In the first of a series that celebrates the impending arrival of Covered In Glory: The Hot Press Covers Book, we recall past encounters with LIAM GALLAGHER – all of them highly entertaining – in which Pete Doherty, Bloc Party, Jay Z and, natch, Noel al
In the first of a series of interviews celebrating Covered In Glory: The
Hot Press Covers Book, Stuart Clark recalls past encounters with the iconic frontman, in which Pete Doherty, Bloc Party, Jay Z and, natch, Noel all felt the rough edge of his tongue.
“You from Hot Press? Cool, I used to read you as a kid. Are you going to put us on the cover?”
I am and, yes, we are. “Great! You’ll have to talk to these twats because I’m going off now to get fucking shitfaced…”
That was the gist of our conversation when
I met iam aagher vor the first time in £x backstage at Slane where Oasis had just comprehensively blown headliners REM off the stage.
With his Charlestown, County Mayo aunties, uncles and cousins waiting for him in the VIP bar, Liam had skillfully delegated interview duties to Noel, Guigsy and Bonehead in order to fully avail of Lord Henry’s hospitality.
Knowing what we know now about their sibling rivalry, Liam probably wasn’t too impressed a few weeks later when that cover turned out to be a mean ‘n’ moody Cathal Dawson portrait of Noel.
Liam might also regret that when he did eventually make it on to the front of Hot Press it was A). With Noel and B). Blighted somewhat by the dubious facial hair he’d sprouted post-(What’s
The Story) Morning Glory. As the late, great George Byrne sagely noted, nothing good has ever come from rock ‘n’ rollers with beards. He also proferred that, “Oasis are the greatest Irish band ever… after The Smiths!” but that’s another story/pub argument.
Anyway, the ‘Making Of Oasis’ cover story in question included an interview with Creation Records boss Alan McGee who was in no doubt as to why they’d been so mega successful.
“They’ve got the best frontman in the world; they’ve got the best songwriter; absolutely brilliant musicians; great management – and a great record company!” McGee breathlessly told us.
While numerous Gallagher brothers covers followed, it wasn’t until January 2002 that Liam gazed out from the shelves on his own.
Holding court in a fashionable North London pub – and insisting that Olaf Tyaransen get the Carlsberg and Benson & Hedges in – Liam was proud of the three songs he’d penned for Oasis’ latest chart behemoth, Heathen Chemistry.
ºI think theÞ’re good,» he reyected. º oe thinks they’re good and the band think they’re good. But I’m still just starting. I’m still not a songwriter. I’m a singer – a rock ‘n’ roll singer – and that’ll do me. If I write a couple of songs then great. But my main thing is being a fucking singer.”
Liam was almost insulted when asked if the album was the work of a more musically mature Oasis.
“I don’t think we’ve progressed because I don’t think we’re a progressing band,” he reasoned. “We’re into rock ‘n’ roll music. We ain’t gonna write Sgt. Pepper’s. We ain’t gonna write fucking
Kid A or whatever the fuck it was called. That’s not us. 7e ust ike to write £Ó new songs and that’s it, you know. I don’t want people scratching their heads and going ‘fucking hell, how did they do that?’ We’re just simple rock ‘n’ roll music for people who drink beer and who just fucking want to put their arms around each other and have a good time. They don’t want to go away going ‘Wow, that fucking blew my mind, man’. It’s like simple fun, get up or get down. It’s dead easy. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. I don’t want to start going around (adopts asthmatic academic tone) saying: ‘The fucking willows wept into fucking trees, and we’re all fucking tangerines’. Fuck off! That’s alright for some people, but not vor us. 7e’re ust a simpe rock ¼n’ ro outfit.»
Which was Olaf well and truly told. The conversation then turned to parenting.
“My kids are getting christened and that,” Liam insisted. “My mam and all my aunties are still Catholics. Music’s my stuff. I’ve not got no views on it. My kids’ll go to Catholic school and be brought up that way and if one of ’em wants to be a priest, fucking fair play and if one of them wants to be a mad rock star, then fine. It’s up to them to decide, man. I decided at an early age it wasn’t for me.”
What was for Liam as a teenager was bunking off school with the bro and taking copious amounts of drugs.
ºI done mushrooms when I was £x,» he enthused. “But I can’t be in that state of affairs now. I used to go picking them all the time. Me and Noel used to walk around Lime Park in
anchester. 7e’d do Óxä at a time, man. 7e used to fucking go mental. Me and my mates were playing chess in the garden one night. Me and my mate Darrell, his mum and dad had gone out and we’d done loads of mushrooms and they’d come in about four o’clock in the morning and we were out on the patio pushing these big giant chess pieces around – and there was nothing there! And his mum and dad were looking out the window going, ‘Darrell come in, what are you doing?’ And I’d be pushing this fucking big pawn! We thought it was completely fucking there, man.”
If there’s ever an Oasis biopic, that has, has, has to be in it! Responsible father that he is, Liam had already given considerable thought to the, “Son, there are these things called drugs” chat he’d have to have one day with his son, Lennon.
“I’ll have a word with him, man,” Liam promised. “No doubt he will do it. It is a problem. But then it isn’t. If he does drugs and they don’t do him, then, fine, he can have a great time. I’m not here to go ‘drugs are bad’. Drugs are fucking great. Being off your tits is great. Taking acid is great. The best times of my life. But if he just wants to sit about and do drugs all the time, then he’ll get a slap. But if he wants to do drugs and do something ese with it, then fine. "bviousÞ
I’d prefer if he didn’t. But then again what kind of person would he be? I think drugs opened my eyes to things. I wouldn’t want him to be a fucking straighthead either. Then again, he’s my son and I don’t want him to get hurt. And I don’t want him to be a priest.”
Amen to that!
º/wentÞvour vucks, seven shits, five cunts, three wankers, two pisses, one knobhead and a willy,” I vastidiousÞ counted in Ƃugust Óääx voowing mÞ expletive-strewn encounter with Liam in the Late
Late Show Green Room.
/he first ¼cunt’ came when I asked iv he was
worried about Oasis having their throne stolen by young Britpop pretenders like Kaiser Chiefs and Bloc Party?
“You’re having a laugh, right?” he spluttered. “Bloc Party? It’s like watching University fucking
Challenge! There’s nothing worse – except maybe Man U supporters – than whiney cunts in bands. If they were trying to find a cure for cancer, fair enough, moan away, but this is music we’re talking about.”
Indignation turned into full-blow rant when I mentioned to Liam that his old adversary, Pete Doherty, had duetted recently in Dublin with Kate Moss.
“She came on stage?” he said incredulously. “For fuck’s sake! There you have it, the future of English rock ‘n’ roll – a rent boy who lets his missus sing with him. If I’d wanked old men off for money I’d keep quiet about it, but he goes and talks about it in a book as if it’s something to be proud of. Knobhead! I’m not having any of that nonsense. It’s a good job Oasis are fucking back!
“You cunts keep writing us off, but then we go and se the adison -µuare arden out in xx minutes. To answer your next question, the secret of our success is that we still piss all over the opposition.”
The one person he had good things to say about was Lemmy whom he’d got bladdered with on a yight to .Ƃ.
“He’s fucking bollocks, man!” Liam recounted with glee. “I was on the plane thinking, ‘Fuck drinking, I’m going to get me head down’, and then I hear this familiar voice behind me going, ‘Can I have a Jack & Coke, please?’ We’ve barely left British airspace and I’m pissed as a fart with this guy who’s every bit as legendary as your
Little Richards and Bo Diddleys.”
Three years later and Liam was still turning the air blue as he had a re-match with yours truly.
The interview, which was conducted on his North London sofa, started with a shock revelation.
“I’ve taken up running – six o’clock every night, an] I½ out that door for ä inutes or haf a fucking marathon,” Liam informed us. “You’ve got to get a bit of discipline in your life, haven’t you? I’m not one of them tight-arses – y’know, fast walking, slow-y jobs. I go at a decent pace.”
Liam was unapologetic when I mentioned the shitstorm he’d created by saying that Jay-Z had had no business headlining Glastonbury, the month prior.
“I couldn’t give a fuck about Jay-Z. I’m not into rap, that’s my personal thing on it. I don’t care a fuck about Noel Gallagher either to be honest. Both a fucking pair of dicks!”
efore turfing Hot Press out and changing into his running gear, Liam chose his top Oasis moments.
“Knebworth, headlining at Man City, meeting Yoko and, what for me will always be the big one, getting a deal,” he fondly reminisced. “That’s what’s enabled me to go bombing around the world doing what I love. Big scale, small scale, I always want to be making music.”
There were fraternal scores to be settled in ebruary Óä££ when I ,ynaired oÛer to ondon to interview Liam and his new Beady Eye bandmates.
“How many cunts were there in Oasis? Here’s a clue – it was more than zero and less than two,” he chuckled before addressing Noel’s assertion that band democracy simply doesn’t work.
“I’ve never heard so much fucking bollocks in my entire life!” Liam said. “You can’t have four geezers in a room fucking speaking to each other and getting things sorted? I tell you what’s ridiculous – some cunt who thinks he knows fucking everything!”
As Noel tells it, Oasis had ceased to be in August 2008 following the mother of all brotherly rows in Paris, which ended with Liam throwing, first] a guitar and] then] a «u at oe.
“Don’t think for one minute that that argument was what finished "asis off]» he insisted. º oe Gallagher was planning his get out anyway and was reeling it in. If you go out on tour and act like a fucking dick, and get all your mates to act like dicks, then don’t be surprised when the other people in your band go, “We’re not fucking having this anymore!” It wasn’t really an argument. He just thought, ‘Yes, this is my time to jump ship.’ I think Noel had it planned to make this big announcement at the end of the tour, but it didn’t work out that way, did it?”
Liam also bristled at the suggestion that he’d pulled the second of Oasis’ V festival appearances in August because he didn’t want to go on stage with Noel.
“I’ve never cancelled a gig out of stubbornness, only if I can’t speak,” he said, insisting that laryngitis was the reason for the no show. “Singers do get sore throats but people obviously haven’t copped on yet. If you can’t speak, you can’t fucking sing. I’ve done many gigs where I can’t get a word out and it fucks the throat up. It’s a domino effect. Sometimes you’ve got to pull the plug on something for it to repair.”
There was just enough time left to ask Liam about his ambitions in life.
“What do I wanna be remembered for, kind of thing?” he mulled. “Being a fucking great singer, being an extremely good-looking bastard, being a top mate, rubbish husband – I’ll admit that – top boyfriend, mega-fucking dad and a good laugh – and if anyone’s got any problems come and see me and I’ll have a chat with them about it. I’m a good listener.”
“I couldn’t give a fuck about Jay-Z. I don’t care a fuck about Noel Gallagher. Both a fucking pair