Oasis’ most notable track, the one that terrorises their diehard fans at every turn, ‘Wonderwall’, is a nod to George Harrison’s debut solo album. The instrumental LP is far from Harrison’s best work but in the Manchester band’s mind, the Beatle could simply do no wrong.
However, that all changed when the usually quiet Beatle came swinging for them in the press, and Liam Gallagher responded the only way he knows how.
Despite all the comparisons between the Britpop legends and The Fab Four— and there have been a lot — it took them years to finally get the seal of approval from the group’s surviving members. Oasis happily played into the similarities between the two bands, often covering The Beatles in their sets, and the Mancunians were more than happy to be christened the heirs to their thrones.
However, much like John Lennon before them, the world was left aghast when Noel Gallagher decided to declare in an interview that Oasis were “bigger” than The Beatles, and suddenly, they’d made an enemy that they’d wish to regret.
Noel would later admit that he was “high” when he made that farcical comment. Looking back on the comparisons in 2019, Gallagher said, “When Oasis started, we were so big we were compared to [The Beatles] size-wise. And musically – embarrassingly – compared to them as well. [It’s embarrassing] because we weren’t as good as them.”
Despite it being Noel that made the remark, Liam was the one who found himself in the firing line from Harrison. In 1996, the Beatles guitarist criticised the group and said, “The music lacks depth, and the singer Liam is a pain, the rest of the band don’t need him”.
Understandably, this hurt Liam immensely, and rather than lick his wounds; the singer ferociously came out on the front foot to attack Harrison. During an interview with MTV, Gallagher said: “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.”
He went on to say: “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!”
Gallagher continued: “So it goes to show, all the time the Beatles and all of that, it so fucking stupid because he’s the silly one, because he reads the press. How’s he know I’m silly? I’m not silly. He only reads the press, you know what I mean? So he’s the fucking silly one.”
These comments by Harrison truly got under Gallagher’s skin and made him unleash his unhinged side. Thankfully, his threat to give the Merseysider a “good right hook” never came to fruition, although it is a crying shame that they didn’t have a chance to put their spat to bed before the guitarist’s death.