Teacher Diaries: Mr. Rex – Non-Fiction

The Stone Roses are my favourite rock band. Fusing the free spirit of the 60s with the Balearic dance grooves and pop sensibilities of the 80s, their eponymous debut album released in 1989 is widely hailed as one of the best of all time, having inspired such acts as Oasis and Franz Ferdinand. The Stone Roses: War and Peace by Simon Spence details how the Mancunian four-piece made the leap from an unknown indie band to a massive cultural phenomenon with legions of fans all over the UK turning up to their gigs in the iconic bucket hats and baggy jeans.

Their success was short-lived, however. Battling court cases with their record label, they took years to finish a sophomore album many found disappointing. They disbanded in 1996 acrimoniously, leaving the hearts of the fans and the relationship
between singer Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire, who had been close friends since their grammar school days, in tatters.

When I was relishing the book’s great insights into how the band crafted their masterpieces in their heyday, I couldn’t help but ask many ‘what-ifs’ – had the Roses not split, would they have become another Beatles? Had their bloodsucking manager
been less unscrupulous, would their second album have matched the first? There are no answers. Life is as precarious as they come, and the sense of unfulfillment has only made this unique band even more legendary.

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