Oasis were supposedly the heirs to The Beatles’ throne when they swaggered on to the scene in the mid-90s. The Mancunians were set to reimagine the sound of their Merseyside neighbours into something more modern a less frivolous.
Much to their pain, The Fab Four’s George Harrison and Paul McCartney were never sold on them and had no qualms about making that abundantly clear to anyone prepared to hear. Not only that but, The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and Mick Jagger also joined in on the savage attack. Hearing criticism from anyone can hurt, but that pain intensifies when it’s from a hero of yours.
It’s difficult to decipher who cherishes The Beatles more out of the two Gallagher brothers. However, loyalty to a rockstar doesn’t get much more devout than naming one of your children in their memory like Liam did when he named his son Lennon. It’s a mark of his influence, and without John Lennon, Liam Gallagher wouldn’t be the man he is today. Thankfully for Liam, Lennon wasn’t alive to share his thoughts on Oasis, which is likely a key factor in why he remains his favourite Beatle.
The war of words began in 1997 when Oasis innocently sat down to watch a documentary about themselves made by an independent company in a hotel suite in London and were horrified by what they saw. While most of the film was celebrating Oasis for bringing rock ‘n’ roll back from the brink, they received the shock of their lives when The Beatles and The Stones popped up to hand out a verbal beating.
George Harrison harshly said, “The music lacks depth, and the singer Liam is a pain, the rest of the band don’t need him”. Meanwhile, McCartney popped up to say, “They’re derivative and they think too much of themselves. They mean nothing to me.”
If that wasn’t mortifying enough, Mick Jagger stuck the boot in even further and said, “You can’t dance to it, the new album’s impossible.” Keith Richards played it simple and viciously uttered, “they’re crap”.
Oasis were in London for an interview on Radio 1, and Liam Gallagher let his frustrations get the better out of him during the appearance. Despite the film not yet airing, Gallagher used the radio as his platform to fight back at his heroes and skirted way over the line.
“I will beat the fucking shit out of Harrison, Jagger, Richards and that other cunt,” Liam said during an expletive-ridden rant. He continued: “If any of them old farts have got a problem with me, then they should leave their Zimmer frames at home and I’ll hold them up with a good right hook. They’re jealous and they’re senile. If they want to fight, I’ll beat them up.”
Over the decades that have passed, Oasis buried their feud with everybody involved, apart from George Harrison, who died in 2001. McCartney even told GQ in 2016, “Oasis were young, fresh and writing good tunes. I thought the biggest mistake they made was when they said ‘We’re going to be bigger than The Beatles’. I thought ‘So many people have said that, and it’s the kiss of death.'”
He added: “Be bigger than The Beatles, but don’t say it. The minute you say it, everything you do from then on is going to be looked at in the light of that statement.”
Meanwhile, Liam Gallagher supported The Rolling Stones during their European tour in 2018, suggesting there’s not an ounce of bad blood between the two acts left.
It still doesn’t make complete sense why The Beatles and The Rolling Stones came together to take down Oasis, but the most probable reason was to teach them a lesson. In the end, the documentary wasn’t authorised by Oasis and was banned from British TV, but the comments lingered.
For any aspiring musicians reading this, remember to never claim that you’ll one day be bigger than The Beatles, or you’ll face the wrath of the rock ‘n’ roll Illuminati.