Say It's Your Birthday: The Stone Roses Ian Brown

Ian Brown and band.

Now that the colonies have finally fallen for Liam

Gallagher's stubbleburn charm, maybe we'll at long last give an even break to

his limey prototype. That would be Ian Brown of the Stone Roses, who today

celebrates his 33rd birthday. Ian pioneered what we like to call the bass

player approach to fronting a band: standing/slouching so perfectly still that

an involuntary muscle twitch is a major event, clutching a tambourine for dear

life. Of course you can only sell something this static when you have the songs

to carry it, which both Oasis and the Stone Roses have on occasion. Good news

for the Roses fans is the delicious possibility that the band's forthcoming

third album will be one of those occasions. The cause for the optimism? That

birthday boy Brown and guitarist John Squire are apparently an active

songwriting team once again. Their collaboration fueled the Roses' spectacular

launch, but we're not alone in thinking that Ian' s subsequent chemical

vacations placed too much pressure on Squires suddenly solo shoulders, and that

the Roses second album suffered as a result. (Most rock singers fall prey to

trying to live out their wild stage persona offstage. Ian was certainly one of

the first to fuck up by trying to become as comatose offstage as on.) Let's

hope on Ian's 33rd birthday that the third album will be the charm for the

Stone Roses in America. It's also the birthday of Spirit guitarist Randy

California, Steely Dan bassist Walter Becker, guitarist J. Geils, folksinger

Buffy St. Marie and jazz diva Nancy Wilson.