Since the fall of the 1960s and the end of The Beatles, very few bands have achieved anywhere near the same overnight sensation of sonic hysteria that the Fab Four managed. While Beatlemania remains a feat of such lofty heights that it will probably never be breached, the Britpop boom that Oasis spearheaded is another notable bell curve in the undulating chart of music history.
Powering the Oasis bandwagon was an ethos akin to The Beatles, which was underpinned by the group’s love of the Liverpudlian band. In fact, Liam Gallagher is such a fan that he even named his son Lennon in honour of his hero. Furthermore, he has even had the privilege of meeting Paul McCartney on a few memorable occasions.
As he told NME in 2017: “I’ve met him a few times he’s been absolutely a dream. The last time was at the Royal Albert Hall. He goes, ‘Why are you always in a rush? Sit down, sit down’. I sit down and he goes, ‘Do you like margaritas?’ I said, ‘Yeah, but I had something before I come out, I don’t eat at this time of night’. He said, ‘They’re fuckin’ drinks, you stupid prick’. I thought he was offering me a pizza.”
However, when discussing his favourite records with The Quietus, the frontman opted to champion George Harrison’s solo effort as one of his favourites. The legendary triple album All Things Must Pass has been described as having the “grandeur of liturgical music” by director Martin Scorsese, and Liam Gallagher followed in glowing praise. “That’s the best post-Beatles album,” he told The Quietus. “We all like it and that, but that was the best sounding fucking one. It’s got tunes that make me cry.”
His former Beady Eye bandmate Andy Bell then added: “Everything that’s on it has a warm Wall-Of-Sound feeling to it because Phil Spector produced it and it has amazing songs like ‘Wah-Wah’, ‘Isn’t It A Pity’ and ‘My Sweet Lord’. I can relate to George Harrison but I’m not going to make a triple album.” The contentious length of the album is also something that Gallagher seems to apply as an asterisk to his praise, adding: “Triple albums are too much. They’re stupid, aren’t they? Even double albums are too much.”
Gallagher has even covered the albums lead single ‘My Sweet Lord’ on a number of occasions, most notably with Beady Eye at the Royal Albert Hall in tribute to the late drummer of The Charlatans, Jon Brookes, who had passed away a few months prior after suffering a brain tumour. The rendition stayed true to the meaning of the track that George Harrison laid out in The Material World when he remarked: “First, it’s simple. The thing about a mantra, you see…mantras are, well, they call it a mystical sound vibration encased in a syllable. It has this power within it. It’s just hypnotic.”
Not everything has been plain sailing for Gallagher when it comes to his love for Harrison, either. In 1996, Liam Gallagher couldn’t hide his pain after Harrison took a nasty swipe at him when he slated Oasis and said, “The music lacks depth and the singer Liam is a pain, the rest of the band don’t need him.” The younger Gallagher brother then fired back at his hero and told MTV Europe: “I still love the Beatles and I still love George Harrison as a songwriter in the Beatles, but as a person, I think he’s a fucking nipple. And if I ever meet him I’ll fucking tell him. And if you’re watching, nipple.”
All nipples aside, the swaggering frontman clearly has an enduring love for The Beatles, and his championing of All Things Must Pass is far from a flippant thumbs up from ‘the rowdy one’.