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The Stone Roses - Lanzarote Flashback

Thursday August 13, 2015

The Stone Roses - Lanzarote Flashback

Anyone who lived through the heady days of house and the Manc madness of Manchester in the late 1980´s would need little reminding about the impact that the Stone Roses had on dance floors across the UK with the release of Fools Gold. And the island of Lanzarote played a prominent starring role in propelling their breakthrough hit into the charts, providing the backdrop for a predictably chaotic video shoot that helped to take the seminal single into the UK Top Ten.

Fools Gold was something of a departure for the Roses, as they traded in their trademark jangly rock sound for a more dance based groove in keeping with the times, utilising samples and loops from Young MC´s Know How and Bobby Byrd´s Hot Pants.

As a result the band wanted to create a video that was also a visual departure from the norm and sought out an other worldly location that ultimately led them to Lanzarote in the autumn of 1989.

Renowned director Geoff Wonfor, best known for his work with the Beatles and Paul McCartney, was assigned the unenviable task of marshalling the four piece for the shoot, which proved to be anarchic from the moment they landed, as all of the crews equipment was impounded by customs on arrival, only to be released with one day to spare, leaving Wonfor in a tight spot as he had been tasked with capturing two separate videos for both Fools Gold and the B Side I Wanna Be Adored.

The band did little to settle the director´s frazzled nerve endings, initially insisting on shooting at night – so begging the question why come to Lanzarote in the first place, before ending up in a face off with a gun toting member of the Guardia Civil in the Timanfaya National Park as the shoot strayed into the protected landscapes there.

In true showbiz style it all came together in the end however, with the video for I Wanna Be Adored in particular showcasing some of Timanfaya´s surreal scenery to great effect.

The final videos were edited down in London and Fools Gold was released on Jive/Zomba ´s Silvertone imprint in November 1989, ultimately reaching number eight in the charts and paving the way for the Stone Roses breakthrough into the mainstream.


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