On the day the legendary Mancunian band announce they are to reform we get the reaction from two opposing VF writers.
YES says Phil Brady
Imagine if Elvis never died. Imagine if the king of rock and roll ditched the coke habit, went on a diet, lost a couple of stone and shook those hips again like it was 1957. Imagine if The Beatles didn’t split bringing out album after album and punk never happened. Imagine if Syd Barret was sane and imagine if the 27 club turned out to be the 67 club and none of our legends had left us at that tender age, instead spending the rest of their lives touring working men’s clubs and playing cruise ships.
For a world changing band to enter the realms of immortality they need to do what they do, then call it a day. For a solo artist, well, they either go mad or die.
I was a teenager growing up in Manchester in the 1980’s when Stone Roses came on the scene. Living in that rave culture back then was the greatest gift a young lad could have. The Stone Roses epitomised our lives and they went on to be the best band the world had ever seen, taking us with them. They were everything a band should be, they were in the right place at the right time, taking the world by storm and we were there banging that drum right behind. I was 16 when I saw them at Spike Island and for me that day set in stone a piece of cultural history that could never be repeated.
They smashed it, they split. The shamanic idols that were The Stone Roses became immortal, living forever in the epitaph of music culture.
So why reform and dig up old bones? Why do what you said you would never do and desecrate your own grave? Why risk your own immortality destroying a legend and change the course of our evolution?
Maybe the story isn’t over, the final chapter unwritten, the last verse has yet to be sung. The four lads that shook the world are ready to write the final message and complete the trilogy. Is this what the world is waiting for? A swan song to set the world on fire again and put everything else into perspective? One last album and tour for a new generation as the wheel turns once more to influence the next evolutionaries of musical culture.
You may slag off their decision to reform but you know you will get the album and if you are lucky enough to see them live, tell me you wouldn’t snap up the opportunity because I know I’ll be there in the mosh pit baggying it up like it was 1989.
Bring it on.
NO says Laura Williams
There’s no denying it, the Stone Roses mattered. ‘Mattered’ being the operative word. They came along at the end of the 80s, pioneering an exciting new type of music, building the foundations of the Madchester scene and paving the way for Britpop. But that was a long time ago, we’ve all moved on and after a summer full of reformation gigs, do we really need any more has-beens jumping on the bandwagon?
It’d be OK if it was a one off charity gig but, inevitably, reformed bands seem to be really pushing their luck. Take Suede for example. Suede played a Teenage Cancer Trust gig in London last year, after a seven year break, which was great; they then went on to play a bunch of festivals and a series of three ‘album’ gigs and the interest began to wane. The same fate befell Pulp, whose comeback gig at Primavera Sound was spectacular but the more ‘one-off’ dates and festivals they played, the duller it became. Both bands represented a very specific era and there’s only so far you can go on a wave of nostalgia. Mani really should know better, having flogged the dead horse that is Primal Scream’s Screamadelica set, at every festival which would have them. Yawn.
It’s been 15 years since the Stone Roses last played together and while iconic songs like ‘I Am the Resurrection’ and ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ crop up every now and again at indie nights or over the PA at festivals warranting a bit of a baggy dance, surely we don’t need to see a bunch of bitter blokes attempting to play live to tens of thousands of festival goers, who probably weren’t even born when the band broke up.
There was talk of them reuniting for the 20th Anniversary reissue of their debut album back in 2009, but that never came to anything with John Squire, who achieved relative post Stone Roses success with The Seahorses, unveiling a painting which read: “I have no desire whatsoever to desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester pop group The Stone Roses.” Even if he did do a Graham Coxon u-turn, you can’t help thinking they’ve missed the boat on. Why reunite now? It can only be cos they need the money and when people are solely motivated by money, surely nothing good can come of it?