Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll is to release his Noel Gallagher-slating book The Truth on November 20.
Originally – and kind of hilariously – he was gonna call it Oasis: The Truth, The Noel Truth, Is Nothing Like The Truth, which should give you enough insight as to who the book is really levelled at.
Yep, this is Tony’s riposte to years and years of Noel slagging him off in the press, of Noel supposedly treating him like shit in the band and of Noel forcing him out of Oasis. As he told me: “It’s my little opinion, and I’m speaking for the little man.”
Having had a sneak read, it’s safe to say that the book will divide fans.
Probably most scarring for Noel are the accusations that he ‘acquired’ much of his early songwriting catalogue from other bands (and we’re not just talking T-Rex and Lennon here). But the book also features more light-hearted anecdotes, like the time Liam and Tony found themselves in the company of a notorious New York groupie.
“Liam asked if I wanted to come to some apartment. I looked over to see a girl we had met earlier that evening. We called her Mary Poppins, due to her high-class English accent. She was an ex-model, and an addict – and that night, she only had eyes for Liam,
“We duly headed to her loft apartment and Liam vanished into the bedroom for a few minutes, where he sewed his rock ’n’ roll seeds and then re-entered the main room, looking flustered and agitated. ‘Fuckin’ weirdo wanted me condom. She tried to stick a fuckin’ label on it.’
“Mary Poppins next slowly unlocked a steel cabinet in the corner, which looked like a small fridge. From inside, she removed a number of items and held them up in the light, waving a handful of used condoms with white labels attached. I suddenly realised Mary Poppins’ plan and started to roar with laughter.
‘What’s on the labels?’ I asked Mary.
‘Previous donors,’ came the reply.
Each rubber had been labelled with the date and time of donation, as well as the origin of the man fat. The small fridge was actually keeping the juice loose, so to speak, and I guessed Mary was planning to artificially create her own supergroup. The two labels I caught read ‘Kurt Cobain’ and ‘Nikki Sixx’.”
How Noel and Liam react will probably be the most interesting thing here. There’s no doubt it will be devoured by super-fans – it openly attacks Noel when no one else at present has got the balls to do that. But whether you choose to believe what you read or not is an entirely different matter.
Here’s what Tony had to say about it…
What’s the reason you’re writing the book after all these years?
I’m doing this for me, at the end of the day. Additionally, I hope to get a good response. There’s a lot of things I need to put right. For some reason, as I stated in the book, Noel seems to want to have a go, which I can’t quite get my head around. I thought ‘Right, here’s my opinion mate’. Right back at ya.
Do you think people will be on your side?
Well, there is another side to the Oasis story which I think needs to be appreciated. It wasn’t all about one person. Without the chemistry we initially had, it wouldn’t have even lasted that long. As a wall of sound what we had was already established [before Noel joined]. But fair play, the songs that he brought to the table [were] fantastic. They got us off the ground as such. You can’t knock that. But I credit the whole of the first era… without Bonehead, Guigs, myself, Liam, Oasis would be nothing.
How do you feel about what happened to the band after you left?
I count myself lucky for being a part of it. For me, the special thing was that it was five normal lads from Manchester. It was the worst and best years of my life, I suppose. Fair play for the success. But it all changed. It just turned into a commercial success. I mean, I’m going up against a bloody global brand at the end of the day.
Did you follow the band much after ’95?
I was actually at the last concert they did – V2009 on the Saturday night. I was among the fans. I don’t purposefully follow [Oasis] concerts. But I’ve been going to V for the last eight or nine years or so, and it just so happened that last year they were playing, and I went ‘Right, I’ll have a look at this’. You know, I can’t knock it for what it’s turned into.
Have you heard how the others feel about the book coming out?
I’ve heard that Noel is getting through it, but whether that’s true of not I really don’t know. As for the rest of them, I don’t know. Have they ever read a book in their lives?
So, an apology from Noel doesn’t seem like its gonna be on the cards then…
No. No way in the world, I can’t see it. Noel is Noel at the end of the day. If you get any kind of apology out of that man… I mean, I don’t even think his own brother can even manage that.
Did you try?
Believe me, I offered the olive branch many times. He wasn’t forthcoming in any kind of way. That’s how it panned out. I keep wondering why we never sat down in a pub where it all started, and said ‘You know, this ain’t working out. Pat on the back for each other or whatever’. Things could have been better, and the book for me is based around that.
‘Oasis: The Truth’ by Tony McCarroll is published by John Blake Publishing and is out now at £17.99