Noel Gallagher On His Split With Liam: 'He Wielded A Guitar At Me Like An Axe'

Dave Hogan/Getty Images
Noel Gallagher

Says the elder Gallagher of the "WWF world wrestling-style" fight that ended Oasis: "He nearly took my face off, that's when I said 'I'm out of here.'"

LONDON - Oasis guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher said Wednesday that his decision to quit the band two years ago was triggered by an aggressive confrontation with his brother Liam.

The brothers have been as famous for their volatile relationship as they have for a string of mesmerising guitar-driven anthems like "Wonderwall," "(What's The Story) Morning Glory?" and "Champagne Supernova."

They are widely regarded as the anchors of the seminal Britpop movement in the 1990s and shared a career in Oasis spanning 18 years.

But their tempestuous relationship ended on August 28, 2009 after a fight which ended just minutes before the band were due to take the stage at Paris' Rock en Seine festival. The concert and remaining tour dates were cancelled and the brothers have not spoken since.

"Our relationship was never as bad as people made out, but it all started to unravel when he [Liam] launched his own [designer clothes] label and he decided that the Oasis tour program was where he could advertise it," Noel said. "I didn't think it was right for him to be flogging his gear to our fans. There was a massive fight about that."

The altercation took on a sort of "WWF world wrestling-style" aspect in Noel's dressing room, the 44-year old musician said. "There was all this to-ing and fro-ing and Liam was doing all the 'f--k you… f--k you… f--k you'," before storming out of the dressing room... On the way out he picked up a plum and he threw it across the dressing room and it smashed against the wall," Gallagher continued.


"Part of me wishes it had ended like that because it would have made a great headline. But then he came back with a guitar and started wielding it like an axe. He was swinging it around and nearly took my face off. That's when I said 'I'm out of here.' I sat in the car and said 'I can't do this anymore.'"

Gallagher revealed he still had regrets about the way the band's story ended and that he still felt bad for letting down fans and quitting before the tour was over. "If I had the time again I would have done the last two gigs. I'd have done that gig and it would have been dreadful and I'd have done the next one and we'd all have gone away, but later we probably could have discussed it."

Speaking about his decision to launch a solo career with his new band High Flying Birds, Gallagher said being out on his own would take some adjustment. "The thing is, I've never seen myself as a frontman," he said. "I can see it being a major pain in the arse... I'd perfected being that guy who stood slightly to the right and played guitar and sang backing vocals. I mean, I f--king mastered being that guy and it took me 18 years to do it."

Of his new music, on which he uses an electric kettle on one track, wine glasses and a saw as percussion, Gallagher said it was a musical departure. "There's no guitar solo till the sixth song, it was pointed out to me. It's different. It's far out. I mean, it has an electric kettle in it for one thing."

The band will begin touring in October after the album is released with dates around the world and in the UK. "It will start off small and if it gets any bigger, it will." 

The band will still play the Oasis favorites fans clamor for, he added. "I don't think I'll be allowed out of the venue if I didn't play the songs you would expect," said Gallagher. "Those songs are like drugs to me. I don't think I'd ever do a gig without playing them."