Every now and then we all have flashbulb memories – the kind of memory laid down in photographic detail during a personally significant event. Like most people, my own flashbulb memories mostly relate to shocking events of international importance. But there are some, like the first time I saw a Jackson Pollock painting up close, that take their significance from artistic or cultural realms and are personally significant in a wholly different way.
It is in this way that I remember the first time I heard The Stone Roses. In a room of my shared student house in Plumstead, watching a black and white portable telly (which for some inexplicable reason I had painted orange), and a show called ‘The Other Side of Midnight’ hosted by the inimitable Tony Wilson (right).
Tony was one of those blokes who made waves. His name and presence would keep on cropping up through-out the various cultural touchpoints of my formative years and beyond.
So it was with great sadness that I read whilst I was away on my soggy camping trip that he had finally lost his battle with renal cancer.
His story is well known (and captured here very eloquently in a piece written by Paul Morley for the NME office blog). Entrepeneur, nightclub owner, film-subject. For me, he was the guy behind the record label that made up a healthy proportion of my early LP collection (and that commissioned some amazing graphic design). He was the founder of a legendary Manchester nightclub that everyone I knew talked about but that somehow (godammit) I never got to. He was in some way connected to that bonkers Acid House craze that hit about the time I was working in a Picadilly record store. He was a catalyst behind that post-punk-indie-meets-dance-music ‘Madchester’ sound that came to make up a healthy proportion of my latter LP collection. He was a man who changed the music industry. He was the guy that introduced me to The Stone Roses.
So here, by way of a small tribute of my own, are that very band from that very show I watched all those years ago with the wonderful "Waterfall".