The Stone Roses documentary


So let’s talk about The Stone Roses.

I first heard them seeing the truncated Fool’s Gold video on this clip show on Channel Ten called “Spin”. It used to run at 4:30 every weekday afternoon and just play music videos for half an hour – no commentary. It was just like RAGE except even more primitive.

I first saw the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on that show.

Anyway. I loved those intense disco beats married with super-amazing guitar (and bass) sounds. Just sounds I couldn’t imagine coming from a guitar. Indeed I spent my entire childhood thinking the bass was just another guitar. (How could a bass sound like that? And why would you want a bass to sound like that?)

That shit that is raining down from Squire’s strings at 5:57 is incredible. And then at 6:23 it just gets NEXT LEVEL.

But then, even though I had the CD, I forgot about them for years and years until I had this friend who had a British boyfriend and he made me listen to a bunch of stuff from he Old Country like the Manic Street Preachers and Tricky and PJ Harvey and Black Grape and eventually The Stone Roses. And so I dusted off that bad-boy and gave the album another listen. And yeah — I had grown up enough to appreciate it.


And so I think this documentary had so much promise — but I think it turned out kinda crap. It felt too “official”. It felt like the band had too much say. I maybe wrong about this but it was comprimised. Even if it wasn’t the band’s fault — certainly Meadows, the sychophantic story-teller. Initially I found this awesome — as I could identify with it. And it reminded me of DIG!. But steadily, and sadly, it became just another ad.

Perhaps cruicially I really found these people — apart from John Squire — just spoilt brats. CHILDREN.

So unlike anyone I would really want to have much to deal with.

It did dabble into their brattish behaviour and their contempt for the press — like it was a term of endearment. Their violence and their bust ups was not explained or rationalised. No real insight or detail or explanation. And it didn’t show that clip when Ian Brown went nuts and cried “Amateurs“. The irony.

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There was a tiny bit of reflection from John Squire about the break-up — but that was it.

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But there were some good things which made me stay watching until the end.

John Squire talking about how when he got his first guitar and was just thumbing away and being crap (seemingly) forever wondering how long it would take before he got good.

The documentary guy (Shane Meadows) snaffling the note Reni left for him.

The rehearsal of “Waterfall”.

The free concert sequence went on too long — but was pretty amazing. The sickly fandom documented brought back some memories of my own behaviour.

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And maybe check out the One Band a Week entry. I haven’t read it all but it just might be worth a look.