not a member? click here to sign up
READ: Extract from John Robb's Stone Roses book
The Stone Roses: The Reunion Edition is out now.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 23 Apr 2012
‘Bankrobber’ is the perfect choice because it comes with its own great Roses story. In 1980 The Clash took a day off from their UK tour and recorded the song in Manchester with two teenagers hanging out in the studio – Ian Brown and Pete Garner, The Stone Roses’ first bass player. After the soundcheck Ian and I phone Pete up and get him to come down to the gig. He turns up and another great circle is closed.
The gig itself is already special. The Clash songs have grown men in tears and it’s an emotionally charged event. At the end of the mini Clash set the band walk off as the crowd hope for an encore. No one really knows what’s going to happen next. There had been some Twitter action but very few people in the venue have any idea of what’s about to happen.
The lights dim and two figures shuffle onto the stage. For about 30 seconds no one seems to notice them…
Then, wooosh – fuck me, it’s The Stone Roses!
Ian Brown and John Squire have chosen this tour, this cause, to make their post-reformation live début, to make their statement. It’s the perfect way to ease back into the spotlight. None of the big showbiz bullshit, but an important gig on an important tour and a chance to tie up a lot of loose ends, all at once.
There’s something quite moving and important about big Manchester United fans like John Squire and Ian Brown making this statement of solidarity with Liverpool fans over this call for justice – but then they know that this is a bigger story than one of rival clubs.
They know that the demand for justice on this tour is universal and not just about one team. Like Mick Jones – who’s a big QPR fan – this is about the bigger picture, this is about the way that people died that horrible afternoon and about the way that football and rock ’n’ roll integrate in our culture and resound so strongly with us. It’s about the way that the people’s music is the perfect match for the people’s game and it’s about that ancient cry of justice that is so part and parcel of all great rock ’n’ roll. For John Squire this must be a big moment. He may be in what has to be the biggest band of the moment in the UK but in his youth The Clash were everything to him. He had a Clash mural painted on his wall and the story goes that he had guitar strings used as laces on his brothel creepers the way Joe Strummer apparently once did. After all, he was a 14-year-old kid besotted with one of the greatest rock’n’roll bands of all time – what a cool way to start his long musical journey.