Liam Gallagher & Alan White - NME - 19th February 2000
In the first of a two-part interview with Oasis, Liam Gallagher and Alan White ponder your posers...
Liam Gallagher springs from his cab and wipes a fabulously bejewelled hand across his nose as he saunters across the courtyard. He pulls open the door to his office. It's 1Oam on the dot. Time for work.
"What are you doing out here?" he asks a couple of workers who are standing on the doorstep, having a smoke.
"It's a no-smoking office," they tell him. "Oh, is it?" he replies, arching his famous brow and stepping through the entrance.
Inside, his office buzzes efficiently. Busy young women sweep through the reception area clutching files and cups of tea, while deals are being struck by fresh-faced execs through glass partitions. A copy of the excellent review of the new Oasis 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants' album from The Daily Telegraph sits proudly splayed across a table in reception (today's less complimentary review in The Guardian is absent, however). Meanwhile, Marcus Russell, Oasis' cheery and avuncular manager, busies with bits of paper in the main room, while also keeping an eye out for the youngest Gallagher. He was there a second ago.
Liam Gallagher emerges from the toilet and takes this all in for a moment. A secretary zips by and wishes him a cheery, "Morning!"
"Morning," he replies menacingly, and pulls a Benson & Hedges from his top pocket. He lights it. So what? This is Ignition Management and Big Brother Records offices in the heart of London's fashionable Baker Street. This is his own gaff .
"Hey, Marcus," he calls out to Russell, "where are we doing this interview?"
"In my office," replies Marcus, expertly ushering Liam and the smoke into a confined space.
"And these are all readers' questions?" Liam asks NME.
"Yeah, right! They're all from your editor," Liam snorts suspiciously
Actually he's wrong. They are all from you, dear readers. Generated from an ad on nme.com, there were 800 submitted within an hour of the request first appearing onsite. NME arrives this morning with over 3,500 queries. Sadly, they will not all be answered.
Presently, Liam is joined by Oasis drummer Alan White: the apocalyptic young voice of his generation and the tidy mod.
The chaotically surreal Manc superstar and his staunch Cockney henchman. Morning! Both will remark on there being a Ricky Martin tape in their office tape player.
Noel Gallagher, Gem Archer and Andy Bell were also due to join us, but Noel's got the flu, so we've postponed those three for seven days. For now, though, Liam and Alan are here in NW1, awaiting your questions.
NME: There are a lot of questions about Liam's hair. They want to know if you're going to get it cut soon.
Liam: "Yeah, I am, I'm getting a Terrybarrygarry perm. Alright?"
NME: Brian Ashcroft also wants to know, 'Who has the best shoes?'
Alan: "Me, without a doubt. I've got the best loafers."
Liam: "Me, you c**t. I have the best shoes."
Alan: "Sorry. My Prada moleskin loafers are top."
Liam: "I don't know what mine are. I just know that mine are the best and that's the end of it. Who's that from? Brian Ashcroft? That's Dickie Ashcroft, you sod."
NME: "What were the last pair of shoes you bought?"
Liam: "Nice pair of stilettos."
Alan: (Lifting a Clarks-clad foot onto table) "I bought these about three months ago."
Liam: "You scruffy bastard."
NME: Don't you get sent stuff?"
Alan: "Levi's try to."
Liam: "I got sent some shoes called Roots and they're made in the '70s and they're the best shoes in the world...I did buy a tasty pair of Docs the other day, though. Twenty-four holes, the lot."
Alan: "Red laces?"
Liam: "The lot, mate. Fucking top, man. I'm going out shopping later with them and a pair of pyjamas, and the pyjamas fucked into me boots. 'Where's me paper'."
If Patsy resumes her singing career at a later stage, Liam, do you see yourselves recording together, like John and Yoko? Of so, in what style? (Terry Makewell, Winchester)
NME: What style?
Liam: "Ragamuffin style."
Has the Met Bar stolen your soul? (Matt Aarons, London)
Liam: "No, that's not fair. It has stolen a couple of grand off me..."
Alan: "And I got slung out..."
Liam: "Has it stolen my soul? How? My soul is fucking preserved and waiting. But talking about souls, he can come round my house and I'll steal his if he wants it. 'Cos if he wants it I'll rip his right out of his chest. Alright, whatshisname, Matty boy."
Are you scared of dying? (The Gaslight, England)
Alan: "Never think about it."
Liam: "No, because I've already done it before. Done it a couple of times and it's a piece of piss. There is nothing to it, you just sit there and wait for it to happen. Big deal."
Do you still want to meet the aliens ,and what would you tell them? (Louie, Eastboume)
Alan: "I'd like to meet them, if there's any out there. Well, there are loads out there. Have you met Noel Gallagher?"
Liam: "I'd tell them to mind their own fucking business and get back to their own fucking planet."
Alan: "See if they can lend you some money."
Liam: "Yeah, 'Fancy a lager?' And I'd ask them if they've heard fucking 'Be Here Now', you c**t, and if they haven't, they can get down to Our Price, £2.99 in the bin."
Did you mind Patty posing in a see-through? (Jay, London)
Liam: "No." NME: Would you do a swimsuit shot?
Liam: "Yeah! Speedo. Lunch box hanging out, Duncan Goodhew cap on. Totally, man."
Would John Lennon be an Oasis fan? (J Dragontree, Portsmouth)
Liam: "I reckon he'd hate it. He'd be going (adopts gruff Scouse Lennon voice) 'Fucking that's fucking mine there, gimme me fucking royalties on that there, mate! You fucking pinched that off me, you fucking little c**t. Get me lawyer round!' No, he'd probably hate us. Then again, who gives a fuck? He's a Scouser."
NME: So he wouldn't call his son Gallagher?
Liam: "Would he fuck, the bastard."
What are your favourite Pot Noodles? (Craig Laughton, Widnes)
Liam: "Pot Noodles,"
Alan: "I don't eat the shit."
Liam: "Fucking Westlife."
Have you ever considered moving to America? (Jiff Danson, New York)
Liam: "No. He has." Alan: "I have. To LA."
Liam: "To get in the porn industry."
Alan: "Well, yeah, for the porn, obviously. I also like the heat and the beach. I could do it when we've disbanded for a bit."
Liam: "He can do it when I've moved to Mexico."
NME: Are you moving to Mexico, then?
Liam: "Yeah. I'm off next week. I've had enough of it here."
Alan: "You can make sombreros."
Liam: "Make what?"
Alan: "Make those hats.
Liam: "I'm going to Mexico to make hats."
Are Oasis entering their psychedelic period? (Stephen Sequeria, Sacramento, USA)
Liam: "Maybe. What's psychedelic'?"
Alan: "We've done it, probably, the psychedelic shit."
Liam: "What is fucking psychedelic?"
Alan: "I don't reckon you'd even know if you'd hit the psychedelic period."
Liam: "You'd be too off your head to know you'd even hit the psychedelic period. If you're psychedelic you've got to be off your twat anyway, I certainly don't think The Beatles knew when they were being psychedelic, they probably think 'Sgt Pepper' is a punk album!"
Who got the top bunk out of Liam and Noel? (Mark Flanagan, Bolton)
Liam: "Me. I was a good looking lad. Our kid always got the ugly ones."
Do you believe in heaven and hell - and what are they like? (Bobbie Lane, Northampton)
Alan: "I don't believe in any of that stuff."
Liam: "I do. Yeah, man. But it is not red and it is not blue. It's just, fucking, I'll tell you: heaven is City and Maine Road, hell is Old Trafford and United."
Alan: "Why have we got a tape of Ricky Martin in our offices?"
What is life all about? (Ringo Mountbatten, Afford)
NME: Er... Ringo Mountbatten.
Liam: "This is an NME question here, this is Steve fucking Sutherland. Ringo Mountbatten? Ringo Mountfuckingbatten? That's what life is all about, stupid names like that."
Alan: "I reckon it's about changing your name, Ringo."
Liam: "Definitely. I hope that's answered your question, Ringo. Change your fucking name and move out of Afford immediately."
Who are your real friends? (Claire Lange, Glasgow)
Alan: "Ringo Mountbatten is my only real friend."
Liam: "I haven't got any, actually."
Alan: "Me neither. They all fucked off."
Liam: "Me'n'all. All fucked off."
NME: Aren't you lonely?
Alan: "Nah, laughing, mate."
Liam: "Not fucking lonely. Can't be arsed with all this having loads of people to please."
Alan: "They all get on your case. They all come out of the woodwork as soon as you're doing a Wembley gig. They get on the phone going, 'How's it going mate?' Fuck off!"
Liam: "I've got a few mates in Manchester, but you don't need mates when you've got a kid."
NME: Are you really friends with Hugh Grant?
Liam: "Not really, no. I've had a few drinks with him and he's alright. But we're not the Likely Lads, no."
What is your favourite jungle animal? (Tony Saunders, Manchester)
Alan: "I like tigers."
Liam: "Ian Brown."
What is left for 0asis to conquer? (Helen Varley, White Lodqe)
Alan: "We don't want to conquer anything. There's plenty of things for us to do, plenty of new tunes to write and play."
Liam: "There's lots of shit for us to do, lots of countries we've not been to."
Alan: "Ain't been to Poland."
Liam: "It's not a question of conquering, not at all. We're just going to keep making music 'til we die. And if we conquer anywhere...conquer?! Fucking stupid. What are we, the Normans? William the fucking Conqueror? 'Off we go, don't forget the beans!'"
Alan: "Set sail, Oasis!"
What was the last movie that made you cry? (Lindsay Bowlin, Maryland, USA)
Alan: "I'll tell you one and this is the fucking truth. Two Sundays ago I watched Life Is Beautiful, an Italian film about the Jews. It was top and I cried."
Liam: "Fucking rubbish. What was the last movie that made me cry? Stupid question. I don't cry. I'm a geezer!"
You said that the new album would be radically different to 'Be Here Now'. What happened? (Fergal Corbott, Taigarth)
Alan: "It is different. Two members have gone."
Liam: "It is different, there's a lot of different stuff going on, and I don't think that I did say that because I don't use stupid words like 'radically'. Who's that c**t? Alan: "That's an NME question."
NME: It's not! It's Fergal Corbett.
Liam: "FERGAL CORBETT!?!?!?!"
Alan: "It's a wind-up. That's what's his name..."
Liam: "That's fucking Steve Sutherland. 'Radically different'...we never said that so fuck off. The reason why this one is different to the last one is because you bunch of bastards hated the last one so we thought we'd change it, alright you c**t! I suppose you don't like this one now? Fucking rnake your mind up, you bunch of c**ts."
Who's your favourite character from The Muppets? (Jessica, Trowbridqe)
Liam: "Kermit The Frog, innit."
Did you take Andy Bell on because of his bass-playing or because of the brilliance of his previous groups, Ride and Hurricane#1? (Diemer, Berlin, Germany)
Liam: "Don't know about the latter."
Alan: "We took him on because he's a nice chap, got his head screwed on and because he can play the bass well. What more do you need?"
Liam: "Actually, we took him on because of his striking resemblance to Mick Fleetwood. And 'cos he's good on the bass."
Alan: "Mick Fleetwood? I thought he look more like Rodney Trotter."
NME: Will you lot him write stuff for Oasis?
Alan: "No. Skint as it is."
Liam: "I'll never get me house in Mexico if we start letting Andy Bell write our songs."
Alex James said he got on really well with the Oasis boys. Is that true? (Serene, Athens, Greece)
Liam: "He's pissed."
Alan: "Who, Aled Jones?"
NME: Alex James.
Alan: "I don't know him."
Liam: "He's alright, he's one of those Hooray Henry boys. Hit him a slap every now and then and tell him to get to the bar. I wouldn't say he gets on well with us, though. The only thing he gets on well with is his yacht."
Rumour has it that Noel is going to be doing a solo album after five...
Liam: "He's already done four, give it a rest."
...would you call it a day after six? (Kate Eddon, Teddington)
Liam: "Depends on what's going on. Depends if we've got anything in the pipeline. When will the sixth be done?"
Alan: "It's only two, three years away."
Liam: "Fuck that, I'm definitely carrying on. I'll be a sad old fart like The Rolling Stones."
What's your favourite film, TV show and book? (Rebecca G, Brighton)
Liam: "Movie: Scarface. TV: Heartbeat. What's the other one, packet of crisps?"
Liam: "Book? Fucking arsed about books."
Alan: "I like Meantime, top Mike Leigh film, always pull that out on a Sunday. I don't read many books. And TV show is fucking EastEnders, innit."
Liam: "Nah, it's got to be Heartbeat. I'm double serious about that. It's fucking rocking, Heartbeat, the way they have two stories going on at the same rime. It does my head in. Greengrass? Mega, man."
Alan: "He used to be in The Gaffer. He was top in that."
Liam: "Selwyn Froggitt? He's a geezer, man. He rocks, he's got a Jaguar. He's a fucking top man. I've followed his career all the way right from them early days."
Alan: "Nice one, Selwyn."
What three Premiership players would you have playing for Man City, money no object? (Tim Berr, Knutsford)
Liam: "Three? Flo from Chelsea. That geezer from Arsenal, Thierry Henry. And Posh Spice."
Alan: "I'm a Charlton fan."
Liam: "He'd have Bruce Forsyth, George Formby..."
Alan: "We don't need any 'cos we'll be up next season, anyway."
Liam: "You like Nigel Winterburn."
Alan: "Fucking Nigel Winterburn is the best defender in the world. And I'd have Posh Spice, too."
Liam: "And Ringo Mountbatten."
Alan: "Charlton are having it. We'll be back up next season."
Liam: "Fucking rubbish. Straight back down again."
Alan: "We'll do the double this year."
Liam: "Don't be stupid."
NME: Someone else wants to know if Rivaldo really deserves the World Player Of The Year award?
Liam: "Rivaldo? No. Who is he, anyway?"
Alan: "He plays for Barcelona."
Liam: "There's a lot of good players out there."
Alan: "Like Winterburn."
Liam: "Fuck him, the big nose c**t!
Alan: "You watch the next Arsenal game, he's always there."
Liam: "He's always there because he gets paid to always be there. He's shit and he's double lucky to be there at all. Nigel Winterburn is not the best player in the world. Best player in the world is...Rivaldo. Why not, eh?"
Liam, why don't you wear a bit of eyeliner, you'd look absolutely stunning? (Slobhan Duffy, Ireland)
Liam: "Who's that from, Placebo? Eyeliner?!"
NME: She says you'd look stunning.
Liam: "Is that right? I look stunning already."
Alan: "You'd look like Selwyn Froggitt, more like."
Alan McGee is always referred to as the man who made Oasis famous. Don't you think it should he the man Oasis made famous? (David McCarthy, Aberdeen)
(Round of applause)
Liam: "Too right. Get in there, David, you are totally spot on and you are getting a Christmas card off me."
What Is Liam's fascination with Elvis Presley? (Robert, San Diego, USA)
Liam: "My fascination with Elvis? Just the wiping his arse with gooses' necks does it for me, man. That just kills me."
Alan: "What d'you mean; wiping his arse with a goose's neck?"
Liam: "That's what he did, apparently. He'd have a big fuckoff box of or bucket of gooses' necks that had just been chopped off and he's a proper yellowbelly from down South (Dixie accent momentarily), 'That's me boy', and he'd wipe his arse out the window with gooses' necks. The dirty fucking...he is the king. That's what kings do, innit? You know what I mean? They do, don't they?"
Alan: "I'd much rather bit of Andrex or something."
Liam: "Ah yeah, of course but you're not the king, are you? King. That's what kings do. He's mega, man. And goes out there and the it, man. Wiping his arse, then going out there and giving it all that (Elvis voice) 'huhhuhuhuh'. The fucking cheeky bastard. He's a geezer."
NME: Would you do that before going onstage?
Liam: "I fucking would, mate. No, I wouldn't."
Who would win a brawl out of you and Rolling Stones? (Joey Hodgson, Regina, Canada)
Liam: "I'd knock fuck out of every fucking one of them. Put together."
Alan: "Even Charlie? Charlie's a bit tasty."
Liam: "Charlie's alright, no. I don't mind Charlie."
Alan: "Yeah, leave Charlie."
Liam: "But if he wanted it I'd have him, know what I mean? But Jagger, Richards...Ron Wood's a bit geezer, actually. But them other two are fucking idiots as far as I'm concerned and I'd slap the pair of them. I might just do it next time I see them."
Alan: "That will be when they support us at Wembley, then."
Liam: "No, it'll be when I'm delivering them hot fucking food around their houses on a Sunday. Meals on fucking wheels, that's me."
Has Liam really got a photographic memory as he once boasted? (Paula, Staines)
Liam: "Absolutely. Totally."
Liam: "What is a photographic memory?"
Now that you've written "Little James", does Liam plan to write another song soon? And did you enjoy writing it? (Jack Ryan, Milwaukee, USA)
Liam: "Yeah, 'Big Lennon''. Just going to get me cigs. (Opens door to office and shouts) 'What was that question? 'Do we plan to be working with Marcus Russell in the next two years?' Don't know about that!' (Closes door, chuckling, and sits down). I enjoyed it immensely. I wouldn't go crazy about it, though. It only took me ten minutes to do. I'm not a songwriter, I'm a singer. If there's any more in the pipeline, then so be it. If not, never mind."
What would you say to Tony McCarroll if you saw him in the street!" (Anita Rana, Calgary,Canada)
Liam: "'Do you want to borrow a fiver?' And, have you learnt how to drum yet?"'
Alan (to NME): "Are you smoking weed in our office?"
NME: It's rolling tobacco.
Liam: "He's on the Johnny Jazzers, him! (Puts On Jazz Club voice in bad impersonation of NME and leans on the table) 'So, er, Liam, man what do you think of the price of beans in Yugoslavia? Don't you think inflation is just bouncing about, man...has anyone got any crisps? Hey, should we just, like, take our clothes off and start running around the office shouting Happy fucking Mondays!?' Pothead."
Alan: "I was actually thinking about getting me hair permed like McCarroll, like The Mickies."
Liam: "You big tease, you."
Does Liam know how to play guitar or is he just winging it? (Bernard Badjarl)
Liam:"Wingin' it! To fuck."
Alan: "Everyone's a winger in this band. We are the wingers.
(Enter Marcus Russell) Alright, Marcus?"
Liam: "This is top, Marcus! I love this."
Marcus: "Good questions?"
Liam: "There's fucking loads of Steve Sutherland questions, loads."
NME: He hasn't even seen them! Marcus: "It must he 'cos he's such a fan."
Liam: "There's a geezer in here called Ringo Mountbatten! He wanted to know what life was all about!"
Marcus: "Changing that name."
Liam: "That's what Alan said."
How do you feel about people downloading your new album for on the lnternet? (Terry Thomas, London)
Liam: "I think it's scandalous."
Alan: "Fuck all you can do."
Liam: "Yeah, but I think it's scandalous. They should get their hands in their pockets and get down the shops like the rest of us."
What do you think of the Queen? Would you like to kick her arse? (Cosmo Kramer, Lichfield)
Liam: "She's alright."
NME: Would you kick her arse?
Liam: "I don't hit women."
Alan: "I don't like her but I wouldn't kick her, mate."
Liam: "I couldn't give a fuck about the Queen. I think that people should get used to the fact that the royal family are here and that is the end of it. There's fuck all you can do about it. They're always going to be here, just like...the lampposts. Like the white lines in the road. All these anti-royalists should fucking turn off their TV sets and go and do something useful with their lives. The reason why the royals are so important is because loads of potheads go, 'Oh fucking hell, man, this is like, heavy, knowarrimean?' Shut up you dicks and ignore the silly cow and she might just stay in her house. The more publicity you give the bitch...no, I love her."
Did you think it was a bit strange Bert & Ernie living together? (Matt Senuik, Leith)
Liam: (Astonished) "Fucking yeah! Mega. That is the best question ever, that."
Alan: "Yeah, couple of fruits, weren't they?"
Liam: (Amazed and impressed) "'Did you think it was a bit strange Bert & Ernie living together?'! Brilliant that!"
Alan: "With their stripey tops and their big hooters?"
Liam: "Pair of fruits, man."
Is Liam friends with Paul Weller, it always seems to be Noel who's seen with him? (Damon Beckham, London)
Liam: "I have the odd livener with him, have a little chat with him. Top man."
Alan: "I've known him the longest, he's a good lad. He put my candles down my toilet last time he came to my house. He'd got a bit pissed on a few Stellas in the garden, next thing I go in the toilet and all my candles are in the bog!"
Liam: "He's a freak."
Alan: "He's a crank. Flushed them down there."
Liam: "He's trying to put the water out. (Weller voice) 'Who done that big turd in there? Bung the candles in!"'
Is Liam ever going to do a solo album? (Jaswant Singh, Birmingham)
Liam: "I'm not ever going to do a solo album. And if I was, I'd use Bert & Ernie. We'd be a power trio. I'd also want Rodney Marsh in there. He's fucking amazing. That programme on Sky Sports where he slags everyone off? Top. He is the geezer. I'd love to have a beer with him."
What are better, Jaffa Cakes or Clubs? (Pat Tinley, Burslem)
Alan: "I like Clubs."
Liam: "I haven't had a Club for ages. I tell you what the best biscuits are, man. Those United biscuits. Remember them? Honeycomb in the middle and there were three parts to them. Blue-and-white wrapper. Fucking delicious, man."
Alan: "I do like those Clubs with the bits of fruit in them..."
Liam: "Bert & Ernie nonsense. I'll tell you another top biscuit: Garibaldis. They are boring as fuck but mega. And fig roll, man."
Alan: "Fig roll?"
Liam: "Fig rolls are the bollocks, mate."
Liam, are you really scared of going bald? (Bamey, London)
Liam: "No. I'm going to settle this once and for all. I got asked the question, 'What would stop you singing?' And I said, 'I want to sing in Oasis until I die.' And he said, 'What if you lost your hair?' 'Look, if I lost my hair you would never see me on that stage again. 'Cos there's no place for baldness in rock'n'roll. End of it. How can I go onstage with a slaphead and get a point across? They get on my case enough as it is. They'd be whacking each other on the heads with truncheons and trying to copy me.' I'm not paranoid about going bald. I would prefer it if I didn't lose my hair, but everyone's a little paranoid."
NME: Would you shave it off, comb it over, or wear a wig?
Liam: "I'd chop me head off."
Time, friends, is our enemy. And so with a shake of the hand, a ruffle of the hair and a punch of the air, Liam Gallagher and Alan White leave the room and the interview. It has, says Liam, been the most enjoyable interview he's ever done. Thanks to you, Ringo Mountbatten and Matt Senuik. "Right," says Alan to Liam as they leave. "Fancy a pint?" "Oh, aye," agrees Liam. "It's always nice to break the day up with a Guinness." Indeed. if only the local publican had decided to open today at 11.15am.