers. I put an advert up in A1 music in town.. the drummer from the Skeletal family came down but that didn’t work out. We rehearsed for ages with no drums atall which is ridiculous when you think about it- you’d get a drum machine now..

Johnny Marr
Andy Rourke was a friend with Si Woltsencroft. Si had been in the Patrol and he came over to us.

Pete Garner
Chris Goodwin hadn’t really been into being the drummer. He thought we were too rock at the time! And now Si had left . We were still writing songs with no drummer. Then the Skeletal Family drummer turned up and he was doing lots of toms, doing all this tribal shit! He said ”˜I can’t hear the tune”˜ and we said ”˜play a straight beat mate.’

Pete Garner
We put more ads up for a drummer and waited.
It was the poster we put in A1 that Reni saw, He has told me since that it looked like there was something about it. It was a simple poster with list of influences on it and said ”˜the Stone Roses require a drummer’- even though no-one had ever heard of us at the time we put the band’s name on it!

Andy Couzens
The first time Reni rehearsed with us was in Decibel studios. We were booked it to rehearse with Reni specially. Reni rang up- he denies it now but he called himself Renee on the phone! Me and Ian went to pick him up. We knocked on this door in Gorton and Reni came to the door. I seem to remember he looked mad! he had a big long coat on and big furry moon boots- a pair of them awful stretch denim jeans, his dress sense was fucking terrible! We were a bit shocked! We put all his kit in the car and went back to the rehearsal room

Pete Garner
”˜Tragic Roundabout’ was the first song we played to Reni. He’d played in loads of bands before- his mate, Simon Wright, had joined AC/DC. We saw them on TV and Reni said there’s my mate. Simon Wright- he was older than Reni and had showed him some stuff.
Reni’s mum and dad ran a pub with a drum kit set up for bands in the pub. After school Reni would play the kit. When he joined us he was already in two other bands. He was checking out who was the best bet- I’m not definite about this. He thought we looked interesting and there was something going on, we had something!
When he started playing on ‘ragic Roundabout’ it was incredible. We definitely had something then!

Andy Couzens
Yeah! it was weird. We loaded his gear into the car and went to the rehearsal room. We took the gear up three flights of stairs and he started playing. He was mad as a hatter. He played like Keith Moon, amazing. All those little things that he can do like double hits, unbelievable stuff, so fluent and no effort. He could actually do all that, amazing. We wanted him in he was that fucking good but we weren’t sure if he was going to have it! We weren’t that good atall, we were still pretty rough. He told me a while later that the thing that really struck was how much we believed in ourselves- the sense of belief that he got from us all. His best friend, Simon Wright, had been in Manchester rock band called Tora Tora before joining AC/DC. If he hadn’t had joined us he would have ended up as a jobbing musician. There was deathly silence and someone said are you up for it or what Reni?
He joined us that night-

Ian Brown
”˜Tragic Roundabout’ was first tune we did with Reni and we realised that this was it

Pete Garner
We never discussed it. We knew he was in. He was fucking amazing! what a drummer!
With the best drummer of his generation in the band the Roses were ready to go out and play. The mid eighties music scene was a different beast than the modern one. Split into mini scenes in the post punk fallout- it was going to take some navigating”¦

10 COMMENTS

  1. Pete Garner
    …. I was impressed because he liked the Heartbreakers. I had just bought the \’Live At Max\’s Kansas City\’ (classic Velvet Underground live album recorded in 1970 and released a couple of years later)…..

    nah, he’s talking about the Heartbreakers live at max’s kansas city obviously !

  2. […] #split {}#single {}#splitalign {margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;}#singlealign {margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;}#splittitlebox {text-align: center;}#singletitlebox {text-align: center;}.linkboxtext {line-height: 1.4em;}.linkboxcontainer {padding: 7px 7px 7px 7px;background-color:#eeeeee;border-color:#000000;border-width:0px; border-style:solid;}.linkboxdisplay {padding: 7px 7px 7px 7px;}.linkboxdisplay td {text-align: center;}.linkboxdisplay a:link {text-decoration: none;}.linkboxdisplay a:hover {text-decoration: underline;} function opensingledropdown() { document.getElementById('singletablelinks').style.display = ''; document.getElementById('singlemouse').style.display = 'none'; } function closesingledropdown() { document.getElementById('singletablelinks').style.display = 'none'; document.getElementById('singlemouse').style.display = ''; } Speed Development T-Shirt LaunchStone Roses- an oral history of the early days […]

  3. very informative. 4 guys from circumstance with a powerful belief and respect for music and one another. Thats what it takes to make the best band in the world.
    This is The One!

  4. Top days….I used to watch them in Bowden and I lived on Sylvan Ave in sale………Ian Brown got the hump with me one night as I beat him in a yard of ale comp in a pub..think it was the vines……great memories…I flew back from Australia to see the first gig at Heaton Park…cant remember much about it except for storming the bar ha ha ……we never grow up

    One love

  5. that was a great read. I was at uni in Manchester back then and used to go into paperchase all the time. Always enjoyed talking to Pete Garner about punk and some of the more glam punk bands. I always remember him talking about that band Raped and their Pretty Paedophiles ep. Billy Idol was also just releasing his first solo stuff and Pete was into that from what I remember. It’s so weird. I can remember vividly him telling me and my mate Col that he’d just formed a band called The Stone Roses and to look out for them. That’s always stuck with me.

  6. I was born in 81 and missed the whole stone roses thing until I left school in 96. I always remember this kid at school in geography talking about the Roses but I never gave him the time of day. 16yrs later I was at Heaton park in 5 days I’m at the Etihad. I wonder what else he was right about?

  7. I remember seeing Ian Brown and Mike Phoenix in the Little B in Sale 84ish , Ian had a pink Vespa (Angels with Dirty Faces) Mike had a white Lammy (Tamla Motown/Detroit Sound) both parked outside.

  8. I’d really love to hear Pete Garner’s recording of Reni’s audition, introducing himself to everyone and his legendary drumming. I think I remember reading that John Robb had a copy of it. I really wish someone would dig it out and put it up on YouTube for all us fans to enjoy. Incidently, does anyone know who Reni was mourning back in 2012 when he wore a black armband for a lot of those early reunion gigs. Must’ve been hard for him if he was grieving and getting used to being back in the public eye.

  9. The tape is an interesting listen. Tragic Roundabout is quite in your face on the final version, especially the spirit studios version, the rehearsal version on this tape is quite slow and almost laid back, understandable on a first take i suppose

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here