photo by Will Fresch
Oasis has been described as the most “compelling sibling partnership the British music scene conjured up since Ray and Dave Davies,” yet their brotherly love has often turned tumultuous, ultimately leading to the band’s demise. Nevertheless, their much-publicized clashes have mostly been the result of typical family disputes, stemming from issues related to jealousy, power control, mismanagement, and he said/she said, yet aggravated by the band’s fame and fortune. Everyone knows the old saying to keep family and business separated; it would be these boiling bloodlines fielding the Gallagher brothers back and forth to the battlegrounds, for the entire span of the band’s career.
Fans of Oasis have avidly followed the turmoil, taking notes and taking sides. It has always been Team Liam versus Team Noel in the ongoing assertions to ownership and title of a group founded by one brother, and soon snatched up by the other.
Consider the band’s history, first, before deciding whose team to join.
LIAM V. NOEL: A TIMELINE
– Summer 1991 – Liam forms Oasis.
– August 1991 – Noel joins Oasis under the condition he will be the band’s sole songwriter and leader.
– 1993 – Oasis is signed to Creation Records
– August 1994 – Oasis debuts Definitely, Maybe to worldwide acclaim
– September 1994 – At a show in LA, Liam gets high on speed and assaults Noel with his tambourine; Noel immediately quits the band and flees to San Francisco; he eventually agrees to reconcile.
– August 1995 – Liam pulls out of a performance on MTV Unplugged due to a sore throat; instead, he watches the group from the audience, drunk and heckling Noel over his vocals.
– August 1995 – Oasis tours America; Liam refuses to join.
– August 1995 – Liam decides to join the tour after all.
– September 1995 – Noel leaves the tour.
– October 1995 – Noel rejoins the tour.
– October 1995 – Oasis releases What’s the Story, Morning Glory?, an album featuring everyone’s favorites, “Wonderwall,” “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” and “Champagne Supernova;” it is the fourth best-selling album in UK history
– August 1997 – Oasis releases Be Here Now, debuting at #2 on Billboard’s Top 200.
– 1999 – Noel creates a “No drink or drugs” policy so that Liam will sing properly.
– February 2000 – Oasis releases Standing on the Shoulders of Giants to average sales and reviews.
– Summer 2000 – Noel and Liam get into an inebriated brawl on their international tour; Noel quits the tour.
– Fall 2000 – Noel rejoins the tour.
– July 2002 – Oasis releases Heathen Chemistry.
– December 2002 – The band’s European tour is postponed after Liam is arrested at a nightclub brawl in Munich. Liam is drunk and high on cocaine; he loses two front teeth and kicks a police officer in the ribs.
– May 2005 – Oasis releases Don’t Believe the Truth.
– September 2008 – Oasis releases Dig Out Your Soul.
– September 2008 – Noel announces he is planning to record a solo album.
– August 2009 – Noel and Liam get into a brawl backstage at their V Festival performance. Liam destroys Noel’s guitar, and their manager cancels the show minutes before it is about to begin, along with the rest of the Oasis tour. He announces the group “does not exist anymore.” Noel posts on the band’s website that “with some sadness and great relief…I quit Oasis tonight…I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer”.
– August 2009 – On their falling out, Liam tells NME, “We had a ding-dong in the airport and I think he started crying…”
– September 2009 – Liam continues touring with Oasis without Noel
– February 2010 – Oasis wins album award at the 2010 Brit Awards; Liam gives a speech on behalf of the band, notably omitting Noel from the credits. He later explains, “I’m sick of it all being about me and Noel.”
– March 2010 – Noel begins playing solo concerts. Later that month, in a magazine interview, Liam gives Noel credit for his role as the “ultimate frontman.”
– July 2010 – Liam and the rest of the bandmembers from Oasis form new band, Beady Eye. When asked if Noel has heard their music, Liam says, “Don’t know, don’t care.” He later notes the two have no relationship any longer.
– January 2011 – Noel releases solo material. Liam claims he stole portions it from him. “I’ve heard his fucking new record ‘cos I fucking sung on half of it…Fucking nonsense.” He refers to Noel as a “Shitbag.”
– August 2011 – Liam sues Noel for claiming their pullout of the 2009 tour was the result of his hangover. He states, “I have taken legal action against Noel Gallagher for statements he made claiming Oasis pulled out of the 2009 V Festival Chelmsford gig because I had a hangover. That is a lie and I want Oasis fans and others who were at V to know the truth. I was gutted when I couldn’t play the gig because I didn’t want to let the fans down. But the truth is I had laryngitis, which Noel was made fully aware of that morning, diagnosed by a doctor.”
– August 2011 – Noel apologizes for his statements, and Liam drops the lawsuit after speaking to their mother.
– October 2011 – Noel’s solo record is expected for release later this month.
While the drama may never end between Noel and Liam, it appears there is currently a moment of respite in the storm, thanks, of course, to mummy dearest. How each will fair on his own is questionable, as creative energy appeared to spew from their personal tension. Without one, it doesn’t seem the other is quite the same. Thus, whatever side you’re on, we’re all still holding out for a reunion.