Speaking to Esquire, Noel Gallagher talked about Oasis’ golden and dark times.
5 | “We’d had about 11 drummers at that point”
Oasis was just so fucking massive. I’m not saying it wasn’t fun because it was. We had some fucking great times – but we also had some shit times as well.
The last six months were fucking awful, it was excruciating. Me and Liam had a massive, massive, massive fistfight three weeks before the world tour started, and fights like that in the past would always be easy to rectify but for some reason I wasn’t going to let it go this time. I was just like, “Fuck this cunt.” And there was an atmosphere all the way around the world.
If I’d thought there was anything left to achieve I wouldn’t have left Oasis. I made a very snap decision in the car that night in Paris: we’ve done it all, we’re only going go round in circles now and do bigger tours and make more money and get another fucking drummer – we’d had about 11 drummers at that point. We sold out all the great gigs in the world: Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, Wembley fucking Stadium, City of Manchester Stadium, Hampden Park. You name it, we did it all.
By that stage I was flying separately to the rest of the band, which I have to tell you was fucking great. And Liam was sacking tour managers because he didn’t like their shoes. Then he starts his own clothing label and starts dedicating songs to it on stage and I’m like, “Really, is this what it’s come to?” He’s modelling parkas on stage which you could buy on his website. And it’s just like, “This is not for me.” All that being said, we had two gigs left and I reckon if I’d had got to the end of that tour and I’d had six months off I would have just forgotten about it, got on with it. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was the night in Paris and that was a fight. There’s no hidden darkness. It was just a fight about fucking nonsense, just him being pissed. He’d cancelled the gig at the V Festival and we were getting loads of shit for it in the press. And to this day, Liam thinks that I know every journalist intimately in London, like they’re my mates, they all come to mine for Sunday lunch. It’s amazing you’ve not been there! It’s a great spread my missus puts on for everybody. But Liam’s convinced I’m some kind of puppet-master, and he blames it all on me. And then it just escalated. It blew up. And that was it. I sat in the car and thought, “You know what, I’ve done enough now. Fuck it, I’m going to leave.”
I was being asked about a reunion five weeks after I left the band. It’s a modern phenomenon. It’s a modern disease. All the bands that get back together, all those ones you’ve mentioned [Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin] they didn’t have anybody in the line-up as fucking brilliant as me. What’s the guitarist out of Fleetwood Mac called? Lindsay Buckingham. I can’t remember him setting the world on fire. Jimmy Page? That’s debatable. He’s a good guitarist but I’m not sure how many solo albums he’s fucking made.
If Oasis were ever to come back we couldn’t be any bigger than we’d already been. There’s no kudos in us selling out three nights at Wembley because we’ve already fucking done seven. The Stone Roses never played gigs of that magnitude. They came back and they were bigger than they’d ever been. So it was justified.
Ten years from now, if I wake up one morning and go, “You know what? I think I’m going to do it,” I can guarantee you, just for spite, Liam would say, “Oh, no, I’m not keen.” Because that’s the way shit works. I can only tell you I’ve already got the next five years planned out. So it’s not going to happen in the next five years. Who knows what circumstances might be thrown up in the future? But, certainly, it’s not even on the horizon. Not even on the horizon.