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BOOK REVIEW: OASIS SUPERSONIC – The Complete Authorised and Uncut Interviews curated by Simon Halfon

| 21 March 2022 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: OASIS SUPERSONIC – The Complete Authorised and Uncut Interviews curated by Simon Halfon
Headline Publishing Group
2021
Hardback
Biography
By Shane Pinnegar
89%

Simon Halfon relates how he received a call from Oasis’ Noel Gallagher sometime in 2014 asking if he was busy. An old friend of some twenty years standing, Noel wanted Halfon to produce a short documentary to mark the 2016 twentieth anniversary of the band’s triumphant two night stand at Knebworth.

Halfon, LP cover designer, photographer and whatever else, jumped at the chance, and the resultant documentary film was riveting viewing, allowing fans along for the ride as the band formed, evolved, hit the big time, and ended up in 1996 at the peak of their career – all as told by themselves and those around them. The train wreck sibling animosity between Noel and Liam, fuelled by fame, fortune, drugs and rock n’ roll, only made the film more dynamic and impossible to look away from.

Fast forward these past five years and Halfon has curated much, much more from the 16 hours of interviews undertaken with Noel, 12 with Liam and shorter efforts with others from the Oasis circle for the Supersonic film, and presents them here in all their unmitigated glory.

Employing a Bowie-like cut n’ paste approach, each (roughly) chronological chapter is made up of snippets from the primary players. As an example, page two, headed Growing Up, features reflections from Noel, Mum Peggie, and older brother Paul. Later episodes feature management, road managers, entourage members, producers, bandmates (especially Bonehead, and it’s also worth noting that some ex-band members were not involved in the project at all), road crew and more.

They are practically a comedy double act at times: Noel the taciturn straight man, Liam the mashed up wide boy deliberately prodding the bear, but how can you not relate when the former spouts such words of single-minded wisdom as, “it’s not about the songs, it’s not about the f***ing clothes, the attitude, the headlines, the scandal. It’s about the way we made people feel”, while second banana Liam, referencing his largely immobile, hands-behind-back stage stance, quips, not inaccurately, “I tried dancing once: looked like a f***ing cock.”

In many cases episodes from the film are elaborated on in great deal, occasionally subtly changing the context of those snippets, but more often providing far greater elucidation on events.

It’s a heady, sometimes insane, obviously over the top, wild rock n’ roll ride, and it’s hard to imagine how life for these brothers and those orbiting them might have been different had the excess of their lifestyle not been quite so damned excessive.

As they say, any truth has three versions – person A’s, person B’s, and what actually happened – and there is enough contradiction, name-calling and pure dysfunction for a dozen ‘normal’ families. But then, that’s what we love from our rock stars, isn’t it – being larger than life?

In the Gallagher brothers, we got that and so much more. And the only thing that brought the house of cards tumbling down in the end, which is painfully obvious here, is that although they respected each other’s talent and (mostly) contributions to their glory days, they simply ended up unable to stand each other any more.

 

Category: Book Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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