Sometimes you have to look over your shoulder in order to see where it is you’re going. Our memories and experiences shape our future, and every so often we get a chance to revisit them in a more immersive way than just via our thoughts. I’m writing this while sitting on a tour bus in Boston, ahead of a Charlatans gig later this evening. Parked behind us is a matching bus containing the various members of Ride and their crew. Our bands came together 30 years ago for two memorable U.K. shows—one in Blackpool, the other in Brighton. (We headlined in the north, Ride closed the show in the south.) Tour buses haven’t changed much, but our antics aboard them have. The levels of excess have decreased since the days of the 55-mile-anhour all-day party, but the adventure is no less enjoyable. Back then we’d pull into a gas station and queue up at the pay phone to call our parents and other halves; these days we Facetime with our kids from the luxury of the bus. Once we were all about the aftershow and who would be bringing what with them; now it’s a civilized meal and a chance to catch up with some old friends we’ve met along the way.

Today we re-created a photograph that was taken at the Brighton show with Ride, in the heady days when it was all mapped out in front of us. This time, each of the band members stood in the same order that we had back then, even though, as many of you know, Rob Collins and Jon Brookes didn’t make it this far. We thought of them as Tony Rogers and Pete Salisbury stood in for them, as they have on stage and in the studio since we lost Rob and Jon.

The Charlatans and Ride in 1993
The Charlatans and Ride model every conceivable men’s hairstyle from 1993. Photo by Tom Sheehan
The Charlatans and Ride 30 years later
30 years and 30 Metamucil tins later. Photo courtesy Tim Burgess (bottom right)


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