Noel Gallagher On The Legacy Of ‘Be Here Now’: ‘It Is To Be Accompanied With A Crate Of Beer And A Bag Of Fucking Charlie’

Oasis have announced that a reissue of their ’97 album ‘Be Here Now’, complete with loads of rare demos, is out on October 7. Noel Gallagher recalls a dreamy time.

I wrote ‘Be Here Now’ when I was on holiday with Kate Moss, Johnny Depp, Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall…
…and all that lot, on [private island] Mustique. There might have been a small amount of cocaine, I couldn’t say. Nick Mason from Pink Floyd was on the same island, it was fucking great. When people say, “‘Be Here Now’, what happened there?” I say, “‘Well I wrote it on holiday, and let’s put it this way, I had a fucking great holiday’.” I was there for about six weeks, and what we’ve unearthed is from the end of the holiday when [‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’] producer Owen Morris came out with a portable studio and I did all the demos. You can actually hear what a great time I’m having on holiday.”

I tried to redo the whole album…
“…I went into the studio and after about two days I was like, ‘This is missing the point, the album is supposed to be this fucking mental’. I went back to a couple of things I’d edited and though ‘nah, they sound fucking shit, they sound better when there’s no singing before three minutes’ [puts head back, inhales deeply through nose]. So, y’know, you’re kind of digesting the cocaine before the singing starts. It is to be accompanied with a crate of beer and a bag of fucking charlie, and don’t be making any plans for the next couple of days. That’s the spirit in which it was intended. And if you listen to it in that spirit, it might be the greatest album of all time.”

It was a great time for Oasis…
“…that tour and the whole experience of making that record was the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had in the music business, because we didn’t give a fuck. We started the tour as the biggest band in the world and finished it outside the Champions League spots. We’d blown it somehow, but it was brilliant. I’ll never forget it.”

I remember the first gig of the ‘Be Here Now’ tour…
“…in a massive fucking cowshed [Westpoint Arena in Exeter]. Travis were supporting. I remember we knew Travis and liked them, but had never seen them live before. We turned up at the side of the stage, and they were the first band we’d ever seen do that embarrassing group huddle before they went on. We were looking at each other like, ‘What they fucking doing?’. I said to [Travis bassist] Dougie, ‘What were you doing over there?’ And they were like, ‘Ah it’s, y’know, a group thing that we do before we go on’, And we were like ‘WHY? Like a pep talk, like a fucking team talk? You fucking squares. If we’d ever done that it would’ve just been like… ‘Where did you get those shoes from?’. And then: ‘What the fuck’s it got to do with you?’ The gig wouldn’t have happened.”