The recording of Oasis’ seminal second album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? have passed beyond the realm of reality and into mythical status. There are plenty of stories that go hand in hand with the Oasis legend: Noel insisting on recording the acoustic guitar for ‘Wonderwall’ on top of an actual outdoor wall to get the sounds of birds chirping, Liam bringing an entire pub worth of rowdies back to the studio, a fight that eventually involved a cricket bat. It’s all part of the Gallagher brothers’ eternal war, but this was when the band could still balance the excess with creating great music.
On the 25th anniversary of the album’s release last year, Liam Gallagher and guitarist Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs sat down with a BBC documentary crew to reminisce about the album’s recording in a programme focusing on the studio that produced it, Rockfield. True to form, the recording was mostly centred around the extracurricular activities for the two, most important of which revolved around making it to the pub as quickly as possible once their day was finished.
“It was really quick,” Bonehead recalls. “I remember like really quick sessions, song after song,” he adds, before Gallagher interjects: “That’s because there were loads of pubs in town that were good. It was like ‘Get in there, fucking smash it out, and then fucking… pub. We just loved being in the pub.” The interviewer attempts to get them back on track by asking what Rockfield was like, but Bonehead stifles a laugh by responding: “Full of pubs”.
Bonehead’s demeanour during the interview perfectly encapsulates his role in Oasis: the glue that could hold the band together while the Gallagher’s were at each other’s throats. Happy to engage in the debauchery that Liam sought, Bonehead also was able to key into the perfectionism and maximalist production that Noel was seeking. Bonehead contributed some of the most memorable keyboard parts on the record, including the cello lines of ‘Wonderwall’ (played on a mellotron), the gigantic piano of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, and the melodica hook of ‘Champagne Supernova’.
Even though they haven’t been in a full-time band together for 20 years (Bonehead still makes guest appearances with Gallagher, usually on his UK gigs), the interactions they have shows the bond of a lifelong friendship. Easy laughs, casual banter, and deliberately pronounced laddish type of personality make it seems like they haven’t been apart a single day of the past two decades.
Check out the interview with Bonehead and Liam Gallagher down below.