In 1988 I moved to London to work at Smash Hits magazine, and one of the first things I had to do was create a map of Manchester for the magazine's news pages. Dutifully, I put an X for where the Haçienda was, another for Dry Bar, also Eastern Bloc, the record shop co-owned by 808 State's Martin Price. Arrows pointing down towards Moss Side, for A Guy Called Gerald, up to Salford for the Happy Mondays… I even marked the Midland, in Didsbury, a pub where a hot and messy house night called MVITA (Manchester Vibes in the Area) took place in one pitch-black room, while the other featured fringed lampshades and elderly couples sipping light ale.
And as Smash Hits' resident Mancunian (though I'm actually from Cheshire), I was sent to interview the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. Both bands were great to talk to: friendly, funny, cheeky, like most people in Manchester. People in London, though, seemed scared of the place, talked about it as though it was really rough, like an English New York ghetto.