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After Oasis ended in a flurry of kung-fu kicks and punches, Noel Gallagher went away and quietly made a solo record, which could just be his finest collection of songs yet. In a revealing interview with Stuart Clark, he talks about new beginnings, making babies, Amy Winehouse, Morrissey, John Lydon, the Queen and that violent night in Paris with Liam.
Stuart Clark, 28 Oct 2011
“I don’t like whirling around in chaos,” he proffers. “My brain rules my being; I’m not a person of the heart. I like having rules and timetables to follow. I’m always on time; I’m never fucking late.
Oasis was responsible for everything we had – the kids’ schooling, the house you live in, your wife’s wardrobe, the whole fucking lot worked backwards from the band. I was always aware of that and tried to act in as responsible and professional a manner as possible. Well, after I’d knocked the cocaine on the head that is. I don’t think I’d have been up for any ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ awards prior
I’m self-aware enough to know that without a job to go to everyday I’d start indulging in some spectacularly bad behaviour. In the unlikely event I had a few mill in the bank to fund that spectacularly bad behaviour, I’d be in the plot beside Amy Winehouse. Talking of whom…
“I don’t want to be sexist or anything, but when a guy dies it’s like, ‘That’s rock ‘n’ roll, baby.’ When a girl dies it somehow seems more tragic. What I thought at the end was, ‘It’s bad when the music can’t pull you out of it’, because music is generally a shining beacon in somebody’s life. I took a lot of drugs, but eventually worked out that I prefer music to anything else in the world. I shed a whole circle of friends to – and I’m not being melodramatic here – keep myself alive. Music is the greatest thing that can be bestowed upon you, and if it’s not enough to pull you out of the shit then how bad is it?”
I presume Noel and Amy’s paths would have crossed at some point?
“Yeah, at awards ceremonies and the like. I have to tell you this story: the last time I saw her was at half-past eight in the local supermarket trying to buy a shopping-trolley full of alcohol disguised as a shopping-trolley full of crisps and Cheesy Wotsits. She came up and did the usual: ‘Awwwwright gorgeous?’ I ‘How are you, darling?’-ed her back and she went off to pay for what looked like a month’s worth of booze. I really, really liked her; she was one of the lads and a great soul singer. What she wasn’t good at was picking friends.”