Paul ‘Bigun’ Ashbee has known Liam Gallagher for 32 years, first meeting when the singer was 14 before employing him as a car valet and introducing him to guitarist Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs. They would then form The Rain who would later become Oasis and take on Noel Gallagher as guitarist and chief songwriter.
In his new autobiography, Giving it the Bigun, Ashbee claims that it was the band’s rhythm guitarist who was responsible for the raw, gritty nature of Oasis’ music.
“People think it was Noel and Liam who created the sound of Oasis but it wasn’t – it was Bonehead,” said Bigun. “Liam was the frontman, Noel was the poet who came later. It was a jigsaw puzzle. It was meant to be.
“’Definitely Maybe’ was Noel’s therapy, it was his poetry – but it was Bonehead’s core sound. I know because I’d heard it back when they were still called The Rain.”
Conceding that both Liam and Noel deserve the praise they’ve garnered over the years, Bigun thinks that Bonehead (real name Paul Arthurs) deserves more credit for what he brought to the band, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Meeting Bonehead aged 14, Bigun says he could see his passion and desperation to be in a band, while admitting that he “used to be fascinated by him.”
“We were sat in a park in 1986 with a big ghetto blaster and he’s saying, let’s get a band together,” he said. “I didn’t play instruments but he was encouraging me to get on the bass, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I found him the perfect frontman.”
Obviously referring to Liam, Bigun, who had employed the singer to wash cars for him, said that “there was something raw” about him. “I think more than anything Liam wanted Noel to notice him, and he knew being in a band would do that,” he recalled.
“Plus I’d heard him go on about wanting to be a rock star for about a year in the van, so I knew he was up to the job.”
Soon after introducing Bonehead and Liam, Noel joined the band – also featuring Tony McCarroll and Paul Guigsy McGuigan – and the rest is history.
Bigun said of the band: “When their music was released, it touched people in a way that music just doesn’t any more. People were like, what the fuck is this? I would sit in the rehearsal room thinking, wow, is this real?”
The gig was most notable for Gallagher’s white parka jacket, but he said using in-ear monitors ruined the band’s headline performance.
Gallagher told BBC 6 Music’s Matt Everitt: “I’ve always enjoyed Glastonbury. There’s only one that I didn’t and that was when I wore a white jacket. I didn’t enjoy that because that was when I’d first started using in ears [monitors to hear the music] and it’s spun me out for 15 years. I’ve only finally took them out so I’m kind of getting back to normal. I hated that gig, man.”