"From Atlanta, Georgia to Longsight, Manchester..."



The Eiger

Place: The Eiger
Location: The Bernese Alps, Switzerland.
Relevance: At the end of 1989, The Stone Roses were photographed at the Eiger.

 

Top: The north face of the Eiger.
Bottom photos: The Stone Roses at the Eiger.

At the end of 1989, The Stone Roses were photographed at the Eiger, in a 'Top of the World' themed NME feature.


Giant's Causeway

Place: Giant's Causeway
Location: 2 miles north of Bushmills in County Antrim, along the north coast of Northern Ireland.
Relevance: Debut LP cover artwork.

Top: Giant's Causeway, County Antrim.
Bottom: University of Ulster, Coleraine, County Derry, Northern Ireland.

This is John Squire speaking about the Bye Bye Badman artwork, to be found on the front cover of the band's debut LP:

 

The sea at the Giant's Causeway, Squire remembers, was boiling with waves smashing against the rocks, and full of bubbles. When the sea seems to be almost green, this effect of a pale green with white foam splattered across the top was something that Squire tried to capture for the debut LP cover. On the 2012 reunion tour, Ian Brown wore a specially designed windbreaker jacket (right), adorned with the debut LP artwork.

Giant's Causeway, a mass of basalt columns packed tightly together, is Northern Ireland's premier tourist attraction. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Altogether there are 40,000 of these stone columns, mostly hexagonal but some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest are about 40 feet high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 90 feet thick in places. While scientific research explains the formation of the columns as a natural consequence of lava cooling, legend has it that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn McCool) built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. One version of the legend tells that Finn McCool fell asleep before he got to Scotland. When he failed to arrive, the much larger Benandonner crossed the bridge looking for him. To protect Fionn, his wife Oonagh laid a blanket over Fionn and pretended he was actually Fionn's baby son (in a variation, Fionn fled after seeing Benandonner's great bulk, and asked his wife to disguise him as the baby.) In both versions, when Benandonner saw the size of the 'infant', he assumed the alleged father, Fionn, must be gigantic indeed. Therefore, Benandonner fled home in terror, ripping up the Causeway in case he was followed by Fionn. This was not the first time that Giant's Causeway had been used for an album cover. The cover of Led Zeppelin's 1973 LP, Houses of the Holy, is a collage of several photographs taken at the site by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis.


Hulme

Place: Hulme
Location: Hulme, Manchester.
Relevance: Ian Brown and John Squire moved to Hulme in 1981, and Ian's meeting with Geno Washington here would inspire him to become a singer.

Top: A Hulme gathering.
Second row: Hulme stairwells.
Third row: Police, in numbers, patrol one of the Crescents.
Bottom: A panorama of Hulme, looking northwards towards Manchester city centre.

Some key figures of the Manchester music scene - such as Mani, Noel Gallagher and John Robb - fondly remember Hulme's Kitchen club, rather than the Hacienda, as being the real epicentre of the action. Noel Gallagher and his friends would often go there after leaving the Hacienda, with The Stone Roses' debut album providing the soundtrack every time. Situated in a police no-go zone on a Hulme council estate, the dimly-lit Kitchen was made from three box flats that had been knocked into one space with pick axes. By the early seventies, it had swiftly developed into an area of cheap housing for students and outsiders; by the mid-eighties, it had become squat central, with post-punk idealism everywhere. In January 1983, Ian Brown held a birthday party in Hulme for his girfriend's 21st, at which he was encouraged by Geno Washington to become a singer.


Lanzarote

Place: Lanzarote
Location: Northeastern and eastern Canary Islands, Spain
Relevance: The filming location for the Fool's Gold video (footage from this shoot was used also for the I Wanna Be Adored video).

 

Top left: John Squire plays his Pollocked guitar against the Lanzarote backdrop.
Top right: John surveys the Lanzarote landscape.
Bottom: Crater and laguna in El Golfo.

The Fool's Gold video features The Stone Roses walking across the volcanic landscape of Lanzarote, one of John Squire's favourite vacation spots. Lanzarote, a Spanish island, is the easternmost of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 125 kilometres off the coast of Africa and 1,000 kilometres from the Iberian Peninsula. Lanzarote is an island of volcanic origin with very low rainfall; much of the south of the island is desert and a barren expanse of lava flows. It was created about 35 million years ago. Alfred Wegener arrived in 1912 and studied the island, showing how it fitted in with his theory of continental drift. The island, along with others, was created after the breakup of the African and American continental plates.


Longsight

Place: Longsight
Location: Manchester, England
Relevance: The Stone Roses, Daybreak; Ian Brown, Longsight M13

 

Left: Districts of Manchester.
Right: Picture 4 shows the 'Free Ian Brown' graffiti at Dickenson Road, Longsight M13.

The International Nightclub Manchester (co-owned by Gareth Evans and Matthew Cummings) in Longsight was the base for The Stone Roses in the late eighties. This afforded the band free rehearsal space, an opportunity to establish a regular audience, and allowed them to size up the competition by seeing a succession of bands perform there. Ian Brown's 'Longsight M13' is a tribute to the 'Free Ian Brown' graffiti found in that postcode area of Longsight, when the singer was in Strangeways prison. The song was written with Aziz Ibrahim, who was brought up on Longsight council estate (and, mapping his own journey, entitled his debut solo album, Lahore to Longsight). Longsight is an area of Manchester approximately 3 miles south of the city centre. Previously known as Grindlow Marsh, it was incorporated into the City of Manchester in 1890. The district is bordered by Ardwick to the north, Rusholme and Victoria Park to the west, Levenshulme to the south, and Gorton to the east. Ian once again returned to his roots in the choice of town for The Stone Roses' comeback gig of 2012. The band's rebirth saw them performing at Warrington Parr Hall in May of that year, in the town where where their lead singer was born.


Newport Bridge

Place: Newport Bridge
Location: Clarence Place, Newport, South Wales
Relevance: Love Spreads and Second Coming artwork.

 

   

Top: Newport Bridge crosses the River Usk in Newport, South Wales. The bridge was opened on 22nd June 1927, replacing an earlier wooden bridge built in 1800. The bridge is flanked by Newport Castle and the 'Steel Wave' sculpture on the west side, whilst the derelict Newport Technical Institute building and the modern-day Clarence House office block are on the eastern side of the bridge.
Middle photos: The cherub at Newport Bridge, which features in modified form on the Love Spreads and Second Coming artworks.
Bottom left: Love spreads her 'arms' in this cover artwork. Living up to his name, Squire here takes on the mantle of arms bearer.
Bottom centre and bottom right: The Second Coming cherub, with and without cigarette. The smoking angel-baby has precedent in the controversial Van Halen album sleeve, '1984'.

John Squire may have been inspired by the 'I Was A Teenage Gwent Boy' LP cover artwork featuring this sculpture. This 1994 compilation featured the best of the Newport scene circa 1994, including Novocaine, 60ft Dolls, Cowboy Killers and The Flemgods. Novocaine were a neo-punk band, who were booked into the next-door studio at Rockfield when The Stone Roses arrived. Ian struck up a friendship with Novocaine vocalist Steve Evans, leading to The Stone Roses' frontman providing a lyric for Novocaine's song, 'Brain'; Ian was also in attendance when Novocaine supported Dub War at TJs, Newport, in February 1994. The cherub is modelled after Newport's coat of arms. On 10th December 1991, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love crashed here, right underneath one of the cherubs, when arriving in Newport for that evening's Hole gig (Russell Warby, their agent, was driving).

 

Left: 'I Was A Teenage Gwent Boy' LP cover.
Right: Newport's coat of arms. The motto, 'Terra Marique', means 'By land and sea'.

This is John Squire speaking about the Love Spreads artwork. A cigarette was added to the cherub that features on the front cover of Second Coming:


Pipervika

Place: Pipervika
Location: Pipervika, Oslo
Relevance: The statue outside Oslo City Hall features in the Love Spreads video.

 

Top left: Love Spreads screengrab.
Top right and bottom: The statue outside Oslo City Hall, from two different angles.

Oslo City Hall, in Pipervika, houses the City Council, city administration, art studios and galleries. The construction started in 1931, but was halted by the outbreak of World War II, before the official inauguration in 1950. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded here annually.


Trafalgar Square

Place: Trafalgar Square
Location: Central London, England
Relevance: Ian Brown: Lions, Corpses In Their Mouths

One of the four bronze lions around the base of Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square.

The Ian Brown solo track Lions is critical of the association of the animal with England, such as those to be found at Trafalgar Square and on the England shirt. Trafalgar Square is a square in central London that commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar of 1805, a British naval victory of the Napoleonic Wars. The original name was to have been 'King William the Fourth's Square', but George Ledwell Taylor suggested the name 'Trafalgar Square'. Nelson's Column is in the centre of the square. It is surrounded by four huge bronze lions on granite plinths, sculpted by Sir Edwin Landseer and cast by Marocchetti, that arrived in 1868, and fountains designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1939. The metal used to sculpt the lions is said to have been recycled from the cannon of the French fleet. On the North side of the Square is the National Gallery, alongside which is the National Portrait Gallery.

The lions at Trafalgar Square feature in the Corpses In Their Mouths video.


The Vatican

Place: The Vatican
Location: Rome, Italy
Relevance: Ian Brown, All Ablaze

Two Vatican Swiss guards stand in front of St. Peter's Basilica (top row), as Pope Benedict XVI delivers his annual "Urbi et Orbi" (to the City and to the World) message in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Friday 25th December 2009. Peter (second row) was given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. From this aerial perspective (third row), St. Peter's Square forms the shape of a keyhole. The Vatican is not an obstacle to salvation, the Vatican is the key to salvation. These are the arms of the Mother Church embracing all the world. Bernini's design of the Piazza San Pietro colonnades created a dynamic metaphor for Christianity's universal embrace: "The church of St Peter, being virtually the mother of all the others, had to have a portico that would in fact appear to maternally receive with open arms Catholics to be confirmed in faith, heretics to be reunited with the Church, and unbelievers to be enlightened by the true faith."

Vatican City is a sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a landlocked, almost completely walled, enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. Governed by the Pope, the entire state is about 44 hectares (108.7 acres) and thus is a European microstate. It is the smallest independent nation in the world, created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, and a vestige of the much larger former Papal States (A.D. 756 to A.D. 1870).

Seems to me like it's open season on Catholics ? You two goons are quite free to fuck off and go start your own religion, so stop leeching off this one.

The "illegitimate son of an ancient pope" that Colin O'Toole refers to in the above extract is Cesare Borgia. Pretentiously, he portrays Ian experiencing a profound eureka moment when confronted by a portrait of Cesare Borgia in the Vatican. In fact, this pleb is simply recycling 'B.I.B.L.E.' by GZA (a Planet Groove selection). The construction of O'Toole's final sentence here is perniciously misleading. Nowhere in the Vatican will you find "an image of Jesus whose face was that of the illegitimate son of an ancient pope." You may find an image of Cesare Borgia, whose face some rappers (a decade previously) have (erroneously) claimed was the blueprint for portraits of Jesus. The two extracts above exemplify a self-absorbed modern mindset, in which religion is expected to conform to the individual. Ian Brown goes into first person personal pronoun overdrive ("I wrote", "I watched", "I see", "I think") in his putrid seething. Meanwhile, Colin O'Toole irreverently sets the two-thousand-year timespan of the Catholic Church against the backdrop of his childhood ("When I was a kid, the imagery of the Catholic Church..."), as if he has somehow 'outgrown' the Catholic Church. O Colin. Tool ! Thinking that he has got the Catholic Church 'sussed out', this oik manipulatively condenses its essence into 'imagery' of water and fire ("The imagery of the Catholic Church was simple..."). Folks, that noise you hear is Chateaubriand turning in his grave. The only 'simple' thing here is Colin O'Toole's dunderheaded grasp of the Roman Catholic Church. What takes place at Mass extends far beyond the realm of 'imagery'. The Church's teachings and faith are the most extraordinarily beautiful things this side of heaven. When you enter into the sacred space, you are crossing the frontier from time into eternity, from the world into the heavenly Jerusalem. Mass truly is heaven on earth, lifting a veil on the eternal in anticipation of the setting sun. It is just as well that Gian Lorenzo Bernini was entrusted with the architectural visualization of the Vatican, and not someone of the ilk of O'Toole, because this dimwit seems to be confusing the Roman Catholic Church with the Fire Brigade.

The pair were at it again on the 'Stellify' video shoot (directed by O'Toole) in 2009, with an entourage of sycophants and assorted plate-lickers. There is never only one cockroach. Where Ian and his fellow travellers are gathered to cry persecution, Colin O'Toole is present in their midst to breathlessly broadcast their every last grievance. In a 'Behind the Scenes' feature with Tim Lovejoy vanity project ChannelBee, void of any context in the edit, we are treated to Ian delivering a hogwash anecdote to his merry band of chumps about being 'intimidated' by priests at the ripe old age of three. All manipulated personal 'commotion' and no truth, this feigned victimization tactic on the doorstep of property is the sort of shit the Nazis used to rule at. Ginning up a mob, the singer bristles with anger, telling his minions a tale about how his dad tried, without success, to get him to go into church ("All them priests were scaring me"). In a strict theological sense, he is carrying out his father's desire here (and elsewhere). This contrived tripe gets a forced chuckle from one lackey who is no doubt keen to remain in the loop, and the circus rolls on. Taking a breather from the Hometown Boy Done Good Tour, a safely indoors, waterproof coat wearing Ian ventures to suggest that those 'oop north are made of sterner stuff than southerners when it comes to battling the elements: "I've never seen so many umbrellas in Manchester... all the southerners think it's raining but we haven't actually noticed it." It seems to have escaped the singer's attention that, throughout the entire video shoot (and beyond its completion), he is followed by a servile umbrella-bearer, solely designated with the task of protecting him from the merest hint of drizzle. Maybe that's why you're not noticing the rain. You honestly couldn't make this shit up. The video shoot is one prolonged exercise in hubris, with Ian and his atheist brownshirts parading past a dole office (I claimed), a church (I squalled), and emerging victorious (I conquered).

Qui mange du Pape, en meurt. I open my commentary on Some Folks Are Hollow with the expression, 'Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are.' Better still, 'Tell me who your enemies are and I'll tell you who you are.'


The Washington Library of Congress

Place: The Washington Library of Congress
Location: Washington D.C., USA
Relevance: The Seahorses track Sale Of The Century references Washington DC's Library.

The Washington Library of Congress.

The Washington Library of Congress, in the Capitol Hill area of Washington DC, is the national library of America. It is the world's largest library and one of the major landmarks in Washington DC. Its three enormous buildings are home to more than 100 million items, including the papers of over 20 presidents, along the 535 miles of bookshelves.


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