THE WORD: Noel Gallagher

Once upon a time on MTV a virtually pre-pubescent (and certainly pre-crack) Pete Doherty was asked to describe Oasis: “I subscribe to the Umberto Eco view that Liam’s a town crier and Noel’s a poet…” came the response. Lyrically, Noel Gallagher was never going to be bestowed the title of the Bard of Burnage, yet stick a microphone in his face and magic happens. In an age over styled sanitised pop stars it has become something of a rite of passage to take a verbal bashing from The Chief. In recent times Noel’s opinion may have lost some of its cultural cachet, but in his heyday he combined the wit and wisdom of Brian Clough with the withering put downs of Stephen Patrick Morrissey. Here’s a selection of his best quotes…

On himself
“I do all the work so it’s only right that I should get the most money. Plus I am the most handsome.”

“Didn’t go into rehab like all me mates did – fucking lightweights.”

“What, you asking me if I’m happy? Listen, I’ve got eighty seven million pounds in the bank. I’ve got a Rolls Royce. I’ve got three stalkers. I’m about to go on the board at Manchester City F.C. I’m part of the greatest band in the world. Am I happy with that? No, I’m not! I want more!”

“Oasis was a cross between The Wolf of Wall Street and Saving Private Ryan – it was all about the struggle and the chaos. My first solo album was like Titanic – it was a love story – and this part of my career is like a really cool TV series, like Breaking Bad. Yeah?”

On Drugs
“If there were gold medals for taking drugs for England, then I’d have won a shitload! I did enjoy it but it kind of got to the point where I’d done them all and that was it, there was none left and I just thought ‘Can’t be arsed anymore.’”

“Drugs is like getting up and having a cup of tea in the morning.”

On Class
“Yeah, I got stuck into drugs. Well that’s the difference between the working class and the middle classes. The middle classes experiment with drugs whilst the working class get stuck in.”

“I worked on building sites and that fundamentally makes my soul a lot purer than theirs.”

“What’s interesting is all the working class bands said yes straight off the bat, no fucking inkling of when it was. The middle class bands said yes and wriggled out of it. I dunno what that means, but it must mean something” (Booking bands for Teenage Cancer Trust gigs)

“The working classes have not got a voice any more. There doesn’t seem to be a noise coming from the council estates, you know what I mean?”

The Royals
I wouldn’t wish the Royal Family dead, just seriously maimed. I’d take a couple of legs off.”

On Liam
“He’s rude, arrogant, intimidating and lazy. He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.”

“I read these interviews with him and I don’t know who the guy is who’s in these interviews, he seems really cool, because the guy I’ve been in a band with for the last 18 years is a fucking knobhead.”

“I love Our Kid, just not as much as I love Pot Noodles.”

On other artists
“I feel sorry for Keane. No matter how hard they try, they’ll always be squares. Even if one of them started injecting heroin into onto his cock people would go, ‘Yeah but your dad was a vicar, good night’.”

“Chris Martin looks like a geography teacher. What’s all that with writing messages about Free Trade? If he wants to write things down I’ll give him a pen and a pad of paper. Bunch of students.”

“Phil Collins knows he can’t say anything about me because I’m the fucking bollocks and that’s the thing that does his head in. And the fact that he’s bald.”

“Do you ever look at the sky and think, ‘I’m glad I’m alive?’ After I heard Sum 41, I thought, I’m actually alive to hear the shittiest band of all time. Which is quite something when you think about it.”

 On Politics
“I don’t have a crystal ball. I didn’t see he was going to turn into a cunt. I was 30, off me head on drugs, and everyone telling me we were the greatest band since who knows. Then the Prime Minister invites you round for a glass of wine. It all becomes part of the high.”

“I’m not sure about this Live8 thing. Correct me if I am wrong, but are they hoping that one of these guys from the G8 is on a quick 15-minute break at Gleneagles and sees Annie Lennox singing ‘Sweet Dreams’ and thinks, ‘F**k me, she might have a point there, you know.’ It’s not going to f**king happen, is it?”

“Politics is like football for me. Labour is my team and even if you don’t like a striker you don’t give up supporting the whole team… Labour is the lesser of two evils. What else should we have? Anarchy? Someone has to be responsible.”

On Books
“People who write and read and review books are fucking putting themselves a tiny little bit above the rest of us who fucking make records and write pathetic little songs for a living… I don’t get it. Book sellers, book readers, book writers, book owners – fuck all of them.”

On Madonna
“Six hours! In a gym! You sleep for 8, right – so that’s 14 gone already. What do you do with your one hour off? Do you want to get so supple that you can eventually stick your own head up your arse?”

On Americans
“Americans are crazy. They have this fascination with throwing their shoes on stage. I’ve been to a lot of shows in me life, some good and some bad. But I was never moved to take off me shoes and throw it at the lead singer.”

On lyrics
“I write the first line and the end word, ‘Supersonic’; it’s like, ‘Well, what rhymes with that?’ And you start off with ‘A’ and you go, Atomic. Bionic. Then you go… Gin & Tonic. ‘Alright, that’ll do.’ It’s no big deal. You just write it down, and people go ‘Wow! Feeling Supersonic… Give me Gin and Tonic. Wow!’ Basically, ‘cos it rhymes.”

Chris Harvey