Boozy scuffles, biblical shows and generation-defining anthems – it’s no enviable task cramming the story of Oasis into one film. From their unassuming formation in 1991 right through to the split in 2009, Liam and Noel Gallagher have carved a legacy like no other. The band are seemingly next-in-line to get the biopic treatment, after news emerged this week that a new film could be in the works, with the estranged brothers reportedly set up their own joint film company. With that in mind, we’ve picked some infamous stories that should be nailed-on for inclusion, from the sublime right through to the ridiculous.
The Creation break that nearly didn’t happen
Without their Mancunian charm, Oasis might have just missed their big break. Having rocked up to King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow without a place on the bill in 1993, the band demanded to be added to the running with the support of their rehearsal room buddies Sister Lovers. They only played four songs, having travelled all the way up to Scotland in the van, but that was enough to convince Creation Records boss Alan McGee, who offered them a recording contract there and then. It’s one of those pivotal and decisive moments that every worthwhile biopic captures.
A boozed-up ferry brawl with football fans
One of the early divisive clashes in the band’s rich history came with a drunken brawl with West Ham fans on a ferry to Amsterdam – and wouldn’t it be something to see the Jack-Daniels-and-champagne-fuelled scuffle on the big screen? Speaking in the 2016 documentary Supersonic, Liam said: “As the fight broke out all I remember was it was a bit Benny Hill… It was fucking mayhem, man – I loved it! It was punk rock, man.” The fall-out played further into the legacy as an NME interview, which saw the brothers unpicking the events, was unofficially released on seven-inch under the title ‘Wibbling Rivalry’.
Crystal Meth nearly scuppers the American dream
A few months after their fabled Glastonbury debut in 1994, the band headed out on their first US tour, with the show at LA’s infamous Whisky-A-Go-Go proving quite the train-wreck. The night ended up being one of the shakier performances in the bands’ history when they got their cocaine mixed up with crystal meth. Liam recalled in the Supersonic documentary: “I don’t know who fucking got it but it was there and we all thought it was coke. We’re doing big fucking lines of it and it just kept us up for fucking days.”
Noel skulks off to San Fran
In the aftermath of that disastrous LA gig, Noel upped sticks to the other side of California to visit a woman he’d met on the tour. In true brooding Noel style, he wrote ‘Talk Tonight’, arguably a watershed moment in his introspective songwriting: “Sittin’ on my own / Chewin’ on a bone / A thousand million / Miles from home…”
Years later, after Supersonic was released, the woman in question, Melissa Lim, told a local newspaper: “San Francisco has a reputation of being a place where bands come to die, like The Band and The Sex Pistols. I wasn’t going to let it happen on my watch. I told him, ‘You can’t leave the band – you’re on the verge of something big!’”
Knocking about with Robbie Williams at Glasto
While Robbie and the Gallaghers might have seemed to hail from different planets, just about anyone can find common ground on Worthy Farm. Snaps of Liam and Noel romping around backstage with Robbie put any assumptions of their rivalry far in the past and went down in history. Although their feud continued not long after – with Noel calling the singer the “fat dancer from Take That” – it would be great to see this historic meeting of minds on the silver screen
Forgetting about the second night at Knebworth
You know the feeling when you wake up after a wild night not knowing what planet you’re on? The band’s massive Knebworth gigs undeniably came to define a generation when the band played to 250,000 people over two nights at the Hertfordshire site in 1996. But at the time Liam’s sorry head completely forgot they had to do a second night. He later said of the event: “I’m very proud of it, I am. What do I remember? Not a lot, really. Nothing. I remember forgetting that we were doing a second night – I thought we were doing just one, so I got really drunk after the first night. But I can’t remember anything else.”
The Rolls Royce incident
A sinking Rolls Royce might have been seen in the swimming pool on the cover of their 1997 classic ‘Be Here Now’, paying homage to The Who‘s Keith Moon’s infamous antics, but Oasis also have a direct link with the opulent car make thanks to a Creation Christmas party. Noel had allegedly been hinting to Alan McGee that he wanted a Rolls Royce for some time and, sure enough, when he pulled up to the party there was one outside. McGee gave each band member a box containing Rolex watches. When interviewed by Jonathan Ross years later, Noel quipped, “It’s good ’cause he can’t tell the time and I can’t drive”.
Johnny Marr: “Taketh Thy Les Paul”
It’s always handy to lean on those above you in times of need. Johnny Marr saw a few early Oasis shows and offered Noel some words of wisdom. In a later interview with Bee TV, Marr said that he told Noel: “’It’s great, it’s fantastic – but you’ve really got to get another guitar because you spend ages tuning up.’” Noel came back with: “That’s all right for you to say – I’m on the dole; I’m skint.” Johnny ended up offering his own treasured Les Paul, which he himself got from The Who’s Pete Townshend. It became Noel’s main guitar and the one on which he wrote ‘Live Forever’.
In true Gallagher fashion, he broke the cherished axe a few months later by smacking someone over the head with it and, tail between his legs, asked Johnny for another one. Johnny sent up his ‘Queen Is Dead’ guitar with a note saying: “This one is well heavy and if you can get a good swing, next time you will take the fucker out”.
Kicked out of Abbey Road
Even when treading in the holy footsteps of their heroes at Abbey Road, the Gallagher brothers did things their own way. The band were allegedly banned after the sessions for ‘Be Here Now’, with Noel Gallagher revealing in an interview that the group upset studio bosses after “blasting out Beatles at four in the morning.” Abbey Road bosses eventually overturned the ban and welcomed the brothers back for the recording of 2008’s ‘Dig Out Your Soul’. Noel said at the time, “They let us back in, but we had to pay in cash. If they threw us out, we lost all the money.”
The Paris altercation
Royalty rows, affairs, creative differences? Nah, that’s boring. The moment that has deprived a generation of seeing these infamous brothers share a stage stems from Liam lobbing a plum at Noel ahead of their last show in Paris on the fateful night of August 22, 2009. It seems laughable that one of the biggest bands in rock’n’roll history could be toppled by something as silly as a thrown piece of fruit, but the dramatic scene would play out gloriously in the biopic. Liam did also allegedly storm into the dressing room wielding a guitar like an axe, which was likely more of a final tipping point. Listen up, scriptwriters!