What’s the story?
Imagining Lena Dunham’s Oasis summit
Oasis are over, if the never-ending feud between Liam and Noel Gallagher played out over Twitter and through music press interviews is to be believed. But one celeb still isn’t over their 2009 split: Lena Dunham. Yes, Lena Dunham, of Girls and “stating opinions then having to apologise for them on social media” fame. Instead of just having a three-pints-in debate in the pub about the brothers’ endless war, Lena has organised a whole event – called Champagne Superanalysis – in which she and musician Ben Lee will talk about Oasis.
Back in August – two years after the rest of us – Lena tweeted that she had watched Supersonic, saying: “I watched the Oasis documentary and I have a LOT of big opinions about the Gallagher brothers’ relationship!” Lee, who is a composer on Dunham’s most recent HBO series, Camping, replied praising Noel’s interviews, and instead of just leaving it there and listening to Definitely Maybe a couple of times then reading a Buzzfeed article about “78 times
Noel Gallagher TOTALLY owned his brother!!!”, one thing led to another and now they’re hosting an event, on 18 November in Los Angeles. Billed as “A psychological exploration of the Gallagher brothers through songs and readings”, it has had zero response from Noel or Liam (which is weird, because you’d think that hearing a cutesy indie remix of Don’t Look Back in Anger by Ben Lee would be their dream day out), but does promise “lots of special guests”. So what might it sound like? Lena: take it away. “Hi everyone and thanks for coming! I recently watched the Supersonic documentary and thought:
sure, we’ve heard about Oasis from Liam, Noel and the people closest to them. But wouldn’t people want to know about what I, Lena Dunham, think of a band I’ve never met and have no connection to at all? As someone who has streamed their seminal album “Oasis Essentials” at least five times on Apple Music and who has a British best friend – Jemima Kirke, who you might know as Jessa from Girls – I’m very qualified to take this subject on. I’ll be talking you through the key moments of the Gallagher brothers’ lives. Remember: this is all about the band tonight!”
The early years
“Liam and Noel have described their childhoods as pretty average for Manchester. Having had a totally normal childhood myself, albeit in New York, I can only imagine it was exactly like mine: poetry salons at home, puppet shows in the teatro their parents built for them, artists and playwrights dropping into their city home and summers in the countryside. Delightful! They got signed by Creation Records when Liam was just 20 years old – just like me, signing a blind script deal at HBO at 24 years old.”
Be Here Now
“After the success of What’s the Story (Morning Glory)? – which I believe is British slang for having an erection in the morning – Be Here Now was called “cocaine set to music” by critics, and Noel himself noted “all the songs are really long and all the lyrics are shit”. Look guys, I know how you felt! Remember when everyone criticised my $3.7m book advance? Or I had to apologise for joking about domestic violence? Or those Bill Cosby/Holocaust comments? Or the abortion joke? Or … OK, it’s best we move on now. Because this talk is all about the band.”
“Knebworth was Oasis’s very own bottle episode, like when Hannah in Girls spent an entire weekend shagging a hot dude she met while taking out the bins, or when Charlie, high on drugs, returned to Girls to ruin Marnie’s life. Anyway! What was I saying? Oh, yeah: Knebworth was a huge gig. Two-and-a-half million people applied for tickets and 250,000 people watched the gig. It must have been good: I can’t find one Twitter thread of anyone who was there and there’s no camera phone footage of it.”
“Oasis’s split started on 23 August 2009. The actual breakup happened in Paris but, days before that, they cancelled a V festival closing slot, leaving festival-goers to hear a double-length Snow Patrol set. Can you imagine the disappointment? The heartbreak? The absolute devastation? Sorry, what’s that you’re saying at the back? The fourth series of Girls? Please, don’t. This is about the band tonight, not me. Anyway, Oasis’s breakup was a huge shock to the UK music scene, like when Geri Halliwell left the Spice Girls. Or, to name a more culturally significant moment, when Charlie left at the end of Girls season two.”