Say what you will about the band Oasis–hell, just about any critique you can offer up will be valid–but don’t say they’re not a good band.
This statement and subsequent article may rob me of any indie-cred I currently possess, but fuck it, I don’t care. Oasis wrote some damn good songs, however corny they may be (I can name about seven of them, but those seven are phenomenal). But the best thing about Oasis isn’t their music. It’s the hilarious, decades-long spat still waging between its two most central members, Manchester-born brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher.
You listen to a song like “Wonderwall,” an inarguably soft but damn-near-perfect pop recording, then you read about the deep-seated hatred the Gallaghers publicly display for one another, and the cognitive dissonance is almost too much to bear.
Liam, the younger of the performing Gallaghers and the one more closely linked to the band’s formation, is the band’s primary singer, and I guess he plays the tambourine sometimes, but generally just stands on stage perfectly still, torso bent slightly forward, head cocked, wailing into a slightly-too-tall microphone. It’s remarkable that a man who is a self-proclaimed “ROCK N ROLL STAR” attained that status by seemingly doing so little. But what Liam failed to bring in songwriting, movement, and emotional stability to Oasis, he made up for in intangibles.
Liam’s off-stage antics are remarkably funny and raucous, and led a certain rockin’ credibility to a band that would otherwise probably be written off as the ancestral forbearers to Coldplay or something. For instance, during an MTV Unplugged session in the mid-90s, Liam refused to perform, citing a sore throat, and leaving his brother Noel to sing every track in the hour-plus setlist (Noel generally only sings a handful of Oasis tunes). Instead, Liam was spotted seated in the mezzanine level of the theater, completely trashed, where he proceeded to heckle his own band for the duration of the show. Simply amazing stuff.
Meanwhile, Noel–no angel, but compared to his brother, seemingly a well-adjusted rock star–did the majority of the leg work for Oasis, writing basically every song in the band’s pre-2000s catalog, and providing more-than-serviceable licks on lead guitar. He may lack the rock ‘n’ roll bonafides of his younger brother–that certain je ne sais quoi that allows Liam to be a worldwide celebrity despite appearing near-dead on stage–but there’s no doubt, Noel’s rock ‘n’ roll acumen far surpasses that of his younger, better looking brother. It seems he feels justifiably jilted. Without Noel there is no Oasis. But Liam is still the face of the band. Being the wordsmith that he is, Noel’s managed to publicly insult Liam in some of the most brilliant means imaginable–my personal favorite is his description of Liam as “a man with a fork in a world of soup.” It’s absolutely gorgeous derision.
From the get-go, things were contentious between the brothers, even before being a band together. I once watched about 45 minutes of a documentary on Oasis and the Gallagher brothers’ mother was comically blunt about the boys’ awful relationship. Naturally, the stresses of the music business–contracts, touring, booze, even meth–only brought out the worst in an already bad sibling rivalry. And so for as long as there has been Oasis, there has been the obvious question, “Which Gallagher brother do you like better?”
I doubt anyone has really been asked that question in nearly two decades now, but still, I recently stumbled upon some information that will likely sway the Gallagher Opinions of most of our readers, especially those who have never drawn a hard line in the sand on the issue.
There's nothing like a good burn round Central Park 1st thing in the morning as you were brothers n sisters LG x
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) July 30, 2017
Now I didn’t write the book on British slang, but from the looks of the responses, a “good burn” means “jog.” This is corroborated further by simply Googling “Liam Gallagher running,” which brings up a handful of articles about and funny pictures of LG trotting around London.
Okay, great, Liam Gallagher runs. For us nerds, that’s generally all that matters. It validates the endless hours we’ve spent doing the same activity, and makes it appear vastly cooler than it actually is.
But let’s check in on Noel. Does the elder Gallagher also enjoy a trot through Hyde Park?
In fact, Noel credits his improved, svelte physique to “a wonderful wife” and “a home gym,” then, when asked if that home gym includes a treadmill, offers “No, I don’t do running, that’s for fucking squares.”
So there you have it. An age-old questioned answered for many of you, without so much as having to actually dig into either artists’ body of work, extent of cultural contributions, or predicted legacy! Liam it is! Oy!