Born on this day in 1972, Liam Gallagher, vocals, Oasis and Beady Eye.
Oasis appeared almost from nowhere in 1991, just as the Madchester scene was fading. Oasis really did put the rock back into roll. They were rough and ready and willing to take on the world. They had that rare winning combination: great songs, attitude with lots of swagger, and Liam’s elder brother Noel had been secretly plotting world domination for some years, crafting his songwriting skills while working as a guitar tech with another great Manchester band, The Inspiral Carpets.
When The Inspiral Carpets headlined Reading Festival in 1990, they brought a pantomime cow onto the stage. The band’s guitar roadie Noel Gallagher was half that cow, his first headline appearance. But who’s laughing now?
I was working at a Manchester radio station in the early ’90s and had heard reports of Oasis playing blinding live sets in and around the city. I actually opened the door for a young, fresh-faced Noel Gallagher at the studio one early evening as he was coming in to give his first ever radio interview with the evening presenter Craig Cash. I didn’t know it was the Oasis leader until the next day.
Oasis were a proper rock ‘n’ roll band. They made headlines, they broke records and rules, and they had fights. They have had eight UK number one singles and eight UK number one albums, and won 15 NME Awards, nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards, and six BRIT Awards.
We need more bands like Oasis. We need Liam back. He’s now very happy being a dad, on the school run, the tabloids leave him alone, he loves his wife and family, he loves his new band Beady Eye, he has his designer clothing line.
But we miss you, Liam, and as a tribute I hereby list ten of your finest moments (outside the band). No one (really) got hurt, you might have lost a couple of teeth, but, hey, you’re from Manchester, and you’re rock ‘n’ roll.
1. He caused £5,000 worth of damage when he trashed the snooker room at the Groucho Club in London. Liam was later arrested by police, who thought he was a tramp.
2. In 1997, he was given a formal caution by police after admitting criminal damage following an incident with a cyclist in Camden, London. Gallagher had grabbed the rider from the window of his chauffeur-driven car and broke his Ray-Bans.
3. In 2002, Liam was arrested and charged with assault after he kung fu kicked a police officer. The incident happened at the Bayerischer Hotel in Munich. The singer lost his two front teeth in the brawl and an Oasis minder was knocked out cold.
4. In 1998, Liam appeared handcuffed in a Brisbane court and was released on bail on charges of headbutting a fan during a gig in Australia.
5. In the same year, Liam and Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall were involved in a brawl at The Metropolitan Hotel, London.
6. Again in 1998, Liam was arrested after an alleged drunken brawl with photographer Mel Bouzac at a London pub. Bouzac had been tipped off that Liam was in the pub wearing a Russian hat and attempted to take photos.
7. His abusive behavior earned him a lifetime ban from airline Cathay Pacific.
8. Liam traded blows with Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley during a gig at London’s Wembley Arena.
9. In 2001, British Airways staff complained about the singer after he grabbed a stewardess’s bottom, refused to stop smoking, and had thrown objects around the cabin during a flight from London to Rio De Janeiro.
10. In 2001, Madame Tussaud’s waxworks in London revealed that Oasis singer Liam Gallagher had come third in ‘The Most Hated Characters’ list of exhibits, behind Adolf Hitler and Slobodan Milosevic.
Oasis came to an end before a gig near Paris, France on 8 August 2009, following a fight between the Gallagher brothers in a backstage area, which reportedly resulted in Liam breaking Noel’s guitar.
As well as music, the two brothers had an amazing bond through football; both are lifelong Manchester City supporters (the team all true Mancunians follow, as opposed to Manchester United). Since the once struggling club was bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group, fans have seen a flurry of successful bids for high profile players, seeing City on a winning streak culminating in winning the 2011 FA Cup, ending their longest trophy drought in their 131-year history. But apparently because Liam was at Wembley to see his team win the cup, his brother Noel stayed in LA, not wanting to be in not just the same stadium as his brother, but not even in the same country!
They will come back one day; the brothers will make it up, and they will be great once more, I’m sure. They might even make another great record. Happy birthday, Liam, you are the Jim Morrison of modern times. We miss you and your brother.
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