Trouble in Paradise

The Oasis brothers (Noel and Liam Gallagher) indulge in a spot of gin-and-tonic-stoked, sibling-on-sibling bickering

The scene: Forte Crest Hotel, Glasgow, Scotland, around midnight, April 7, 1994. It is ten months before Oasis' second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, tops out at No. 4 on the Billboard charts, boosted by the hit single "Wonderwall"; ten months before Oasis will win the Brit Awards--the UK equivalent of the Grammys--for Best Band and Best Album.

The brothers Gallagher (Noel plays guitar and writes the songs; Liam sings them), Q magazine's John Harris and a couple of "associates" are scattered around a twin room, eager to discuss all manner of topics: Oasis' debut single, "Supersonic," its creditable self-belief and a snowballing reputation for delinquency, founded on a spate of incidents that began when all of the band members (apart from the ever-wily Noel) were ejected from a ferry bound for Holland.

John Harris: How do you feel about the fact that, already, Oasis has attracted a reputation for being rock 'n' roll animals?

Liam Gallagher: I'm into it, me. But at the end of the day, like he says, I go home and get a clip off me mum. And I do. She clips me round the head and goes, "What are you like, you little tinker?"

JH: Did you get a clip after Amsterdam?
LG: Oh, yeah. I get it all the time. She looks at me and goes, "You fuckin' daft bastard." Know what I mean?

Noel Gallagher: It's a reputation, right, that I . . .
LG: I like the way it's bubbling up. It's reminding me of the Roses all over again. I like tha, me, of the Roses all over again. I like tha, me. I want to get 2,000 people in a nice gaff who are there to see me. I want to be there . . .

NG: Whoa. Hang on a minute. That's not what he's on about.
LG: He is.
NG: He's on about a reputation, about getting thrown off fuckin' ferries. Getting thrown off ferries and getting deported is summat that I'm not proud about.

LG: Well I am, la.
NG: All right. Well, if you're proud about getting thrown off ferries, why don't you get the fuck out of my band and go and be a football hooligan? We're musicians, right? Not football hooligans.

LG: You're only gutted 'cause you was in bed fuckin' reading your fuckin' books . . .

NG: Not at all. Here's a quote for you from my manager, Marcus Russell . . .
LG: He's a fuckin' . . . 'nother fuckin' . . .
NG: Shut up, you dick. He gets off the ferry after getting fuckin' deported. I'm left in Amsterdam with me dick out like a fuckin' spare prick at a fuckin' wedding . . .

LG: It was a bad move . . .
NG: Shut up! Shut up! He gets off the ferry and Marcus says, "What the fuck are you doing?" These lot think it's rock 'n' roll to get thrown off a ferry . . .

LG: No, I don't.
NG: Shut up. These lot think it's rock 'n' roll to get thrown off . . .
LG: I don't.

NG: Shut up, man! These lot thinks it's rock 'n' roll to get thrown off a ferry. Do you know what my manager said to him? He said, "Nah. Rock 'n' roll is doing your gig, playing your music, coming back and saying you blew 'em away." Not getting thrown off the ferry like some fuckin' scouse schlepper with handcuffs. That's football hooliganism, and I won't stand for it. And listen, they all got fined 1,000 pounds each.

LG: We didn't at all. You can stick your 1,000 pounds right up yer arse 'til it comes out your fuckin' big toe.

(When Noel retires to the toilet, Liam is asked about the band's willingness to be seen as "bad luck.") I'm not up for being seen as bad lads, I'm just up for being seen as me. And what happened on that boat, right, is we had a few drinks, right, 'cause I like drinking. I love it. I'm into it.

NG: (From bathroom) You can't drink, you dickhead!
LG: Who can't drink? Well fuckin' where the fuck did it go? It went right in there, and I dealt with it.

NG: (Still in bathroom) Eayere! Wooah!
LG: Shut up! Shut up! I'm not saying I'm proud of what happened, but . . . that's what happened. That is what occurred that night. And it's like what Bobby Gillespie said. He said, "I'm sick of all these fuckin' bands who don't get in situations no more." The last band that did it was the Pistols. They'd go out and something would happen. And that's all it is. That's the way we are--the way I am. I always go out and I meet some . . .

NG: That's bullshit! Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.
LG: Shut the fuck up. What you've been ranting on about is bullshit to me . . .

NG: If you think rock 'n' roll is about being arrested . . .
LG: Rock 'n' roll is about being yourself. And I went on that fuckin' boat, I had a drink; I had too much beer, and I got in a fight and that was it.

NG: Rock 'n' roll is about music. Music. Music. Music. It's not about you, it's not about me, it's not about Oasis. It's about the songs.

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