Soak me to my skin
Will you drown me in your sea
Submission ends and I begin
Choke me smoke the air
In this citrus sucking sunshine I don't care
You're not all there
Every backbone and heart you break
Will still come back for more
Submission ends in hope
Here he come
Got no question got no love
I'm throwing stones at you man
I want you black and blue and
I'm gonna make you bleed
Gonna bring you down to your knees
Bye bye badman
Choke me smoke the air
In this citrus sucking sunshine I don't care
You're not all there
You've been bought and paid
You're a whore and a slave
Your dock's not a holy shrine
Come taste the end you're mine*
Here he come
Got no question got no love
I'm throwing stones at you man
I want you black and blue then
I'm gonna make you bleed
Gonna bring you down to your knees
Bye bye badman
I've got bad intention
I intend to
Knock you down
These stones I throw
Oh these French kisses
Are the only way I've found
I've got bad intention
I intend to
Knock you down
These stones I throw
Oh these French kisses
Are the only way I've found
Squire / Brown
Squire / Brown
John Squire (guitar)
Ian Brown (vocals)
Gary Mounfield (bass)
Alan Wren (drums)
The Stone Roses (4.00)
The Stone Roses (10th Anniversary Edition) (4.03)
First live performance:
Bye Bye Badman was performed live at least once (A one-minute audio clip exists from the gig at Sheffield University, 20th February 1989). The song was rarely performed live, due most probably to the difficulty in recreating the various guitar parts with only one guitarist.
"Anything is possible when people get together, like East Germany," says Ian. "All they had to do was go on the street and say, No, we're not having it. There was nothing anyone could do. They (the authorities) had to go. Right y'are, we'll have some changes. I don't see it being naive. I don't see it being young or hippy-ish that people will come together. I believe they will because they will have to. I'm talking about people being constantly had over, sold short, misled, having the wool pulled over their eyes. Eventually they'll say they're not having it anymore. I've got faith in people."
(Ian Brown speaking to Q magazine, February 1990)
But you don't appear to deal with social or political issues.
"We do. The whole LP is full of them."
I didn't make those connections.
"You missed out then."
What exactly did I miss ?
"The social issue connections. Freedom is an issue. That's what they say to me. They're all 'Freedom' songs. Every one of them."
(The Stone Roses speaking to Andy Darlington of Hot Press magazine, 1st July 1990)
"We caught on to a moment in time. It was a time of absolute change. You look at the politics in Europe and the Ceausescus and the Wall coming down. It was a time of revolution and we were singing revolutionary songs. Behind the sugarsweet melodies, there's some real hatred in the lyrics. It's all about revolution and change. We just caught the right time. We were the right band at the right time, saying the right thing and wearing the right clothes, man. It's uncanny how it worked out."
(Mani speaking to Clint Boon)
"Revolution is not 'showing' life to people, but bringing them to life. A revolutionary organization must always remember that its objective is not getting its adherents to listen to convincing talks by expert leaders, but getting them to speak for themselves, in order to achieve, or at least strive toward, an equal degree of participation."
(Guy Debord, Situationist International, 1961)
Everywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy
'cause summer's here and the time is right for
fighting in the street, boy
Well then what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock 'n' roll band
'cause in sleepy London town
There's just no place for a street fighting man, no !
The Rolling Stones, Street Fighting Man (1968)
In spring 1988, Channel 4 screened a series of documentaries marking the 20th anniversary of Les Evenements De Mai, the Paris riots and subsequent strikes that all but paralysed France in 1968. John Squire and Ian Brown were inspired by one of the programmes, entitled 'Revolution Revisited' and hosted by one-time student insurrectionary and French MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit, to write Bye Bye Badman. A radical young leader in the Paris revolt, Bendit's provocative ideas and proclamations struck a chord with the youth. He was denounced by the conservative press as a "Jew, a German, and an undesirable." People were stunned by the apparent anti-Semitism of the attacks upon him, and the immediate artistic response was a poster proclaiming, "We Are All Undesirables !". Soon, millions were chanting the poster's slogan in the streets. Ian's interest in this period of history had been sparked before the airing of this programme, however. Earlier in the decade, while hitchhiking around Europe with his girlfriend, he learned about the riots from a meeting with a French man who had participated in them. Opening with Squire's chugging guitar riff slowly moving across the soundstage from one side to another and back, Bye Bye Badman is written from the perspective of the students of the May 1968 Paris riots ("I'm throwing stones at you man"), who realised that sucking on lemons negated the effects of the police CS Gas. Lemons and the French tricolour are to be found on the front cover artwork of The Stone Roses' debut, entitled 'Bye Bye Badman'. The lemons are not part of the picture but are in fact real lemons, nailed on because it was photographed on the wall - the photographer didn't have a rostrum camera.
On 22nd March 1968, far-left groups and a small number of prominent poets and musicians, along with 150 students, invaded an administration building at Nanterre University and held a meeting in the university council room dealing with class discrimination in French society and the political bureaucracy that controlled the school's funding. Students called for an overhaul of French society. René Riesel demanded the expulsion of two Stalin supporters from the meeting when they attempted to disrupt a speaker. This led to great unrest and the meeting became increasingly hostile. The school's administration called the police, who surrounded the university. They initially agreed to let students go in groups of 25, first women and then men. When the men began to emerge however, they were arrested. When other students gathered to stop the police vans from taking away the arrested students, the riot police responded by launching tear gas into the crowd. Rather than dispersing the students, the tear gas only brought more students to the scene, where they blocked the exit of the vans. The police finally prevailed, but only after arresting hundreds of students. In May 1968, France witnessed a series of protests and a general strike that contributed to the eventual collapse of the De Gaulle government in France. The vast majority of the protesters espoused left-wing causes, but the established leftist political institutions and labour unions distanced themselves from the movement. Many saw the events as an opportunity to shake up the 'old society' in many social aspects and traditional morality, focusing especially on the education system and employment. It began as a series of student strikes that broke out at a number of universities and high schools in Paris, following confrontations with university administrators and the police. The de Gaulle administration's attempts to quash those strikes by further police action only inflamed the situation further, leading to street battles with the police in the Latin Quarter, followed by a general strike by students and strikes throughout France by ten million French workers, approximately two-thirds of the French workforce. The protests reached the point that de Gaulle created a military operations headquarters to deal with the unrest, dissolved the National Assembly and called for new parliamentary elections for 23rd June 1968. The government was close to collapse at that point (De Gaulle had even taken temporary refuge at an airforce base in Germany), but the revolutionary situation evaporated almost as quickly as it arose. Workers went back to their jobs, after a series of deceptions carried out by the Confédération Générale du Travail, the leftist union federation, and the Parti Communiste Français (PCF), the French Communist Party. When the elections were finally held in June, the Gaullist party emerged even stronger than before.
Following months of conflicts between students and authorities at the University of Paris at Nanterre, the administration shut down the university on 2nd May 1968. Students at the University of the Sorbonne in Paris met on 3rd May to protest against the closure and the threatened expulsion of several students at Nanterre. On Monday 6th May, the national student union, the UNEF, and the union of university teachers called a march to protest against the police invasion of the Sorbonne. More than 20,000 students, teachers and supporters marched towards the Sorbonne, still sealed off by the police, who charged, wielding their batons, as soon as the marchers approached. While the crowd dispersed, some began to create barricades out of whatever was at hand, while others threw paving stones, forcing the police to retreat for a time. The police then responded with tear gas and charged the crowd again. Hundreds more students were arrested. High school student unions spoke in support of the riots and joined the students, teachers and increasing numbers of young workers who gathered at the Arc de Triomphe to demand that: (1) all criminal charges against arrested students be dropped, (2) the police leave the university, and (3) the authorities reopen Nanterre and the Sorbonne. Negotiations broke down after students returned to their campuses, after a false report that the government had agreed to reopen them, only to discover the police still occupying the schools. The students now had a near revolutionary fervour. On Friday 10th May, another huge crowd congregated on La Rive Gauche. When the riot police again blocked them from crossing the river, the crowd again threw up barricades, which the police then attacked at 2:15 in the morning after negotiations once again floundered. The confrontation, which produced hundreds of arrests and injuries, lasted until dawn of the following day. The events were broadcast on radio as they occurred and the aftermath was shown on television the following day. The government's heavy-handed reaction provoked a wave of sympathy for the strikers and subsequently, many of the nation's more mainstream singers and poets joined the movement. American artists also began voicing support of the strikers. The Parti Communiste Français (PCF) reluctantly supported the students, whom it regarded as adventurists and anarchists, and the major left union federations, the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) and the Force Ouvrière (CGT-FO) called a one-day general strike and demonstration for Monday 13th May. Over one million people marched through Paris on that day, with police mainly staying out of sight. Prime Minister Georges Pompidou personally announced the release of the prisoners and the reopening of the Sorbonne. The surge of strikes did not, however, recede and in fact, the protesters became even more enraged.
When the Sorbonne reopened, students occupied it and declared it an autonomous "people's university". Approximately 401 popular "action committees" were set up in Paris and elsewhere in the weeks following, to take up grievances against the government and French society. Workers began occupying factories, starting with a sit-down strike at the Sud Aviation plant near the city of Nantes on 14th May, followed by another strike at a Renault parts plant near Rouen, which spread to the Renault manufacturing complexes at Flins in the Seine Valley and the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt. By 16th May, workers had occupied roughly fifty factories and by 17th May, 200,000 workers were on strike. That figure snowballed to two million the following day and then ten million (roughly two-thirds of the French workforce) the following week. These strikes were not led by the union movement; on the contrary, the CGT tried to contain this spontaneous outbreak of militancy by channeling it into a struggle for higher wages and other economic demands. Workers put forward a broader, more political and more radical agenda, demanding the ousting of the government and President de Gaulle and attempting, in some cases, to run their factories. When the trade union leadership negotiated a 35% increase in the minimum wage, a 7% wage increase for other workers, and half normal pay for the time on strike with the major employers' associations, the workers occupying their factories refused to return to work and jeered their union leaders, even though this deal was better than what they could have obtained only a month earlier. On 25th and 26th May, the Grenelle agreements were signed at the Ministry of Social Affairs. They provide for an increase of the minimum wages by 25% and of the average salaries by 10%. These offers were rejected and the strike continued. On 27th May, the Union Nationale des Étudiants de France (national Union of the students of France) met. 30,000 to 50,000 people gathered in the Stade Sebastien Charlety. The meeting was extremely militant with speakers demanded the overthrow of government, and elections to be held. On 30th May, several hundred thousand protesters (400,000 to 500,000, many more than the 50,000 expected by police) led by the CGT marched through Paris, chanting, "Adieu, de Gaulle !" ("Farewell, De Gaulle !", hence, 'Bye Bye Badman'). While the government appeared to be close to collapsing, de Gaulle remained firm, though had to go into hiding. After ensuring that he had sufficient loyal military units mobilized to back him, he went on the radio the following day (the national television service was on strike) to announce the dissolution of the National Assembly, with elections to follow on 23rd June. He ordered workers to return to work, threatening to institute a state of emergency if they did not. From that point, the revolutionary feeling of the students and workers faded away, and workers gradually returned to work or were ousted from their plants by the police. The national student union called off street demonstrations and the government banned a number of leftist organizations. The police retook the Sorbonne on 16th June. De Gaulle triumphed in the legislative elections held in June and the crisis came to an end.
Bye Bye Badman was the Roses' very own 'Street Fighting Man'. Mick Jagger penned this protest song after marching on an anti-war rally at London's U.S. embassy in March 1968, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000. He also found inspiration in the rising violence among student rioters on Paris's Left Bank, the precursor to Mai '68. The Beatles' 'Revolution 1' grew out of the May 1968 uprising, while the experimental 'Revolution 9' was intended to represent the violence of a revolution in progress.
Squire's country-inflected hammer-ons during the chorus are helped by his use of a capo at the second fret, creating a vibe reminiscent of the fifth LP by The Byrds, 'The Notorious Byrd Brothers' (1968). On their debut LP, The Stone Roses masterfully blended the punch of the early Rolling Stones with the melodic foppery of The Byrds. During the verses, the G major to G minor change, followed by the resolution back to D major, brings a Lennon & McCartney air to the track. The change in rhythmic emphasis for the chorus and outro section exhibits an adept and subtle use of dynamics. Reni's doubled up drum part is completed by Squire's riffing over G and D. At the end of the chorus, the Bsus4-Bm-Gm change provides an unexpected turnaround. Squire had a Fostex 16-track recorder in the tape cupboard at the back of the studio, and after everyone had gone home, the guitarist would sit there with headphones and work out all his parts. Preferring not to improvise, this was Squire's modus operandi on the debut LP, continuing right through Fool's Gold, and up until Second Coming. In a Sound On Sound magazine feature from February 2005, John Leckie cites this as part of the reason for the breakdown of that second album. "John would sit in his bedroom with the Fostex while the rest of us waited in the studio for his guitar parts." On Bye Bye Badman, the guitar that plays all the way through - a kind of counter-lead line, going through a Leslie - was played in about half an hour. "However", remembers Leckie, "we had to wait four days for that before he came out of the cupboard." The Fostex was also responsible for Don't Stop, which evolved from the 16-track demo of Waterfall being played backwards. Squire has fond memories of recording his guitar parts for Bye Bye Badman:
In the outro, Squire starts off with a part that mirrors Brown's melody before embarking on a series of Johnny Marr-esque runs. This fast-paced climax captures the regenerated efforts of the Parisian protestors, with Reni's punched beats at the end of each run evoking the surge of a concerted push from the protestors, and subsequent retreat to safety. Graffiti on the North London Railway line in the 70's read, 'Situationists make the best lovers', and a romantic element is introduced at the end of the song, with Ian's French kisses subverted in the name of the Situationist youth uprising.
The Situationist International (SI) was an international organization of social revolutionaries, the exclusive membership of which was made up of avant-garde artists, intellectuals, and political theorists, active from its formation in 1957 to its dissolution in 1972. The intellectual foundations of the Situationist International were derived primarily from anti-authoritarian Marxism and the avant-garde art movements of the early 20th century, particularly Dada and Surrealism. Overall, situationist theory represented an attempt to synthesize this diverse field of theoretical disciplines into a modern and comprehensive critique of mid-20th century advanced capitalism. The situationists recognized that capitalism had changed since Marx's formative writings, but maintained that his analysis of the capitalist mode of production remained fundamentally correct; they rearticulated and expanded upon several classical Marxist concepts, such as his theory of alienation. In their expanded interpretation of Marxist theory, the situationists asserted that the misery of social alienation and commodity fetishism were no longer limited to the fundamental components of capitalist society, but had now in advanced capitalism spread themselves to every aspect of life and culture. They resolutely rejected the idea that advanced capitalism's apparent successes - such as technological advancement, increased income, and increased leisure - could ever outweigh the social dysfunction and degradation of everyday life that it simultaneously inflicted. Essential to situationist theory was the concept of the spectacle, a unified critique of advanced capitalism of which a primary concern was the progressively increasing tendency towards the expression and mediation of social relations through objects. The situationists believed that the shift from individual expression through directly lived experiences, or the first-hand fulfillment of authentic desires, to individual expression by proxy through the exchange or consumption of commodities, or passive second-hand alienation, inflicted significant and far-reaching damage to the quality of human life for both individuals and society. The primary means of counteracting the spectacle was the construction of situations, moments of life deliberately constructed for the purpose of reawakening and pursuing authentic desires, experiencing the feeling of life and adventure, and the liberation of everyday life. When the Situationist International was first formed, it had a predominantly artistic focus; emphasis was placed on concepts like unitary urbanism and psychogeography. Gradually, however, that focus shifted more towards revolutionary and political theory. The Situationist International reached the apex of its creative output and influence in 1967 and 1968, with the former marking the publication of the two most significant texts of the situationist movement, The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord and The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem. The poetic and spirited prose of Vaneigem provided a counterbalance to the political and polemic style of Debord. Debord's work attempted to provide the SI with a Marxian critical theory; the concept of 'the spectacle' expanded to all society the Marxist concept of reification drawn from the first section of Marx's 'Das Kapital', entitled 'The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret thereof' and developed by Georg Lukács. This was an analysis of the logic of commodities whereby they achieve an ideological autonomy from the process of their production, so that "social action takes the form of the action of objects, which rule the producers instead of being ruled by them." (Marx, 'Capital'). Developing this analysis of the logic of the commodity, 'The Society of the Spectacle' generally understood society as divided between the passive subject who consumes the spectacle and the reified spectacle itself. In 1989, he published his 'Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle', putting forward the argument that everything he wrote in 1967 was still true, with one major exception: the society of the spectacle had reached a new form, that of the integrated spectacle. The expressed writing and political theory of the two aforementioned 1967 texts, along with other situationist publications, proved greatly influential in shaping the ideas behind the May 1968 insurrections in France; quotes, phrases, and slogans from situationist texts and publications were ubiquitous on posters and graffiti throughout France during the uprisings. Interestingly, Chapter 21 (Masters Without Slaves) of The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem (1934 - ), contains reference to 'grand seigneur badman' and the Marquis de Sade (de Sade would, soon after, cameo on Fool's Gold):
Marquis and sans-culotte, D.A.F. de Sade unites the perfect hedonist logic of the grand seigneur badman and the revolutionary desire to enjoy without limitations a subjectivity which is at last freed from the hierarchical framework.
The pamphlet Report on the Construction of Situations, published by Debord in June 1957, is the founding Manifesto of the Situationist International revolutionary organization. Ian Brown's 'What a Trip' interview from November 1989 converses on many of its themes, such as the institutionalized imbecilization of young people, and the trivialization and sterilization of the subversive. For Debord, official culture is a "rigged game", where conservative powers forbid subversive ideas to have direct access to the public discourse, and where such ideas are integrated only after been trivialized and sterilized.
The Situationists later inspired the punk 'anarchy' movement in the UK (1976-7). Groups such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash adopted the style, aesthetics and slogans employed by the Situationists - see, for example, Johnny Rotten's Situationist inspired shirt here. British artist Jamie Reid's artwork from the height of the punk era drew heavily upon Situationist imagery, while The Sex Pistols lyric, "No Future for you", stems from a radical French 1968 poster featuring the slogan, 'A Youth Disturbed Too Often By The Future'. Reid's artwork, which first drew John Squire towards abstraction, featured letters cut from newspaper headlines in the style of a ransom note and came closer arguably than any other to define the image of punk rock. His best known works from the era include the album cover 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols' LPs and the singles artwork for 'God Save The Queen', 'Anarchy in the UK', 'Pretty Vacant' and 'Holidays in the Sun'. One of Squire's Celebrity artworks from 2011 was named 'Vivienne Westwood' (ink & oil on canvas, 90cm x 70cm); Westwood is an English fashion designer, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream.
1989 was an annus mirabilis in Europe, with the downfall of the Communist regime signalling the end of the Cold War; Eastern Europe was in revolution and insurrection was in the air, as the rivets in the Iron Curtain started to pop. Poland held elections in June 1989, and five months later, the Berlin Wall fell. Everywhere, Communism was in retreat, as Soviet satellite governments in the East fell one by one. In most of Eastern Europe - Czechoslovakia, Hungary as well as Poland - the end of divisions that had scarred the continent were healed peaceably; although in Romania, at the very end of the year, the old order did not go down without a fight, and the streets of Bucharest ran with blood. The end of the Cold War brought to a close what historian T. C. W. Blanning perceives as the "short twentieth century" (1914 - 1991), which began with WWI. 1789 - 1914 is viewed as the "long nineteenth century" because the developments of this era overlapped time boundaries of a 'conventional' nineteenth century (1800 - 1900).*** A thread can be woven between the years 1789, 1968 and 1989. 1989 was the 200th anniversary of the Great Revolution of 1789, the inception of the "long nineteenth century". The virtual open warfare in the streets of Paris during the May Days of 1968 shattered the old order in France more than any popular uprising since the events of 1789. Aside from the May Days, the year 1968 witnessed a distinct eruption of protest-related violence worldwide, resulting from varying contentious issues (notably Vietnam). Emboldened by events in Berlin with the fall of the Wall, the Czechs of '89 proceeded to push for reform in the full knowledge that the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, was not going to intervene with Soviet tanks in Prague - as had been the case with the Prague Spring of 1968 - given the reform plans he had laid out. In 1968, students in Eastern Europe, drew inspiration from the protests in the West. In Poland and Yugoslavia, students protested against restrictions on free speech by Communist regimes, while in Czechoslovakia, the Prague Spring offered a broadening of political rights until it was crushed by the USSR and its Warsaw Pact allies. 1989 was a year of looking back to events of 1968 for some, notably Czechoslovakia; on 19th November 1989, the playwright / philosopher Vaclav Havel (1936 - ) formed the Civic Forum, an umbrella group for opposition groups seeking dialogue with the government. Mass demonstrations became a daily event, with students joining the protests, while posters developed the iconography of '89 as '68 turned upside down. On 10th December, President Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948, and resigned. Alexander Dubcek was elected speaker of the federal parliament on 28th December and on the following day, Havel was elected President of Czechoslovakia. Squire and Brown, influenced by a documentary on the 1968 Paris riots capture this link between '68 and '89, just as the spiral of climactic developments take shape in 1989. In April 1989, one month prior release of the Roses' debut, a massive demonstration by Chinese students for democratic reform was beginning on Tiananmen Square, which was later brutally repressed by the People's Liberation Army, on June 3rd and 4th.
By the early 1980s, the USSR had built up a military arsenal and army to match that of the United States. Previously, the U.S. had relied on the qualitative superiority of its weapons to essentially frighten the Soviets, but the gap had been significantly narrowed. After President Reagan's military buildup, the Soviet Union did not further dramatically build up its military; the enormous military expenses, in combination with collectivized agriculture and inefficient planned manufacturing, were a heavy burden for the Soviet economy. At the same time, the Reagan Administration persuaded Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, which resulted in a three times drop of oil prices in 1985; oil was the main source of Soviet export revenues. These factors gradually brought the Soviet economy to a stagnant state during Gorbachev's tenure. Reagan recognized the change in the direction of the Soviet leadership with Gorbachev, and shifted to diplomacy, with a view to encourage the Soviet leader to pursue substantial arms agreements. Gorbachev and Reagan held four summit conferences between 1985 and 1988; Geneva, Reykjavik, Washington, D.C. and Moscow. Reagan believed that if he could persuade the Soviets to allow for more democracy and free speech, this would lead to reform and the end of Communism. Speaking at the Berlin Wall on 12th June 1987, Reagan challenged Gorbachev to go further:
Prior to Gorbachev visiting Washington, D.C. for the third summit in 1987, the Soviet leader announced his intention to pursue significant arms agreements. On 8th December 1987, he and Reagan signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty at the White House, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons. When Reagan visited Moscow for the fourth summit in 1988, a journalist asked him if he still considered the Soviet Union to be the evil empire. "No," he replied, "I was talking about another time, another era." The Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989, a year when the world turned on its pivot, and two years later the Soviet Union collapsed. Serious political violence was a prominent feature of South Africa from 1985 to 1989, as black townships became the focus of the struggle between anti-apartheid organisations and the Botha government. Throughout the 1980s, township people resisted apartheid by acting against the local issues that faced their particular communities. The focus of much of this resistance was against the local authorities and their leaders, who were seen to be supporting the government. By 1985, it had become the ANC's aim to make black townships "ungovernable" (a term later replaced by "people's power") by means of rent boycotts and other militant action. Numerous township councils were overthrown or collapsed, to be replaced by unofficial popular organisations, often led by militant youth. People's courts were set up, and residents accused of being government agents were dealt extreme and occasionally lethal punishment. On 20th July 1985, State President P.W. Botha declared a State of Emergency in 36 magisterial districts. The State of Emergency continued until 1990, when it was lifted by State President F.W. de Klerk. De Klerk moved decisively towards negotiations to end the political stalemate in the country. In his opening address to parliament on 2nd February 1990, De Klerk announced that he would repeal discriminatory laws and lift the 30-year ban on leading anti-apartheid groups such as the African National Congress, the Pan Africanist Congress, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the UDF. The Land Act was brought to an end. De Klerk also made his first public commitment to release jailed ANC leader Nelson Mandela, to return to press freedom and to suspend the death penalty. Media restrictions were lifted and political prisoners not guilty of common-law crimes were released. On 11th February 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison, after more than 27 years in prison. Apartheid was dismantled in a series of negotiations from 1990 to 1993, culminating in elections in 1994, the first in South Africa with universal suffrage.
In 1989/90, The Stone Roses were banging the drum for freedom from societal restraints (see for example, the Hot Press magazine extract above, from July 1990). This was the flowing thrust of their debut LP, and the songwriting duo outlined their creed at length in conversation with Melody Maker in June 1989: "Individualism, that's what I believe in. Freedom.", Squire comments. Brown picks up on this theme, with the following tangential thoughts: "You can't even get grants like you could five years ago. What I used to do is apply for a grant for a cooker, put in a holiday form at the same time, and when the cheque arrived go to France or Italy. That's what they want though, they're trying to restrict your movement. And when your movement's restricted... Berlin 1933." The delivery of this is cringeworthy - I think if you were a Jew in 1930s Berlin, you would have a few more things on your plate to worry about than whether you could wangle a cooker or a free holiday on the dole. That's up there with Neil Young comparing Fort McMurray to Hiroshima. The same interview finds a scatterbrained Brown attempting to blur the lines between Christianity and Communism:
This is a case of three bald men fighting over a comb. Little do they know it, but the smug contrarian Ian and these Jehovah's Witnesses are actually singing from the same hymn sheet. If Jesus was the world's first Communist, then the Pope is indeed the devil's representative on earth, because Communism is of the devil.
The seditious Bye Bye Badman lifts the crucifixion of Jesus into the context of Mai '68, homing in on the 'revolutionary' aspects of Christ's ministry. Jesus is the model of submission ("Submission ends and I begin").
Jesus came into this world not in the surroundings of a palace, but in a lowly stable. In the New Testament, Saint Paul writes that Christ "took the form of a slave". It was often the afflicted and outcasts of society that best understood Jesus and were the most welcoming of His ministry. In Matthew 20: 29 - 34, two blind men acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and are cured just as Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem. The contrast is intended with the sighted Jerusalem leaders, who are about to fail to recognise Jesus for what He is. Jesus rescued the adulteress from stoning, ate with tax collectors and prostitutes, spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, and healed the sick and the sinner. He washed the feet of His disciples and, much to the criticism of religious leaders, did not confine His preaching to the Synagogue; rather, He gathered His disciples from some of the most common (and even lowly) rungs of society, including the docks. Hence, the religious leaders considered His dock not to be a "holy shrine". This narrative leap from the life of Christ to twentieth century events has precedent in Sympathy for the Devil, the opening track of 'Beggar's Banquet' by The Rolling Stones. With Baudelaire and Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita setting the tone, Jagger's dapper top-hat-and-cane devil takes us on a tour of his past deeds by enumerating his mischief through the ages: Jesus Christ, Pontius Pilate, the Czar, Anastasia, Blitzkrieg (World War II), the assassinations of the Kennedys and the hippie trail to Bombay.
The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil (1968)
In 2001, Faithless used the powerful image of Parisian student riots from 1983 for the front cover of their 'Outrospective' album. The Chemical Brothers used imagery from the May 1968 Paris riots for their 'Galvanize' single artwork (2005). The Manic Street Preachers drew inspiration from the movement, for example using the Situationist slogan, "Destroy Work", in the DIY design of their clothes. This Situationist slogan has its source the title of Alfredo M. Bonanno's book 'Let's Destroy Work, Let's Destroy the Economy':
* This can be interpreted in two different ways; "Come taste the end, you're mine" could be interpreted as "Comte is the end, you're mine." Auguste Comte (1798 - 1857), the French father of sociology, developed a theory known as Positivism, which brought a strict empirical approach to the study of society; it taught the great end of life to be the struggle to become more perfect, which implies previous imperfection. The nineteenth century was the era of popular science, when writers such as Comte, Darwin and Nietzsche threatened the established position of religion in life. Such syllabic experimentation is a recurring feature of the band's material. For example, in a May 1995 Melody Maker interview, Dave Simpson writes: Ian Brown says "Ten Storey Love Song" could also be "Tense Tory Love Song".
** Manchester's Haçienda nightclub had Situationist foundations. The name of Tony Wilson's club originates from an October 1953 Situationist manifesto by Ivan Chtcheglov (1934 - ), entitled 'Formulary for a New Urbanism':
The Haçienda became most famous during the 'Madchester' years of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Acid House and rave music rose to prominence. It opened its doors in 1982, and despite considerable and persistent financial troubles, survived until 1997 - during much of this time the club was mainly supported by record sales from New Order. The Smiths performed there three times in 1983 and it was the venue for Madonna's first UK performance, in January 1984. She was invited to appear as part of a one-off, live television broadcast by Channel 4 music programme, The Tube. In 1986, it became one of the first clubs to start playing house music, with DJs Mike Pickering and Little Martin hosting the visionary 'Nude' night on Fridays. Most of the money ended up circulating to drug dealers due to the popularity of ecstasy on the club scene, with The Haçienda itself receiving very little of the nightly expenditure. In July 1989, the UK's first ecstasy death, 16 year old Clare Leighton, occured in the club after she suffered internal bleeding from taking a tablet. The club closed for a short period in early 1991, before reopening with improved security later the same year. However, security continued to be a problem, particularly in the club's latter years. There were several shootings inside and outside the club, and relations with the police and licensing authorities became troubled. There was little left of the harmonious spirit of early rave. As the organised drug trade began to dominate the scene, violence and robberies became commonplace. Ultimately, the club's long term future was crippled and, with spiralling debts, the Haçienda eventually closed forever in the summer of 1997. The Whitworth Street West site was purchased from the receivers by Crosby Homes. They chose to demolish the nightclub in 2002, and reuse the site for the construction of apartments, maintaining the venue's iconic name.
*** T. C. W. Blanning, Short Oxford history of Europe: the nineteenth century 1789 - 1914 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 254 - 275.
Modal analysis (by Steve Davidson):
The intro starts with a muted D major chord. The melody soon spells out the D Mixolydian scale. Here are the notes:
(D E F# G A B C D)
The chords then change to G major and then G minor before returning to the D major chord. This G minor chord belongs to the key of D Aeolian. Here are the notes:
D Aeolian scale (D E F G A Bb C D)
This type of thing is usually called borrowing chords. However the Key centre is still D, so it is a 'modal change' and not a key change. A Key change is where the tonal centre changes to another letter like "A" or "B". It repeats this sequence for the verse and bridge parts. A recurring theme for the Roses is for the chorus to jump into Ionian mode, which it does again here. So we're into D Ionian here. Here are the notes:
(D E F# G A B C# D)
The chords are D major, G major, B minor, E minor, G minor, A major. All of these belong to D Ionian except the G minor, which moves to D Aeolian as explained above. As the chorus continues into the end section, a C major chord appears to pull things into the Key of G Ionian. The chord sequence goes C major, G major, B minor, C major, D major.
So, to sum up on this one...
Intro and Verses
D Mixolydian/D Aeolian/D Mixolydian
D Ionian/D Aeolian/D Ionian
Back To The Music Back To The Stone Roses
Back To The Music
Back To The Stone Roses