Hall of Fame: The Chronicles of Oasis quotes
It's a fault of mine, a guilty pleasure. When 1995's "What's the Story (Morning Glory)" exploded onto the scene, I played the album to death. And when I discovered these brothers known as Liam & Noel Gallagher were nothing like their heros, The Beatles, I was mesmerized by their singular and uniquely brash and outlandish comments. There of course is a downside to this, but I think many of us at the time were most impressed with their dead honesty. It was refreshing, and certainly part of the charm was the brothers own laddishness, or ignorance to the things they'd say in front of a mic or camera.
Liam & Noel are the very reflection of their father's abusiveness as children. Liam with his fisticuff incidents, and Noel, amongst else, his resentment towards Liam because he didn't witness near the abuse his big brother had. Liam in turn still craving the support of his older brother, and therefore subconsciously acting out and needing attention, probably developing from his mum's need to try and protect her youngest son from their father. That bothered Noel, and Liam was referred to in American slang as mama's boy. Both brothers were verbally abusive on a scale that typified the Gallagher household. Even Courtney Love encouraged Americans to not buy Oasis' records because they will "rape and pillage our women", or something to that effect.
I think what impressed me most at the time was Oasis could have played the American game. The Gallagher's could have gone on the MTV Awards and smiled and created a stage persona that is typical in rock history where there is a lot of high energy acrobats shall we say. But Oasis stayed true to their principles and just stood their and let the music speak for itself. Liam saying, 'I'm not a performer. I'm a singer. None of that jumpin' around business.' America would go on to not "get" Oasis to the brothers distaste, but I still to this day have more respect for them for that than say U2's limelight stage appeal.
Anyhow, this is my own personal Hall of Fame induction for those uniquely turbulent Gallagher brothers that includes a whole range of reactions. Rock 'n' roll has had many typical cliches through the decades, but I really believe the Gallagher brothers set the standard for using the press to its advantage. It's too bad "the biggest and best band in the world" are riding an 11 year drought musically, but I think it's safe to assume Oasis fall somewhere between the most loved and hated band in the world of their time.
As author Paolo Hewitt titled, these are The Adventures of Oasis...
(Updated at my leisure.)
"I went to Paul McCartney's daughter Stella's party and who should open the door but the man himself. He was dead cool. There were all these questions I wanted to ask him but I settled on, Do you watch Brookside?"
"It is hard to be modest at times like these so I won't even try...you are all s--te!"
"Oasis got their foot in the door and kicked it down"
-John Power (Cast)
Interviewer: I have with me one of the stars of Oasis...
Noel: What do you mean one of the stars?
"Don't have a piss in the stands because I'll be standing there next week."
-Soccer-mad Liam at the Maine Rd gig
"Let me try to do the interview... So tell me, what's life like being a transvestite?"
-Noel at the MTV Music Awards preshow
"My main concern before going on stage is, What frame of mind is Our Kid going to be in? Will he get fucked off and walk off, which he is perfectly capable of doing. He was annoyed when somebody threw a rock at him at the gig, the bloke responsible was lucky cos if we hadn't been having such a good time we'd have jumped in and put him in intensive care. We're not the psychopaths we're made out to be but you don't take s--t do you?"
"Whoever's throwing things like this on stage...like...if you don't like the music, f--k off! If there're any more coming on, I'm off. And you gotta deal with all these people here who are enjoying themselves. If you don't like it, go f--king hang yourself! Don't be throwing f--king stones on stage like this...I don't wanna go blind over some f--king d--khead!
This one's called...this one's called Roll With It, d--khead!"
-Liam uses colourful language at Slane Castle after a rock was thrown at him on stage.
"F--king Wankers! This one's for all the people at the back"
-Noel at Slane Castle
"Sure I love Liam, but not as much as I love Pot Noodles."
Dani Behr: What's it like having loads of money now.
Noel: ...er...it's alright
"I do all the work so it's only right that I should get the most money. Plus I am the most handsome."
"Next year I hope to get a stalker or two because I don't believe you've arrived until you get a stalker."
"In Liam's world it's better to talk bulls--t all day than be silent for one minute"
"But some bands give over eight hours for this," says the photographer. Swiftly and bluntly, Noel and Liam put him straight on that one. "We're not some band. And your paper didn't make us, mate. And you know what about your Rolling Stone cover? Arsed mate, arsed."
-Noel and Liam and Rolling Stone photographer after Oasis walked off after 1 hour
What makes Oasis different?
Bonehead: "Good songs."
Liam: "And a handsome lead singer with a beard."
"What was your biggest break?" [in music] - Jason from New York wants to know.
Liam: "My biggest break was 39" [snooker].
Bonehead: "Mine was a hole in one" [golf].
Noel orders a beer, the rest opt for lemonades and Coke. Above us, the TV is on. CNN News. "Have you seen some of the stories they have on here?" Noel enquires. "Check this one I saw this morning. There's this guy who's 75 and he's got cancer. So his doctor tells him he's got about two years to live. So he thinks, 'F--k it, I've always hated my wife, the stupid bag.' So he kills her. 'What the f--k, I've got nothing to lose.' Then he's put in jail, but the problem is, he doesn't die. He's 99 now and guess what he's doing?" Noel surveys our expectant faces. "Suing the doctor," he cackles. "He's taking him to court," he continues, pissing himself. "And he's saying, 'If it wasn't for what you told me I would never have killed my wife and now you owe me ten million pounds.' I'm sitting here thinking, 'I know I live in a mad country but it's not half as crazy as it is here.'"
-Noel in America
"They're off their tits here."
-Liam on Americans
"Imagine if us four were walking down the street, they'd all say, 'Look at those mad f--kers with their haircuts.' When in reality it would be them who are the nutters."
"Now we all drink Pepsi"
-Noel after being sued by Coke
"I was walking along and this chair came flying past me, and another, and another, and I thought, it's gonna be good tonight."
-Liam on the joys of touring
"There was this bug in my room and I thought 'you can f--k off, this is my room'"
"We're not arrogant, we just believe we're the best band in the world."
"We're the best band on the planet. That's not arrogance, that's just a fact."
"Discipline? I don't know the meaning of the word."
"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my Mum. I know I've got Irish blood because I wake up everyday with a hangover."
That, of course, brings up the Beatles contradiction. Does he love them or hate them? He calls them the greatest band of all time, but insults them in the press. Despite the many cracks he's taken at the band, he's made dozens of lyrical references to the Fab Four, not to mention uncountable riffs, melodies and production techniques.
"They love us and we hate them," Gallagher laughs. He then goes on to clarify, "I don't steal their music. I steal John Lennon's because he's dead." After a pause he concludes, "and he can't sue me."
-Noel, from Pulse newspaper, Jan. '98
Then it was brother Noel's turn to put the boot in - to Paul McCartney's new classical album: "Sitting around with a bunch of old lesbians writing doesn't sound classical to me. I've written three classic albums." (That's a matter of opinion)
When asked about his recent visit to Prime Minister Tony Blair's official residence at Number 10 Downing Street, Noel replied: "The only reason you'd want to go to Number 10 is to have a s--t in the bog."
Noel: Kill The Queen
01/06/1998 3:00 AM, Yahoo! Music
(1/6/98) - Oasis bad boy and eternal headline-maker Noel Gallagher was up to his old tricks during a recent appearance on Italian radio.
Gallagher told disc jockey Ringo Anaclerio that he hates the royal family. "I don't like the Queen. I don't believe in the monarchy or the royal family. I don't believe that the working people of England should have to pay [the Royal Family's] wages and pay the rent on their houses and pay for their kiddies to be brought up either. I think they should all be shot."
Asked what he would give the Queen for Christmas, Gallagher responded, "A kick up the arse!"
Buckingham Palace termed the remarks "outrageous and inappropriate." Which is probably what Gallagher had in mind...
Oasis Hide Their Love Away
10/13/1997 3:00 AM, Yahoo! Music
(10/13/97) - Forget the supposed Oasis-vs.-Blur feud...the real battle is being waged between Oasis and their role models, the Beatles themselves. Last week Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher publicly called ex-Beatle George Harrison a "nipple" (a British slang term for "idiot") after Harrison commented that Oasis would be forgotten in 30 years' time. Only days later, in an interview for MTV Live, Liam's brother Noel dissed Harrison's former bandmate Paul McCartney. When--in light of McCartney's recent remarks that Oasis were "derivative"--Noel was asked if there was any conflict between Oasis and McCartney, he replied, "I don't know, I think he's just going senile, isn't he?" No one in the Beatles' camp has yet to retaliate with his own barb.
Oasis Look Back In Anger
10/29/1997 3:00 AM, Yahoo! Music
(10/29/97) - Oasis's Liam Gallagher is demanding a rematch. It seems the limey lout isn't afraid to put on the boxing gloves and go a few rounds of hand-to-hand combat with the hands that feed him, if we are to believe the profanity-laced rant he delivered during a live BBC Radio 1 interview October 23rd. The younger Gallagher used his airtime to hurl four-letter insults at both the Rolling Stones and the Beatles--something's he's being doing with ever-increasing frequency since George Harrison slagged Oasis in a French magazine interview in August. "I'm gonna shoot me mouth off here, all these snakes coming out the closets, all these old farts, I'll offer 'em out right here on radio," Liam rambled. "If they want to fight be at Primrose Hill Saturday morning at 12 o'clock. I will beat the f**king living daylight sh*t out of them, that goes for George, Jagger, Richards, and that other c*nt [presumably Sir Paul McCartney] that gives me sh*t." (Keep in mind that while myLAUNCH has the luxury of subtly inserting tasteful asterisks into this tirade, BBC 1 didn't have time to bleep out Liam's cursing during the live broadcast.) Liam continued to charm the radio audience with, "If any of them old farts problem with me then leave yer zimmer frames at home and I'll hold you up with a good right hook. They're jealous and senile and not getting enough f**king meat pies. If they want to fight, I'll beat them up." Not one to sit out on all the fun, Liam's elder brother Noel then chimed in by dismissing Paul McCartney's recent classical music project: "Sitting around with a bunch of old lesbians writing doesn't sound classical to me. I've written three classic albums." The Gallaghers' comments provoked so much public outrage that Prime Minster Tony Blair felt compelled to issue a statement saying that Oasis don't speak for all young people, and the BBC issued an apology the following day. No word yet as to whether any of the "old farts" Liam threatened have taken him up on his boxing match dare, and if so, whether Don King will be involved or whether the fight will be available on pay-per-view.
In a recent interview about Oasis' forthcoming studio album Noel Gallagher implied that they might be looking to leave Sony. He said: "We've written 66 songs between the four of us… but we didn't want to give that much to Sony as its our last album with them, so f--k 'em."
Maybe this is why Oasis never made it in America...
"I'm not going to play for silly yanks when I haven't got a house to live in!"
"We turned down Bon Jovi because it's not worth the humiliation. I like him as a bloke, but his group... and as for Bowie, twenty years ago maybe, but not now. He's just an old git."
-Noel on supporting in 1996's Oasis Revealed
"When the boys arrive at Creation they're less than impressed with the company MD, Tim Abbott. He's wearing a Manchester United top. Oasis are massive City fans, and despite Creation being the only label expressing any interest in them at the time they are cocksure enough to tell McGee they'll only sign to his label if Abbott 'takes that f--kin' shirt off'."
"I used to faint every time I had a spliff. The doctor said, 'Basically you're alright with anything that gets you going, cos you need that.' I love my doctor, man."
-Noel on health, 1996
"It got more and more personal until it got to a point where Liam actually said stuff about my family - he was asking for a smack in the mouth and he got one! I ended up with a cut under my eye and there were a few bumps and bruises and I thought, 'Well, I'm not going round Europe with a black eye... I'm too good looking for that! And the girls will cry.'"
-Noel, NME, 2000-08-26
"Gallagher is already predicting some mayhem. 'There's gonna be us and Jet and [Kasabian]. That's gonna be f--king mental. I'm gonna need to have a liver transplant when I get back. It's gonna be good, though, I can't wait.'"
From 1997's MTV Rockumentary:
"There's people in the House of Parliament, man, who are f--kin' bigger heroin addicts and like cocaine addicts than anyone in this room right now."
Noel's reply to his own statement...
"Now there's the downside of alcohol folks." (Noel and interviewer laugh.)
"If people think I'm irresponsible, you know, f--k you. (Waves V-sign) Yeah, I am irresponsible. I'm in a rock & roll group. I'm suppose to be irresponsible."
"I'm a part of the greatest band in the world... am I happy with that? NO I'M NOT! I WANT MORE!!!"
"I listened to a radio show in England the other day and, um, someone paid me really... really one of the nicest compliments I've ever been paid. Is that the DJ said that, that I was the new Phil Spector with, with like experimental wall-of-sound support. He said it was like, you know, it was that dense, and that massive sound of it that it was like Phil Spector... Um, and I didn't even pay him to say that either. He actually said that off his own right."
-Noel on Be Here Now
"She looks like some of that I put in me mouth last week... and it really got me hiiiiiigh."
-Liam, referring to a European MTV interviewer
"We can't even agree to disagree."
-Liam on his big brother
"I don't see the point in writing your own tunes when you can pinch somebody else's."
"I never robbed car stereos or anything like that, you know what I mean? I just walk past the shop, there's be a mountain bike outside... and I'd go, Thank you very much."
-Liam on the finer practices of burglary
FM 94.9, 9-14-05 (audio link):
Interviewer: What's the first selection you'd like to have for us?
Noel: Um, it's a song called The Importance of Being Idle.
Interviewer: This is the one with the amazin video that you guys went back to '60s Britain in essence to capture all those great films that were the...
Noel: Yeah, I think I was trying to rip-off The Kinks I think. (Interview laughs)
Interviewer: Did you ever see the Stone Roses live ever?
Noel: Oh yeah... shocking.
Interviewer: Shocking...what do you mean?
Interviewer: Shockingly bad?
Noel: Shockingly bad, yeah.
Zone 105 interview just minutes before Oasis' concert at Northrup Auditorium in Minneapolis, Jan. '98:
Interviewer: (part of the introduction) ...Right, and we were suppose to have this interview for you yesterday but due to some sampling rant technical difficulties that we weren't able to... ("Technical difficulties" being it took a longer process of editing out Noel's swearing.)
Interviewer: Are you guys really thinking about calling it quits, or is that just alot of hype that's coming around?
Noel: Well, no, I don't be reporting the rumor around, that's probably, probably Blur or something like that. (Band laughs)
Interviewer: What sort of things do you have planned while you take your break and...?
Noel:: I'm gonna build a studio I think in me house, and then a...I'm probably gonna eat loads, and sleep loads, and party loads as well. And I'll probably %$#@ put on about 60 pounds or something like that. (band laughs)
Interviewer: Well, you know, that happens with married life and everything, things start to settle down, and a...
Noel: Yeah, yeah, well, ah, well it's good to know me dogs actually, I've got five dogs that I never actually see, so, um, everytime I come home they think I'm burglaring the house. (interviewer laughs)
Interviewer: What kind of dogs do you have?
Noel: Owh, their all sorts...my wife is a, she's a...she takes in stray dogs off the street, she's a flashy %$#@ weird. (band laughs)
Interviewer: You say you're passionate about your music...are you passionate about the Spice Girls at all, they've got the new movie coming out Friday, are you excited?
Noel: (dry sarcasm) .......................overwhelmed. (band laughs) Well, their five young girls, right. They're trying to make a living, so...I admire them for that. I admire them for sacking their manager. Not that I'm going to sake mine or anything like that, but, um, but, you know, they can't %$#@ sing, they can't play instruments, all their songs are %$#@... um, you know, "Girl Power" is the biggest steaming crock of horses--t I've ever come across in my entire life... because who fights the %$#@ walls darling... um... and... but apart from that, I wish them all the best, you know what I mean. (band laughs)
Interviewer: Well with all that in mind, do you have a favorite Spice Girl?
Noel: Um... I don't know? I mean I've met them, honest, and you know, they've always sounded quite polite about me. And don't get me wrong, I do wish them the best, you know, five girls making it is a, you know... it's good for, you know music in general, but I don't like their music, you know, or anything like that, but if I had to pick a favorite... um, probably the black chick I suppose.
Interviewer: (coming from a loud speaker) Scary Spice?
Noel: Is that what her name is? I tell you what, it must've been a funny conversation when they were dolling up them names that bit. (background laughs) (Noel adopts a thick and sarcastic English accent) "So I'll be called 'Scary', and you'll be called 'Posh', and I'll be called 'Sporty'." (more laughs) Why don't you just call yourselves by your %$#@ names, you know, your names your mum and dad gave ya. (someone claps in the background, presumably Liam) I'm a bit (something) about their ages as well, it's like if their 22 then, you know... if their 22, than I must be like 70 or something (band laughs) ... cause they ain't 22 man.
Interviewer: Well now with taking some time off in the not-too-distant-future, having a wife, having a nice house built and the studio, are you thinking at all about kids?
Noel: No... still trying to look after that one over there. (band laughs)
Interviewer: Your brother?
Noel: Yeah... still trying to raise him properly, haha. (Something) is another one. No, I'm not really the family type person really. Don't like family get-togethers or any %$#@ like that man. Just dogs will do me, dogs, dogs and fish... cause then if they piss you off you can always eat them, see! (everyone laughs) But you'd probably get arrested for eating a child these days.
Noel: ...we have not actually mastered that "no comment" thing yet.
The rap against has been that you don't have to see them in concert; that their live thing is so uneventful, you can stay home and listen to the records. But if you did that Sunday night, you would have missed a stunning version of "Wonderwall" propelled by the band's electric hollow-bodied guitars screaming out of Marshall amps; the extended version of the already-classic "Champagne Supernova"; and a reading of "Cigarettes and Alcohol" (which Liam concluded with an uppercut to the microphone), that was so tasty it'd make Skip Humphrey want to light up.
-Jim Walsh (Pioneer Press), Northrup Auditorium, Jan. '98
From Michael Krugman's Supersonic Supernova:
...Oasis were granted a session, though all Elleray remembers of it is that "Liam really took the room over." [DJ Mark] Riley was cohosting the show with Peter Hook, who became the target for Liam's barbed tongue.
"Why are you wearing those f--king awful leather trousers?" Liam poked at the notoriously cranky bassist, who swore that the Gallaghers would now be persona non grata at the Hacienda.
Liam for his part , could give a damn. "Who wants to go down there?" he snarled. "It's s--t!"
"I couldn't believe it," Riley said later of the session. "I thought then that if you bottled that attitude, you'd make a million." -pg.18-19
...The party went on until the wee hours of the morning, when the hotel management mad the fatal error of informing the band and their mates that they had to shut down the bar and get ready for the breakfast rush.
"There was a big row," Bonehead told Vox's Ann Scanlon, "then somebody opened the lounge window and started hurling things out and I had to get involved, 'cos the temptation was too great."
Beer bottles rained out the window, smashing the windshield of a Mercedes parked in the hotel lot. Unfortunately, the luxury car belonged to the hotel's manager. "The police were called," Bonhead continued, "fingerprints were taken and we were told, 'Get out, and don't ever come back.' We were happy to get out, 'cos the Columbia's a pit. It's like somewhere your gran would stay."
"At first it was a buzz being there," Liam explained to NME, "but then I thought it was a dive. There was a bug in the corner of my room and I thought, 'You can f--k off, this is my room.' We had enough in the end. There was a lot of pot going around and we'd got some pipes. We were drinking as well and in the end we just trashed it. Then we started running around the place and going for it. We just trashe it and things went out the window. In the end we got barred. But f--k 'em, we don't care. There's better hotels anyway."
"I can't remember the last occasion when someone was banned," Michael Rose, a director at the Columbia, said. "We wouldn't bar a band unless we feel we have justifiable reasons."
Once again, the band were immersing themselves in one of rock's great traditions. Like The Who and Led Zep before them, Oasis could not seem to resist the destruction of property. The usual excuse for a rocker's rampant vandalism is boredom, the need to act up created by spending much of one's life in hotel cubicles. But, God, bless 'em, the lads in Oasis were happy to admit the real motivation behind their actions: Smashing stuff up is just plain fun.
"It takes years of practice to get good," Bonehead told The Face "I've got a chair in my house that I practice throwing out the window." -pg.46-47
...The second night, they played in Newcastle, a northern city infamous for its hardness. The crowd were hyped up and belligerent from the start, football chanting, "Soft as s--te!" and "Man City, wank wank wank." five songs into the set, Oasis kicked into the punk burner "Bring It On Down" when an audience member climbed onstage and decided to let out some of his inexplicable rage on Noel.
"I looked up and there was this guy stood right in front of me," Noel told Q later, "and he f--king smacked me right in the eye. I just took the guitar off and belted him across the head with it, and then he got dragged into crowd. Me and Our Kid, like a pair of idiots, jumped straight in and it went off, f--king proper. Later in the dressing room, I noticed I was covered in blood. He nearly took my eye out with a sovereign ring he was wearing."-pg.48
The brothers took a break from battling each other and dove into the pit where they proceeded to beat the puncher senseless. Where most bands would allow the bouncers to handle such matters, Oasis' tough-kid background demanded that they take care of such things. "It's just sticking up for yourself," Liam explained. "If someone gets on the stage and has it then he gets it, it's simple. People think we're up for a fight and that, but we're not up for a fight. We didn't start it, we're here to play songs, that's what we're about. We're not about fighting. We want to do the songs, do the set and get off. But if someone gets up and thinks he's a bit hard and goes for it, he's going to get it."
Considering Noel's bloodied face and battered guitar-the beloved Gibson Sunburst passed down from Pete Townsend to Johnny Marr to Noel-there was clearly no chance of the show continuing. As the band attempted to leave the venue, their van was surrounded by a few hundred angry fans, pissed that the gig was cut so short. Surrounded, the members of the band had to lay down on the floor to avoid being hit with the bricks and bottles caroming off the vehicle. -pg.48-49
Noel was taken to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Hospital and patched up. "I've got a bit of a headache," he said, "a bit of a lump gathering over my eye but if I have another seventy-five cigarettes and a couple of bottles of gin I'll be sort of alright, I might go to sleep tonight."
Two days later, Oasis journeyed to Vimmerby, Sweden, where the were to play the annual Hultsfred Festival along with their pals Primal Scream and Verve. Unfortunately, the fest's naive promoter booked all three bands into the same hotel and needless to say, wildness ensued. "I was walking along," Liam remembered with glee in Select, "and this chair come flying past me, then another, then another, I thought, It's gonna be good tonight."
The Primals, sensing trouble, wisely snuck away in their tour bus after the cops were called in, leaving Oasis and Verve to pay L800 to the hotel manager in order to avoid arrest. A spokesman for the Verve explained the scene later, noting that "everyone was really drunk. The bands didn't play until something like two in the morning. They they got back to the hotel and the bar was open. Unfortunately, they tried to close it after a while and an argument ensued. Some bottles were purloined. You're a bit gauche if you're a promoter and you think that with these three bands in the bar, nothing's gonna happen. The chemistry was there and it's not suprising what happened."
"Everything just went mad," Liam told Melody Maker's Paul Mathur. "People were smashing bottles and throwing things all over the place. At one point, somone opened a window and just started to lob everything out. I woke up the next morning, looked out the window and the car park was, like, full of bedrooms. It was a laugh."
When later asked about his part in the constant bad-boy hijinks, Liam seemed to be in denial, or atleast in full-contrary mode. "Rock 'n' roll can be done without all the crap that's meant to go with it," he told Vox, "and that's why I'm not into trashing hotels. That's one thing I never wanted to get into with the band, but that f--ker over there [Bonehead] is mad for it and it's sad. People go, 'Ooh, it's really rock 'n' roll, throwing your gear out the window.' Bollocks! I'm in bed when all that's going on, reading The Independent with a glass of orange juice." -pg.49-50
The tour went well, with the fans satisfied and the band enjoying the perks of the rock-star world. Girl-crazy Liam met a lass who claimed to be the last person to sleep with Kurt Cobain. "Too dangerous," he conceded, adding, "But I let her suck my d--k."
All progressed smoothly until the band arrived in Los Angeles for a show at the legendary Whiskey A Go-Go. The day before, Liam and Noel made an appearance on the popular Love Phones call-in show on KROQ. For some reason, the callers repeatedly inquired whether Oasis were part of some New Mod scene. After a number of these queries, a testy Liam finally snapped, "Look, we're not f--kin' mods, alright?" Another caller wanted to know how the Gallagher's felt about penis extensions. Noel replied that they've got one playing drums, [Tony McCarroll] and no, he can't recommend it. After that things got out of control, leading to the DJ leaving the studio and the band getting booted off the air.
That night the band got into a brawl with the bouncers at the Viper Room over the two A.M. closing time. The entourage proceeded to Bonhead's brother's house, where the party continued until morning. It may well have gone on longer, but sometime around dawn, Bonehead decided to set up his amp in the street. There he played the spiraling "Supersonic" riff until half a dozen LAPD black-and-whites arrived and puta stop to the shindig. -pg.55
Liam defended his retro tastes in Raygun, telling Ken Micallef that "I'm twenty-two and I totally live in the past and I think it's top. All my mates are into the f--king Chemical Brothers. I hate it. Nonimaginative bollocks keyboard crap."... -p.123
From Paolo Hewitt's Getting High:
'I'm banging on Whitey's door and he opened it and he goes, "I don't know about you but I've got a f--king gig to play tomorrow night for which I'm being paid and if I don't get any kip I ain't going to be able to play it, so will you kindly f--k right off."'
Liam loved that kind of s--t. In your face. The f--k-off attitude. The attitude the band was built on. -pg.60
From Paul Mathur's Take Me There:
On the wall of the office where the contract was to be signed there was a picture of Liverpool band the Farm, the archetypal scally act whose album a year earlier had sold faster than anything since U2's Rattle and Hum. While their sound and sensibility had in many ways paved the way for a band like Oasis, Noel decided they were 'a load of s--te' and flatly refused to sign any contract until an addendum was added promising that the photo would be turned to face the wall.
'When we signed,' he says, 'I was going to make f--king sure that everything was perfect, and I wasn't going to have those twats looking down on us. I mean, there was Bob Dylan on one wall and us standing there in the middle. The Farm weren't exactly in the same league, if you know what I mean. You've got to have standards, man.'
After the contract was eventually signed, the band resumed their champagne, a crusade that had started at noon. Sony staff unaware of what was going on upstairs found out pretty soon as toilets, lifts and corridors were overrun by the sort of people who looked, to the drones at least, like they were just about to trash the place. The remains of white lines covered plenty of available surfaces and the dregs from overturned champagne bottles puddled the carpets. Dusk was hours away.
Noel Gallagher leant against a wall, bottle in one hand, cigarette in the other, buzzing off his head, but still a relatively convincing representative of calm at the centre of the maelstrom.
'So, you're rock 'n' roll stars,' I said to him as the room turned into a typhoon-raddled revolving restaurant.
'We've always been rock 'n' roll stars,' he grinned. 'This is f--king brilliant but you haven't seen anything yet. We're going to start proving it.' -pg.40
Liam: You want to be Andrew Lloyd Webber, you do, you f--ker.
Noel: Who's Andrew Lloyd Webber?
Liam: I haven't got a clue. He's a golfer or something.
Noel: You like shagging loads of whores.
Liam: Yeah, I do. Look, all I've got to say is, I'm just having a crack. It's not doing anyone any harm. John Lennon used to do loads of mad things...
Noel: Do you know John Lennon?
Liam: Yeah, I do.
Noel: Well you must be pretty old then. How old are you? Twenty-one?
Liam: No, about 1005.
Noel: You're twenty-two and I watched you being born, so shut the f--k up about knowing John Lennon.
Liam: I'm not a pop star. And if I am I'm a real one, matey. I haven't been invented. I'm an average lad who was born in Burnage, who played conkers...
Liam: Conkers, mate. Conkers. The f--king lot. Conkers. That is it. And now I'm in a band and nothing's f--king changed. I'm not an idol. I'm not a faker. I'm not some f--king bulls--tter, I just say what I say.
From then on Noel and Liam avoided doing interviews together. Probably for the best.
Another NME journalist, Simon Williams, hooked up with them in early May and found them in admirably unhinged form.
At a hotel in Portsmouth they managed to fill a swimming pool with chairs, steal several hundred quid's worth of booze, get into a fight with half the other residents, flirt with every girl in the building and still managed to get up in time for their breakfast of cigarettes, Jack Daniels, gin and tonics and the odd Big Mac. Looking back at their behavior the next day, Liam had noted, 'Well, it was a silly place to put a swimming pool, wasn't it?,' Noel adding, 'Yeah and those plate-glass windows were just saying, "Throw a chair through me!"'
The next night the King's Hotel in Newport received similar treatment (even though it has a bar called the Oasis) and Bonehead was rapidly establishing himself as a man with a mission to trash anywhere that he found himself in for more than thirty seconds.
'I remember we were stuck in the tour bus in a traffic jam,' says Williams, 'and Bonehead decided to leap from the front to the back seat. And he was supposed to be driving.'
Noel summed up the mood of the moment.
'People go on about the pressure of touring and all that, but that's because they sit and think about it all day. But we'll just bowl up there arguing in the coach all the way. Someone will probably have a tooth missing by the time we get on stage and we'll play the gig and then we'll get off and start arguing again. With this band it's let your hair down, man, have a good time. That's what it's there for. Then you wake up in the morning and do it all over again.' -pg.73-74
A couple of warm-up gigs were scheduled before the Albert Hall show, in Windsor and Illford. At the second, the night before Undrugged, the band's performance was constantly disrupted by dorky stage-divers completely failing to comprehend the transfixing nature of the band's music, a daft minority of the audience happier to lob themselves off-stage like they were at some crusty playschool.
'I've never understood stage-diving,' says Liam. 'I mean, what's the point? Especially when we're playing. You wouldn't have stage-dived to the Beatles, right? So don't stage-dive to us, you cheeky bastards.'
Liam sat at the back of the stage for much of the gig, increasingly pissed off at what he and the rest of the band considered an invasion of their personal space. To this day they are one of the few bands, particularly in America, who insist on barriers between themselves and the crowd.
'If people want to get on stage,' says Noel, 'then why don't they form a band or something? Don't come d--king around with us.'
The last straw at Illford came when someone grabbed Liam's cherished star-shaped tambourine out of his hand and made off with it. The band stopped mid-song and walked off the stage. -pg.75-76
Noel achieved another of his ambitions the night after the Naked City performance. Ian McNabb, ex-singer with the Icicle Works, was playing King's College, London with Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot of Crazy Horse and Noel, a long-time Neil Young fan, was invited up to join in on the encore, a cover of the Seeds' 'Pushin' Too Hard'.
'They said, "Do you know how it goes?"' he recalls, 'and I went, "Oh yeah, sure," even though I only vaguely knew it. Anyway, afterwards in the dressing-room, one of them comes up to me and he says, "Hey, little man, you can really play." Them saying that to me was a top moment.'
Liam was less impressed.
'What the f--k did he want to play with those old farts for?' he asked a few days later. 'I mean, he's got his own songs and his own band and all he wants to do is play with a bunch of sixty-year-olds. He's weird.'
Not half as weird as the whole band were to be a few days later when they played their first festival: Glastonbury.
'It was never the sort of place I'd ever felt even the slightest desire to go to,' says Noel. 'The only reason we went was because we were playing, but we thought, well, if we're there we might as well have a good time.'
They didn't just have a good time: they disembowelled the concept, roasted it on an open fire and spread the bones over a hundred-mile radius.
'It was completely mad,' recalls Simon, a friend of theirs whom they knew as 'the Cat in the Hat'. He'd brought along a big bag of E's and enough bindles of coke to ensure that the band were able to plunge wholeheartedly into the Glastonbury Experience. And within seconds of their arrival it became obvious that they intended to do just that.
'I was standing in this field,' recalls Simon, 'and this van came along and almost ran me over. Out jumped the band and all their mates and they just started necking all the stuff like it was going to run out any minute. They were bombing about all over the place, wandering off miles away from where they were supposed to be playing. About five minutes before they were supposed to go on someone found them and dragged them to their stage and they just went on and played this phenomenal gig. If you'd seen them beforehand you wouldn't have thought they'd even have been able to stand up. When they came off they just started going for it again on a big mad one. I think Liam even slept in a tent, but I haven't a clue how he managed to put it up.'
The next night, back in London, they still hadn't stopped partying. Booked in at the notorious rock 'n' roll haunt, the Columbia Hotel in Bayswater Road (a place memorably described by Liam as looking like 'the sort of place your granny would stay'), they ended the night throwing bottles out of a window at a Mercedes in the car park. Unfortunately, the car belonged to the hotel manager and they found themselves only the third group ever to be banned from the place.
'It was a s--t place anyway,' says Liam. 'We've been thrown out of a lot nicer places.'
I wonder how their working-class upbringing and the sense of respect that their mother instilled in them when they were young tallies with such relentlessly antisocial behaviour.
'We're lads,' they said at the time.
Nowadays, though, Noel is more circumspect.
'We smashed up hotels because basically it was a laugh and it's something that just kind of happens when you're all running around with this mad energy. And we did end up having to pay for it all. At one point it was completely getting bonkers. I'd be doing interviews with my back to the window and the journalist would be looking over my shoulder open-mouthed when I was saying that it was all just rumours about us trashing hotels. I'd be saying that and she'd be seeing all these things dropping past the window behind me. Beds, wardrobes, everything. I did make sure my room never got trashed, though, if I could help it. I mean, call me old-fashioned, but I like to have a bed to sleep in at the end of the night.'
'Anyway, we don't do that now,' Noel adds. 'We just had to get it out of our system and I'm glad we did. Everyone ought to do it once, just to see what it feels like.' -pg.78-81
And so, on 19 July 1994, Oasis found themselves in New York on the back of the New Music Seminar an annual music-biz beano that exists purely to provide executives from around the world with an opportunity to bump up their expenses claims and trot out dreary, soulless plans for corporate unit-shifting. And while British bands like These Animal Men and Echobelly paraded under the 'official' Seminar banner, Oasis remained defiantly distanced from it all.
'We're not part of all this,' Noel told me. 'We're far more important than some stupid circus industry.'
The night before, executives from Sony had taken the band out for a meal. Halfway through dinner they told Liam that he should be grateful to be on such an important label. He stood up, told them it was the other way round and they could all go f--k themselves. And left.
'Those American companies are mostly run by idiots,' says Noel. 'When we were first looking for a label to sign with out there, we got someone to take a tape out. The guy listened to it in his office and said, "Hey, you guys are from Manchester, right? Well, you don't sound much like Jesus Jones, do you?" Our mate just pressed the eject button, took the tape out and got the next flight home. I mean, you're dealing with complete twats. And I'm sure there's loads of bands who would have gone for the first person they met just because they were American. We aren't about to sell ourselves so cheap.' -pg.83-84
'The only bands I don't understand are the Clash and the Beach Boys. I just don't get what people see in them.'
Any other misconceptions?
'Well, until six months ago, I thought Blondie were French.' -Noel, pg.84-86
Downstairs in the foyer, as the band prepared to head off to their first Stateside gig, a particularly dislikeable couple begged to differ.
'You guys are s--t,' said the guy, dressed in regulation grunge gear.
'You're never going to make it in America - no British band has sold anything here in years.'
'Have you ever heard anything we've done?' asked Liam.
'No, but just look at you. I can tell. I bet you sound like the f--kin' Soup Dragons. America doesn't need you. Nothing you do matters.'
Liam started bobbing up and down, pacing in ever-deceasing circles, understandably furious.
'Listen man,' he said, menacingly calmly, 'don't you ever tell me what I do doesn't mean anything. I can do things you can't even dream about. I'll steal your soul and you won't even notice. I've stolen it while you were standing here.' -pg.86-90
After the show, Noel concurred. 'Hey, even I thought the rest of them played well,' he admitted.
There was a bona fide New York rock celebrity in the crowd that night: Jimmy Destri from Blondie. At the time Oasis had agreed to do a version of Blondie's 'Hanging On The Telephone' for a tribute album to NY's most startling pop band. It's a project which, at the time of writing, still hasn't seen the light of day, but at the time it seemed a more than viable proposition.
So Destri turned up in the dressingroom with a bit of paper on which he'd written the chord sequences for the song. Undoubtedly aware of Noel's compulsion for appropriating any loose stitches on rock's rich tapestry and weaving them into cushion covers of his own, he'd scrawled at the bottom of the paper, 'Steal these and we'll find you.'
'Yeah, right,' said Noel, adding, once Destri had left, 'He's just scared we'll do it better.'
Liam meanwhile was half-heartedly warding off the attention of groupies, moaning to me about an incident that had taken place at the hotel the night before.
'This girl came up to my room,' he said, 'and she was f--king mad. She started dancing around, then stood on the beds with one leg on each of them and her knickers in my face. And she goes, "So, you write the music then?" and I go, "Well, no." "So you write the words?" "Not really, no." So she just gets down, walks out of the room and goes and gives him [Noel] a blow-job in the back of a cab. Bastard. I'm going to start lying from now on. "Yeah, I write everything, the words, the music, the lot."' -pg.93-96
Liam was admirably calm about the album's chart-topping status and the relative merit of the Three Tenors.
'Well, of course we were going to get to number one,' he mused. 'We're loads better than three fat blokes, shouting.' So that's opera f--ked then. -pg. 114
After the Virgin Megastore performance, Evan Dando decided to tag along with Oasis for the duration of their short tour. His eccentric behaviour caused even Liam to describe his as 'bonkers' and he proved it the next night at a gig in North Wales. They were playing a place called the Buckley Tivoli, the only venue in the world that sounds like a pasta dish, the location chosen to give fans who didn't live in the city a chance to see the band. In fact hundreds trekked from Liverpool, Manchester and London to see them and were rewarded with a bizarre performance from Dando afterwards. As the fans left the venue, they could hear Evan singing, but didn't know where the voice was coming from. Then, as they looke up, it became clear. He was sitting on the roof, guitar in hand, serenading all and sundry like it was the sort of thing that happens all the time.
'That was nothing to do with us,' says Noel. 'Evan's just living in a world of his own. We never asked him to come along, he just sort of kept turning up.'
And he kept turning up. Despite having been allegedly banned from Sweden only a couple of weeks later, Oasis and entourage were allowed straight back in again the night after the Buckley gig. Due to the vagaries of the international distribution network, Definitely Maybe had been released a week earlier in Sweden than anywhere else in the world, going straight to number one there as well and ensuring that the demand for tickets for the show had far outnumbered the capacity of the venue, Gino in Stockholm, that they were due to play. One fan allegedly threw himself off a building because he couldn't get a ticket, somewhat muting what should have been a pure celebration of success. The Swedes continue to be among Oasis's most fanatical fans.
Back in Britain, Evan still in tow, Oasis checked into a Heathrow hotel, ready for a flight to their first-ever Irish gig the next day.
'I got back to the hotel,' says Noel, 'and as I walked into the lift, out came Evan with all these police around him. Apparently he'd gone a bit wild in his room and smashed up the TV set and they'd come to arrest him. I was like, "It's OK mate, he's with us, we'll pay for it. Now let him go." And they did.
'Next day,' he continues, 'we got to the airport and everyone was putting their bags through the metal detector. Evan put his through and suddently all these alarms started going off. You've got to remember we were going out on a plane from Heathrow to Ireland, so it was the flight where everyone would be worried about terrorists. When the alarms went off all these guys with guns appeared from nowhere and the X-ray of Evan's bag made it look like there was a bomb in it. They were convinced he was some sort of major terrorist. Anyway, they open his bag and inside there's all these bit of metal and glass and wires. And it isn't a bomb, it's the remains of the TV he smashed up the night before. He'd felt so guilty about what he'd done that he'd just scooped up all the wreckage and put it in his bag. Like no one would notice. He's way out there, man. You've just got to stand back. Completely mad.' -pg.119-120
They got themselves a slot on their old buddy Rodney Bingenheimer's show on K-ROQ, bizarrely overlapping with a problem phone-in and finding themselves having to offer advice to jilted lovers. Bonehead's cunning plan never wavered. 'Sue,' he said. 'Just sue. Everyone's doing it over here. Sue. Sue.' Just about everyone who rung up was urged to scurry away to a lawyer immediately.
One guy rung in asking about penis extensions.
'We've got a penis extension,' said Noel. 'He's our drummer.'
Rodney Bingenheimer rather queered his pitch by recalling the night he'd been with them when they signed, then asking about what part of Camden they were from. And a heap of expatriate Manchester callers trying to get on the guest list for the Oasis gig the next made for jolly phone banter completely incomprehensible to anyone not living within a couple of hundred yards of Bonehead's local. Getting steadily more wasted, the band headed over to Johnny Depp's club, the Viper Room, and, almost inevitably, ended up getting thrown out. The party moved on to Bonehead's brother's and, sometime round dawn, the LAPD arrived, cautioning them about disturbing the peace. By then Noel had snatched a few hours' sleep, and the rest of the band had been up for seventy-two hours, just to see what would happen. -pg.130-131
Nevertheless, the band managed to make it through their American dates without too many signs of combusting, although Noel did manage to crack his head open in a go-karting accident in Virginia, and one of the band got off with a girl who started beating him up during sex, making the rest of them think he was getting murdered. Those blips apart,it all went suprisingly smoothly. At a New York show where they thought they'd played badly, they even got solace from another superstar fan, John McEnroe.
'We met him afterwards and he was great, a complete mad bastard,' recalls Liam. 'He had a spliff and a drink and told us he really liked us and that he was in a band himself. He started singing this song all about "You cannot be serious/Double faults hurt my head" and I'm going, "Yeah, nice one." He's f--king mad.'
Guardian writer Jim Shelley hooked up with the band halfway throught the tour and found Noel in voluble mood. Gallagher even explained that he had medical reasons for his cocaine use. The last time he'd been in Detroit he'd stayed up for days, convinced that if you went long enough without sleep eventually you'd be able to stay up for ever, a somewhat bold new interpretation of received medical opinion and one that not too suprisingly ended with him being rushed to hospital.
'The doctor came up9 to me,' Noel told Shelley, 'and he went, "It's a good job you're twenty-seven, 'cos if you were forty-seven you'd be dead." Before I went away, though, I went to my doctor in Harley Street and he told me I had really low blood pressure. That's why smoking a draw was my only problem. Every time I had a spliff I'd faint. The doctor said, "Basically you're all right with anything that gets you going, 'cos you need that." I love my doctor, man!"
Noel also revealed that the band didn't actually have a management contract with Marcus - rather that it had all been sealed simply on a handshake. And if Marcus ever tried to sue him?
'I'd burn his house down, and he knows it.' -pg.143-144
'I've got a song to finish,' he told me. 'I was listening to this John Lennon bootleg and it's got this great line about "the brains I had went to my head". I'm having that.'
'What, you're just going to nick it?'
Well, yeah. I mean, it'd be a shame to waste it. The song's going to be a classic.' -Noel pg.163
'That Bono,' said Liam. 'We were having this conversation and he went, "I really like the stuff you're doing, son." I was, like, "Well, I think you've made some good records too, but I'm not your son."' -pg.216
'I met Damon there,' said Liam. 'So I went in the dressing-room walking in slow motion and said, "Helllloooooo Daaaaamoooon, I'm from Maaaaanchesteeeeeuur. We taaalk reeeally slooooooowly ooooop Noooorth 'cos weeeeee're reeeeeally stuuuuupid. Have a good gig." -pg.220
Not that the awards ceremony went off without a hitch. At one point Liam tried to brain Michael Hutchence with a fire extinguisher after the latter started taking the piss out of him. And, back at the hotel, Brian Cannon managed to throw a chair out of his window, causing L1000 worth of damage. A rock 'n' roll gesture made all the more remarkable by the fact that he was in his room on his own at the time.
'It was the champagne,' he says by way of mitigation. -pg.221
'We've burgled houses and nicked car stereos and we like girls and we swear and take the piss,' said Noel, making a point with dramatic effect rather than seriously confessing to a life of crime.
When Liam was asked by a Daily Mirror reporter whether there was any truth to the accusations of burglary, he deadpanned, 'Yeah, I've done loads. I'm doing your house tonight.'
Noel adopts a cod-Welsh accent as he recalls how Marcus sat them down and said, 'Sign with me, boys, and you'll be playing Hawaii in two and a half years. I promise you.'
'He was right,' Noel admits, 'but it took three years, not two and a half. So we'll go over and play the gig, then we'll sack him. Hawaii's going to be good, though. It's full of chicks, isn't it? And we can bury Bonehead in the sand so just his head's showing, then people will come along, think he's a coconut and bash his head in. Oh yeah, I'm looking forward to going there.' -pg.251
'And,' warns Liam, 'if you see Brian Cannon, just go up and stare at him. Whisper, "Microdot, Microdot, Microdot" and freak him out.' -Liam on fan participation, pg.253