101 Things Noel Gallagher Has Been Mad At - Rolling Stone
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Looking Back in Anger: 101 Things Noel Gallagher Has Been Mad At

Jazz? “Rubbish.” Jack White? “Zorro on Donuts.” And don’t get him started on his brother Liam.

Noel GallagherNoel Gallagher

Noel Gallagher describes himself as an "average guitar player at best."

Sergione Infuso/Corbis

Noel Gallagher is an easy target, if only because he gleefully takes aim at just about everything in his sights. In recent years, he’s pointed his abrasive Mancunian accent at Jay Z, The X Factor and, most famously, his own brother, Oasis frontman Liam. Scroll through enough of his soundbites and it’ll dawn on you like a champagne supernova: This isn’t a schtick. But taken as a whole, the following collection also reveals a sensitivity that belies much of Gallagher’s couldn’t-give-a-fook bravado. He cuts himself down nearly as often as he does others, and he congratulates those of his victims who show they’re in on the joke. Decades of bad behavior have prompted public apologies and begged the question, why do we keep asking Noel Gallagher what he thinks? But the answer is simple: Because unlike so many others in the industry he loves to cut down, he remains totally honest.

1. His Bandmates
“I spent 20 years in a band making records by committee. I’m fucked if I’m going to do that now. I think Oasis was at its best when I was solely in charge, anyway.” –Rolling Stone, Feb. 2015

2. His Wife’s Remodeling Plans
“[My new album’s] about me and Sara moving house, and we need a new kitchen. And as you know my wife, the kitchen will probably [have] flown in some Egyptian marble from the Great Pyramid at Giza.” –BBC Radio 2, Feb. 2015

3. His Wife’s Artistic Feedback
“I’ve given up playing my wife music because she’ll just go ‘It’s OK. It’s good. That’s nice. It’s nice.'” –Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2015

4. Brian Wilson
“Who would want to be Brian Wilson, sitting in a studio in a nappy, eating a fucking carrot with your little fat feet in a sandpit, not going on tour? Fuck that.” –RS, Feb. 2015

5. One Direction
“Fucking idiots… They’re all winning. No one’s losing! The only people who are losing are idiots like me at 9.30 in the morning when you’re trying to get the kids out the door for school, and they’re fucking murdering one of Blondie’s songs.”GQ (U.K.), Oct. 2013

6. The X Factor
“There’s a boy band with eight lads in it. You cannot get eight people to sing in tune, live. It is impossible. If the Beach Boys couldn’t do it, no one’s doing it. And there they are, miming their little hearts out to a Snow Patrol cover. Honestly, I have a vein in the side of my neck that jumps out about four inches.” –BBC Radio 2, Feb. 2015

7. Being Reduced to Mild Trashing…
“We used to proper fucking wreck things man. It was total destruction. But we’ve grown up now. It’s just mild trashing now.” –1998 TV Interview

8. …And Becoming a “Pussy”
“When you’re 24 in the biggest band in the world, I’m sure you can work out all the nonsense that entails. When you’re a 47-year-old solo artist, it’s different. You become a fucking pussy, is what happens.” –RS, Feb. 2015

9. Ed Sheeran Headlining Wembley
“I don’t think I can live in a world where that’s even possible. When you hear that kind of polished pop and then there’s a ginger guy with a fucking guitar it seems subversive, but it’s fucking not.” –NME, Jan. 2015

10. Health Care
“Why would you check into a hospital to pay somebody four grand an hour to tell your things that really you should already know about yourself?… Give me the money. I’ll sort it out for you.” –Video Interview

11. Rehab
“Didn’t go into rehab like all me mates did – fucking lightweights.” –Q Magazine, 1999

12. His Guitar Skills
“I’m average at fucking best.” –Total Guitar, Jan. 2009

13. Interviews With the Arctic Monkeys
“I would rather drink petrol straight from the nozzle at a garage than listen to an interview with Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys. Wouldn’t you? Alternative thinking is on its way out. They just don’t make for great copy.” –London Evening Standard, Feb. 2015

14. The Arctic Monkeys
“[They’re] invisible, they don’t say anything.” –The Irish Post, March 2015

15. Anyone Who’s Ever Had Anything to Do With a Book
“Because people who write and read and review books are fucking putting themselves a tiny little bit above the rest of us who fucking make records and write pathetic little songs for a living…. Book sellers, book readers, book writers, book owners – fuck all of them.” –GQ (U.K.), Oct. 2013

16. The Grammys
“No. I can’t really stomach things like that. Everybody’s too nice. You cannot have a room with 5,000 people, who are all fans of each other. That’s not real.” –RS, Feb. 2015

17. Interrupting the Grammys
“I never ever once got onstage while somebody else was getting an award. I would never do that. As little respect as I’ve got for other people at least I’ve got that much respect for people.” –National Post, Feb. 2015

18. Kanye West
“Somebody needs to buy that dumbass a dictionary so he can look up the word “artistry”…. Get him a dictionary from me, I’ll fuckin’ sign it and give it to him so he can look it up.”  –RS, Feb. 2015

19. Beyoncé
“[If the word “artistry”] applies to Beyoncé then fuck me.” –National Post, Feb. 2015

20. Suits at the Brit Awards
“You can be sat at a table with a load of people from an insurance company. ‘Where you from? Classical label?’ ‘No. AIG.’ ‘Well, what the fuck are you doing here?'” –GQ (U.K.), Oct. 2013

21. Pop at the Brit Awards
“It’s all pop music…. I felt very much out of place. It wasn’t like back in the day.” –NME video interview, 2012

22. Erotic Fiction
Fifty Shades of Grey? Fifty shades of shite.” –GQ (U.K.), Oct. 2013

23. “Indie” Labels
“Is it any coincidence that all the indie labels got bought up by the major labels and things have started to get boring?” –London Evening Standard, Feb. 2015

24. Pop Quietism
“The new names like James Blunt, Ed Sheeran and Jessie J — they defer to the [record] labels. The bands that I grew up with had a healthy dose of indifference and contempt towards their labels. That has gone.” –London Evening Standard, Feb. 2015

25. Pop Beigeness
“Modern pop music is bland nonsense. There isn’t even a word yet that’s capable of describing it. If it was a color, it would be beige.” –RS, Feb. 2015

26. Taking the Fall for Climate Change
“You can’t blame rock stars for global warming when the Chinese, the Indians and the Americans have been pumping out shit into the atmosphere for the last 100 years.” –Herald Sun, 2008

27. Free downloads
“I’m not giving my records away for free. If nobody fuckin’ buys them then… They’re not going out for free.” –Clash, Feb. 2008

28. Radiohead
“Making records should be fun. I remember seeing Radiohead on the cover of a magazine in the U.K. when In Rainbows came out, and it said, Radiohead: The Pain. And I thought, ‘Won’t you fucking give it a rest, you bunch of moaning children?’ The pain? Of making an album? I don’t buy it. If you’re not having a laugh, then don’t do it.” –Spin, Oct. 2008

Noel Gallagher

 29. His Brother Liam
“He’s a born fucking liar.” –Spin, Oct. 2008

30. Liam’s Destructive Tendencies
“He was trying his hardest to destroy everything, that’s how I saw it. Like not turning up for American tours.” –The Guardian, Dec. 2008

31. How Mad Liam Is
“There isn’t a word that’s been invented yet that could describe that man’s madness.” –1998 TV Interview

32. How Angry Liam Is
“He’s rude, arrogant, intimidating and lazy. He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” –NME compendium

33. Artists Afraid to Sing a Noel-Penned Song
“I would dare somebody to ask me.” –National Post, Feb. 2015

34. Artists Who Don’t Write Songs
“I have difficulties with people who don’t write their own songs, who’ve got a team of songwriters who work for your record label.” –RS, Feb. 2015

35. 2013
“All I’ve done is sit around the house and become a fucking hypochondriac. Dog-shit year. Can’t wait until it’s over.” –RS, Dec. 2013

36. Kaiser Chiefs
“The worst thing about them is that they’re not very good. They play dress-up and sit on top of an apex of meaninglessness. They don’t mean anything to anybody apart from their fucking ugly girlfriends.” –Time Out Chicago, 2008

37. Retro-Soul
“Adele and Emeli Sandé – that music, to me, is like music for fucking grannies.” –RS, Dec. 2013

38. Mark Ronson
“He wants to write his own tunes instead of ruining everyone else’s. Mark Ronson needs to learn three chords on the guitar and write a tune.” –BBC Newsbeat, 2008

39. Women in Music
“So, you know, I feel bad for the girls. The sisters are not doing it for themselves.” –RS, Dec. 2013

40. Arcade Fire’s Reflektor
“I haven’t heard it. Anybody that comes back with a double album, to me, needs to pry themselves out of their own asshole. This is not the Seventies, OK? Go and ask Billy Corgan about a double album. Who has the fucking time, in 2013, to sit through 45 minutes of a single album? How arrogant are these people to think that you’ve got an hour and a half to listen to a fucking record?” –RS, Dec. 2013

41. The Dress Code for the Reflektor Tour
“Well, what’s the point of that? Do you know what the point of that is? That is to take away from the shit disco that’s coming out of the speakers. Because everybody’s dressed as one of the Three Musketeers on acid. ‘What was the gig like?’ ‘I don’t know, everyone was dressed as a teddy bear in the Seventies.’ ‘Yeah, but what was the gig like?’ ‘Ah, fuck knows, man, I have no idea. I was dressed as a flying saucer.’ ‘Yeah, but what was the gig like?’ ‘Fuck knows. I don’t know. Seen Cheech and Chong, there, though.’ Not for me.” –RS, Dec. 2013

42. London’s Tube System
“But when you go around the world, most cities have got state-of-the-art underground and subway systems – we are bumbling around on a post-war system that’s falling apart. I think the people deserve better.” –London Evening Standard, Feb. 2015

43. Contemporary Indie Rock
“It’s a strange time, and it seems like the whole thing is embedded for good now, for fucking forever. It’s not all over, but it’ll go back to the way it was in the early Eighties where indie bands are the alternative thing, the lower level. In the early Eighties everyone at indie labels, even major labels, were trying to push this music to the fore because everything else was shit, and maybe it’ll happen again, but I don’t see it for the next decade.” –NME, Jan. 2015

44. James Blunt
“If I was to write songs literally about my life, heavens above, they would probably be more boring than James Blunt. If at all that is possible. Which of course, as we all know, it isn’t.” –BBC Radio 2, Feb. 2015

45. Modern Hip-Hop, Whatever You Call It
“I don’t really like that kind of modern hip-hop, whatever you call it.” –RS, Dec. 2013
46. Shock, Horror
“So I am a guy who doesn’t like hip-hop — shock, horror. I don’t dislike rappers or hip-hop or people who like it. I went to the Def Jam tour in Manchester in the Eighties when rap was inspirational. Public Enemy were awesome. But it’s all about status and bling now, and it doesn’t say anything to me.” –Spin, Oct. 2008
47. Hip-Hop Violence
“In England the white working class are feared, and our music is working-class expression. We have a lot in common with hip-hop. Apart from people pumping shotgun pellets into each other.” –Spin, Oct. 2008

48. The Shady Records Roster
“I fucking despise hip-hop. Loathe it. Eminem is a fucking idiot, and I find 50 Cent the most distasteful character I have ever crossed in my life. It’s so negative.” –The Observer, June 2005

49. Hip-Hop at Glastonbury
“I’m not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It’s wrong.” –April 2008

50. Apple Products
“Apple came along and destroyed the fucking world. Youth culture is pretty much non-existent anymore. It’s this whole youth culture which is based on gadgets. It’s like Apple are driving youth culture, not youth culture driving the world.” –Square Mile, March 2015

51. Tony Blair
“I don’t have a crystal ball. I didn’t see he was going to turn into a cunt. I was 30, off me head on drugs, and everyone telling me we were the greatest band since who knows. Then the prime minister invites you round for a glass of wine. It all becomes part of the high. Why not? I thought it would give me mum a laugh. I didn’t go thinking, ‘I endorse this government’s policies in every respect.’ I went to have a look at the curtains.” –Spin, Oct. 2008

52. Litterers
“I like that Singapore thing. You know – you get caught dropping litter you get your head chopped off. I’d have a bin on every street corner. If you’re going to buy a doughnut, eat the fucking doughnut. Don’t have a bite and then chuck it on the floor. Eat the fucking doughnut.” –GQ (U.K.), Oct. 2013

53. Radiohead Hangovers
“I have to say, we look like we’re having more fun. How do you feel the morning after a Radiohead show? I bet you feel better after an Oasis one.” –Spin, Oct. 2008 

54. Middle-Aged Americans
“Culture has stagnated because of conservative middle-aged Americans thinking, ‘Fucking hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we could just fucking do this.’ And it’s like, no it wouldn’t be cool. No.” –Square Mile, March 2015

55. “Cool”
“Cool is not standing in a corner with sunglasses, smoking a cigarette, drinking champagne and quoting Jack Kerouac. Cool is not giving a fuck about what you say or what you wear, cool is not being cool.” –The Irish Post, March 2015

56. Kurt Cobain
“I heard this song called ‘I Hate Myself and I Want to Die’ and I thought, I’m not having that, I cannot have this American rock star who everybody is lauding as a genius with all the money in the world sitting there in his mansion on smack saying that. What d’you want to die for?” –The Guardian, Dec. 2008

57. Courtney Love’s Rowdiness
“I was in a studio in L.A. and we were in the back recording [2005 Oasis album] Don’t Believe the Truth. And reception called us as said, ‘Just to warn you: Courtney Love’s just walked in.’ I knew Liam was running around in reception and I though, ‘Brilliant, that’s a fucking meeting of minds right there.’ I could hear her shouting, ‘Where’s Noel? I gotta meet Noel!’ So I grabbed a cig, exited out the back door and went straight back to the motel and locked the door. I was like, ‘I can’t be dealing with her rowdiness – fucking hell, no way.’ But I applaud her.” –NME, March 2015

58. Fans of Other Bands
“People like Coldplay, but they don’t love them. People like U2, but they don’t love them. But people fucking love Oasis. That’s the way it is. It’s more than the music.” –The Guardian, Dec. 2008

59. Oasis Fans
“I bought a really fucking nice jacket in Japan. Cost me a fortune. And some fucking idiot yesterday… There was a big massive, swirling crush of people, and they had a pen and they just scribbled on my jacket. It’s a beautiful jacket, fucking ruined. Ruined! So that’s the down side of fame.” –Video Interview

60. Keane
“I feel sorry for Keane. No matter how hard they try they’ll always be squares. Even if one of them started injecting heroin into onto his cock people would go, ‘Yeah but your dad was a vicar, good night.'” –NME compendium

61. Billie Joe Armstrong
“I’m not having him. I just don’t like his head.” –NME, 1999

62. The Royal Family
“I wouldn’t wish the royal family dead, just seriously maimed. I’d take a couple legs off.” –Buzzfeed

63. Sum 41
“I’m just glad I lived long enough to hear the shittiest band ever.” –2002

64-65. Blues, Jazz
“Blues is the birth of rock & roll. Jazz is rubbish. Let’s talk about rock & roll.” –Video Interview

66. Airport Security
“When we were growing up nobody would make you walk through an airport naked just to get on an aeroplane.” –Square Mile, March 2015

67. Blur
“The thing that gets me is, people will say that [Blur’s] the Beatles and we’re the Stones. The fact of the matter is, we’re the Beatles and the Stones, and they’re the fucking Monkees.” –CMJ, April 1996
68. NME writers
“If you see an NME journalist at any of the gigs (and let’s face it, they’re pretty easy to spot; they don’t stray far from hospitality, wear God-awful clothes – particularly the shoes – got dreadful hair and that kind of ‘mug me’ look about them), give ’em a clip round the earhole from me and tell ’em to behave.” –NME compendium

69. “Blurred Lines” and Robin Thicke
“Got a bit annoying after the five-millionth time you’ve heard it. I think he’s going to be a one-hit wonder, surely.” –RS, Dec. 2013

70. Miley Cyrus
“I think there’s a trend, unfortunately, in the game, at the minute, of girls desperately trying to be provocative or desperately trying to – in inverted commas – ‘start the debate’ about some old shit or other. Because, really, they’re not very good. Do you know what I mean? We have it in England regularly, and you have it in the States. I feel bad for ’em. It’s like, ‘Write a good song. Don’t make a provocative video – write a good fucking song. That’ll serve you better, I think.’ She was on TV recently, Miley Ray Cyrus, and it was just like, ‘What the fuck is all this about?'” –RS, Dec. 2013

71. Punk Rock
“Whenever there’s a boom there’s always a bit of a lull afterwards. I suppose that avant-garde punk rock will come back for a while, and it will all be shit again, and then guitar music will come back.” –NME compendium

72. Journalists
“Well, they’re just waiting for us to make some monumental fuck-up, and they hope to be around when it happens. We’ve got to get one step ahead of those fellows.” –San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 1998

73. “Like a Rolling Stone” Covers
“I’ve heard a billion covers of ‘Like a Rolling Stone,’ and they’re all shit. You want to know why? Because Bob Dylan ain’t singing it.” –RS, Feb. 2015

74. Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower”
“By its very essence, it’s only a watered-down version of the original.” –RS, Feb. 2015

75. Victoria Beckham
“Why is Posh Beckham writing a fucking book of her memoirs? She can’t even chew chewing gum and walk in a fucking straight line at the same time, let alone write a book.” –NME, 2001

Noel Gallagher

76. Jack White
“Jack White has just done a song for Coca-Cola. End of. He ceases to be in the club. And he looks like Zorro on doughnuts. He’s supposed to be the poster boy for the alternative way of thinking…. I’m not having that, that’s fucking wrong. Particularly Coca-Cola, it’s like doing a fucking gig for McDonald’s.” –NME, December 2005

77. Thom Yorke
“No matter how much you sit there twiddling, going, ‘We’re all doomed’, at the end of the day people will always want to hear you play ‘Creep’. Get over it.” –The Telegraph, Feb. 2007

78. Morning Radio Listeners
“Why have I got to be there at seven in the morning? Who’s listening at fucking seven in the morning? Cunts, that’s who’s.” –GQ (U.K.), Oct. 2013

79. Critics of U2’s The Joshua Tree
“Anybody who doesn’t like The Joshua Tree is a cocksucker, for a start. And anybody who went to see the Zoo TV tour and didn’t think it was the greatest of all time at that time is also a fucking idiot.” –RS, Feb. 2015

80. U2’s Africa Campaigns
“Play ‘One’, shut the fuck up about Africa.” –The Telegraph, Feb. 2007

81. Workaholics
“I don’t like workaholics. Don’t fucking trust them. Why are they working? I don’t trust busy cunts. That’s how wars start: busy fuckers. If terrorism had a weekend off, eventually they’d have a year off. Eventually they’d go, ‘Fuck this – blowing up shit? Football’s on.'” –GQ (U.K.), Oct. 2013

82. Alt-J
“Do you know that track by Alt-J, ‘Left Hand Free’? That is a great track. But Alt-J can fuck right off as far as I’m concerned. It’s a great tune, and I paid 79 pence for it, but I am in no way a fan of Alt-J…. One of them’s got a mustache, and that’s unacceptable.” –RS, Feb. 2015

83. Fiction
“I mean, novels are just a waste of fucking time. I can’t suspend belief in reality…. I just end up thinking, ‘This isn’t fucking true.'” –GQ (U.K.), Oct. 2013

84. Phil Collins
“You don’t have to be great to be successful. Look at Phil Collins.” –Guardian compendium

85. Scissor Sisters
“It’s music for squares, man. They’re huge in England, but there’s no accounting for bad taste as far as the English are concerned.” –Spin, 2006

86. Coldplay
“The Man has taken over the world. All the kids have to look up to now are bland, faceless trainee police officers.” –Guardian compendium

87. Lady Gaga’s Second and Third Albums
“Lady Gaga for me is all about that first album, because my daughter and my wife loved it. I’ve never heard of her since. What does that say? That speaks volumes, to me. She’s another one. In fact, she’s probably doing a shit on top of a boiled egg right now. And somebody will fucking freeze it and call it art.” –RS, Dec. 2013

88. Lady Gaga’s Transience
“Twenty years from now, will we listen to Lady Gaga? No. She might think she is making a stand for the freaks and the weirdos. But they’re not going to have any decent music to play, are they?” –Guardian compendium

89. Bandmates Who Complained About Not Writing Songs
“I never sat down and decreed that suddenly everyone else was allowed to write songs. The door was always open. But for the first 10 years, everyone else was completely uninterested.” –The Observer, June 200590. Damon Albarn
“Damon Albarn is a fucking knobber. And his guitarist – who I thought was all right – seems to think that he’s some intelligent superhuman being, the fucking idiot. I never met the drummer and the bassist, who I first didn’t like and thought he was a cunt, turned out to be quite all right. But I don’t like the music, and I don’t like the singer.” –NY Rock, Dec. 1997

91. Stylists
“I remember once being in a shop in Camden and I bumped into a girl who said she was the stylist for Sleeper. And I was going: ‘But they’re scruffy cunts! Did they ask for that kind of look?’ ‘Oh yeah…’ That’s the lowest – if you cannot dress yourself.” –The Observer, June 2005

92. Success
“But success can ruin people, because you have to chase it, and that can drive you insane.” –Grantland, Sept. 2011

93. Internet Speculators
“I don’t care what the Internet says. 99.9999% of the people on the Internet are dumbasses anyway.” –WSJ, Feb. 2015

94. Album Leakers
“I’ve got a very, very hungry and angry attack cat. He’ll meow the living daylights out of them.” –National Post, Feb. 2015

95. Twitter
“I’d probably be incarcerated if I was on Twitter. I tend to speak my mind a lot…. If it’s on my Twitter account I’d end up in fucking jail.” –National Post, Feb. 2015

96. Mick Jagger
“I regret going to the Caribbean island of Mustique with Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall, Johnny Depp and Kate Moss and trying to write Be Here Now…. [Jagger] was spending too much time trying to get off with Kate Moss to [bother giving advice].” –Spin, Oct. 2008

97. Showmanship
“Stagecraft is beneath me. That guy from Maroon 5 — he needs stagecraft.” –Vogue, March 2015

98. Preachers
“The root of all that is bad in the world. All religious and political preachers.” –GQ (U.K.), Oct. 2013

99. The Bible
“If you’re thinking that anything written in a book 2,000 years old bears any relevance to anything these days…” –GQ (U.K.), Oct. 2013

100. An Oasis Reunion
“[You’d have to pay me] Half a billion. I’d rather it be pounds but I’ll even take shitty dollars.” –National Post, Feb. 2015

101. Oasis
“If you could sum up my career with films, Oasis was a cross between The Wolf of Wall Street and Saving Private Ryan – it was all about the struggle and the chaos.” –Vogue, March 2015

In This Article: Noel Gallagher, Oasis


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