As definitive an account of the surprising rise and spectacular fall of seminal 1980s Brit rockers the Stone Roses as a fan could hope for.
Music journalist Spence (Just Can't Get Enough: The Making of Depeche Mode, 2011, etc.) interviewed almost every important person in the history of the band, including all of its members, managers, producers and most of its roadie coterie save one (road manager Steve Adge, who’s writing his own Roses history). This sounds easier than it was, given several members’ penchant for mystery and silence since the band’s bitter breakup in 1996. Fortuitously for Spence, by the time he had connected with the members of its best-known incarnation—singer Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, drummer Alan “Reni” Wren and bassist Gary "Mani" Mounfield—15 years’ worth of ice, particularly between founders, chief song scribes and boyhood friends Brown and Squire, was beginning to thaw. Even at their heyday, the Roses could be prickly and unpredictable regarding outside expectations. Following the release of their brilliant, eponymous 1989 debut LP, which The Observer has since called the best rock album ever, the band’s creativity seemed to dry up as they battled their record company and self-aggrandizing manager Gareth Evans over two of the worst contracts in rock ’n’ roll history. When they finally produced "The Second Coming" for Geffen three years later, internal fissures, which Evans seemed to create when he gave Brown and Squire sole credit (and the attendant financial rewards) for the band’s collective compositions, began to crack wide open. A long-promised tour of the United States, repeatedly canceled, came together only after a key member had quit and just months before the band self-imploded. This book is being released in time for a reunion tour of the U.S. in the summer of 2013.
A must-read for anyone who has wondered why the Stone Roses ever mattered.