The Stone Roses were a notorious band. Fallouts, legal battles, graffiti, awkward media interviews, tantrums (don’t ever shout “Amateurs!” or mention The Late Show near Ian Brown). Did I say arrogant? Ian told NME that The Stone Roses were “the most important group in the world”, a conceited tone that we’ll see was adopted by Oasis later on.
The purist’s lineup for The Stone Roses is: Brown, Squire, Mani, Reni. But the band members changed as people came and went, not always harmoniously. Maybe it’s relevant that Fools Gold was inspired by the film The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, where friends ascended Mexican mountains together looking for gold but became suspicious, greedy, and fell out with each other just when they hit the big time.
This song (never included on their studio albums) was their most famous. Not fool’s gold but pure gold.
Extract from page 185 of 2000 Tunes: A History of Manchester Music by M. H. Rees; used with permission. Read the whole series (25 extracts) here; or my summary post. Readers might be interested in my forthcoming novel about a man obsessed with Manchester music - confusingly, it is also called 2000 Tunes!