Stone Roses: Mad for It

Acclaimed Photographer Dennis Morris Reveals the Madchester Legends’ Rise

Ahead of their homecoming shows in Manchester next week following a 16-year hiatus, photographer Dennis Morris presents a collection of images capturing the flowering of music icons The Stone Roses. During the ecstasy boom in the late 80s, the band helmed the resurgence of guitar music in a dance music-dominated Britain. “Certain people you meet have got something about them, a positiveness,” explains Morris. “The Stone Roses could gather people together, which they did.” Comprised of singer Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary “Mani” Mounfield and drummer Alan “Reni” Wren, the group were emblematic of the “Madchester” scene’s passionate self-belief and drug-fueled adventurousness, garnering critical acclaim until they acrimoniously split in 1996. Court photographer for the nascent Sex Pistols, as well as shooting the likes of Bob Marley, Marianne Faithfull and Oasis, Morris first encountered The Stone Roses after traveling up to Manchester on the recommendation of Joy Division producer Martin Hannett. “I asked if they wanted to play in London,” Morris recalls. “They came down and everybody hated them! The room basically emptied!” Next month sees the release of This is the One: A Photo Essay on the Rise of the Stone Roses, a limited-edition book collating over 250 of Morris’s unseen images along with a signed silver gelatin print.

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