The continuing saga of the death of Oasis: whodunnit (and who cares)?
Oasis couldn’t stop fighting when they were together, and apparently they can’t stop even when they’re apart. Andy Bell, formerly of Oasis and now guitarist in Beady Eye, has weighed in to the spat between the Gallagher Brothers, claiming Noel Gallagher “lied about a lot of things.” Bell was apparently annoyed by Noel’s comments about the backstage fight that brought an end to Oasis, in which Noel disparaged Bell for not intervening, or, as he put it, “sitting counting his shoes.” Bell depicted Gallagher senior’s description of events as (not to put too fine a point on it) “Bollocks.”
Liam Gallagher, of course, has already let it be known how he feels about Noel’s opinions. “I just know he lies. Noel wasn’t bullied out of the band. I have (my bad days) but Noel Gallagher can be a little bastard when he wants to be.”
Noel’s not holding back either. “Well, Liam talks a lot, doesn’t he?” he told the NME. “Unfortunately for Liam, he’s a born liar.”
So who is telling the truth, and whose pants are on fire?
Will it ever be possible to work out what really happened in the room the day Oasis broke up?
And does anyone actually really care?
Truth is subjective, particularly when it comes to memory and perception. This is becoming like a rock and roll version of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, in which every witness to a crime recollects events in contradictory ways. Only in this case, there wasn’t even a crime, just a broken guitar and some bruised egos. Short of instigating a public enquiry, or sending for Hercule Poirot, I think we may have to just draw a veil over proceedings and move on.
Oasis broke up because there were two brothers in the band, who had been at loggerheads since before they were even in a band together, and tied together by fame and fortune they were forced to act out their particular variation on the Cane and Abel psychodrama in the public eye. For a while this provided much public amusement, since their tiffs were conducted in a ludicrous and quite comedic language, yet the pair were so obviously bound together by ties both familial and musical. They were, in a way, an illustration of the real power of family, because the animosity they directed towards each other was counter-balanced by the unity with which they faced the outside world, performing to mass audiences anthems of loyalty and togetherness, like crowd favourite Acquiesce, where the brothers traded lines and the chorus declared “Because we need each other, we believe in one another.” But now that the group has actually split up, the continued trading of insults is becoming an increasingly embarrassing and even tawdry spectacle, with each tit for tat remark further tarnishing any idealised notions their fans may cling on to. It’s like hearing the Beatles snipe at each other after the band broke up. No one wants to know. They are grown men, with kids of their own, and it would surely behove them to rise above the pettiness, if only to keep down the potential for fisticuffs at the next family wedding, christening or funeral. Of course, that might not attract so many headlines, or sell so many records, and with two separate careers to support, the Gallagher brothers will probably have to keep fighting for the rest of their days in the public eye.
Noel’s debut solo single comes out next week, The Death Of You And Me (which, he insists, is not about Liam, and since it’s a love song, we’ll have to take his word for it). And guess what, it sounds a lot like Oasis, albeit without the big power chords (and with a horn section where Oasis would have stuck a lead solo). It even includes the words “soul” and “sunshine” in the lyrics, which have been something of a feature of Oasis songs. Indeed, I may not be able to shed any light on what really happened in the dressing room the night Oasis broke up, but (courtesy of the Live Forever fan site) I can definitely answer another burning question: How many times has Noel Gallagher used at least one of the words sun, shine, shining, sunshine and soul in a song? The answer is 46, almost half the hundred or so songs he has published in a 17-year recording career (for a complete list, see below). And it doesn’t appear that he is about to change his vocabulary for his forthcoming solo album, which features the titles Dream On (“dream” being another big Oasis word), (I Wanna Live in a Dream in my) Record Machine and Stop The Clocks (which was also the title of an Oasis compilation).
Oh, it’s just like Oasis never broke up, isn’t it?
Are you calling me a liar?
Use of the words sun, shine, shinging, sunshine and soul in Oasis songs, 1994-2008
“Bring It on Down” Definitely Maybe 1994
“Cigarettes & Alcohol” Definitely Maybe 1994
“Cloudburst” “Live Forever”[E] 1994
“Half the World Away” “Whatever”[A] 1994
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” Definitely Maybe 1994
“Sad Song” Definitely Maybe[J] 1994
“Slide Away” Definitely Maybe 1994
“Take Me Away” “Supersonic” 1994
“Up in the Sky” Definitely Maybe 1994
“Acquiesce” “Some Might Say”[A] 1995
“Bonehead’s Bank Holiday” Morning Glory[B] 1995
“Cast No Shadow” (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995
“Don’t Look Back in Anger” Morning Glory 1995
“Hello” (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995
“Hey Now!” (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995
“Morning Glory” (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995
“Round Are Way” “Wonderwall” 1995
“Some Might Say” (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995
“Step Out” “Don’t Look Back in Anger” 1996
“All Around the World” Be Here Now 1997
“Be Here Now” Be Here Now 1997
“D’You Know What I Mean?” Be Here Now 1997
“Fade In-Out” Be Here Now 1997
“Magic Pie” Be Here Now 1997
“My Sister Lover” “Stand by Me” 1997
“Stay Young” “D’You Know What I Mean?”[A] 1997
“The Girl in the Dirty Shirt” Be Here Now 1997
“Flashbax” “All Around the World” 1998
“Gas Panic!” Standing on the Shoulder of Giants 2000
“I Can See a Liar” Standing on the Shoulder of Giants 2000
“One Way Road” “Who Feels Love?” 2000
“Roll It Over” Standing on the Shoulder of Giants 2000
“Who Feels Love?” Standing on the Shoulder of Giants 2000
“Force of Nature” Heathen Chemistry 2002
“She Is Love” Heathen Chemistry 2002
“Shout It Out Loud” “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” 2002
“Stop Crying Your Heart Out” Heathen Chemistry 2002
“The Hindu Times” Heathen Chemistry 2002
“Lyla” Don’t Believe the Truth 2005
“Part of the Queue” Don’t Believe the Truth 2005
“The Importance of Being Idle” Don’t Believe the Truth 2005
“Bag It Up” Dig Out Your Soul 2008
“Falling Down” Dig Out Your Soul 2008
“The Turning” Dig Out Your Soul 2008
“(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady” Dig Out Your Soul 2008
And, of course, there’s Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: “The Death of You and Me” 2011
via L4e / Telegraph Blog