Pop: What next for the chairmen of the bored?

It was only a matter of time. Having spent the past few years studiously affecting an onstage posture of sullen indifference, Noel Gallagher has finally come out and admitted that he's bored with being a rock star. He's not the first rocker to find that the attractions associated with money, cocaine, groupies and adulation pall after a while. Andy Gill stifles his yawns to see if there are any interesting alternatives for the moody one.

One is tempted to wonder, given the lack of discernible change in his public demeanour throughout his career, whether he has ever been quite as "mad for it" (whatever "it" is) as he has constantly claimed. He looked bored then, he looks bored now and, frankly, the chances that he'll ever look anything other than bored in the foreseeable future must be rated as pretty slim, whatever he decides to do. Noel has mused upon the possibility that he might have to go to the jungle to find himself: a variation on the old music-biz predilection for "getting it together in a country cottage" which rather over-states his self-proclaimed wildness - he's such a fierce chap, presumably, that his real self could only be located in an Amazonian fastness, rather than the Cotswolds.

Even then, what are the chances that this new, junglified Noel would be any less bored than the old St John's Wood model? After all, even Sting, lion-hearted friend of the rainforest, prefers to spend more of his time in an English country mansion than in the depths of the jungle. But then, having paid rather more attention in class than Gallagher major, Sting has managed to develop a few more interests to occupy his time, not all of which involve having sex for six hours at a time without reaching orgasm. He's known to read books, for instance, while all that's known about Noel's home life is that he's got a telly the size of his brother's ego. And whatever the attractions of the box, it still lags way behind the printed word in terms of intellectual stimulation.

That's the problem with being a rock star in the Nineties: nobody expects you to have any other interests beyond those of the average scally. There was a time, not so long ago, when rock stars were expected to be founts of wisdom on practically any subject under the sun, and would spend many a spare hour boning up on the latest trends in literature, philosophy and science purely in order to have a few bons mots to drop into their next round of interviews, or a thought-provoking theme for the upcoming album. What do you think are the chances of Oasis doing a song called "Synchronicity"?

Not, of course, that intelligence or eclectic interests are any guarantee that a rock star might fend off the creeping cancer of boredom. Judging by the recent biography of Paul McCartney, The Beatles were intrepid devourers of avant-garde ideas, art and literature along with their LSD, yet to watch the film of them recording Let It Be at Twickenham Studios is to see a band slowly dying from terminal boredom, unable to arrest their decline into disillusion. And Bob Dylan, at one time the coolest, sharpest man on the planet, with a literary gift both prodigious and acute, became so thoroughly sick and tired of the whole rock-star rigmarole that he seized upon a fortuitous motorbike accident as the pretext for a sustained bout of reclusion, recasting himself as an all-round Jewish paterfamilias at exactly the time that the generation he inspired was adopting wholesale the contrary notion of a counter-culture. By doing so, he managed to retain the impression of being one step ahead of the game, without the impossible burden of having to top Blonde On Blonde. A year or two later, he invented country-rock, the musical equivalent of moving from the city to the country.

The rural option has, since the late Sixties, been a popular way of alleviating or escaping the boredom of life on the road, with many a little village now boasting its own resident retired rocker. For some, it's more than a mere escape: just as the route from professional footballer to horse- racing trainer has become firmly established by such as Mick Channon and Micky Quinn, so too have rock stars like Roger Daltrey and Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson popularised the less obvious link between music and fish- farming. One can see the attraction of rural bliss for the moneyed muso, offering as it does a modicum of peace and quiet while simultaneously feeding the adulation-addicted ego with assumptions of squire-archical superiority. Why, some even learn to ride horses, rather than Range Rovers.

It is, however, vitally important for the bored rocker to have other interests to pursue before turning his or her back on their industry. The alternative, as Kurt Cobain, Billy Mackenzie and other members of the Prozac generation have demonstrated, is just too awful to contemplate, although their disaffection would seem to come from somewhere rather deeper and more troubling than mere boredom. Or so one would hope. In earlier, less nihilistic times, the combination of boredom, despair and tortured integrity which now drives rock stars to suicide used to drive them to religion: one thinks of dog-loving Cat Stevens transformed into Rushdie- hating Yusuf Islam; or of Fleetwood Mac guitarists Jeremy Spencer and Peter Green, the one disappearing mid-tour into the arms of the Children Of God commune, the other so appalled by filthy lucre that he deliberately grew his fingernails too long to fret his guitar.

Perhaps the best role model for young Noel, given the equally boring options outlined above, would be the former woolly-hatted Monkee and Liquid Paper heir Mike Nesmith, the music world's equivalent of a renaissance entrepreneur. Having grown increasingly bored with the Sisyphean task of trying to bring a little musical integrity to The Monkees, he initially lit out for a career as a literate, intelligent country-rocker (an endeavour oxymoronically doomed to failure) before finding intellectual salvation as an alternative media magnate.

Besides devising the original MTV format for Warner Brothers in the late Seventies, Nesmith dramatically altered film industry perceptions by funding and producing movies such as Repo Man and This Is Spinal Tap in the Eighties. His Pacific Arts Corporation now has fingers in all manner of multi-media, interactive pies, enabling Nesmith to indulge his music more as a hobby, treating his first love with the love it deserves, rather than as a bore and a chore.

So if Noel wants to retain his interest in music - and there's little indication that, outside of drugs and football, he has any other interests - he could do worse than take a leaf out of Nesmith's book. If he can be bothered, that is.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Wes Brown is sent-off
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

    £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

    Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

    Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

    £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

    £18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

    Day In a Page

    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower