So I managed to get myself on the list to attend the press conference announcing the reunion of The Stone Roses.
It's a tricky one this because I loved this band with a vengeance and I have mixed feelings about it.
The release of their celebrated first album coincided with my first year at university back in 1990. It sound-tracked some amazing times - on a spiritual level it marked a time of total freedom and independence, of being reckless and utterly carefree. On a more practical level it was the background music for getting laid, taking drugs and embarking on debauched, late-night adventures.
Above and beyond my love for the songs, this album was a bit like a tattoo - it became a permanent marker that later on in life would always remind me of those times. It was brilliant, fresh, and exciting, and so were those wild days of youthful hedonism.
Perhaps I listen to music the wrong way and this is what prevents me from fully embracing the revival of a past love affair with a band like The Stone Roses. When music conjures up memories, I feel nostalgic to the point of nausea. I feel sad for lost time, lost friends, lost lovers, and wasted opportunities; I feel gutted for a youth that has disappeared. Music does that to me.
And I want to look forwards, not backwards.
But saying that, to see them all again, 20 years later was awkward but also quite lovely. On a human level, I'm glad they've patched up their differences. It seemed like a genuine reunion, not just a money-grabbing exercise. Ian Brown and John Squire sat side-by-side, and in the flesh it was obvious that they have a deep connection. It really does seem that this is not a business partnership but a musical adventure.
This was not a forced reconciliation but something that had flowered from the four band members meeting up at the funeral of Mani's mother last year. Ian Brown mentioned that "something beautiful had come from a dark moment" and somehow it didn't feel cheesy but heartfelt.
It also helped that the four of them still look like a rock band and are still blessed with decent heads of hair. In rock'n'roll, that's important.
In She Bangs The Drums Ian Brown sings one of my favourite lyrics of all time: "The past was yours but the future's mine, you're all out of time."
These were the words that set the band apart as unique and special, as wildly ambitious and blessed with loved-up positivity. Their dreams came true.
Twenty years on, I wonder if Ian Brown can still sing them with real conviction and authenticity. I think he probably can.
As for whether I can listen to these words with renewed optimism rather than with wistfulness, that's a different matter entirely. Thinking about it, maybe a tab of ecstasy might help.Suggest a correction