In 1994 Oasis released their debut single, Supersonic. Surprisingly it only reached no.31 in the UK singles chart but it was enough to get them noticed, and with their debut album, Definitely Maybe they burst onto a fairly dull UK music scene and immediately livened things up with their laddish ways, arrogant swagger and outspoken assaults.
The truth was the music industry and music journalists needed a group like Oasis. They had invented the term BritPop in a bid to sell records and music papers but Blur and Suede only made good music and didn’t make headlines. All news is good news. So when Liam & Noel Gallagher spoke of becoming the biggest band in the world, obvious successors to The Beatles, and more poignantly happy to slag off other bands, everyone was happy.
By 1995 the music industry had pitted Blur against Oasis in a staged music rivalry not manufactured since The Beatles & The Rolling Stones. At its peak, the two record labels went head-to-head and released new singles in the same week (Blur’s record label actually changed the proposed week of release of Country House) and it even made the BBC News. Liam and Noel were only too happy to oblige. At one point Noel Gallagher announced a personal apology with a donation to the Terence Higgins Trust after stating that the singer and guitarist of Blur were gay and he hoped they would die of aids!
Liam and Noel Gallagher continued to say outrageous, sometimes amusing things every time a microphone was switched on, but the abuse wasn’t just aimed at others, and Noel & Liam continued to fall out, fight and spit verbal abuse at each other too. In August 2009, ten minutes before they were due to headline the French music festival Rock en Seine, following a fight where Liam apparently smashed one of Noel’s precious guitars, they finally split up. Since then there has been less outrageous comments but no doubt they will always have something amusing or shocking to say whenever a journalist gives them the space to do so.
Mad For It: The Wit & Wisdom of The Brothers Gallagher is a compilation of amusing comments from the past 25 years. Some of the quotes are interesting but most are simply amusing, and in most cases, throw away comments that were said for effect only. You don’t have to be a fan to enjoy this book, though it is probably only going to appeal to those who are.
Favourite quotes include …
‘John Lennon would probably hate us, then again who gives a fuck? He’s a scouser’ – Liam 2000
Noel on Paul Weller
‘People think he’s some deep god, but he’s a moany old bastard. He’s Victor Meldrew with a suntan’ – Noel 1995
Noel on Bono
‘Play ‘One’, shut the fuck up about Africa’ – Noel 2007
‘I never said I was wrong. I’m just saying I wasn’t right at the time.’ – Noel 1998
And possibly my favourite, Noel speaking about Liam:
‘He’s rude, arrogant, intimidating and lazy. He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup’ – Noel 2009
Mad For It: The Wit & Wisdom of The Brothers Gallagher is published by Aurum Press