Noel Gallagher is as cool as ice, and there is only one person on the planet who can make him turn into a doe-eyed teenager. The former Oasis man has met everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Paul McCartney, but nobody gets his veneration quite like Neil Young.
Gallagher is assuredly one of his generation’s most capable lyricists, and when he walks into a room, it’s usually him that’s making the knees tremble. Millions felt a visceral reaction to his lyrics which resonated deeply with their own life, and Oasis became the band that epitomised a whole era.
Despite their vast accomplishments and countless records they smashed through their career, many of their heroes, such as George Harrison, shunned them. However, Neil Young couldn’t have been more welcoming and generous to Oasis, according to Noel.
Earlier this year, Gallagher revealed that if he could jam with one band alive or dead, it would be Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and his love for them is limitless. “Neil Young and Crazy Horse would be fucking great,” he explained on his YouTube channel. ‘Just to kind of be on stage with them and skulk around in the background just playing loud, I’d love that. Or playing drums for Crazy Horse, I’d be a great Crazy Horse drummer. I’ll be Neil Young’s drummer all day.”
This comment isn’t the first time that he has spoke in superlatives about Young and Crazy Horse. In 2011, Gallagher talked at length about his love of them and even candidly opened up about the interactions they’ve shared over the years.
“This is the only guy I’ve been in awe of after meeting,” he told MOJO about the Canadian. “I’ve had a few beers with him, been out for dinner, played gigs, and before we met, people would say, ‘Well, you know he won’t speak to you.’
“I was doing an interview at a festival in Canada that he was on the bill for, and I was telling the Canadian journalist that I couldn’t wait to meet Neil Young. And he was going, ‘That’s not going to happen.’ At that exact moment there was a knock on the dressing room door,” Gallagher gleefully recounted.
“He’s always been very respectful to Oasis, and to me when I’ve met him,” he continued. “I’ve seen him with Crazy Horse, with acoustic gigs, and he always comes from a place of truth. He’s invented a car that runs on fucking grass or something. The world can be split into two camps: people that like Neil Young and people that don’t. And the people that don’t are fucking idiots.
Although Noel being Noel meant that even Neil Young wasn’t free from his wrath. He half-jokingly added, “Mind you, I wish that he’d spend more than a week making an album. Far be it for me to tell Neil Young what to do, but Greendale, in particular, sounds horrible. He’s more annoying than I am,” Gallagher said with a refreshing pinch of self-awareness.
Neil Young is not necessarily a name that you’d associate as playing an instrumental part in determining Gallagher’s career, but the reverence that he holds him in speaks for itself.
Take a trip down memory lane, and revisit Noel commanding Oasis through a tribute to Neil Young at Wembley Stadium in 2000 as they deliver a soaring rendition of ‘Hey, Hey, My, My (Into The Black)’.