The Stone Roses Story Pt 1
In the run up to the biggest event since the 2nd crusade, Swine is devoting the next 3 posts to the fascinating story of how the biggest band ever in the history of doo wop, dark step and post-core, The Stone Roses.
Part 1 – the early days
Ian Bonobo and John Orangutan were childhood friends from the mean streets of inner city Timperley on the outskirts of Salford. Ian was always into the latest fashions such as Hansiatic League Customs Clerk, Peacock Drayman and Uber-undertaker. John loved drawing pictures of horses with massive knobs. When they were in their mid-30, their lives changed after sneaking into the Timperley Conservative Club’s under 15s disco and seeing a band that would create a revolution; The Hollies!
At that moment both ian and John knew they too wanted to be in a band that sounded fuck all like The Hollies and so Ian learned to sing opera and John dedicated himself to playing the oboe. Moving to the tough ghetto streets of Hazel Grove on the outskirts of Moss Side they recruited bassoonist, Graham ‘Chimpy’ Chimpman and French polisher, Alan ‘Gibbon Balls’ Gibson on wash board.
Calling themselves ‘Ian, John, Graham and Alan Plus 5 On The Guestlist Please Love’ they began rehearsing in Alan’s ma’s chippy and after perfecting their unique brand of retro-60s jingle jangle piss weak indie pop, began touring the fruit and veg stalls and carpet warehouses of Ancoats but failed to get noticed. Undaunted, the four eager pioneers adopted a new look, ’23rd Century Scout Leader meets Transylvanian Plumber’ they began to build an audience through word of mouth and a million pound advertising campaign funded by John’s dad and his work with leading cartoonist, Terry Bonkers creator of kids tv programmes such as DangerCunt and Scatty Doo; the Shit Detective.
Local electrician and record label mogul, Bernie Shotgun saw the band play at his daughter’s 7th birthday party and liked what he saw. He signed them there and then for a six figure sum; £120.000 with rights to all future royalties, publishing and Panini sticker sales. The band changed their name first to the Iron Beatles, then to the Paper Byrds and finally the Stone Roses and released their first single; ‘Silly Cellarman’ as a tribute to Coronation Street barman, Fred Gee who appeared in the video and became a massive fan.
However, jsut as their frist Lp was being recorded in downtown Macclesfield close to the hard, edgy streets of Wilmslow, tragedy struck. The studio burned down destroying all the master tapes and although convicted of arson, Bernie Shotgun was cleared of attempted murder. The Roses themselves and producer, Barry Genius were playing a game of pool as the studio went up in flames and Shotgun was caught hiding behind a wall covered in petrol singing ‘I hate the Roses’ to himself.
The guys wer emade of strong stuff however and soon forgave their temperamental manager and the band’s first LP ‘This Is The Sound Of The Stone Roses In Stereo SurroundSound Vol 1’ was released to critical apathy in 1988. With anthems such as ‘I Wanna Be A Doctor’ ‘Stoke Water Park’ and ‘I Am The Second Coming Of Arthur Askey’ the LP sold over 60 copies in 3 months, earning them a spot on Granada TV and Factory label boss, Anthony B. Burgess’s late night pop, knitting, architecture and cooking show, ‘The Other Side Of Fascist Iconography.’
Joined by loose limbed ‘vibesman’ Tony ‘Jellylegs’ Jeffries the band performed their latest single ‘Hey hey We’re The Stone Roses (now wipe your bottom)’ in their new ‘Dandy Welder’ image, they soon attracted the attentin of pub-trance, art-beat and surf-metal journalists from as far afield as Matlock and Garstang. The band were going places, the world was at their feet and they knew it. Bernie Shotgun rubbed his hands together and put his cattle prod away as he smelled the smell of smelly money stuffed into smelly pillow cases hidden in a smelly cellar somewhere near Winsford. What on earth would happen next????
Pt 2 coming up soon!!!