The Oasis Archive Articles :

Vox Magazine - May 96



In addition to the Oasis in America feature in the current issue of Vox
dated May but published on March 20, is the following article on the Oasis
story. Part 2 of it is to be publishe in June's Vox published on April 20.



The author Paul Moody is a Melody Maker writer and the author of a book on
Oasis due for publication by UFO in May. They are people who published 'How
Does It Feel?' (a CD sized 96 page pictorial style book) recently.



The article includes pictures of the band in an early press shot, the
Gallagher's family home, Peggy with Noel, Liam and Paul [wrongly
attribur=ted as John!] circa 1974 [Noel is VERY identifiable], Noel as a
roadie for the Inspirals at Manchester G-Mex 1990, first NME photo session
March 1994, Tony Wilson of Factory, Liam on stage at Portsmouth 1994, Alan
Mcgee, Noel's Rolls Royce, Liam on stage at The Splash Club January 1994,
Liam in Amsterdam February 1994, Noel on stage for the Creation Undrugged
show, Liam and Bonehead backstage at Glastonbury 1994 with the Inspirals and
Liam on stage, the brothers recently, Liam on Top Of The Pops singing Live
Forever, and on the video shoot for Whatever. 



BROTHERHOOD OF MANC: THE OASIS STORY 
by Paul Moody and Mark Beaumont



>From hit'n'run gigs in the country's rattiest dives, to selling out the
38,000-capacity Maine Road Stadium in a matter of hours, Oasis are the
biggest success story of the '90s. But how did they get where they are now?
Vox went undercover to get the real story...



Part 1: From Burnage to Britpop



So where did it all begin, this incredible thing called Oasis? In the
glorious antecedent of The Beatles (Noel Gallagher was born on May 29, 1967,
the day the Fab For held a press conference announcing the release of
'Sergeant Pepper')? In the insolence and arrogance of the Sex Pitols? In the
dry-witted jangle of The Smiths. In the ecstatic baggy whirl of The Stone
Roses at Spike Island? Take your pick. You could name check Oasis'
influences till Digsy came home for his dinner, but you still wouldn't have
the whole story.
Oasis are much, much more than the sum of all these disparate influences.
Many others have dallied in their bedrooms, playing along to their favourite
records, dreaming it. Oasis went miles beyond that. They dreamt it, lived
it, breathed it, became it. The greatest rock'n'roll band in the world!
Oh they could have waited a lifetime, as the song has it, to spend their
lives in the sunshine. But no, Oasis, and Noel Gallagher in particular, made
it happen.



1991



Before Oasis there is Rain. Liam, Bonehead, Tony McCarroll and Guigsy - a
shambolic outfit. They spend their time gigging sporadically around
Manchester. Dave Curley, a regular at their gigs and guitarist with The
Kerouacs at the time, remembers seeing them play. "It was in spring '91 at a
place called Times Square in Didsbury. All I can remeber is that they
weren't very good."
At this time Noel is helping the Inspiral Carpets with their equipment. He's
been humping their gear since late '88, and is now their guitar technician,
a fully fledged member of the band's road crew.
Inspiral Clint Boon remmebers: "When Noel came to roadie for us there was no
sign of Oasis. We met him when we were looking for a singer. He came along
to audition and played us some of the tapes he'd made. He sang 'Joe',
'Whiskey', 'Keep The Circle Around' and the Stones' 'Gimme Shelter'. He
could sing alright, but he didn't have the Inspirals groove, so we just
said: "You can be a roadie if you like."
Noel takes to the arduous hours of the roadie's life instantly. While the
Inspirals idle away their time in hotels, Noel eagerly conducts soundchecks
single-handedly, and in any spare moments he practices his own songs with
monitor engineer (and future Oasis producer) Mark Coyle on drums.
Even the post-gig pleasures of a band on the road seem lost on Noel at this
point, as Craig Johnson, then in charge of Inspirals' T-shirt stall recalls:
"I just remember that he was always dead quiet. He'd stay in the corner, not
saying anything. He was just happy on the stage, tuning everything up. We'd
all be going out on the town and it'd be like, "Where's Noel?".



Back in Manchester, Rain are looking for excuses as to why their career
isn't taking off. Madchester has put the city on the musical map and liam
wants a part of it. Swapping Rain for Oasis, the band play their first gig
under their new name at the Boardwalk in Manchester on August 18, 1991. They
go on second between The Ctachmen and Sweet Jesus.
Caffy St Luce, a musaic PR, travels up to see them. "They were nothing
special. I just thought, 'Cheer up you miserable sods.'"
Noel is in the crowd, checking out his cocky younger brother's band, and
he's brought the Inspiral Carpets along with him for the crack. There is
hardly anyone else in the venue.
"Noel said it was the worst gig he had seen," explained Bonehead years
later. Afterwards, when Liam, Bonehead and Guigsy ask Noel to manage them,
he rejects the oiffer point blank, suggesting he joins them as lead
guitarist - on condition that they do everything and anything he suggests.
Any doubts the band have over Noel's suitability dissipate the next weekend
during their regular rehearsal downstairs at the Boardwalk. Noel plays them
Live Forever, a somg he'd written while working as a storeman for British
Gas two years ago. Astounded, the band agree to all Noel's conditions on the
spot.
Suddenly, straight from going nowhere, Oasis start happening. Begging a
favour from promoter Lynne Hamnett, they play their first gig as a five
piece atManchester Boardwalk on October 19, 1991. They hammer through four
songs, including Columbia and a cover of a popular house song of the time
(which, to this day, neither the band nor anyone who witnessed the gig can
name). A few dozen people turn up, and as a foretaste of their arrogance,
the band put up a 40 entrance fee sign.
They're still a mess at this point, meandering through Sunday afternoon
rehearsals, short on direction. Still, they manage to record a rough demo
tape and send a couple of copies to local DJ Craig Cash and Manchester
listings mag City Life.
It makes little impact with either until in mid-December, Chris Sharratt,
the music editor of City Life, discovers a copy of the tape lying around the
office. Reviewing it in the Christmas double issue, he writes: "Oasis go for
the dramatic build-up here, first acoustic guitar, then pattering drums, and
bass, then vocals. A bit nasally in places, sort of like Dermo from
Northside but with a cold. In fact, the whole song is in that Northside
vein. The second track's more urgent and weird, sort of Inspirals on
psychedelics. Interesting, but I'm not too excited."
Still without any major interest, and the funds to record a proper demo, the
band continue rehearsals at the Boardwalk and end the year on the dole.






1992



Noel makes a decision. He decides that if the group are going to succeed,
they'll have to sign a deal. In search of some good advice, and determined
not to fall into the trap he's seen so many Manchester bands fall into, Noel
approaches Tony Wilson at Factory Records, the man who launched Joy Division
and supported legendary punk acts like the Sex Pistols and The Buzzcocks. As
Noel explained late to BBC Radio 1: "He went into a big speech about how the
music busiess and the press was all overrun by cockneys, and how baggy had
been killed by them all. We just said: 'Right, Tone! Up the workers!' Two
weeks later he rung us up and said the tape was too baggy!"
Things show little sign of improvement when Oasis play their first southern
gig at Dartford Polytechnic on April 19. The place is full of bricklayers
who the band antagonise sufficiently to be chased out of the building.
Having played a brace of local gigs, supporting Revenge and the Ya-Yas, the
group record another demo, which includes a formative Rock'n'Roll Star. Noel
passes it on to Macca, manager of Northside - a group on the edge of the
Madchester circus. It is just before the inau
 
band are eager to get a gig in order to play in front of the
assembled music biz.
Caroline Elleray, manager of Intastella, explains: "I first heard of Oasis
in spring of '92. Noel gave Macca a tape that sounded good, so we went to
see them rehearse in this tiny room downstairs at the Boardwalk. It was
early days, but they played five songs and sounded strong enough for us to
recommend them to Mark Riley, who was hosting Hit The north [on BBC Radio 5]
with Mark Radcliffe at the time, and they gave them a session. All I
remember from it was that Liam really took the room over."
Mark Riley remembers: "Caroline told me about this band she'd heard about
and suggested it might be a good idea to give them a session on Hit The
North. I didn't hear a tape beforehand. Mark Radcliffe was on holiday, so I
was hosting the show with Peter Hook [of New Order]. When Oasis came in,
they were really stroppy. Liam said to Hooky: 'Why are you wearing those
fucking awful leather trousers?' Hoky said: "You can forget about going down
the Hacienda again.' Liam just said: 'Who wants to go down there? It's
shit!' I couldn't believe it. I thought then that if you bottled that
attitude, you'd make a million."
The night following their run-in with the New Order bassist. Oasis play the
Venue in Manchester as part of In The city - the week long event used to
encourage the London-centric music business to travel north. Before an A&R
entourage that matches any to be seen that week, the band play their set
between the long-forgotten Skywalker, Jealous and Machine Gun Feedback.
Bindi Binning, promoter of the gig, picks up the tale: "Everyone was down
there for Skywalker, but all the A&R people saw Oasis. They had a real
slanging match on stage. Noel and Liam were really having a go at each
other. What I think was most significant was that a lot of record companies
ignored them that night. Noel has said that was the night the industry
passed them by."
Irriotated by the lack of interest, Noel gets more bad news. Unnerved by
their road crew's drug habits, the Inspiral Carpets panic prior to an
American tour and lay them all off. To Noel, this is adding insult to
injury. Furious at losing a chance to go on an American tour, he throws all
his energy into getting Oasis on the map, and sets about sending tapes to
all the record companies he can think of, including Creation.
Upset by what he sees to be a public rejection of the group, Noel vows to
make Oasis more disciplined. Rehearsals pick up from once to five times a
week, including Saturdays.
In the meantime, Noel gets in touch with Tony Griffiths of The Real People
(whom he'd met as Inspirals support act) with a view to doing some
recording. Used to the hard-knock school of the Manchester scene, Oasis are
shocked by the co-operation of their scouse mates.
"Because we'd got our own eight-track studio we let them come down to the
Dock Road and record there," says Tony. "They were quite naive about
recording, so we'd show them how to play the songs, how to think about the
structure of the songs and the dynamics. We were just helping them because
that's what bands do in Liverpool. I don't think it's quite the same in
Manchester, because no one had done anything for them before."





1992 continued



A fresh coincidence exhibits itself at the band's last gig of the year at
their home from home, the Boardwalk, on November 22. They are third on the
bill, behinf The Cherries and Molly Half Head. Over-running wildly, the band
have a stand-off with The Cherries which ends in the plug being pulled on
them. Liam, in a rage, spends the whole night searching for the culprits,
seeking revenge.
Having already encountered Noel through his links with the Inspirals, future
Word presenter Terry Christian also attends the gig: "I was dreading not
liking them. It's the worst thing in the world when your mate's in a band,
y'know? And it was awful! I rang Noel that week and said: 'I can't tell you
what I thought of the gig 'cos I couldn't hear it!' It was like one of those
old punk gigs. So he sent me a tape where you could hear the songs.
Rock'n'Roll Star grabbed me 'cos it was like a scally anthem."
Oasis' luck begins to change. Meeting with an old friend from the Inspirals
days at the Hacienda, a discussion starts about the nerits of The The's Dusk
LP, and how pleased the friend's brother was with his work on it. Straight
away, Noel realises he's talking about Johnny Marr [ex-Smiths]. Overwhelmed,
he insists the friend pass on an Oasis tape to brother John.
The next day, Noel receives a spontaneous call from Marr himself,
congratulating him on the songs, and the pair start talking about vintage
guitars. Already hooked on a love of classic instruments, Noel mentions
about a shop in Doncaster that he's heard about. Excited beyond words,
Johnny immediately agrees to drive up there with Noel to check it out. The
ex-Smiths guitarist proceeds to spend 9,000 on guitars that afternoon.
He also hints that he'll mention the group to his own manager, Marcus Russell.






1993



Oasis start the year rehearsing with real purpose, forming an alliance with
Small (nee Smaller) through their charismatic singer Digsy. They play two
gigs in Liverpoll with their newly-acquired fellow travellers, their set
extended to include a cover of Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing.
Marcus Russell has become interested and starts discussions with the band
about becoming their manager. Alerted by such heavyweight interest, Creation
boss Alan McGee, who had previously signed the likes of Primal Scream and
Jesus and Marcy Chain to his influential label, decides to investigate when
Oasis are rumoured to be appearing with 18 Wheeler on May 31 at King Tut's
Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow.
Having been alerted to McGee's attendance by Sister Lovers, who are the
supporting act that night Oasis also travel to the gig. Legend will later
have it that Oasis threaten to burn down the venue if they aren't allowed to
play. However, intimidated by the 15-strong Oasis entourage, the manager
concedes without the question of arson arising.
"I'd just arrived, and I'd heard about this band and how they were going to
trash the gig," McGee recalls, "and I thought 'This sounds great.' like the
Sex Pistols or something. And then, when I arrived, I saw about 15 lads
around a table, and one of them looked amazing. He had this blue-and-white
Adidas top on and he looked really cool, like Paul Weller or something. He
turned out to be the singer.
Stunned by the band's four song set, McGee leaves with his head reeling and
enthusing wildly about the band.
Creation's Tim Abbott was one of his early converts. At the time he was
Creation's managung director; he now has his own company, Better Records and
Management where he manages Robbie Williams [ex-Take That] and acts as
marketing consultant for Oasis.
Says Abbott: "McGee phoned us up from Glasgow at about three in the morning,
off his nut, saying: 'I've just seen the Sex Pistols, Abbott! This is the
band who'll turn the company around.! You could have had a thousand A&R men
in the place that night and only Alan would have got up there and said:
'I'll sign them!' That's why Alan is a genius."
While everyone else saw a band that were not a great deal more than stroppy
pretenders, McGee recognised the bigger picture. Suitably encouraged by
McGee's entusiasm, Oasis began to believe in themselves big time. One week
later they travel down to the Creation offices in London. Upon arrival they
notice Tim Abbott in a Manchester United shirt. A bad start - Oasis are City
fans. They say they'll only agree to sign to the label if Abbott "takes that
fuckin' shirt off."
On their second visit, two weeks on, both band and label staff set out on an
all-night bonding session. Throughout the evening, the Gallaghers give the
impression that they already know that they'll be massive. Noel asks Abbott
whether Creation are capable of giving Oasis the backing they need to become
the biggest band in the world. To prove it, Noel insists it's written into
his contract that he receives a chocolate-brown Rolls Royce one they become
massive. 






1993 continued



With 'Baggy' now virtually forgotten, a mere blip in the history of rock,
Oasis plat gigs throughout the summer supporting the likes of Milltown
Brothers and Liz Phair. They also start recording at the Real People's
eight-track studio in Dock Road, Liverpool. The session yields Columbia.
Ecstatic at the results, McGee determines to convince Sont in America about
his discovery. He bumps into ex-Happy Momndays manager turned A&R man Nathan
McGough at the New Music Seminar in New York.
"I went out on the piss with Alan McGee, his dad and Dick Green [Creation
director]," remembers McGough, who'd been at the Oasis gig at In The City.
"And Alan said to me: 'I've found the greatest rock'n'roll band since the
Beatles!' I said: 'You say that about every fuckin' band you sign!' And he
goes: 'No, this time I mean it.' I just couldn't believe it when he said the
band was Oasis."
Innocent of the politics of the Manchester scene, Dave Massey, head of A&R
for Sony America, is bowled over. "Alan McGee brought me the demo of
Columbia in July of '93, and I went completely bonkers. I've never responded
to anything as strongly as I responded to that."
On his return to Manchester, Nathan McGough, intrigued by McGee's comments,
sees Noel sitting outside the Mandela Hall in Manchester. He's about to
congratulate him on signing to Creation when Noel announces: "We haven't
signed anything yet."
"Now being honourable, I just left it at that," says McGough. "What I should
have said was, 'Whatever he's offered, I'll fucking double it!"
The band sign with Creation a few weeks later, and rehearsals begin in
earnest, much to the fury of all the other bands who frequent the Boardwalk
Rehearsal Rooms.
Instaaled in Room Four, they play the same ten songs over and over again.
Other bands down there at the time, such as The New FADS, Detox, Dumb and
Hound God, hearing the familiar opening strains of Cigareetes and Alcohol
and Shakermaker become so exasperated they leave a huge note on the band's
door reading: "GET YOUR OWN RIFFS".
Around this time, Oasis get another chance to make their name on the
Manchester scene during the second In The City festival, playing the Canal
Bar on Wednesday September 14. They are ignored. Blessed Ethel receive the
Best New Band award.



Oasis sign with Sony America after Dave Massey flies in to witness their
first London gig at The Powerhaus on November 3. "It was the best first gig
I've ever seen," he says. "I started jumping around because every song was a
hit. And they had the best eyebrows I had ever seen in my life!"
There aren't that many paying guests there that night, vbut it doesn't
matter. The deal, on hold since the summer, is signed at the Creation
offices the following week. There's one snag though. On turning up at the
Creation offices, Noel spies a Farm poster on the wall. Unless it's removed,
he explains, there won'r be a deal.
Now officially signed, the group embark on a series of low-key support dates
with The Verve [then just plain Verve] and the Real People. Playing their
final gig of the year at the Krazyhouse in Liverpool on December 16, the
band go straight from the venue to the Pink Museum studio in Liverpool,
where they're booked in for four days' recording.
There, Oasis concentrate on finishing a half-formed jam, and work on backing
yracks during the last two days. On December 19, the band are stuck for
lyrical inspiration until engineer Dave Scott's Rottweiler, Elsa, legendary
for its dodgy digestive system, proves to be a lyrical godsend. It farts
constantly and the band arrive at the conclusion that it must have eaten an
entire packet of Alka Seltzers: "I know a girl called Elsa/She's into Alka
Seltzer..." (from Supersonic).
It's not the last time they use things around them as lyrical in-jokes; a
year later, Liverpudlian mate Digsy (singer with Smaller) is the source for
Digsy's Dinner'.
"We were all just arsing around," remembers Digsy of the song that will make
his name live forever. "Noel was on the drums and I was singing: 'Guess what
I had for me tea? Guess what I had for me tea?' I just kept singing that for
fucking ages. Then we went into a break and I just started singing: 'It was
LASAGNE! It was LASAGNE!!"
The band leave The Pink Museum with Suoersonic completed and travel to
London to record their first BBC Radio 1 session and meet up with Primal
Scream at the hotel for an all-night drinking spree. The next morning, at
the recording, the engineer of The Evening Session walks in and asks
"Where's Noel Gallagher?" "That's him, under the control desk,"he's told.
They eventually record Shakermaker, Cigarettes and Alcohol, Up In The Sky
and Bring It On Down.
In the meantime, a white-label demo version of Columbia is causing the
obligatory buzz in music industry circles. As plugger Gary Blackburn
recalls: "When we first heard the Oasis tapes over at Creation, Alan McGee
said: ' Right Gary, you're at Wembley. It's the World Cup Final. The ball's
on the penalty spot and there's no goal keeper. If you stick this one away,
you've won the cup. And it turned out to be like that. It was incredibly
easy. We started off with this white-label of Columbia., toook it to a few
radio stations and they put it on the playlist straight away."






1994



Keen for the band to record more material, Creation dispatch them to Monnow
Valley studios in Wales to record more songs. Thay arrive on January 7, but
after 18 days a Creation representative arrives to discover that the only
songs recorded are a rudimentary Slide Away and a handful of Stones covers
with Noel singing.
The sessions aren't a complete waste of time, though, as the band shoot the
Supersonic sleeve in the studio. The only highlight of the day is a chance
encounter with The Stone Roses Ian Brown in nearby Monmouth. Brown bowls up
to Liam and announces that the band "are on the right tracks".
But the relationship between Oasis and producer Dave Batchelor (of
Sensational Alex Harvey Band fame) deteriorates quickly. Batchelor wants to
clean up their sound. Noel wants the recordings to sound as overdriven as
possible. Within four days of moving operations to the Olympic studios in
London, the band decide to drop Batchelor for their old friend Mark Coyle.



The year's gigs start with a prestigious press-centric London show at the
Splash Club. Nick Moore, the promoter who booked the gig, recalls: "They
turned up too early and then insisted on beer being served to them at four
o'clock in the afternoon. I told them to piss off! It was one of the vibiest
gigs I've ever been to in my life. It was rammed. They even gave our sound
engineer a lift back to his house afterwards."
Following a one-off gig in Gleneagles in Scotland on February 6 to iron out
some flaws in the set, the band head for their European debut in Amsterdam
on the 8th. However, trouble flares up on the journey over when Bonehead and
Liam start drinking duty-free Champagne and get into a scuffle with some
Chelsea supporters. This erupts into a full-blown slanging match, which
culminates with somebody breaking into Bonehead's berth on the ferry and
stealing his passport and all his clothes. Noel, who remains asleep for the
entire journey, misses it all, and arrives in Amsterdam with two of the
crew. The others are all shipped home immediately, forcing the gig to be
cancelled.
The incident reveals the opposing attitudes the Gallagher brothers hold. For
Liam, being thrown off the ferry is more of a triumph for rock'n'roll than
actually turning up and playing the gig. Noel, who recognises that most
bands fail because of such laddish excess, is appalled. This friction -
Noel's discipline versus Liam's impulsiveness - is the energising core of
the band.
Once the resulting press controversy is over, the band head for the
tranquility of Sawmills Studios in Golant, Cornwall, to record their debut
album. 
Something clicks. Amid such isolation Oasis are left with nothing to do but
work, and that's exactly what they do. Within 10 days, 95 per cent of the
backing tracks are completed with producer Mark Coyle, and the band leave on
March 4 to prepare for their upcoming tour.
By now, the band's antics are beginning to excite more than the usual
palpitations. Tempted by a bit of 'car-crash' TV, they are booked by
controversy-hungry TV show The Word for an appearance around the release of
their debut 45.



Neil Primett, a witness to the Splash Club gig, puts them on at Bedford for
the first date of their national tour on March 23. Receiving a standard 100
fee, the band round up all the available fans at the end of the gig and
retire to The Moathouse, Bedford's most expensive hotel. When they get back,
they set up the guitars in the corridor and play a few Beatles numbers,
upsetting the 80-year ols night porter. Predictably, they are banned.
By mid-tour, co-headliners Whiteout are beginning to feel eclipsed by the
drama of the warring Gallaghers. At The Fleece and Firkin in Bristol (March
30), Oasis' legendary rock'n'roll behaviour begins in earnest.
Ever eager to upstage their rivals and make a mark with their fans, they
start distributing calling cards to 'female admirers' inscribed: ' You have
just met Stray Dog and Bib Bag' (these are band nicknames appropriated from
a Smaller song of the same name and refer to Liam and Bonehead.
By now, the group's rapid rise is starting to make people jealous.
Supersonic is released on April 11, and when the band arrive at the Lomax in
Liverpool two days later, Oasis discover there are people there with scores
to settle.
With two generations of the Liverpool music scene squeezed in, including The
Real People, Peter Hooton [of the Farm], and, inevitably, Peter Wylie
[Wah!], things get heated. Having just slagged off The Farm in the press
that week, the band present Oasis with a signed photo of the band as a joke.
Afterwards, Farm drummer Roy Boulter waits for them outside in search of a
confrontation. When the potential danger is mentioned to Liam, he just
laughs and says: "Where the fuckin' hell are they then?"
The Farm photo gets left behind in the dressing room, and is later framed by
the owners of the Lomax and placed above the bar.






1994 continued



On April 23 Supersonic goes straight into the charts at number 31. The NME's
Simon Williams hitches a ride with the band on their next tour...
"The thing I remember most is being in a hotel in Wales. They'd just played
a gig at TJ's the night before (May 3) and they all met up in the foyer to
go to Derby. They were all sat in different corners, talking gibberish. It
wasn't just Noel and Liam being the centre of attention, it was all of them
- especially Bonehead - coming out with the most insane, hilarious rubbish.
Then we got stuck in a traffic jam and Bonehead decided to dive fron then
front seat into the back of the minibus. But he was driving!"
That day the band had also played an acoustic show for Mark Radcliffe on
Radio 1 before the fif at TJ's. Three days later, they attend the press
conference for Undrugged, a celebration of ten years of Creation Records.
Liam, Noel, The Boo Radleys, and Ride arrive at the NME to hold a mini
conference with a handful of NME readers. Bickering continually, Noel and
Liam re-tell the Amsterdam incident and reduce their audience to tears of
laughter.
Having discussed matters as disparate as the new Primal Scream album and the
nature of musical progression, it becomes clear that there is a more
pressing matter to be resolved. In short, the microphones have gone missing
from the NME conference room. Soon enough, they mysteriouslt 'reappear' and
everyone decamos to the Good Mixer in Camden. Here, Liam meets Graham from
Blur for the first time, and gives him a mouthful. Oasis, by now, have
reached the decision that they hate Blur. Their tour bus song is (to the
tune of The Small Faces' Lazy Sunday): 'Wouldn't it be nice, to be a fucking
cockney/ Wouldn't it be nice, to be in fucking Blur/ What a c***!'.
Later, at Camden Underworld, Liam is asked to leave because he's upsetting
Graham with his non-stop barrage of abuse. The night ends with the band's
record company representative aiming a flying kick at a security man as the
band and entourage are requested to leave the building.



Two days later, Oasis are back on tour, at The Old Trout in Windsor. There
is a noticeable chasm developing between the bad and drummer Tony McCarroll,
and it seems to grow wider each day ( significantly, he will be 'buried' in
the video for Live Forever). Promoter Phil Hanks recalls: "What got me was
that they were already ignoring Tony McCarroll. They were playing football
outside with the football on the radio really loud. It was Everton vs.
Sheffiell Wednesday. But noone would pass the ball to Tony. In the end, he
was moaning so much, someone just smashed the ball at him from about three
feet away."
Back down south to play Ilford Island, Oasis hook up with Bedford promoter
Neil Primmett who has intrigued them with his ability to get hold of large
quantities of old-school trainers. "When the band played at The Angel, they
were really interested in the trainers we had, so we brought a whole load
down to the Ilford gig, all sizes five to seven - they've got seriously
small feet. They pretty much cleared us out at 30 a pair."
The band's delight is shortlived though, as the gig is marred by
stage-divers who constantly climb on-stage and ruin the flow of the show.
Liam sits on the drum riser, watching with disgust. Someone even snatches
his star-shaped tambourine. Afterwards the band are furious at the bouncers
for letting the debacle continue unabayed.
Still shaky from the previous evening, Liam is unable to play the Creation
Undrugged celebrations at The Albert Hall the next night. Instead, he
watches from the balcony and heckles Noel, who sings two songs acoustically.
It's the first time that Noel has performed solo and sets the precedent of
'the Noel bit' now incorporated into every show.
On June 22, with Shakermaker at number 11, the band show off tracks from the
album by recording their current hit Live Forever, Sad Song, Whatever and I
Am The Walrus for the Radio 1 Evening Session.
At The Glastonbury Festival, the band are billed to play between Echobelly
and Credit To The Nation on the NME sateg. As first-time Glastonbury-goers ,
they are naturally overwhelmed by the festival vibe. Noel narrowly misses
tal=king part in the gig after he's founf five minutes before he's due to go
on, watching some naked didgeridoo players in the Green Field. It's onlt
when he's tol;d by a fan that he's due on stage that he realises why he's
there. After the show, the group take over the Inspiral Carpets tour bus to
party in, and when the Inspirals turn up, Noel exclaims, incredulously,
"What are you doing in here?"
With Shakermaker still high in the charts, the band head out fot The New
Music Seminar in New York. Coming on at Wetlands at midnight on Wednesday
July 21, the band blow away all the "British Press Darling" pre-conceptions
of the predominantly US music biz crowd.
Noel concludes that it's the best gig Oasis has ever played. The band's
visit also involves a trip to Central Park - specifically Strawberry Fields,
the memorial park opposite the Dakota Building, where John Lennon was shot. 
On their return to England in the last week of July. Oasis are booked into
legendary rock'n'roll hotel The Columbia in Bayswater Road. In high spirits,
they start lobbing beer bottles out of the window at a Mercedes in the car
park. This, it taspires, belongs to the hotel's manager. The NME reports
that the group were officially banned - an "honour" they share with The Fall
and The Mission.
Undeterred, Oasis play the inaugural T In The Park festival, where they kick
footballs into the crowd, and release Live Forever on August 8.
Then, more controversy,. The following day they head off to Newcastle to
play their first gig since their December '93 trip with The Real People. At
a packed Riverside, the show explodes into violence when a fan- probably
pumped up by the group's "hard" image, although there ar rumours associating
Noel with somebody else's girlfriend - jumps onstage and hits Noel full in
the face during Bring It On Down. Disgusted, the band leave the stage and
refuse to return. 
DJ Jo Whiley was there, covering the gig for Radio 1: "They were really
shocked afterwards. It was like: 'God! We've been saying for ages that
something's got to be done about it' [the lack of band security]. It was
really, really tense. It was a situation where you think: @I don't quite
know what's gonna happen here - there sould be a riot or it's all gonna calm
down.' Of course, the riot was going on outside the van."
Finding themselves being pelted by 300 irate fans and severely shocked.
Oasis employ bodyguards the next day. One of whom, Ian Robertson, detailed
to look after Noel, will soon find his charge to be a tricky customer...






1994 continued



Two days later, the band head out for Sweden and the Hultsfred Festival.
Discovering Primal Scream and Verve on the same bill, they end up in a
wrecking spree during which Liam breaks his foot after jumping from a moving
coach. Afterwards, the band head straight from theairport to the Halcyon
Hotel in Holland Park.
Here, in a 500-a-night suite, they shoot the session which will evolve into
the Cigarettes and Alcohol sleeve. The bar bill comes to over 2,000.
On August 18 the band play the Astoria and meet up again with Neil Primmett
and his amazing travelling trainer show. Rendezvous-ing with Liam outsdie
the back door of the Astoria, they present Neil with a car boot full of old
trainers of all varieties, which he buys outright. When a policeman comes
over to check out the legitimacy of proceedings, Liam convinces him
everything is well above board.
Continuing to gig as if playing live were as important as breathing, Oasis
release Definitely Maybe on August 30. The demand for the record is
incredible. It goes straight into the charts at number one and sells 150,000
copies in three days, making it the fastest selling debut album ever in the UK.
On the six-date trip to Japan which follows, the mood is so party -centric
that the band do without sleep whenever possible. Noel is obliged to buy an
extra suitcase to pack away the presents he's received from fans. Bonehead
nearly misses the penultimate gig in Osaka through over-indulgence, and a
black-eyed Guigsy, somewhat prophetically, tells a reporter: "I can't stand
these groups who whine on about how tough life on the road is. We love it -
and we go for it."
Within three days of coming home, still shell-shocked from the ride, Oasis
head for America. Starting on the west coast things begin to spin out of
control. In Los Angeles at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, the infamous club on Sunset
Strip where The Byrds and The Doors used to play in the '60s, Oasis are in a
bit of a state. They'd done a 'Love-In' on KROQ the day before, kids ringing
into the station with questions. Most of them had been about scooters and
that kind of ephemera - until Liam lost his rag and informed the listeners:
"Look, we're not fookin' mods, alright?!" Someone else had rung in to ask if
Noel had considered having a penis extension. Noel had replied that Oasis
had one on drums and he didn't recommend it.
Then, that night, they'd been thrown out of The Viper Room, Johnny Depp's
club where River Phoenix died. There'd been some fracas with the bouncers at
closing time - Oasis refusing to drink up and leave quietly - and punches
had been thrown. They'd then gone on tot Bonehead's brother's house, just
down the hill from the club where they'd set up their equipment, and
Bonehead, crazed out of his head, had played Supersonic over and over until
dawn. Hlf a dozen LAPD squad cars had turned up and Bonehead had been
cautioned for disturbing the peace.



The gig is a shambles. All the LA movers and shakers are here - Perry
Farrell, celebrity DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, even Ringo Starr is a rumoured
guest - and the band have a 'mare. The bass amp blows up during the first
number, Rock'n'Roll Star. They play it over again. Then some kid crowd-surfs
onto the stage and collides with Liam's monitor, moving it. Liam informs the
crowd at the end of the song that they should stay off his stage. It starts
to turn a bit ugly. 
This is one of the first gigs where Noel insists on singing harmony parts to
Liam's lead vocals, and it isn't working too well, taking the edge off the
songs. To add to the tension, a cameraman is getting in Liam's way onstage.
Liam keeps confronting him then disappearing offstage, missing vocal cues.
Noel glares at him and Liam shouts back. The brothers face up to each other
at the end of Shakermaker and Liam twats Noel round the back of his head
with a tambourine. The crowd feebly chant: "Fight! Fight!"
Liam threatens to quit the stage, changes his mind, and the band go into
Live Forever. Liam sings: "I don't wanna know why you pick your nose," and
makes wanking gestures at Noel. Liam walks off during I Am The Walrus and
doesn't even bother to finish the song.
After the gig, Oasis spend an hour in the dressing room behind locked dorrs.
Liam suddenly storms out and stomps off down Sunset Boulevard with a towel
round his shoulders.



By now Noel has had enough. He puts an ultimatum to the rest of Oasis,
informing them that if they're not going to give 100 per cent effort into
the band, they may just as well split. He takes $800 of the tour budget and
gets the first plane out of Los Angeles. Paranoid the FBI are tracing his
phone calls, he flies around the US on a personalised road trip, visiting
Las Vegas and San Francisco, only keeping in touch with the band by telephone.
The band cancel shows in Austin, Dallas, Kansas and Missouri before he
returns with two new acoustic-based songs, including Talk Tonight. Liam: "He
wrote it while he was in San Francisco with some fuckin' bird. That's shit."
On October 9, Cigarettes and Alcohol is released in Britain. Meanwhile, the
band return to touring duties on October 14 in Minneapolis. Back together
once again, they embark on a celebratory bender and find themselves
wandering along the side of some road. A jeep pulls up beside them and
almost runs over Liam, who is dragged away from a potentially fatal
confrontation with a gun-wielding driver.
A show at New York's Wetlands marks the end of the beginning of their
American baptism. But there's still no rest. The band immediately embark on
another European tour, taking in Sweden, Germany and Belgium, returning to
the UK to play larger venues than ever before. The first gig is Southampton
Guildhall.
Promoter Conal Dodds at MCP recalls: "It was the first night of that tour
and it was one step up, doing 1,800 people a night. There was a toilet in
the back of the production room and Liam kept running in and out of there.
He spent practically the whole night on the toilet bricking himself."



Oasis celebrate the eventual release of Whatever (temporarily delayed after
a call from David Bowie's lawyers over allegations that Noel has nicked bits
of All The Young Dudes) with an appearance on Jools Holland's Later on
December 10.
The single is released nine days later. Noel, ever humble, describes it to
the NME as "one of the best songs ever written". An eight-minute
spectacular, replete with string quartet, it's the first new recording since
the album sessions. It sells 350,000 copies and peaks at number two, behind
East 17, capping a monumental year.
The madness had only started...



**Next month in VOX - The Oasis Story Part 2: The Brats, The Brits, the
battle of Britpop with Blur, WTSMG and the great American campaign**



There are also 12 pages of Oasis photos spanning March 1994 to April 1995.






1994 continued



Two days later, the band head out for Sweden and the Hultsfred Festival.
Discovering Primal Scream and Verve on the same bill, they end up in a
wrecking spree during which Liam breaks his foot after jumping from a moving
coach. Afterwards, the band head straight from theairport to the Halcyon
Hotel in Holland Park.
Here, in a 500-a-night suite, they shoot the session which will evolve into
the Cigarettes and Alcohol sleeve. The bar bill comes to over 2,000.
On August 18 the band play the Astoria and meet up again with Neil Primmett
and his amazing travelling trainer show. Rendezvous-ing with Liam outsdie
the back door of the Astoria, they present Neil with a car boot full of old
trainers of all varieties, which he buys outright. When a policeman comes
over to check out the legitimacy of proceedings, Liam convinces him
everything is well above board.
Continuing to gig as if playing live were as important as breathing, Oasis
release Definitely Maybe on August 30. The demand for the record is
incredible. It goes straight into the charts at number one and sells 150,000
copies in three days, making it the fastest selling debut album ever in the UK.
On the six-date trip to Japan which follows, the mood is so party -centric
that the band do without sleep whenever possible. Noel is obliged to buy an
extra suitcase to pack away the presents he's received from fans. Bonehead
nearly misses the penultimate gig in Osaka through over-indulgence, and a
black-eyed Guigsy, somewhat prophetically, tells a reporter: "I can't stand
these groups who whine on about how tough life on the road is. We love it -
and we go for it."
Within three days of coming home, still shell-shocked from the ride, Oasis
head for America. Starting on the west coast things begin to spin out of
control. In Los Angeles at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, the infamous club on Sunset
Strip where The Byrds and The Doors used to play in the '60s, Oasis are in a
bit of a state. They'd done a 'Love-In' on KROQ the day before, kids ringing
into the station with questions. Most of them had been about scooters and
that kind of ephemera - until Liam lost his rag and informed the listeners:
"Look, we're not fookin' mods, alright?!" Someone else had rung in to ask if
Noel had considered having a penis extension. Noel had replied that Oasis
had one on drums and he didn't recommend it.
Then, that night, they'd been thrown out of The Viper Room, Johnny Depp's
club where River Phoenix died. There'd been some fracas with the bouncers at
closing time - Oasis refusing to drink up and leave quietly - and punches
had been thrown. They'd then gone on tot Bonehead's brother's house, just
down the hill from the club where they'd set up their equipment, and
Bonehead, crazed out of his head, had played Supersonic over and over until
dawn. Hlf a dozen LAPD squad cars had turned up and Bonehead had been
cautioned for disturbing the peace.



The gig is a shambles. All the LA movers and shakers are here - Perry
Farrell, celebrity DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, even Ringo Starr is a rumoured
guest - and the band have a 'mare. The bass amp blows up during the first
number, Rock'n'Roll Star. They play it over again. Then some kid crowd-surfs
onto the stage and collides with Liam's monitor, moving it. Liam informs the
crowd at the end of the song that they should stay off his stage. It starts
to turn a bit ugly. 
This is one of the first gigs where Noel insists on singing harmony parts to
Liam's lead vocals, and it isn't working too well, taking the edge off the
songs. To add to the tension, a cameraman is getting in Liam's way onstage.
Liam keeps confronting him then disappearing offstage, missing vocal cues.
Noel glares at him and Liam shouts back. The brothers face up to each other
at the end of Shakermaker and Liam twats Noel round the back of his head
with a tambourine. The crowd feebly chant: "Fight! Fight!"
Liam threatens to quit the stage, changes his mind, and the band go into
Live Forever. Liam sings: "I don't wanna know why you pick your nose," and
makes wanking gestures at Noel. Liam walks off during I Am The Walrus and
doesn't even bother to finish the song.
After the gig, Oasis spend an hour in the dressing room behind locked dorrs.
Liam suddenly storms out and stomps off down Sunset Boulevard with a towel
round his shoulders.



By now Noel has had enough. He puts an ultimatum to the rest of Oasis,
informing them that if they're not going to give 100 per cent effort into
the band, they may just as well split. He takes $800 of the tour budget and
gets the first plane out of Los Angeles. Paranoid the FBI are tracing his
phone calls, he flies around the US on a personalised road trip, visiting
Las Vegas and San Francisco, only keeping in touch with the band by telephone.
The band cancel shows in Austin, Dallas, Kansas and Missouri before he
returns with two new acoustic-based songs, including Talk Tonight. Liam: "He
wrote it while he was in San Francisco with some fuckin' bird. That's shit."
On October 9, Cigarettes and Alcohol is released in Britain. Meanwhile, the
band return to touring duties on October 14 in Minneapolis. Back together
once again, they embark on a celebratory bender and find themselves
wandering along the side of some road. A jeep pulls up beside them and
almost runs over Liam, who is dragged away from a potentially fatal
confrontation with a gun-wielding driver.
A show at New York's Wetlands marks the end of the beginning of their
American baptism. But there's still no rest. The band immediately embark on
another European tour, taking in Sweden, Germany and Belgium, returning to
the UK to play larger venues than ever before. The first gig is Southampton
Guildhall.
Promoter Conal Dodds at MCP recalls: "It was the first night of that tour
and it was one step up, doing 1,800 people a night. There was a toilet in
the back of the production room and Liam kept running in and out of there.
He spent practically the whole night on the toilet bricking himself."



Oasis celebrate the eventual release of Whatever (temporarily delayed after
a call from David Bowie's lawyers over allegations that Noel has nicked bits
of All The Young Dudes) wioth an appearance on Jools Holland's Later on
December 10.
The single is released nine days later. Noel, ever humble, describes it to
the NME as "one of the best songs ever written". An eight-minute
spectacular, replete with string quartet, it's the first new recording since
the album sessions. It sells 350,000 copies and peaks at number two, behind
East 17, capping a monumental year.
The madness had only started...



**Next month in VOX - The Oasis Story Part 2: The Brats, The Brits, the
battle of Britpop with Blur, WTSMG and the great American campaign**



There are also 12 pages of Oasis photos spanning March 1994 to April 1995.






You may remember that I posted parts 1-8 of the Oasis story from May's
edition of Vox which took the tale of our young heroes from the beginning to
the end of 1994. Here follows the concluding parts from 1995 to date-ish. As
before, loads of great photos. So...



BROTHERHOOD OF MANC:
The Oasis story
Part two: From The Brats to America's most wanted
The final part of our Oasis story reveals the recording of WTSMG, The Brats,
The Brits, the rucks, the rifts, tabloid frenzy, the vicious rivalry with
Blur and the group's landslide victory of America. Add to that an analysis
of why Oais are the band of the 90s, plus a list of top collectibles and,
well, there's your story...
by Paul Moody and Mark Beaumont






1995



Whatever was a triumph, but Oasis' madcap progress doesn't falter any over
the New Year break. Free for a week from the touring schedule, Noel writes
"reams" of songs which he is, reportedly, eager to put into practice. The
songs, many of which will appear on WTSMG are written on acoustic guitar,
hence their more gentle tone.



Before there's any time to contemplate any new campaign, a chance comes to
revel in the group's achievements thus far.



On January 23, five days before leaving for another tour of America, the
entire band (minus Bonehead, who is otherwise engaged, celebrating the birth
of his daughter, Lucy Oasis) attend the NME Brats shindig, picking up awards
for Best Band, Best New Band, and Best Single for Live Forever.



Liam takes thew opportunity to slag off the entire opposition, suggesting
all the other bands present are crap "especially shit like Shed Seven". The
seeds of a much more deep-seated rivalry with Blur are sown. The two groups
sit on opposite sides of the room and things get heated as first one, then
the other, goes up to receive their awards. Noel, however, is the most
touched with getting the readers' vote: "You never really get to appreciate
what you mean to your fans," he announces after receiving the Brat foir Best
Band. "Just a tiny little thing like them sticking a vote in a postbox, that
means more to me than gold discs and the rest of it."



One of Oasis' Brats subsequently gets broken when Noel drops it on the floor
at the after-show party at the Raw Club.



Normal service (in other words, the band's usual chaos) resumes with the
news that Liam's voice, already pushed to the limit from over-touring, has
given out completely. Hence, plans for a debut trip to Australia and New
Zealand are swiftly scuppered. Nevertheless, tickets for their
12,000-capacity Sheffield arena show sell out within a week, while the band
head off for gruelling two-month tour of the States in good spirits.



Following a fortnight's worth of shows, culminating in a mad gig in Atlanta,
where according to Liam, "the fans were hanging like bats from the ceiling",
the band return to England, confident following a front page story in
Billboard claiming that Oasis, among others, are spearheading an invasion of
the American radio charts. On February 22, the group head for Loco Studios
in Wales to record new single Some Might Say (which Noel had written the
previous June).



Travelling to the studio alone, Noel's train breaks down. Aware that the
band are short of material, he writes the stand-out B-side, Acquiesce
(inspired by the use of the word in the O J Simpson trial) in 20 minutes
while stalled on the rails.



The band are booked into the studio for a week. Bonehead and Guigsy complete
their contributions in two days, while Liam arrives a couple of days later,
fresh from having been thrown out of Manchester's Dry Bar, following an
all-day drinking session. Noel and producer Owen Morris are left the rest of
the week to complete the mixing.



On Tuesday February 28, the band head for the industry-sanctioned Brit
Awards. Although Oasis walk away with Best New Band (itself an achievement,
bearing in mind the Brits' usual conservatism), the night belongs to Blur,
who, extending the olive branch, dedicate their best band award to Oasis.






1995 continued...



Oasis return to their Stateside touring duties with a gig in New Jersey at
the start of March, reassured by the news that Live Forever has climbed to
the top of the US College radio charts, while DM has sold 220,000 copies in
America entering the Top 75. The impression tha band have is that, if they
persevere, by the ned of the tour the figure will have doubled.



It's no cakewalk, howver. It's early spring, and the tour is cold and
miserable. In addition, some of the venues open the bar five-and-a-half
hours before the band appear onstage, leading to drunken audiences who
appear far too gone to do anything but 'mosh' indiscriminately during the
band's set.



A New York gig helps to lift spirits when John McEnroe turns up
unexpectedly. He is teased relentlessly all night by the Gallaghers about
whether he is "gonna put his own record out."



Oasis' first UK TV appearance of the year is on The White Room at the
beginning of April. Noel duets with Paul weller on a gorgeous Talk Tonight,
and the bar afterwards is swarming with celebrities, including Paula Yates,
who makes friendly advances towards Liam. The singer responds by standing up
and kissing Paula's hand with exaggerated (or piss-taking) courtesy - an
incident which becomes the subject of much controversy in the gossip coloumns.



Four days later, Oasis play their first UK date of the yearat Southend
Pavilion. Then a deep-seated grievance is settled once and for all in the
wake of a Paris show at The Bataclan on April 20. Here, Liam has one final
confrontation with drummer Tony McCarroll which ends in a stand-up fight in
the hotel bar. Tony leaves shortly after.



The news that he's left Oasis breaks three weeks later, the same time that
Some Might Say goes straight to number one in the charts.



Having lost his drummer on the Tuesday following the singles's release, Noel
finds himself in the uncomfortable positiuon of having an empty drum stool
to fill the day before the group are due to appear on Top Of The Pops.



Seeking someone with the right pedigree, Noel gets in touch with Idha's
drummer Alan white, brother of Paul weller's long-term kit basg=her Steve.
Meeting White for the first time in a cafe in Camden, Noel offers the
bemused drummer the job over a bottle of Beck's, and handing him a CD of
Some Might Say tells him to have learnt the song by the next day. The band
then record a victorious TOTP performance spending the day hanging around
with, of all people, Jimmy Nail. A jubilant Noel declares afterwards:
"Alan's the new Keith Moon!"



In bullish mood, the band enter Rockfield Studios to record their second
album on May 8, and remain there until June 17. Installed in the Coach
House, they work through the night, under the watchful eyes of Noel and Owen
Morris. Having been more or less outlawed from his preferred Loco studio on
account of his excessive behaviour there with The Verve and Pusherman,
(Morris the maverick is, among other misdemeanours, reputed to have thrown a
chair through the studio window) Owen is a key player in creating the
necessary mood for the album.



The band work quickly. The sessions follow the same pattern as usual, with
Noel and Morris working gruelling 18-hour shifts while the others are called
into the studio only when necessary. The record, it's becoming clear, is
Noel's personal vision, and his long-term soubriquet 'The Chief' becomes
ever more apt, however erratic his behaviour might get. The recording of
Roll With It gets delayed when Noel arrives at the studio at three o'clock
in the afternoon following a heavy drinking session and promptly collapses
underv the mixing desk. Once he's revived the song is recorded in one take.



With six tracks completed and Noel working flat out, Liam, in celebratory
mood, invites a group of 30 inebriated locals back to the studio from local
pubs The Nags Head and The Bull.



Noel turns up several hours later to find "half of fucking Monmouth" in his
room. Going down to the studio, he discovers to his horror a set of complete
strangers playing with 30,000 worth of his guitars. The final straw comes
when one of them asks him for the number of a cabfirm to transport them
home. In a rage, Noel orders his brother to clear them out of the studio.
During the ensuing punch-up, Noel is reputed to have chased Liam out of the
place with a cricket bat.



Infuriated by what he sees as a lack of professionalism, Noel tells the rest
of the band that if they want the group to continue they'd better get their
act together. He takes a week off to chill, staying with Blackburn Rovers
and England international footballer Graham Le Saux in Jersey, and returns
calm and refreshed.



Planninga party to celebrate both the progress of WTSMG and his 28th
birthday, Noel bumps into Morrissey in Camden. Both these Northern lads now
reside in this section of the capital.



Reasoning that bygones should be bygones, he invites Moz around to join the
party. He doesn't show up, but later sends over a note suggesting that the
pair of them go 'shoplifting' some time.






The band warm up for their headlining Glastonbury performance with a low-key
gig on the eve of the festival at Bath Pavilion. They also take time out to
shoot the cover of Roll With It on the beach as Microdot designer Brian
Cannon explains.
"Noel had a dream where he saw a load of televisions floating down a river ,
so he said, 'Why don't we have TV's in it?' It was loosely based on the
cover of 'With The Beatles'."
Frazzled from the day's activities, things get out of hand. The band,
together with trusted sidekicks Tim Abbott (marketing consultant) and Digsy
(from Smaller), stay up until nine in the morning partying, and Glastonbury
proves to be a major disappointment. Liam offers the entire crowd out for a
scrap. Noel, suffering from hot and cold flushes, dons a duffle coat in the
heat. Astonsihingly, in the next six months, sales of duffle coats in the UK
rise by 20 per cent.
However, Glastonbury is most remarkable for the antics of Robbie Williams.
Tim Abbott recalls: "That was the day that Robbie left Take That. When Liam
asked him onstage, that was his spiritual calling. The puppet strings were
cut when he went on that stage." 
In belligerent mood, and conscious of the fact that the show hadn't gone to
plan, the group end up at their hotel and get into a fight with some rugby
players. Tim Abbott recalls: "It all got messy. It always follows the same
route - lines, Jack Daniels, punch-up. They're the 7-eleven of bands."



In the midst of a lengthy European tour, Oasis return home for two sell-out
dates on the beach at Irvine as a thank you to their Scottish fans. After
the shows, which take place inside an enormous tent, news comes that WTSMG
has finally been cut to the satisfaction of all on Tuesday 25 July at Abbey
Road Studios.
Owen Morris tells NME: "It's astonishing. It's the bollocks for this decade.
It's a piece of piss recording with Oasis. We only spent 15 days recording
it. We did a track a day and all the B-sides for Roll With It. The album is
more complete than DM. It'll surprise a few people."
The momentum building towards the album's release starts two weeks later. At
the very peak of the summer, on August 14, new single Roll With It and
Blur's Country House are released head to head amid a silly season press
campaign unrivalled in years. The tabloids have a field day, analysing the
rivalry between the bands in the most basic terms - the North/South divide,
Man City vs Chelsea, and so on - but the upshot is massive exposure for that
up-to-now nebulous musical form called Britpop. Suddenly, everybody and
anybody has a valid opinion on it all, and both bands are quite clearly
public property.
Thanks partly to a mix-up over the barcoding of Roll With It, it is clear
even by the Wednesday that Blur and not Oasis will be number one the
following week. Noel, for once seeing his dreams go awry, embarks on a
48-hour bender with Paul Weller. Consequently, he arrives at the TOTP studio
in a foul mood, and insists that the band swap instruments for their
performance. Noel sings and Liam mimes guitar in a 'fuck-you' gesture of
defiance.
Still seething, Noel tells the Dialy Mirror that Blur are "middle-class
wankers, the Chas and Dave of pop." 
Liam and Bonehead go to see Ash at the Astoria on August 18. On leaving the
dressing room, Liam spots NME's Stuart Baillie and perhaps sensing an outlet
for the group's perceived defeat, slaps him on the head while singing the
chorus of Country House.






More bad news follows with the publication of an interview with Noel in the
Observer. Drunk and off his guard, Noel couches his dislike of Blur in
acceptable terms, declaring: "The guitarist I've a lot of time for. The
drummer I've never met - I hear he's a nice guy. The bass player and the
singer - I hope the pair of them catch AIDS and die, because I fucking hate
them two."
Aware that the rivalry between the two bands has over-stepped the mark in
the crassest possible way, Noel apologises and arrives back from a week-long
Japanese tour at the end of August to record Fade Away for the Bosnia
'Help!' album as 'Noel Gallagher and Friends' at Abbey Road Studios on
September 5. Arriving armed only with an acoustic guitar, he recruits a
loitering Johnny Depp on guitar and Lisa Moorish on vocals to help liven up
the recording. Inexhaustible, he then contributes rhythm guitar to a
star-studded Mojo Filters bash through The Beatles' 'Come Together' (the
band already boasting Messrs Weller and McCartney).
There's more trouble to come though. Citing nervous exhaustion, Guigsy
unexpectedly pulls out of the forthcoming. Aware that something needs to be
done quickly, a call is made to Scott McLeod of yells Ya Yas, asking him to
deputise for six months while Guigsy sorts himself out. Unnerved, McLeod
asks the group's adviser Gareth Evans (the former Stone Roses manager) what
he should do. Evans, never one to miss the main chance, puts him straight:
"I told him, in the strongest possible terms, to join."
McLeod teams up with Oasis on September 20, but is shocked to find a battery
of photographers waiting for him on his arrival at Euston station two days
later. "Is it always like this?" he enquires. Noel replies: "No! It's much
worse."



Barely a fortnight later, the band celebrate the release of WYSMG, with a
midnight gig at Tower Records in London's Piccadilly Circus. Having spent
the entire afternoon watching the Liverpool vs Man United match in a pub in
Camden, Noel arrives to find the rest of the group in an even worse state of
disrepair. The acoustic show, inevitably, degenerates into shambles. Later
in the month, however, things look even worse. Following a gig in
Pittsburgh, Scott announces out of the blue, that's he had enough of life in
the Oasis goldfish bowl, and bails out, leaving the tour in chaos. With no
alternative, the band bluff their way through an appearance on The Letterman
Show (performing US single Morning Glory) as a four-piece and return to
England in disarray.
With two sold-out shows at Earl's Court looming large, Noel thinks fast. A
frail Guigsy is hastily re-installed on bass and suddenly, at long last, the
group's luck changes. They breeze through the Earl's Court shows, seemingly
unaware they're the biggets indoor gigs ever staged in Europe.
At the party after the Saturday night show, revellers discover live
life-size manga cartoon cut-outs of the band in the foyer. A further
cut-out, which bears a striking similarity to a certain Damon Albarn, is
placed by the dance floor. Noel also presents each of the members of the
band with a scooter, and photographs of them careering around London after
the party appear in the tabloids.
After the Sunday night show, Oasis present support band The Bootleg Beatles
with a jeroboam of champagne to express their gratitude. Noel tells the
band: "I really wanted The beatles to support, but they couldn't make it.
Besides, I hate every other band in the country."



With Wonderwall, entering the charts at Number Three, the group embark on a
handful of rearranged American dates to finish off the year. Here, they
receive the news they've been waiting for. Their constant US touring is
finally paying off. Wonderwall has gone straight into the Bill board charts
at Number 21, while DM, although slow starting has now sold 500,000 copies.
Moere crucially, WTSMG, has now officially sold 1.2 million in America alone.
The band return to England jubilant and in recognition of a tumultuous year,
Creation Records hoold a party for them at The Halcyon Hotel in Holland Park
to show their appreciation. At midnight Alan McGee explains that having
initiated the label's most successful year ever, it's only right they shouls
be rewarded. Accordingly, each of the band are given presents (Alan White a
cheque to cover the cost of a new Mini Coopoer, Bonehead a Rolex, Guigsy
membership of a gym -!-, Liam a guitar). Finally, McGee leads Noel outside
the hotel and presents him with a chocolate-brown Rolls Royce Corniche (DEV
85 T). As promised at the outset, this is Creation's gift to Noel - no
matter that he can't drive!
The band head home for Christmas. The only surpriuse the year hgas left in
store for them is that Mike Flowers' schmaltzy interpretation of Wonderwall
fails to reach the Number One spot. It stalls at Two, defeated by the enemy
of the people, Michael Jackson.






1996



Oasis start the year with the news that WTSMG has climbed to Number 5 in the
Billboard charts, while both Oasis and Mike Flowers Pops versions of
Wonderwall are being played back to back every half hour on MTV America.
Completing four shows in Germany, the band return for their first British
gig of the year at Whitley Bay in the third week of January. As their first
show in the north east since the Riverside incident, when Noel was attacked,
the feeling is that things could just as easily go wromg again. Yet, despite
a nervy start and the rather ominous discovery of a snooker ball onstage
afterwards, everything passes off without incident. The next night,
intrigued by a flyer he'd been given at the venue, Liam turns up to see copy
band The Gallaghers in Edinburgh. Loving the idea of watching his mirror
image, Liam goes out drinking with the band and suggests a potential support
slot.
Three weeks later tickets go on sale for Oasis show at Maine Road in April.
The demand is amazing. 38,000 tickets sell out within two hours, breaking
all known records. A second date is announced almost immediately. As if to
emphasise the mania for tickets among fans, the phone exchange at Piccaddily
Box office, incapable of registering the number of calls it receives, breaks
down with the demand.
Oasis statistics are dropping jaws threoughout the music industry. The
question now isn't whether they can out-sell Blur, but if they have a chance
of matching the phenomenal accliam of The beatles.
Liam is fast becoming famous as a tabloid star in his own right. Various
kiss'n'tell stories about steamy goings-on are splashed across the press,
and when he grows abeard and starts stepping out with Patsy Kensit,
estranged wife of Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr, the trio briefly replace
Bob, Paula and Hutch as the paparazzi's top item.
Accolades continue to come Oasis' way. At the NME Brat Awards, Noel collects
four Brats on behalf of the band - Best Bnad, Best Album, Best Single and
Best Live Band - and leaves the stage with a characteristically bluff
speech: "It's hard to be humble at a time like this, so I won't try. You're
all shit."
At the Brit awards, held at the band's old haunt Earl's Court, they cause
more controversy. Having already refused to play live, they accept three
Brits for Best Album, Best Band and Best Video for Wonderwall with a display
of sheer cocky bravado. Liam attempts to stick one of the Brit statutettes
up his arse, feigns a ruck with Michael Hutchence then leads the rest of
Oasis ina rousing version of "Shitelife", a triumphant misinterpretation of
Blur's "Parklife". Noel tells the assembled crowd to vote Labour and is only
upstaged by the Jarvis/Jacko incident.



The fourth single from the album, DLBIA, is released on February 19 and goes
straight to number one. Acknowledging Oasis' insurmountable position at the
top of the Britpop pile, Top Of The Pops allows them the privilege of
playing two songs on the show (the single and Slade's "Cum On Feel The
Noize"). Triumphant as the band's mood is - especially with Blur lurking on
the other side of the studio, rehearsing their less-than-earth-shattering
"Stereotypes" - there's a final twist.
Because the programme is Ric Blaxhill's one hundredth show as producer, to
celebrate, Ric's own band play a set in the TOTP bar for all the bands
present. The group play their standard set of punk classics, but just before
a rasping rendition of The Ruts' "Babylon's Burning", theyb storm through a
version of Roll With It.
Oasis fly out at the end of February to resume their assault on America.
Channel 4 news covers their progress and it is generally accepted that Oasis
are the best British band in living memory to have significantly 'broken'
the States in the last 20 years.
As VOX went to press, the band are rehearsing for massive gigs in Cardiff,
Dublin and Maine Road, and there are rumours of outdoor extravaganzas at
Loch Lomond and Knebworth. No other group has anywhere near captured the
public's imagination and adulation the way Oasis have. From Burnage to
Beatlemania in three years, the rock'n'roll ride of a lifetime!



T'end.



Thanks to Andrew Turner