Hello Friday! with The Stone Roses
For as long as I’ve known Neil — almost six years — I’ve known that he loves music, but that he rarely loses his cool over it, whereas I’m the type to chase a popstar through Adelaide Airport. I’m pretty sure he imported the arms-crossed-having-the-time-of-your-life look you see among punters in Melbourne. It’s not like there is some teenybopper raging within Neil, aching to escape, it’s simply that Neil is more English and much cooler than me.
That’s not to say there isn’t an occasion or two where the cool has wavered. There was the time I picked him up from a work Christmas party on Brunswick Street, and he proceeded to sing loudly along to the Arctic Monkeys record playing on his iPod. Or the time he shouted out, “Fifteen year-old Neil is so excited!” during a Pulp reunion show at Festival Hall (fifteen year-old Nyssa had no idea what he was talking about).
However, one of my favourite occasions isn’t as soaked in alcohol. We were playing trivia at the pub, and the quiz-master played nine or so songs that our team had to name, along with the theme that linked them together. We figured out that the theme was Colours, and guessed all the songs, like ‘Purple Sneakers‘ and Paint it Black, except for one song.
Teammate Marcus said, “I think it’s The Stone Roses.”
Neil: “It’s not The Stone Roses.”
Marcus: “Nah, I’m pretty sure it is. Listen to it. You’d know.”
Neil: “Mate, I’m pretty sure it’s not The Stone Roses.”
Marcus: “Positive? Coz I mean-”
Neil: “I’ve never been so sure in my life. There is no way that’s The Stone Roses. I’d know.”
At this point, I think Neil offered to place some sort of ludicrous bet with Marcus just to prove his point. I was laughing uncontrollably, for Neil was not only convinced it was not The Stone Roses, but his serious attitude to the situation was not unlike attitudes Justin Bieber fans have about Bruce Springsteen touring (okay, maybe not that extreme). Neil can dispute how serious he was in the situation, but the joke is still running within our trivia team.
Person One: “What’s the answer?”
Person Two: “The Stone Roses?”
Person One: “It’s never The Stone Roses.”
When Future Music Festival announced The Stone Roses would be headlining the 2013 lineup, Neil was both elated and annoyed. He was excited that the reunion tour was making it to Australia, but very frustrated that a) he might have to attend Future Music Festival and b) that Future Music clashed with Golden Plains, a festival we’d already purchased tickets for.
Neil started plotting about how he might have to leave Golden Plains a day early when there didn’t seem to be any announcements about sideshows. I understood the dedication to both Aunty Meredith and The Stone Roses and I know that if I were in a similar position, I would struggle to choose. However, there is a teenybopper within me who often escapes, and she knew exactly how to resolve the situation. Plus the result would make a very nice Christmas present indeed.
I booked some return flights to and from New Zealand. We’ve been talking about doing that for years. Easy. Then, in a move that made Neil want to know what kind of Christmas present required me being on the internet at 6:45am in the morning, I booked tickets to see The Stone Roses play in Auckland on their day of sale. That was within the first week of December, and I did not sleep a wink until I gave him the gift on Christmas morning. By then, Neil had booked tickets to an Australian sideshow that had been announced two hours after my purchase, but you know what’s better than seeing a band once? Seeing them twice!
So today’s Hello Friday! is in honour of the crash-course I’m now on to learn all about The Stone Roses before I see them in February. Try and get this riff out of your head.