Noel Gallagher - Scottish Sunday Mail - 12th November 2006
Online Link 2
Online Link 3
Online Link 4
When Noel Gallagher moves up a gear into verbal overdrive it's best to sit back, relax and enjoy the no-holds-barred ride.
The Oasis guitarist carefully picks off his targets with the skill of a deadly assassin.
So who's in his sights? H is volatile brother Liam for a start. Try this for size.
"We're in a period of unrest at the minute because he's a ******* idiot who insults my intelligence," said Noel, 39, sternly.
"I have to supress all my working class urges not to smash a chair over his head.
"The polite thing to say is that we do a dance around each other. He doesn't get in my way and I don't get in his.
"I know for a fact Liam doesn't like me. It's because I'm much more talented than him.
"I love him because he's my brother but I don't LIKE him. He says he loves me but I don't see much coming from him.
"Trouble is, Liam can never take yes for an answer. He tells me he's written a great song for the next Oasis record and I say: 'Okay, we'll put it on.' But then he'll start shouting that it should be included on the CD. I've just said yes, what part of that does Liam not get?"
Noel invited me to Oasis' secluded studio bolthole in the Buckinghamshire countryside to talk about the group's first greatest hits compilation, Stop The Clocks, due for release on November 20.
He is compelling company and our conversation covered a variety of diverse topics.
Last month, it was revealed Oasis are to receive an Outstanding Contribution to Music Award at the Brits in February.
The group have publicly snubbed the ceremony since winning a trio of gongs in 1996, so why the U-turn?
Noel told me: "Last year when we should have been nominated for best single they chose Shane Ward and Tony Christie. We should also have been in the running for best album and in there was Kate Bush and Westlife.
"That p***** me off, big time. They've asked us to accept this Outstanding Contribution award for the last few years and we've always said no.
"With Stop The Clocks coming out we thought, This isn't gonna go away so we either do it now or when we NEED to do it in five years and look more like a bunch of old fellas.
"I'd like to do it before I'm 40. It means Oasis will be the youngest ever band to get such an award. That's colossal.
"But it's live on telly. God help them - they've made the biggest mistake of their life."
The promo schedule for Stop The Clocks is relentless. On November 19, Channel Four screen Lord Don't Slow Me Down - a fly-on-the-wall tour documentary.
While Noel has agreed to be a guest on Parkinson on November 25.
He said: "About 70 per cent of the tracks on Stop The Clocks chose themselves then we had to work out which B-sides to use.
"Initially, I wrote down a list of 30-odd tracks but I didn't want to run to three CDs. The only criteria was to look at every track and say: 'Why should this song NOT be on the record?' In the end, it was put together like an Oasis fantasy set list."
Noel claims success sits comfortably on his shoulders. Not only is he one of rock's greatest ever songwriters ... he's also one of the richest.
Royalties from hits such as Live Forever, Morning Glory and Don't Look Back In Anger have made him a multi-millionaire.
What was it like when the huge royalty cheques dropped through his letter box?
He said "I went mental. I spent s*** loads of money buying cars and I don't have a driving licence.
"I've got a Rolls Royce that Alan McGee bought me for making him a multi-millionaire. Sixteen grand it cost him ... and I made him £20million.
"I've also got a 1967 Mark II Jaguar and a big black Range Rover. But I can't be a**** taking driving lessons. I was told I had to sit a written test. There's no chance of me taking an exam in a school gym with a load of toerags from Slough. It would be like sitting my 11 - plus again. No way.
"If that's what it takes, I'll go buy a HORSE!"
Noel added: "I've also spent a lot on s*** - drugs, clothes and parties. I've never been ashamed of that. I earned that money.
"An Oasis CD costs £16 and from that the five of us get a pound to share between us while somebody else earns £7.
"I've got a huge house. It's ******* enormous and takes me an hour and a half just to walk a round the grounds. But what do you expect me to do? Live in a council flat?"
At 39, Noel is wiser than the young upstart who exploded on to the UK rock scene in 1994.
He's sussed enough to realise he has occasionally overstepped the mark but says he has no regrets, despite once infamously saying he hoped Damon Albarn of arch-rivals Blur died of Aids.
He also dismissed Robbie Williams as "the fat dancer from Take That" sparking a 10-year feud which continues to this day. He said: "The Blur stuff was out of order and fuelled on booze and drugs. You could pick out just one line from any of my interviews, stick it in a magazine and it would look offensive.
"I've only ever spoken my mind. But I don't wish Damon any bad luck at all. I felt I was goaded into it by the guy doing the interview and I was a bit too dumb not to take the bait."
So what about Robbie?
Noel told me: "I don't like Robbie Williams' records, it's not my bag at all. But the guy has carved out a career for himself after really only being a backing dancer.
"I remember seeing him once at the Brits after he'd had one of his six-month periods of mouthing off. He put his hand out to shake mine and I said: 'Not when you're wearing eye liner, Sonny Jim.'
"Again, I bear Robbie no malice at all because he doesn't enter my way of thinking.
"I've heard about the secret track on his latest album Rudebox attacking us but I can't be bothered with it any more. He's got his thing, he sells out stadiums around the world - good luck to him." Noel did fire a warning to Mr. Williams though. The guitarist sings lead vocals on several of the hits on Stop The Clocks. Has he considered a solo career?
"Robbie is probably the biggest solo artist in the country but I'd eat him for breakfast," he said.
"Why? Because I write better songs, I'm a better singer and I've got soul. End of ******* argument.
"If I decided to go solo I'd be enormous. Just be thankful I can't dance AND play guitar at the same time or you'd be looking at the first gunslinging John Travolta.
"My heroes were Johnny Marr of The Smiths and John Squire of The Stone Roses and they never moved a muscle. So I'm not starting any of that.
"Much as Liam and me don't get on you DON'T leave a band like Oasis.
"Luckily, my head has never been turned by the prospect of making a country and western album."
OASIS guitarist Noel Gallagher has ruled out marrying his Scots girlfriend any time soon... because he can't be bothered with the hassle.
He's been with Sara MacDonald for seven years but insists he has NO plans to tie the knot.
Reports this week said he was planning to wed at Manchester's Urbis museum followed by a party at his beloved Manchester City's football ground.
But in an exclusive interview at his recording studio he revealed: "I've got no marriage plans at the minute.
"It infuriates Sara when I say this cos I love that girl dearly... I just can't be a**** with a wedding. She says I need a slap.
"You ask me when I'm getting married all the time. Ask me a question on sport instead."
Noel revealed that when Oasis signed a deal with Creation Records in 1993 it killed off a previous relationship.
He said: "I remember going home to Manchester after a meeting with Alan McGee in London.
"I got into my flat about two in the morning and the girl I was living with at the time woke up. When I told her Oasis had a record deal she burst into tears... and they weren't tears of joy.
"I said: 'What is wrong with you?' And she said: 'You're gonna leave me now and move to London.'
"I replied: 'Don't be stupid babe'. But six weeks later I was off. I said: 'London's calling. I can't stay here, love. It's my destiny.' So while McGee gave me a record deal, he temporarily ruined my love life."
Noel invited the Sunday Mail to Oasis' studio in Buckinghamshire to talk about their greatest hits compilation, Stop The Clocks, released on November 20.
And our no-holds-barred chat - covered in full in seven-days magazine - ranged from his rivalry with younger brother Liam, his long-running feud with Robbie Williams and how he feels about being part of New Labour's Cool Britannia brand.
He was also vocal about Oasis being given the Outstanding Contribution to Music gong at next year's Brit Awards.
Noel said: "Last year we should have been nominated for Best Single and they chose Shane Ward and Tony Christie. That p***** me off, big time.
"They've asked us to accept this Outstanding Contribution award for the last few years and we've always said no.
"With Stop The Clocks coming out we thought, 'This isn't gonna go away.'
"I'd like to do it before I'm 40 next year. But it's live on telly. God help them!"
NOEL ON.. TONY BLAIR
It was the image which defined the Cool Britannia era... Noel Gallagher sipping red wine with Tony Blair at Downing Street prior to the 1997 general election.
But has the superstar lived to regret pinning his colours so firmly to the New Labour mast?
The answer appears to be definitely ... maybe.
Noel told me: "I didn't want to meet Tony Blair - he wanted to meet ME! I was the king of London. Looking back, it was a cynical ploy by his spin doctor Alistair Campbell.
"I was in a euphoric state of mind thinking: 'Of course Blair wants to meet me. I'm ******* amazing. Who wouldn't?'
"But I don't feel conned or used. As trivial as it sounds now, the fact that a guy who'd been in a band, owned an electric guitar and has probably had a spliff was Prime Minister really meant something at the time.
"It felt like it might be important after years of John Major and Margaret Thatcher. He just MIGHT be one of us.
"In hindsight, it turned out he was just a politician like all the rest. Initially, we all thought something was gonna change... it didn't.
"I was brought up as a Labour voter. I come from a working class family and was on the dole for seven years.
"I admit I got carried away by the whole Britpop-Cool Britannia thing. It WAS euphoric when the Labour Party got into power. I didn't realise it wasn't New Labour at all - it was the Tories dressed in red.
"History has shown it's really the Bank of England who got into power."
What does Noel think of those calling for Blair to resign and pull our troops out of Iraq?
He said: "What a lot of people fail to grasp is it doesn't matter who was in No. 10, Britain would STILL have gone to war. We're in America's a*** pocket and that's the end of that."
"We have this big inferiority complex because we're this tiny little island in the middle of nowhere. If there's something going on in Turkmanistan WE need to be involved. Why?
"We're a nation built on war. We still Troop the Colour... like anybodygivesa ****."
But Noel did have some words of praise for the PM.
"If you were to take the Iraq thing out of the equation, Labour do seem to have made a difference with things like the minimum wage.
"They also made education and health a priority."
NOEL ON.. THE FUTURE
Noel admits he's not sure if Oasis will still be on the go in another 10 years.
"I'd be 49 then," he said. "To be quite honest, I get up in the morning and it's a struggle pulling my socks on. I've got a bad back, a stiff neck and I don't get enough sleep.
"When I was young I was kind of fascist about not making music when I got to 30. Then I thought, 'I'll pack it in when I'm 35' and so it goes on. It all depends on how trim we look. "Groups like Pink Floyd started out playing middle-aged music and it's STILL middle-aged music. Oasis songs are more up.
"Will I be playing Cigarettes And Alcohol at 50? Probably not... but who knows?"
One thing Noel is determined to do again however is gig in Scotland.
"Scotland has always been a very special place for us. It's the whole Celtic thing.
"Scots see themselves as rebels. They saw Liam and me giving two fingers to society and instantly related to us. Our gigs there have always been extra special."
NOEL ON.. ALAN McGEE
Creation Records' boss Alan McGee wrote a new chapter in music history when he spotted Oasis playing at King Tut's in Glasgow in 1993.
He was so knocked out by the unknown Manchester band he offered them a deal on the spot.
Noel told me: "The story we were NOT booked to support 18 Wheeler is true... but the myth which says we threatened to smash up the club if they didn't let us on isn't.
"As anybody who's ever met a Glasgow doorman will tell you you're not smashing anything up in that town - particularly if you're five skinny kids from Manchester. You'd get your head kicked in.
"McGee asked us: 'What a re you called?' I said: 'Oasis'. I was trying to be quite cool so when he asked if we'd like a record deal I asked: 'Who with?'"
Noel revealed that when the group got home to Manchester they hit the phones to find out more about the charismatic McGee.
Noel said: "There used to be a big cardboard cut-out of McGee in Eastern Bloc Records in Manchester. That's how I knew who he was.
"I was into Primal Scream and Teenage Fanclub so I knew about i Creation. I phoned a couple of people who knew him and said: 'McGee is off his head, isn't he?'
"But they said that was what he did. That's when I realised he was serious. McGee is a superstar in my eyes."