The Stone Roses, it would seem, are not to be messed with. No, not because of their larger than life frontman Ian Brown—who is about as confrontational as you can get—but because the band, when aggrieved, aren’t afraid of anyone or anything.
It was something their label Revolver FM would soon find out after they reissued their early single ‘Sally Cinnamon’ without authorisation from The Stone Roses. On reflection, it was not a smart move and one they’d pay for in dry cleaning bills.
Back in 1990, after the band’s former label Revolver FM reissued the band’s early (and one of their most beloved) singles, ‘Sally Cinnamon’ they caused a ripple effect which they couldn’t have anticipated. After word of the reissue got out, Reni, John Squire, and Ian Brown made their way to the label’s offices armed with litres and litres of paint and a devilish glint in their eye.
The rock and roll story goes that the armed trio, their smiles gleaming with malicious intent, burst through the front door of the offices and quickly covered Revolver FM managing director, Paul Birch and his girlfriend Olivia Darling, in over five litres of blue and white paint. It was an immeasurably expensive and audacious stunt to pull off.
Not satisfied with drenching essentially their boss in possibly toxic paint, the group then went outside and spread more blue and white justice across Birch’s newly polished Mercedes which sat out front. They also covered two more cars in the paint. It’s a story that Ian Brown has readily confirmed whenever given the chance, “I’d do it again. I thought we were right and still do.”
While Brown is happy to tag his name onto one of the band’s notorious moments, Stone Roses architect, John Squire, confirmed the story to be partially true in an interview with Q. When asked about the incident he replied, “It was my idea to do it, but we didn’t get very far before we got stopped.” Our visions of a defiant band breaking through the corporate castle to drench the odorous King may not be much more than a fairytale.
“They answered the front door of the office and Reni got in first, then the rest of us and we just started chucking paint around, but they locked the door into the rest of the building and called the police,” he added. “We did a lot of damage and they took us to court and that’s when it hit us that we’d done a pretty bad thing. Mani was making jokes about us getting raped in prison.
“We were charged £3600 each and the judge could have given us a custodial sentence but he said in his summing up that the only reason that he didn’t give us a custodial sentence was because it could have enhanced our career, so we got off lightly there.”
There you have it record labels—if you ever have a reissue of The Stone Roses ready to go to pressing then just double check that they’re okay with it first. Otherwise, you may wind up covered in blue and white revenge.
Listen to the ‘Sally Cinnamon’ below: