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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Meetings With Footballers 3

It is 19th May 1995. It is my 25th birthday. We go into town and have beers and tequila at Ten Bar. We meet the man. We go to Home, in retrospect a very dubious nightclub. We drink more bottled beer. In the bar area above the dancefloor, flanked by two minders in black MA 1 bomber jackets, is Eric Cantona. Eric is serving a long ban for attacking a Crystal Palace supporter as he was leaving the pitch, still one of the most extraordinary things I've seen take place at a football match. We shake Eric's hand. Things are a bit messy now all round. A queue forms. We go up to shake his hand again, reasoning he won't remember our faces. Eric takes all this with good grace, despite us clearly being worse for wear. I drag the soon-to-be Mrs Swiss off the dancefloor, so she can meet Eric. She asks Eric if he minds being hassled by drunken/gurning idiots in nightclubs. 'No' he replies, 'Not really'.

In 1995 The Stone Roses disintegrated. They lost Reni, the finest drummer of his generation. They released Ten Storey Love Song as a single, the only song off the Second Coming that sounded like the work of the same band that made the first album six years earlier. On their singles to support the first album the B-sides were as good as the A-sides- Standing Here, Mersey Paradise, Going Down... By the time they came to finding B-sides for Second Coming singles the quality was dipping. The 12" of Ten Storey Love Song had two B-sides- Ride On, a Brown/Squire number, slow, stoned, dirgy, and Moses, a pile driver of guitar riffs and heavy groove, with a breakdown and the riff tumbling back in. Credited to Squire/Mounfield/Wren you felt it was a warm-up, practice tune that had never gained vocals. Heavy and a long way from waterfalls, sugar spun sisters and her banging the drums.

1 comment:

Tedloaf said...

Good heavens, I had completely forgotten Home! I attended it a couple of times in 95 whilst the soon never to be Mrs Loaf was at UMIST. The memories of the nights are locked up in there and I'm pretty sure they'll never come out. I met Eric at a hotel in Salford around the same time. All puffed up chest and pint of coke. A "great man" doesn't do him justice.