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In the news - Liam Gallagher: Bad boy can't stop looking back in anger

Kate Watson-Smyth
Saturday 07 March 1998 00:02 GMT

ONCE AGAIN Oasis are in the headlines, and once again it is not for their music, but for their so-called "rock'n'roll behaviour".

Only days after Noel Gallagher launched an attack on Diana, Princess of Wales, his brother Liam has been charged with assault occasioning bodily harm after allegedly head-butting a British fan and breaking his nose. Police said a 19-year-old English fan had been taking a photograph when a member of the band walked up to him, wrapped his arm around him and broke his nose.

Liam Gallagher pleaded not guilty before magistrates, and was released on bail until 9 June with the condition that he provide a $A10,000 surety (pounds 3,906).

It is the latest exploit from the brothers, who have been called the Kray Twins of rock, and by no means the first time that Liam has been in trouble with the police.

John Peel, the Radio 1 DJ, said yesterday that Liam should grow up. "It's old-fashioned rock'n'roll, but it's also a pain in the neck," he said. It seems to be all right for him to behave like that because he's in a successful rock band, but if he did that in the real world he would probably get a kicking. It's really stupid behaviour.

"He should grow up, and he'd probably find he'd enjoy life a lot more if he did."

Steve Penk, of Capital Radio, said: "The guy is a thug. It's a good job he got a lucky break in a pop band, or he would certainly be in the slammer by now."

But Jim Irvin, deputy editor of Mojo magazine, said Gallagher was simply fulfilling his job description.

"There is a tradition of the front man of a band being cocky and arrogant, and that is all he is doing.

"He is not the creative one, and when he is not actually out there performing, he is like a caged tiger. He ends up in a cycle of pent-up aggression and truculence, but one does wonder how long they can go on behaving like that and keep people interested. We must be getting close to saturation point."

Certainly Liam has always appeared to revel in his bad-boy image.

Last July he was cautioned for criminal damage after allegedly grabbing a cyclist's shirt and dragging him alongside the car in which he was a passenger. A few months later Liam was reported to have been ejected by police from a bar in Glasgow Airport, after he began ripping pages out of a book by Sir Paul McCartney.

But this tour has received more bad publicity than is usual - even for Oasis. The band was accused of unruly behaviour during the flight to Australia at the start of the tour, and narrowly escaped an airline ban.

Liam has also been accused of making advances to a young woman in Sydney. Julia Kerrigan said she planned to lodge a complaint, claiming that the singer had followed her from her hotel and had stuffed a used tissue down the front of her shirt, saying: "Here, I have something for you", before running away.

As so often happens when Oasis go on tour, the real reason for them to be there - the music - seems to disappear under an avalanche of rowdy behaviour and complaints.

Ticket sales for last night's concert were reported to be poor, and in Adelaide they attracted only 7,000 fans at pounds 20 a ticket. A week earlier U2 had packed the stadium (capacity 12,000) at pounds 60 a head.

It would seem that the Gallagher master-plan of becoming the "biggest rock band in the world" is in danger of collapsing unless they learn to show a little more respect to their fans.

But whatever the Gallaghers get up to, back at home their mum, Peggy, remains full of pride.

"They will always be my little boys," she says.


At the 1996 Brit Awards, Liam grabbed the gold statuette and said: "Anyone tough enough to take us off the stage can come up now." Referring to the presenter, Chris Evans, he added: "It will take more than Ginger Bollocks to throw us off."

He then turned his back on the audience, bent over and pretended to ram the award up his bottom. He sniffed the end of the statuette as he staggered off stage.


Liam's acceptance of his brother's domination - Noel refers to him only as "our kid" - has caused regular punch-ups between the two. They go days without speaking, even on tour, and Noel once broke a chair over his brother's head. "Our kid can only talk about himself, how many birds he's s**gged and how many tables he's thrown across the bar," said Noel.


"I live for now, not for what happens after I die," said Liam. "I'm going to hell, not heaven. The devil has all the good gear."

In 1996 Liam pulled out of the band's American tour 15 minutes before the plane was due to take off, claiming he had to go house-hunting with his fiancee, Patsy Kensit (left).

"We've got to be out by the weekend. I'm not going around touring the US when I've got nowhere to live. I've got to pack my gear and get a home sorted out. I can't go and look at houses while I'm in America trying to perform for silly f***ing yanks."

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