Title: So Young / Tell Me
Label: Thin Line
Side A - So Young
Side B - Tell Me
Nothing prepares you for that first day shock of secondary school and in 1974 I was cast adrift in a sea of green blazers feeling lost and small without my village mates all of whom had gone elsewhere. Other kids huddled around portacabin classrooms in primary school cliques but most of that first week I just wandered between lessons until I caught sight of someone I'd seen that summer throwing Karate moves in a Sale sports centre. We'd acknowledged each other then as I'd watched on realising my error in opting for Judo and somehow he remembered and came bounding over to talk Bruce Lee and T-Rex.
By the second year we'd been streamed into the same class along with one of his Timperley mates whose love of The Beatles and Airfix rivalled my own. The latter was quiet, considered and creative compared to the naturally outgoing Kung Fu fan who could mimic every teacher and have the whole class rolling around in hysterics. Most of all it was the glue of music that bound us together, the tail end of Glam and the big hitters of the Sixties.
Our class occupied the old upstairs library in the original red brick building of the school and retained an abbreviation of our form masters surname from 2HO through to 5HO like some unstable chemical compound just waiting for a spark. It arrived in the third year as our love of anti-hero films like If... and Rollerball found a musical equivalent in the explosive thrills of first wave punk.
The artistic one, fired up by The Clash, bought a Satellite Les Paul copy and JHS practice amp and soon after he and the popular one formed an early version of a group called The Patrol.
By the time we'd all moved on to a Further Education college where A Levels were entwined with girls, I was doing an approximation of Joy Division with some other mates and we'd follow each other around opening at youth clubs and the like. Looking back, neither of us were any good but one lot kept at it and, thirty odd years later, 14 minutes of ticket sales prove it paid off...
I was in London by the time their false start first single So Young arrived, but I saw them on an off as slowly everything crystallised into a debut album that's now eclipsed many of the milestone records we grew up on.
There's much debate about the reformation, the reasons behind it and The Stone Roses long term legacy but all I can say is it's allowing a lot of people to relive their youth and many more to see the group behind a legend...