The Stone Roses :: The Stone Roses (1989)
The music of my early twenties burn bright and in big bold letters in my memories. It was fraught with awkward moments, heartfelt leaps of faith and faltering failures, of falling madly in love, and of having my heart cracked into pieces. I was trying on myself in many ways, touching and tasting, pushing at boundaries, and taking risks with myself, and with love. I was a passionate thing, if not a bit clumsy and self-indulgent (aren’t we all in our early twenties?) I wanted to act, write, sing, have great sex, travel the world, write more, drink, kiss, talk for hours and hours, write, write, write, love, love, love and listen to amazing music. I did all of it, for the most part, except for the world traveling – life got in the way of that, though I have been spending more of my life trying to catch up with that part, albeit years late.
This album – The Stone Roses amazing debut – was such a part of my early twenties. I cannot hear it, not in full, or any of the songs on the album – without having a flood of flashback moments that play like a film in my mind. This album definitely has a place high up in my favorite albums list, and following are the songs, one-by-one, with three sentences of recollections of mine. Bring on the flashback flood…
I Wanna Be Adored
We wrote together, sometimes poorly, sometimes with grace and beauty, often reading to each other over long phone calls, or lying tangled up in my bedroom sheets. It was your copy of this album, on cassette, that we would constantly play in your truck, and my copy, on vinyl, that we would spin in my room. You wrote on my car’s back window, fingertips on fog, “I adore you” one cold night by the Balboa pier, and I adored you that night, too.
She Bangs the Drums
Her drum set took up half of her bedroom, and then some. She would smack them up, pounding on them while I spun around the room, singing, then we would throw discarded clothing across the snare and the bass, while we tried to decide what to wear. All of our outfits were interchangeable, shared to keep us colorful, and to spread our minimum wage paychecks a little bit further. “Someday we will have our own rock-n-roll band.”
I was walking through a parking lot when you had your friend pull up next to me. You rolled down your window and gave me that half-crooked smile. You were dark hair and even darker eyes, asking me questions about books and music, never averting your gaze, promises made in-between words, and breaths taken (stolen).
The first night you stayed over you ripped two buttons from my shirt in excited anticipation, your fingers tripping and tangling trying to unhook straps and unfasten buttons. We were both still so very new. I whispered “don’t stop” into your hair, knowing it was nearly too late.
Elizabeth My Dear
You played this song on your guitar over the phone and I sang along, and then you would play it again. It was this song, the next one on the album, and a handful of Smiths that you learned by strum that had me falling hard for the sound of fingers squeaking on strings and strets, a sound that still turns me on to this day.
(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister
You said this one would forever be my song, to you, though you are “not my sister, no, not at all“, and we would laugh. I chose another one for him. We were no true love forever, but when we were together in those early days, well, we were something else, and we did give each other more than we ever thought we would, or should.
Made of Stone
Looking back, I think you were running away from your life when you were with me. I was “different” than the girls you knew before, and not of your rich upbringing, or like the daughters of your Mother’s country club friends. Most of the time I did not mind being your little act of rebellion, though sometimes it hurt to feel so hidden away.
Shoot You Down
One day I asked for you to take me along with you. The hesitation, it felt like miles stretching out between us, a distance we would never quite make up for. When you finally said “okay” it felt like a bullet just scraping the skin, not fatal, but painful all the same.
This is the One
“This is the One” I said was your song, to me. But you were never the one, not for me. You were just another example of how I could turn myself inside out, changing colors and points of view, to try to be someone’s one they had been waiting for.
I am the Resurrection
We broke up in your drive-way the night you finally brought me to your home. It was too little too late, though I had never understood that saying until right then. No words mattered anymore, not even a little, not even at all.
I threw my clothes on her drum set, trying on a new dress, black and tight, with my blue suede over-the-knee boots. I had that lick and a promise kind of fire in my eyes, off to find a new something. We grabbed hands, and my car keys, and went off in search of our own kind of “fools gold“.
Secret songs and secret wishes thrown out of rolled down car windows as we curved around Mulholland Drive. It was the first day of the rest of our lives, the first night of getting over someone, of letting go. We were young and alive, the music blaring, and the night, and the city, spread out before our eyes that was patching up the hole (and heartbreak) in my dreams.