….all four members of the Stone Roses were up in court after being found guilty of criminal damage at their former record companies offices, they were fined £3,000 each. The group decided to take drastic action with their former label (FM Revolver) after they released an unauthorised reissue of early single ‘Sally Cinnamon’ – what did they do? They went to the labels office and proceeded to cover it with tins of paint in protest, causing £23,000 worth of damage that’s what!
Here’s a transcript of the original NME interview…
STONE ROSES ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL DAMAGE
Roses banged up! Full details (below), plus NME newshounds STUART MACONIE and ANDREW COLLINS’ account (below) of the lads’ big day in.
It’s A Flare Cop
ALL FOUR members of The Stone Roses were remanded on conditional bail at Wolverhampton Magistrate’s Court last Wednesday. The four, Ian Brown, John Squire, Alan ‘Reni’ Wren and Gary ‘Manny’ Mounfield, will appear in court on March 6 to face charges of criminal damage amounting to £10,000 inflicted on the Wolverhampton offices of their former record company FM Revolver.
It is alleged that the four carried out a “grudge attack” on FM Revolver’s boss Paul Birch as retaliation against his re-issuing of the band’s early single ‘Sally Cinnamon’ (No 48 in this week’s chart) and its accompanying video, shot in Manchester without the band’s consent.
In the attack cans of blue and white paint are alleged to have been thrown around the interior of Birch’s office, covering him and his girlfriend and causing extensive damage. Three cars, including a Mercedes, were also daubed with paint during the attack.
Bail was granted on condition that the band stay away from the FM Revolver offices in Wolverhampton and London and they make no contact with either Birch or his girlfriend Olivia Darling. The four then returned to South Wales where they had been recording at the time of their arrest.
*In a Magistrate’s Court the maximum penalty for criminal damage is £2,000 per person per offence plus the cost of damage done.
I Wanna Be Adjourned
IT WAS 2.30 in the afternoon, we were on our fifth cup of canteen coffee and we felt almost heartless at having to inform the genial security staff at Wolverhampton law courts that sadly, no, it was not the Rolling Stones but The Stones Roses who were currently languishing in the cells beneath us.
An air of good natured confusion prevailed and we seemed as well-informed as anyone in authority as to what would transpire that afternoon. Were we really to witness the extraordinary sight of all four members of Britain’s fastest rising pop phenomenon in the dock accused of giving their old label’s premises (and boss) an impromptu paint job or, if you prefer, ‘a right Pollocking’…
It began the previous afternoon with a press release faxed to the NME offices from Paul Birch, head of Wolverhampton’s FM Revolver label detailing an attack allegedly carried out by the Stone Roses on his office, person, car and girlfriend, in which they were liberally doused with blue and white paint.
Ever vigilant on your behalf, we were in Wolverhampton before anyone could say ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ where the local papers were already speculating on the Roses arrival in town via police wagon, having been arrested in Monmouthshire where they were recording at Rockfield Studios.
We were at the Law Courts bright and early on Wednesday morning only to be told, ever so politely, that the names Brown, Squire, Wren and Mounfield were conspicuously absent from the day’s judicial lists. So where were the NME’s band of the year?
At Central Police HQ, the policewoman at the Enquiries Desk was giving very little away. “They’re not here.” Well, where are they, then? “They’re somewhere else.” But you’re not going to tell us where? “Er… at the Birmingham Road Station!” Having wheedled this nugget of information out of her, we hot-footed it to the other side of town where at Birmingham Road, another lady desk sergeant ‘helped us with our enquiries’, albeit in a rather cryptic manner:
We have reason to believe The Stone Roses are here.
“They might be.”
WE WERE told to sit down while she consulted with her fellow officers. Who should then arrive but the legendary Gareth Evans, manager of the Stone Roses and well-known character in his own right, laden with goodies, including a bag of refreshments, a selection of Stone Roses T-shirts and a mint copy of the NME.
Having exchanged pleasantries with us, he attempted to make contact with his lads, who were still being interviewed somewhere in the bowels of the station. A stern but somewhat amused-looking CID man accepted the Lucozade and snacks but refused to pass on the t-shirts, assuring Gareth that “They’ve had a bath and they’re alright”. The officer did however agree to pass on the band’s eagerly awaited copy of the NME. Distributing the t-shirts among bemused members of the public also queueing at the desk, Gareth then left, saying “See you in court, lads!”
After more hanging around, we were told to try the Press Office of Wednesfield Police Station, who might be prepared to make a statement. As a parting gambit, we asked was there any chance of speaking to the band. “You are joking?” came the playful reply.
Wednesfield told us that “Five men were being held in police custody in connection with a possible charge of criminal damage.” No court appearance was scheduled since ‘the men’ were still being questioned. Nevertheless, rumour had it that the Roses would appear in court later that afternoon and this was enough to send us scurrying back to court. (The fifth man turned out to be Steve Adge, the band’s tour manager, who was later released.)
At 1.45pm court security assured us that sessions for the day were over and all the courts were being locked for the day. We had sown the seeds of doubt, however, in the minds of officialdom, and various begowned individuals set off to make hurried enquiries. During the ensuing confusion we became indispensable to local journalists, answering such searching questions as “who’s the singer” and “are they famous, then or what”/
At 2.04 it was announced that if a charge was forthcoming and police could deliver the band to court before 2.30, a special session would be convened, thus sparing all parties a day’s delay.
Linking hands, which initially suggested that they were handcuffed together, Ian, John, Manny and Reni entered the dock, dressed in their characteristic suedes, flares and hoods. It was alleged that the band (described as “members of a pop group”) had caused criminal damage to the Goldthorn Hill offices of FM Revolver records, damaging furnishings, decorations and carpets plus a Mercedes Series 200, a Datsun Sunny and a Metro MH at an estimated cost of £10,000.
The band were represented by a Mr Price who stated that it was not a “grudge” but a “legitimate complaint” that the four had against Paul Birch, although they were aware that the matter should have been pursued through the civil courts.
By 3.15 it was all over. As Reni left the dock, he put on the hat that he had held throughout the hearing, which was promptly removed by an accompanying policeman.
Outside the chamber Gareth declined to comment other than to say “everything will be contested”. We took up our places in the car park, awaiting the band’s exit. On emerging they headed for a car waiting to take them back to South Wales but came over to wish us “A Happy New Year”, Reni commenting “It’s a lark, eh?”
They seemed in good humour if understandably a touch dishevelled from a night in custody. ‘It was the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed in’ quipped Ian (mimicking Mick Jagger’s famous retort after having a courthouse in the ’60s), John adding “I didn’t know abstract expressionism was a criminal offence”. They were then ushered to the car, stopping briefly to greet and kiss two waiting female fans.
Tracy Robson and Jenny Lloyd were tearful and elated at the meeting, Tracy concluding “they can’t have done it. They’re too sweet”.
‘SALLY CINNAMON’, The Stone Roses’ second single, was originally released in 1987 after the band signed to FM Black Records.
But with the subsequent success of the group last year, re-pressings of the 45 saw it finally crack NME’s independent chart in June ’89 – almost two years after the track first saw the light of day.
The 45 went on to top the NME chart, before FM Revolver finally reissued it properly in December – also making it available on CD for the first time. Capitalising on a post-Christmas lull in singles sales it entered the national Top 100, where it’s been for five weeks.
To promote the reissue FM were keen to make a video for it. And FM boss Paul Birch claims he had a meeting with the group’s manager Gareth Evans to ask if the band would appear in the video. However, Birch says they turned the offer down – and so FM went ahead without them.
“We had a meeting with their manager two weeks ago and gave them another advance on the money from the single,” says Birch. “But they declined to be in the video.
“It’s very difficult to make a good video without a theatrical performance from the group, but we made a good job of it at a reasonable cost.”
The new ‘Sally Cinnamon’ video has been shown on MTV and The Chart Show.
But it appears that it’s the video which has sparked problems between FM and the group.
If you’re looking for Stone Roses vinyl, CDs and more be sure to visit the eil.com to see what vintage Roses items we currently have in stock