The Stone Roses Reunion Tonight!

The Stone Roses Return
By Nick Parker

Third in the Series
click here for Part One.
click here for Part Two. Editor Nick Parker is returning to England to see The Stone Roses reunion. The Stones Roses aren't just a band in the UK. They're a long awaited storm - a media phenomenon. And no one knows how it will go since the members of the band are famously "difficult."

There is nothing that can stop Nick from this momentous date. We asked him to write about the experience each step of the way.

DATELINE - MANCHESTER, ENGLAND Arduous journey over, I’m now in Manchester to see the Stone Roses. The show is tonight! I'm still wondering exactly why I'm so driven to be here for this show, though I've asked the question before. I look back at what I've written on this topic already, and wonder how I came to be so unequivocally sure that this gig would be great, when months ago I begged my friend to get me a ticket.

There are obvious answers I can give. The fact that they are one of the most seminal guitar bands in the history of popular music in this country is pretty obvious. Correcting the missed opportunity to see them in their hometown, and mine, the first time around (a period when I was strangely more interested in bands from Massachusetts, where I now live) still doesn’t seem to justify my fixation. Most disconcertingly, these and many other explanations give only a vague and generic sense of why I’m increasingly nervous about this gig as the hours count down.

SOME TREPIDATION - Perhaps it will not fulfill these great expectations. There's plenty of chance of that, and perhaps it's inevitable, but it's not enough to explain my doubt concerning the event now. Something about this gig won't give me what I need from it.

It occurs to me that there is actually a more uncomfortable explanation for why I have undertaken this journey. Perhaps I'm not here to see them play so much as to reclaim my roots in this town by seeing them play. That is after all what The Stone Roses are to me: my background. I'm nervous because, in sharp contrast to the home-coming dreams I have had about being in Manchester for this show, I'm really very distant from anything that might let me recall these roots. But twelve years away and I haven't woken up to this loss. I'm still trying to be from both my old home in North England and my adopted one in North America.

This probably sounds like a very idiosyncratic and self-indulgent reason to write all this and go to all the trouble of coming here – the expat harkening back to the 'old country.' I would guess though, that I'm not alone. Though it may appear I am clutching at straws from my past. That's the frenzy for many of us, I'll bet, as hundreds of thousands of 30, 40, & etc. something's try to remember their youth each time a cultural node like this is fleetingly recovered.

It's awkward to admit that I'm a stranger here under these circumstances, but until I accept the cost of moving away over a decade ago, I'll continue to be uncomfortable with things like going to see Manchester bands of my youth, or getting lost in the city I used to know, or strained silences at seeing estranged old friends. They are the moments that reveal me to be a tourist.

Here's to hoping the gig will be all we all hope it might be, and I will be able to walk away from it and return home – to Boston, Massachusetts – without distress. I'll be back to tell you how it all went.

Stone Roses
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