The Stone Roses’ John Squire: “A new album would have been beyond us”

Speaking exclusively in the new issue of MOJO magazine, The Stone Roses guitarist reveals why the Manchester icons never recorded a final LP.

John Squire December 2023

by Ted Kessler |
Updated on

Portrait: Tom Oldham

IN JUNE 2016, THE STONE ROSES REUNITED after a three-year break to play 17 stadium and arena shows around the globe. Their previous Reunion Tour between May 2012 and August 2013 had been announced after a 15-year absence at a press conference in 2011 wherein the band promised not just dates, but also a new LP – their first since Second Coming was released in December ’94. The gigs were numerous and lucrative, but the recorded goods were not forthcoming.

By the early summer of 2016, hopes were newly raised that the Mancunians were finally to deliver a third album with the release of the Beautiful Thing and All For One singles, two groove-based numbers which sounded like the products of jams after long tours. It proved to be a mirage.

“Both were really difficult to record,” says John Squire in the latest issue of MOJO, quietly, and one senses with understatement, “so an album would’ve been beyond us. That last tour was an obligation, we all knew we weren’t signing up for anything more, so, in that sense, it was a satisfying ending.”

Relations inside The Stone Roses, particularly between old school friends Brown and Squire, were complicated. By the band’s final date at Hampden Park, on June 24, 2017, the guitarist had decided that was him done with playing music other than at home or in the local pub for fun. He’d concentrate on painting, his family.

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A week before speaking to MOJO, Squire and Gallagher travelled to Manchester for Stone Roses bassist Mani’s wife Imelda’s funeral. “Mani and his wife really doted on our girls when they were younger,” remembers Squire. “I’ve been in touch with Mani a lot since the first time the band broke up. We used to go on holiday together, the two families. They’d always shower the girls with gifts – Mani still chucks money at them…” He shrugs. There were ghosts at the wake too. “I saw Ian at the funeral… I’ve seen Reni once since the last gig…”

He casts his eyes down. Decades pass as he orders his thoughts. “With Mani, it’s almost a family thing. With Ian and Reni, it’s just occasional…”

"Most bands looked like fannies. The Roses were cool as. I thought, yeah. I'll have a bit of that..." Read MOJO’s exclusive interview with John Squire and Liam Gallagher for the full story on their new collaborative album, the injury that almost meant Squire never played guitar again and how Noel Gallagher turned down the offer to reform Oasis this year.

Only in the new issue of MOJO, on sale Tuesday February 20. More info and to order a copy HERE!

MOJO 365, with cover stars Liam Gallagher and John Squire
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