The team behind this year’s Amy Winehouse documentary, Amy, are set to return in 2016 with an as-yet untitled documentary about Oasis. The production company’s Andrew Orr says that the “sensibility and style” of director Mat Whitecross (Spike Island) will provide the “perfect complement to this tale of the rise of one of the great rock’n’roll bands” with “unprecedented” access to the band and unseen archive footage. If this tale just covers the band’s rise, as Orr says – and doesn’t go all the way up to their break-up in 2009 – then here are the 10 crucial Oasis moments the producers would be mad to miss out…
1. NOEL JOINS HIS BROTHER’S BAND
They’ve gotta start somewhere. Liam Gallagher joined his friend Paul McGuigan’s band The Rain in 1991 as its singer, along with guitarist Bonehead and drummer Tony McCarroll. Liam’s brother Noel had just returned from touring with Manchester band Inspiral Carpets as a roadie when he joined the band. They changed their name to Oasis, and Noel started writing the songs.
2. ALAN MCGEE SPOTS THEM IN GLASGOW
Perhaps you could argue that Oasis would have been spotted by someone else had it not been for Alan McGee, that their huge success would have come no matter who signed them. But it was a happy accident that McGee, founder of Creation Records, was there at their Glasgow gig in May 1993. “I was up in Glasgow seeing my dad and I wasn’t sure I’d even go to the gig,” he said. “I got there early by mistake. Oasis were on first, before most people arrived.”
Even more brilliantly, he told The Sun, “There was this amazing young version of Paul Weller sat there in a light blue Adidas tracksuit. I assumed he was the drug dealer and that Bonehead, the guitarist, was the singer. It was only when they went on stage I realised it was Liam Gallagher. I knew I had to sign them. Noel and I talked after the show and just said ‘done’ and he turned out to be a man of his word.”
3. ‘SUPERSONIC’ IS RELEASED
Less than a year later, Oasis’ debut single was released on April 11, 1994. It peaked at Number 31 on the UK Singles Chart after the band made their TV debut performing the song on The Word in March of the same year. Sure, that’s their lowest-charting single, but the debut was a huge moment for them. The song has since totted up over 215,000 sales, making it their 13th best-selling UK single ever.
4. ‘DEFINITELY MAYBE’ GOES STRAIGHT TO NUMBER ONE
Three weeks after third single ‘Live Forever’ entered the charts at Number Ten, ‘Definitely Maybe’ was released on August 29, 1994, hit Number One straight away, and was the fastest-selling debut of all time in the UK on its release. Interestingly, Noel re-recorded all of Paul McGuigan’s bass parts without telling him until years later. The album’s now sold over 10m copies worldwide, and in 2006 NME readers voted it the best album of all time. So how did the band celebrate its success back in ’94?
5. NOEL WALKS OUT IN LA
Not even a month later, on September 24, 1994, bad behaviour was rocking the band, who were performing at Whisky-A-Go-Go in LA. Liam changed the words to ‘Live Forever’, to “Maybe I don’t really wanna know/Why you pick your nose” instead of “how your garden grows”, hit Noel over the head with a tambourine, and after the gig Noel left suddenly for San Francisco. Creation Records’ Tim Abbot tracked him down and persuaded him to come back for the show in Minneapolis. It was the first big sign of what would become a publicly tumultuous relationship between the brothers.
6. AS ‘SOME MIGHT SAY’ HITS NUMBER ONE, DRUMMER TONY MCCARROLL IS FIRED
April 1995: Oasis’ first Number One single was also their last featuring Tony McCarroll, who Noel fired because “he wouldn’t have been able to drum the new songs.” McCarroll has since said, “Noel was telling anyone who would listen how shit I was at doing the thing I cared about so much. It was a cheap and easy shot and one that still hangs over me.” He was replaced by Alan White, who performed the Number One hit with the band on Top Of The Pops. McCarroll sued the band for £18m but later accepted a settlement out of court worth £600,000. It was the first of many personnel changes in the band.
7. ‘(WHAT’S THE STORY) MORNING GLORY?’ IS ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE
Just over a year after their debut, ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’ comes out on October 2, 1995. It smashes it. Some stats for you:
A. At the time it was the second fastest-selling album ever in the UK behind Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’, with 347,000 copies shifted in its first week.
B. It spent 10 weeks at Number One on the UK Albums Chart, and seven months in the top three.
C. It’s now sold 22m copies worldwide. (Oasis have sold an estimated 77m in total).
D. It’s the fifth best-selling album in the UK ever, behind Adele’s ‘21’, The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s…’, Abba’s ‘Gold’, and Queen’s ‘Greatest Hits’.
8. LIAM REFUSES TO GO ON TOUR
On August 27, 1996, a week after pulling out of Oasis’ MTV Unplugged show, because of a ‘sore throat’, Liam walked out of Heathrow Airport a few moments before their departure to Chicago for their US tour. His reason? He had to find a new house. “I am Oasis,” he said to The Sun. “I started the fucking band. I’m mad for it but I have to move house. I can’t go looking for a house in America while I’m trying to perform to silly fucking yanks.”
The band carried on without him, and eventually he returned for a few dates. Then the same tabloid reported that Noel had left the band after a fist-fight with Liam on September 12. Wasn’t permanent, though.
9. 1999: BONEHEAD AND GUIGSY QUIT
August 1999 – guitarist Bonehead and bassist Guigsy leave in one fell swoop, during the recording of Oasis’ fourth LP, ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’. Of the album, Noel now says “Even though it wasn’t our finest hour, it’s a good album born through tough times. I worked harder on that album than anything before and anything since.”
Bonehead said he wanted to spend more time with his family (his daughter was four and his son two at the time), while Guigsy left to spend more time with his. The latter announced his resignation via fax – 1999’s poor-etiquette equivalent of a Whatsapp resignation – and then dodged the Gallagher brothers’ calls for the next few weeks.
The brothers’ response? Stick together. At a press conference they said, “We’ve been left holding the shite sandwich. We’re no good at goodbyes anyway, but it would have been better face-to-face. We spoke to him on the phone. He’s been a mate for 15 years. Yeah, we’re shocked.”
They remained defiant though. “The future of Oasis is secure. The story and the glory will go on.”
10. 2000 NOEL QUITS THE EUROPEAN TOUR
After replacing Guigsy and Bonehead with Andy Bell and Gem Archer, the band were back on track – ish – but when Alan White had a hand injury in 2000, they were forced to cancel a Barcelona gig on July 4, 2000.
The Gallagher brothers were drinking instead when Liam apparently questioned the legitimacy of Noel’s daughter, Anais, which Noel says Liam has never apologised for. Noel quit the tour, leaving Liam and the others to soldier on, with Noel replaced by Matt Deighton.
Noel rejoined the band for the UK dates, but the damage was done. The band were now in a position where not a single member of Oasis – not Liam, not Noel, or any of the other band members – has played at every Oasis show ever. How many bands can say that?