The Road To The Stone Roses

Ian and JohnWhen Ian Brown & John Squire started playing cover versions in a post-school band called The Patrol, no one would have imagined that they were destined to form the biggest band in the country. From Sounds 24 November 1990, John Robb traces the history of The Stone Roses.


A post-school band who formed early in 1980. They were never that serious, simply playing a few cover versions around local Manchester venues (Sale Annex, South Trafford College, Hale Methodist Church), although they did record a two track demo, with lan Brown singing ‘Jail Of The Assassin’ and Andy Watkins singing ‘Too Many Tonnes’.


With Simon Woolstencroft on drums. Simon went on to the embryonic Freak Party with Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke and then to seminal Mancs band The Weeds (with the singing hairdresser, Andrew Bert) before finding his way into the Fall line-up. Like the first Patrol, this line-up was very low-key.


Again very low-key, English Rose didn’t even gig!


Pete and Reni
Legend has it that Ian Brown met a Scandinavian promoter while on a hike to Berlin – the promoter offered Brown four dates, so a band was quickly put together. Squire and Brown made a smart move by drafting in hot-headed young drummer Alan Wren, who was considered to be the band’s star with his skyscraper drum riser and incredible playing. This line-up made their UK debut at Preston Clouds, where a very drunken Coofy Sid (of Membranes infamy) lobbed bottles at them, danced along and collapsed in the corner – but that’s another story.


Perhaps feeling squeezed out by the Brown and Squire partnership, Andy Couzens left: He drifted through Flag Of Convenience before kicking The High into action. The High had the Roses’ original management and, in some respects, were reminiscent of the darker, earlier Roses sound.


Pete Garner, the long-haired bassist, left the Roses. Replacement Mani hauled his bass along for his debut gig on November 13th 1987 at Manchester’s International One with Inspiral Carpets as the support. Mani played the gig with his back to the crowd and looked like a terrified kid. Months later he was to become the wild man of rock that we occasionally see today.


Unofficial fifth member Cressa joined the band when Jon’s FX pedals became top complicated for a mere mortal with 2 feet. Although not on the payroll, Cressa remained integral to the band and, to some fans the live physical embodiment of the Roses music – ‘because that fucker can dance’. He was also responsible for introducing flares to the Roses – Ian’s tasty green cords being an ancient pair of Cresspants from times past.


A little known band who played live as The Hungry Socks. They featured the pre-Roses Mani, but also included Chris Goodwin and Clint Boon, who went on to form the Inspiral Carpets.


A progression of the first line-up with the significant additions of Ian Brown and John Squire, who were known to jam with them in their rehearsal room.


Drummer Chris Goodwin made his way from The Mill through Asia Fields, Flag Of Convenience and the Inspirals to The High. His old Flag Of Convenience partner, guitarist Andy Couzens, joined him in The High and they then released their debut LP, ‘Somewhere Soon’ to the usual Mancunian rapture.


Another band who were probably confined to the rehearsal room, but included The Smith’s Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke plus former Patrol drummer Simon Woolstencroft en route to The Fall.