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How The Gallagher Brothers' Intense Mutual Hatred Destroyed Oasis And Turned Them Into Punchlines

Updated August 28, 2019 81.8k views12 items

There's sibling rivalry, and then there's the Liam and Noel Gallagher feud. One of these things is just not quite like the other – insofar as one of these things (the former) usually connotes implicitly competing against a sibling for interfamilial superlatives – like parental love – and the other connotes smashing instruments, routinely fistfighting, and accusing one another of having illegitimate children. 

The Gallagher brothers, as the best-known members of the Britpop band Oasis, made music together for almost 20 years, and Oasis albums routinely set records in the UK. The British rockers rose to international fame as the "next Beatles" and, as one of the most popular bands in the 1990s and 2000s, they put on a good show. Definitely Maybe and (What's the Story) Morning Glory? sold millions of copies in 1994 and 1995, respectively, and despite some temporary splits, the Gallagher brothers always gravitated back to each other. 

Unfortunately, the back-stage antics of the Gallaghers rivaled those of some craziest rockers and rock bands to have ever lived. The siblings bickered, insulted one another, and physically fought, and audiences the world 'round ate up the Mancunian drama – some might say the anger in the Liam and Noel Gallagher relationship got the better of them, breaking up Oasis in 2009.

  • During The Making Of "(What's The Story) Morning Glory?" Noel Hit Liam With A Cricket Bat

    Photo: Oasis: Supersonic / A24

    When Oasis made (What's the Story) Morning Glory? in 1995, the brothers live together at near the studio but not without incident. One night Liam brought home 20 people from the local pub to party, but Noel ordered them to leave. Liam, embarrassed, sent the group home and then proceeded to beat down Noel's door and break his foot in the process. Noel responded by grabbing a cricket bat and hitting Liam with it. 

  • Liam Refused To Sing In A Show – And Then Heckled Noel From The Balcony

    Video: YouTube

    In 1996, Oasis was set to record an episode of MTV Unplugged. At the last minute, Liam bowed out, blaming his absence on laryngitis (despite rarely attending rehearsals), but he decided to stay and watch the show. Throughout the performance, Liam watched from the balcony, smoking and drinking while heckling Noel who had taken over as lead singer for the show.

  • Liam Skipped Part Of The 1996 US Tour To House-Hunt

    Photo: Roland Godefroy / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Oasis was set to do another US tour in 1996 but Liam decided to stay in England to look for a house. Noel told The New York Times, “As I’m getting on the plane he’s getting off because his wife [Patsy Kensit, pictured above] called, saying: ‘We need to buy a house.’ What they were doing for the previous three months is anybody’s guess. Probably picking gnats out of each other’s hair like monkeys.”

    Noel later blamed Oasis's limited success in the US on Liam and decisions like this, but he too bailed on part of the 1996 tour. He returned home to England after a few weeks. 

  • Noel And Liam Stopped Speaking To Each Other Again In 2002

    Photo: Will Fresch / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    In 2002, Liam walked off the stage at a concert in Japan, and he didn't come back. In an interview, Noel explained:

    Liam had been whingeing about his monitors all the way through the tour, really bitching... After the fourth song... I said to him, 'Are you gonna f*cking shut up for the rest of the f*cking year, or are you gonna carry on moaning you moaning bastard?' He looked at me really weirdly and threw his tambourine on the floor like a woman, then walked off.

    Afterward, the two stopped talking to each other, and Liam left the tour. That same year, Liam got into a fight with a police officer and lost several teeth in the process.