The definitive story of The Stone Roses by Simon Spence, with an updated final chapter covering the reunion rollercoaster ride.
From the Manchester backwaters to the worldwide 2012 tour, War and Peace lays bare the irresistible tale of the last of the great bands.
Based on 400 hours of interviews with over seventy of The Stone Roses’ closest associates, including six former band members, War and Peace is the first major biography of the band that defined a generation.
Originally planned in collaboration with Reni, the reclusive drummer, this book had been a year in the making when the Roses, against all odds, announced their re-formation. It is a remarkable coda to an astonishing story. In 1989 their debut album and the single ‘Fools Gold’ made them the most exciting British export since the Sex Pistols. With their incendiary aura the Roses became figureheads of the ‘Madchester’ movement.
War and Peace traces the band’s genesis, studded with violent gigs and abandoned recordings, and shaped by their infamous manager Gareth Evans. The Roses’ legendary gigs culminated in the era-defining Spike Island show in 1990. From this pinnacle the unravelling was spectacular.
But the true story behind their rise and fall – and resurrection – has never been told. Until now.
* With 40 unseen photos, including from renowned rock photographer Dennis Morris
‘This is the one. It’s the definitive biography of the band, stuffed with photos that have never been seen before. The writing feels really fresh and definitive. It’s a classic’ Alex Heminsley BBC 6 Music Book of the Month
‘A comprehensive, no-holds-barred account… details with steely, forensic precision the story of the group’s ascent, heyday and spectacular implosion. All the triumphs and disasters are here’ The Sunday Times
‘An era-defining, definitive biography’ Q
Simon Spence collaborated with Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham on the acclaimed memoirs Stoned and 2Stoned. He has written for the NME, i-D,Dazed & Confused and the Independent. He was at the Stone Roses’ legendary Blackpool and Alexandra Palace shows in 1989 and covered their era-defining Spike Island show for The Face.
The definitive story of a band that defined a generation…
THE STONE ROSES
WAR AND PEACE
By Simon Spence
Published 7 June, Viking, £20
***Strictly embargoed: 1st June [for July 2012 issues only]***
It has been the most anticipated comeback of the 21st Century. After 16 years, the Manchester band with the golden guitar riffs, anthemic melodies and the ‘adored’ front man will be reforming for a World tour this Summer. If rumours are correct and the band is committed to a media blackout until June 2012, it may well be left to this book and its author to tell the full story of how they came to be here: the story of the rise, the fall, and the resurrection, of a band that defined a generation.
Originally planned in collaboration with Reni, the band’s reclusive drummer, The Stone Roses: War and Peace had been a year in the making when, against all odds, The Stone Roses announced their reformation. They withdrew from the project, but not before author Simon Spence had interviewed over 80 of the key characters in the Roses story including their closest collaborators and seven former band members.
Based on this exclusive and original material, The Stone Roses: War and Peace comes closer than any book or magazine article ever has to dispelling the myths, and telling the true tale of this famously media-shy foursome.
The book includes 40 unseen photographs (many by legendary rock photographer Dennis Morris, charting the band’s entire career), spectacularly rare photos from a 1985 tour of Sweden, and unseen ephemera from producer John Leckie and first manager Howard Jones.
The Stone Roses: War and Peace charts the band’s genesis in 1983, studded with violent gigs and abandoned recordings, and their development as they nurtured their sound and began to build the fan-base that would remain loyal to them through great shows, no-shows, poor shows, and 16 years later, the comeback shows – which were to sell out in minutes.
It illustrates the band’s slow build to fame, as they first took Manchester, then the UK, then the World. How they came to create such songs as ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, ‘Waterfall’, ‘I Am the Resurrection’ and ‘She Bangs the Drums’ which would become national anthems for many years to come. The band reached the giddy heights of superstardom at Spike Island in 1990. But from this pinnacle, the unravelling was spectacular.
The band refused to play in America, were arrested for vandalizing a record company and dragged through the High Court by their own record label. Emerging victorious, the Roses signed one of the most lucrative record contracts in history with Geffen Records. The legal battles, however, had damaged their momentum irrevocably – particularly the already faltering song writing relationship between Squire and Brown. The making of their second album was the stuff of legend – an arduously long and painful confinement that drove the band apart. They disbanded in turmoil, and virtually penniless, in 1996.
But the myth of The Stone Roses wasn’t to end there. Their debut album is now widely recognised as one of the best ever made, and whilst each band member embarked on his own projects, their former record company continued to release anniversary editions of that debut, B-sides, remixes and Best of’s – as if to prime us for the time when they would return. That time is now.
This book captures the magic that is The Stone Roses, getting to the heart of a band that have been perpetually and intentionally hard to fathom for 30 years. But more than that, it contextualises the music scene of the 80’s and 90’s, identifying the Roses’ place in it, and shows how they have gone on to influence the bands of today. It is a defining book. About a band that defined a generation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Simon Spence collaborated with Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham on the acclaimed memoirs Stoned and 2Stoned. He has written for the NME, i-D, Dazed & Confused and the Independent. He was at the Stone Roses’ legendary Blackpool and Alexandra Palace shows in 1989 and covered their era-defining Spike Island show for The Face.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The Stone Roses’ tour dates:
INTERVIEWS: We do not have access to the band, but author Simon Spence will be available for interviews and feature commissions