“Sometimes I fantasise,
When the streets are cold and lonely,
And the cars they burn below me.
Don’t these times fill your eyes.”
On Tuesday evening just before I went to see Warpaint, I was walking to meet my friends and as I was walking a man selling The Big Issue stopped me, and said “I love The Stone Roses!” I was wearing my t-shirt of the band, and we ended up having a 10 minute conversation about The Stone Roses and other Manchester bands. He told me all about the Hacienda club and what is was like back then. He asked me what my favourite song by The Stone Roses was. I said I couldn’t choose between Waterfall and Made Of Stone. His favourite is Sally Cinnamon. This Mancunian man was a pleasure to talk to, and I hope if anyone sees him outside Sainburys near Koko in London that they speak to him. Strangers are always more pleasant aren’t they. They are able to see the things that people who apparently know us miss. I could speak to anyone about music. I probably feel more comfortable speaking to someone who doesn’t know me because they won’t dismiss me as being weird or claiming that all the music I listen to is “depressing.”
At 4 minutes and 15 seconds, Made Of Stone is easily one of the best songs ever recorded. I love Ian Brown’s vocals on this song so much. There’s so much sincerity in his voice throughout their debut record (of course it is in everything he does, but there is something much stronger in the band’s debut record.)
Everyone has their own take on what a song means to them and in general. The thing that is so beautiful about The Stone Roses’ songs is you can really make their songs personal to you. You can find sheer bliss in songs such as Waterfall and She Bangs The Drums. You can find the ability to face up to how shit people can be with songs such as I Am The Resurrection and Shoot You Down. For me, Made Of Stone has the most meaning. I think the way that you can truly get lost in this song is just perfect. The chorus really gets me in the gut and it is one of those songs that you think was written for you.
The Stone Roses have influenced so many bands that I love, and songs such as Made Of Stone make you wish you could make beautiful music like this. There’s such determination in their debut record that I can hear in the bands that I love and have cited them as an influence. Thing is, if you’re going to list them as an influence the chances are that you are going to be equally brilliant.
There are certain times in music that you know will never be replicated again. We’ll never have the fury of Punk again, we’ll never experience a singer/song-writer like Bob Dylan again. There will never be a lyricist like Morrissey again and there won’t be anyone as powerful as Patti Smith again. You can put The Stone Roses and the late 80s/early 90s Manchester music scene in there also. However, Manchester is still a thriving place for music. Many will cling onto Liverpool with sweaty palms as the home of music because of The Beatles. I’m not a fan of them, so of course I’ll dismiss it. Scotland has and is producing some of the most incredible music. Manchester is home to three of the best bands to have ever existed (The Smiths, The Fall and The Stone Roses.) Manchester is STILL one of the best places of music. Just listen to bands like PINS and you will hear just how powerful and passionate the music there is.
The Stone Roses were made for Manchester, but they won the hearts of so many across the world. They are still being heard for the first time by people every day, and they too are being blown away by how great they are. For me, Made Of Stone sums up the desperation of loneliness that takes people over at times. It’s the perfect song to listen to as you roam the streets; heading nowhere in particular. You don’t always need a set destination. You shouldn’t feel bad for every feeling unsure.
The Stone Roses give you confidence as you listen to them, and songs like Made Of Stone comfort you as you close your eyes and picture something so far removed from where you are. There is nothing wrong with daydreaming and existing somewhere else in your mind. It’s the most powerful thing that you own, and to use it freely takes guts; The Stone Roses allow you to do so in a different way with their music, especially with Made Of Stone. If I was someone who was just hearing them for the first time, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. When I listen to them now (which is pretty much on a daily basis) I get this overwhelming feeling of hearing something really rare. There will never be a band quite like The Stone Roses. You read their lyrics, and it is fairly obvious that Ian Brown was painting the world in a way that projects frustration and the desire to do more. There is something about him that makes me think of Morrissey and his way with words. Maybe it’s a Northern thing, and that’s a bloody good thing.
My conversation with the man on Tuesday evening about The Stone Roses will stay with me because I will remember how his face lit up as soon as we spoke about The Stone Roses and bands from Manchester. To see a person be that moved by a band was lovely to see and hear. The Stone Roses are a band that, when they first came out spoke to a lot of people. And they are the people who are still devoted to them Just watch the film, Made Of Stone that Shane Meadows made about them and you’ll see just how deeply devoted some people are to that band. Everyone has that one band in particular that they are that committed to. No other band comes close. They drop everything to follow them around the world, will camp outside the venue of where they are doing a one-off show. It’s beautiful.
Made Of Stone posses everything I want in a song. The honest lyrics, the hypnotic music and a voice I can believe in.
To the guy I met on Tuesday evening, this is for you.