Running the press conference to announce the return of the mighty Stone Roses has got to be on my wish list of PR jobs.
Legendary music PR man Murray Chalmers landed the gig of promoting the resurrection of the Roses and in my book has done a brilliant job (although I’d have hosted it in Manchester at the Radisson – site of the ‘76 Sex Pistols gig).
Everyone in the country now knows the Roses have reformed and everyone between the ages of 30 and 50 are going to be queuing around the block for tickets. All 150,000 tickets for the two gigs at Heaton Park will sell out in minutes and the Roses will become instant millionaires (which is long overdue).
The press conference itself was a laid back affair with the Roses clearly enjoying the event – in marked contrast to their previous two press conferences (Manchester 1990 to announce Spike Island and Reading 1996). Murray Chalmers has done an excellent job on the PR and most impressively was able to keep it a secret for so long. Reni hats off to his PR team.
Here are ten reasons why I love the Stone Roses and why they are the greatest band in the world:
1) In 1989 they looked like the most perfect pop group in the world. Looking at the pictures from that time now they still look better than any other band before or since.
2) I went to the same school as Ian Brown and John Squire (Altrincham Grammar School for Boys) and had the same teachers.
3) I grew up in Timperley – as did Squire and Brown on Sylvan Avenue.
4) I queued up for the Second Coming at midnight outside Virgin on Market Street in Manchester with my mate Stefan Tomkins (R.I.P). I bought it on CD and got a huge signed poster, which I still treasure. Stef bought in on tape so he could play it in his mum’s car on the way home. We were pictured in the Manchester Evening News.
5) When tickets for the 1995 tour went on sale I queued up outside the Apollo at 5am waiting for the box office to open at 9am. I got four tickets for my mates and me and lost one on the way home. I had to tell Stu Bradford that his ticket had got lost on Ardwick Green. To this day I still don’t know what happened to it.
6) On the way home from school once I met Ian Brown and he gave me his autograph. On another occasion I sat next to him at Timperley Metrolink Station and he gave me an Embassy Filter.
7) I did work experience at the Big Issue where I first met Roses uber-fan John Robb. The Roses have their first interview for the Second Coming to the Big Issue. Cyber-handsome John Robb was also the first journalist to ask a question at the Stone Roses press conference.
8) Two lads in my class at school (Casey Longden and Neil Nisbet) went on to form the Rub with Reni during his wilderness years.
9) I took my Roses vinyl to a Primal Scream gig and found Cressa outside the pub next door. He took all my records off me, disappeared backstage for five minutes and returned with Mani’s signature.
10) I went to the launch of the Gareth Evans/Mick Middles book ‘Breaking Into Heaven’ and got it signed by the authors – and thanks to Casey – Reni and Pete Garner (the original Stone Roses bassist).
The return of the Stone Roses is a great, great thing. You should celebrate it.