Monday, April 15, 2013

Coachella: You might wanna be adored, but being known would be a start

The All-New Stone Roses might be quite a big deal in, erm, NME editorial meetings, but not so much at Coachella, the Guardian reports:

If the Coachella line-up looked like a triumph for the legends of British guitar music – Blur! Stone Roses! New Order! – then the reality proved sadly different. Not only were most punters we spoke to confused as to who (or what) the Stone Roses were, the crowd for both Blur and the Roses on the main stage was far smaller than the kind they've been commanding back home. Should we mock the Americans for not "getting" them? Or ourselves, for assuming anyone cared about our musical legends?
Handily, Spinner has an interview with the band's biographer Simon Spence which explains exactly why Americans might see the name 'Stone Roses' and assume somebody has badly mistyped 'Rolling Stones'.

Effectively, a mix of hubris, arrogance and bad timing led the band to develop a reputation amongst the music industry, and no profile at all in the wider America:
When Second Coming was released in 1994, they were in serious disarray but promoting themselves in America was a priority. They hired a high profile American manager, Doug Goldstein, famed for managing Guns N' Roses, and finally embarked on a major promotional push. Geffen's head of PR, Bryn Bridenthal, described it as a disaster. Goldstein was fired after few months later. He told me they band displayed a love-hate relationship with America 'We'd love to be accepted but fuck you if we're not,' he said. Ultimately, anyway, the whole thing was doomed to failure because, even though he was there, Reni had already quit the band.

With a replacement drummer, they did a short nine-date tour of the US in 1995 in support of the album. It was not entirely unsuccessful. It was not, however the success Geffen wanted. You're right, the label spent upward of $4 million on the band. The album, however, peaked at no 47 on the Billboard charts. The President of Geffen, Eddie Rosenblatt, told me the name of the band became a verb: 'The A&R guy brings in a band, and you say, 'Well, is this going to be another Stone Roses?'
But the band remain incredibly popular amongst paunchy middle-aged men from North West England.