We interview Matt Mead – elephant stone recording session outtakes & other rarities #stoneroses #thestoneroses

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Jan 7th, 2018
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We interview Matt Mead, who is currently writing the book Flowered Up and who recently was able to share a short clip from The Stone Roses Elephant Stone recording sessions.  Matt’s interviewed various Stone Roses connections before and one of our favourites is here: http://www.thestoneroses.co/this-is-the-daybreak-interviews-simon-wolstencroft/

This time, it’s Matt’s turn:

  1. what was the first roses song you heard?  where did you hear it and what stood out about them?

I heard by chance the chorus of Made of Stone on the ITV Chart Show March 1989 on the indie chart not. The catchy, dreamy, drooling, cool singing, the drifting and striking music was all very very catchy to a 14-year-old indie kid

2. what’s your favourite stone roses song and why?

At present, it is Tradjic Roundabout. Now, the die-hard roses fans will be screaming at this page no doubt saying ‘Tradjic Roundabout!!??!!’ But that early 5 piece are vastly underrated imo and Tradjic Roundabout being testament to that. Yes I love the debut album and second coming, and have listened to those tracks 1,000,000 times, so I think I’ll go for one of the early, early tunes, especially this version https://youtu.be/k1SZ9ibB3f0

  1. What’s your favourite stone roses gig?

If I was at the gig it would have to be Spike Island, but I never had enough pocket money to attend. Of the gigs I’ve attended; Wembley 95, Friday night Heaton Park, Leeds 21.6.17, I’ll have to say Heaton Park. Wembley’95 was Reni-less and you could see the cracks all over the place, a similar tale at Leeds. Heaton Park was all hype and imo it was justified. They played a blinder and in the middle of the set Ten Storey Love Song added that little dust of magic. A wonderful night

4. In the wilderness years from 96 onwards what did you do to keep the Roses flame going?

I think the bootlegs filled the void nicely. Even though the same set and songs appeared on most of the recordings, it helped with the desire for what the fans wanted. A reunion. I also gained a desire to interview some of those close to the roses quarters in a number of interviews for Louder Than War and the excellent Paul MCauleys http://www.thisisthedaybreak.co.uk/ page:

http://www.pdmcauley.co.uk/Interviews/JohnKertlandinterview2014.pdf

http://www.pdmcauley.co.uk/Interviews/SimonWolstencroft2014.pdf

http://www.pdmcauley.co.uk/Interviews/TimVigon2014.pdf

http://louderthanwar.com/return-high-fan-matt-mead-lost-highstone-roses-material-bands-comeback/

  1. You’ve done some great interviews over the years with people connected to the Roses.  Can you just highlight you’re top 3 answers from some of them?

Tim Vigon on Blackpool: Probably the best gig I’ve ever been to. At least the most memorable. This was the first time that people started wearing Reni hats and wearing the clothes the band were pictured in on the album, in magazines or had worn on television. It didn’t feel like a gig crowd, it felt like a movement. We sat on the balcony and I’ll never forget when Adored kicked in, the whole floor was jumping. I’m certain the venue was oversold and there was about 4000 people all under the same groove. It was such a giant leap from the gigs before it was another moment when it was clear that this thing was growing exponentially and they were going to be huge. Again Steve Adge pulled me and my mates backstage, we got to take photos of the band and to show them the fanzine I was writing – the band were on a high – everyone was. Special night

Chris Goodwin on Hungry Socks: After that first “show” we kept changing personnel, with Mani on bass (yes, that Mani) Clint Boon on organ, Swinny on vocals and guitar and Andy Housley joining on second guitar. One memorable night when we played at The Tommyfield pub, well, when I say we played, we actually got to soundcheck and every scally, scooter boy, mod etc who were our mates were in the pub and things were getting a little moody with the landlord and our bass player Mani. A massive argument broke out which resulted in Mani telling the landlord to fuck off and lobbing his bass at him, the landlord went crazy shouting the infamous words which have gone down in folklore around the Failsworth area, “I DON’T LIKE LIPPY LITTLE KIDS, AND YOU’RE A LIPPY LITTLE KID” !! That was our signal to trash the gaff, but making sure our gear got out safely. A few bumps and bruises later shaking off the security we ended up at the Irish Land League cabaret club. We asked if we could play there for free beer and we played a set of garage band classics, plus the odd Joy Division song. One very funny moment at this show was the compere for the evening. Clint Boon had a voice effect on the microphone he was speaking into and Clint would make the fella’s voice into a Barry White type baritone, then next thing a high-pitched chipmunk on helium voice. It was hilarious and the punters wanted him to stay on talking rather than watch us play…can’t blame ’em really ha ha…

Andy Couzens on the reunion: It was really good to see them together at the press conference, obviously enjoying being together. I saw them play on the Sunday night at Heaton Park. Emotional, but again – they need a rhythm guitar player ?

  1. In a perfect world, what would you like to see the Roses do next?

1st. Regain some dignity on the road and play different stuff for starters. Hardest Thing, All Across The Sands, Tears, How Do You Sleep. 2nd. Release the album they all can write.

  1. Challenging one… who’s your favourite stone rose and why?

 Andy Couzens in the 5 piece. I won’t go into too many details but he vastly and criminally underrated. Reni in the 4 piece. A genius drummer. Up there with Moon, Mitchell and Bonham.

  1. You’re a huge Roses collector and i know you’re not able to share some of the items you have or have come across, but what are you top 3 rare items that you have seen/have access too?

 The Waterfront original reel tape. There’s a article I was asked to write on Louder Than War regarding my finding this. Of late there has been a further twist in the tale. The brilliant Colin White of Vinyl Revival has firmly picked up the mantle and has arranged for The Waterfront tracks to be cleaned up digitally with the tracks getting their first official release on 12”, with all proceeds going to the magnificent Christie’s charity. In the next month or so there’ll be a lot more news regarding this, not only in print but on the airwaves.

Elephant Stone rehearsal tape.

A recent find kindly shared with me which I was allowed to share a small snippet of. A wonderful 1hr 30mins of the band rehearsing through and talking in the studio about Elephant Stone. There’s not much more I can say apart from the Roses should do a official bootleg series for the fans, much like Dylan has done

Reni’s first rehearsal

This is the very first time Reni rehearses with the band. Not a great sound to the recording but historic all the same.

  1. You recently posted a short clip from the elephant stone demos where it shows Ian singing in his whispery, angelic first coming voice.  Can you tell us more about that clip?

See answer 10.

  1.  what’s the holy grail for you in respect of the stone roses.  What do you know/believe is still out there Roses wise?

Holy grail has to be one of the following:

The Patrol demos

The first warehouse gig footage 1985

Northampton Roadmenders 1989 audio.

John Leckie’s studio footage from the second coming recordings, pictures appeared in q last year.

The soundboard audio of Glasgow Green 1990.

The audio of the second coming tour rehearsals featuring Reni.

  1. Out of all the rarities you own, what’s your fave and why?

Probably the Reni rehearsal. Raw sounding, but an historical moment in the life of the band

  1. I think you’ve interviewed Si Wolsentcroft and know Andy Couzens.  Si said he has recordings from the period that will appear on his podcasts due out in Sep 2014, did these ever materialise?  What were their fave Roses stories from back in the day? 

Yes. Si shared a live recording of The Patrol, a recording of the track is below

https://www.dropbox.com/s/w4rhqyclh9mvvta/the-patrol-jail-of-the-assassins-live.mp3?dl=0

Andy has shared some rarities too, amongst them this rare recording of Here It Comes https://soundcloud.com/boxsetgo/the-stone-roses-here-it-comes-rehearsal-1985

  1.  do you think we’ll see the 4 roses in a studio again?

 No, never again.

  1.  there’s a few rumours why the Roses split and Ian and Reni’s distance from each other in the last gig speaks volumes to some fans.  Do you know why they split?

 This is pure rumour, but I think they have had disagreements regarding no new stuff in the Set.


  1. Finally, is there anything else you’d like to add?

 I’ve started to write a book on London’s legendary Flowered Up.

After writing a very successful article on the band for Louder Than War http://louderthanwar.com/flowered-weekenders-tale/ I was approached by their former manager to have a stab at writing a book. Since then the idea of the book has exploded with a wealth of those that were there at the time contacting me to be interviewed. Band members, family of the band, record producers and the well known fans of the band!

It’s been an incredible response so far, with incredible archives being opened for the benefit of the book. All in all this will tell the tale of the fans band and will be a loving, lasting legacy to brothers Liam and Joe Maher x