Sunday, December 07, 2008

Simon Hattenstone meets Noel Gallagher

In this weekend's Guardian Weekend magazine, Simon Hattenstone got the kind of interview out of Noel Gallagher that puts most other writers to shame. It's an interview in which Noel stops playing the character of Noel Gallagher, and starts to be quite honest:

What interests me is how he managed to keep going when he thought his best work was behind him. He says maybe he shouldn't have done. After Wonderwall and Don't Look Back In Anger became national anthems, he struggled. Paul Weller gave him the best advice when he told him that one day the songs would stop coming, and he musn't force them. He ignored him. "Between Be Here Now and Don't Believe The Truth, which spans five years, I was putting out records for the sake of it. We shouldn't have bothered, I didn't have anything to write about."

The trouble is nobody told him he was writing rubbish songs. Liam would tell him everything was great because he'd be desperate to get back in the studio and record something new. "A lot of it I listen to and think only an egomaniac would convince himself that that was worth putting on. I say to my manager, 'You told me it was brilliant.' And he goes, 'Well, you don't tell the goose that laid the golden egg that his arse is blocked up, do you?' " If he'd been really brave, he says, he would have called it a day after Definitely Maybe. "Morning Glory is for the squares... It's up there with all those great crossover albums like Thriller, and the greatest-selling albums of all time like Phil Collins and Genesis."

The trouble is, of course, that this admission of having nothing to say does mean the interview still runs out of steam, because apart from hearing the same story - TonyblairBurnagebrownRollsRoycedrugsnotdoingdrugs - again, what does Noel have to offer? It's not like he's one of the great thinkers of our age:
"I've been up all night watching the [US] election. To sit and watch all those states swing to a leftwing politician is amazing enough, but the fact that he's a black man is just mind-blowing. Wow!"

Blimey - Noel found a TV showing Nader win the election. How did he manage that, exactly?

But then Noel has never been good at politics. Let's not forget his early embrace of Blair. Although it seems Noel is starting to forget that:
Did he have any qualms about endorsing Blair? "It wasn't so much an endorsement of him as, get these fuckers out."

Really? Not an endorsement?

"There are seven people in this room tonight who are giving a little bit of hope." He named all five members of the band, the president of their label, and Blair. "If you got anything about you, you go up and shake Tony Blair's hand. Power to the people!"

That's hardly 'lets vote tactically to defeat Major', is it? A rich Democrat suddenly turning into a left-winger, an endorsement suddenly a vote against the incumbent... what Meet The Press does Noel watch, anyway?

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