Noel and Liam Gallagher: Oasis
Noel and Liam Gallagher’s fiery relationship was an essential part of Oasis’s chemistry, but since the band split following an explosive row in Paris in 2009, the situation has deteriorated even further.
Today it is being widely reported that Liam is pursuing legal action against Noel following Noel’s claims – made during the press conference announcing his High Flying Birds debut solo album – that Liam pulled out of Oasis’s headline performance at the V Festival in 2009 due to a hangover, and that the argument that caused Oasis to split was sparked by Liam wanting to advertise his Pretty Green clothing range in the Oasis tour programme.
However, Liam’s version of events is as follows: “I want Oasis fans and others who were at V to know the truth. I was gutted when I couldn't play the gig because I didn't want to let the fans down.
“But the truth is I had laryngitis, which Noel was made fully aware of that morning, diagnosed by a doctor. Noel also falsely stated the demise of Oasis followed a massive row in which he claimed I demanded to advertise my clothing range Pretty Green in the Oasis tour programme. The truth is there was no such discussion or row between us.”
Liam’s statement, issued to The Sun, concludes: “I am used to being called all sorts of things by Noel and I have in the past said things about him. But what Noel has alleged this time went way beyond rock ‘n’ roll banter and questioned my professionalism.
“I tried to resolve this amicably but have been left with no choice but legal action. All I want is an apology.”
Ironically, Noel seemed in a nostalgic mood when speaking to Absolute Radio yesterday about the band’s split, stating: “I kind of made a snap decision, which I regret.
“We could maybe have all gone off and done other things for a few years. In my own head 2015, the 20 year anniversary of Morning Glory, is looming and we could have maybe come back, made a new album and played that album in its entirety. But there you go.”
Of course, like most brothers, Liam and Noel’s conflicts pre-date their professional relationship, but they certainly had their moments when Oasis were on the rise back in April 1994, as evidenced by this classic interview recording:
The following pages pay tribute to a selection of some of the other most volatile sibling rivalries in rock. Click onwards and take cover…
Ray and Dave Davies: The Kinks
It seems that The Kinks’ two pre-eminent members have been getting on each others’ goats for practically their entire lives, with guitarist Dave telling The Daily Mail last year: “I think Ray has been happy for only three years in his life, and those were the three years before I was born”. Ouch.
The younger Davies (Ray is three years older) also told the same newspaper the tale of his 50th birthday party - the last event at which The Kinks were all together. “Just as I was about to cut the cake, Ray jumped on the table and made a speech about how wonderful he was. He then stamped on the cake.”
For his part, Ray has said that he doesn’t know what his brother’s problem is apart from “pride”, but whatever the root cause of their antipathy, a full Kinks reunion seems highly unlikely.
Don and Phil Everly: The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers were one of the all-time great harmony groups, and songs like Cathy's Clown and Bye Bye Love were a huge influence on such giants as The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel. However, over the years, brothers Don and Phil's relationship has been far from harmonious.
The summer of 1973 saw Phil throw his guitar to the ground during a performance of Cathy's Clown at a gig in California and leave his brother Don to explain to the audience that it was the end of the band. It would be ten years before they would perform together again.
A brief reunion saw the brothers tour with Simon & Garfunkel in 2003. Paul Simon told Rolling Stone: "It was hilarious that the four of us were doing this tour, given our collective histories of squabbling. Don and Phil hadn't seen each other in about three years. They met in the parking lot before the first gig."
Jim and William Reid: The Jesus and Mary Chain
"After each tour we wanted to kill each other,” Jim Reid told the Independent in 2006 of his relationship with brother William, “and after the final tour we tried."
Even in the early days, fighting between vocalist Jim and guitarist William always threatened to derail the Scottish shoegaze heroes. The first time they ever met Creation Records boss Alan McGee at their first ever London gig, the pair descended into a mid-soundcheck brawl. "Alan, who had never met us before, thought we were really nasty because we just started landing at each other" Jim confessed.
The band eventually fell apart when William stormed offstage at a gig in LA, after Jim turned up to play very drunk and unable to sing.
Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill: Kings of Leon
The Kings Of Leon are something of a family affair, consisting as they do of three brothers and a cousin. So it’s little surprise that they’ve come to blows on more than one occasion.
Band tensions resulted in a punch-up backstage at the Brit Awards in 2009, tenuously reported at the time to be caused by annoyance at vocalist Caleb getting more attention from girls than other members of the band. Which strikes us as an entirely legitimate reason to descend into family-fisticuffs.
Later the same year Nathan and Jared rowed publicly with Caleb over royalties, Nathan telling the Daily Star at the time; “I got a call from Caleb going: ‘I’m sitting here writing the next album by myself.’ And we’re like: ‘Oh no, you’re not.’ We ended up going to his house so that when the record comes out he can’t go: ‘Dude, I’m getting 70% of this shit.’”
Just last month the band cancelled a US tour amid more inter-brother feuds. When Caleb walked offstage mid-show at a concert in Houston his brothers offered little in the way of support, Jared instructing the crowd to “fucking hate Caleb, not us."
Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb: The Bee Gees
When Oasis split, another famous set of musical Mancunian siblings couldn’t help but notice the similarities to their own history of bust-ups.
“They’re just copying us,” said Robin in a 2009 interview. “Oh, we’ve been through all that. To be honest, I’m surprised they stayed together for as long as they did and I think they’ve gone as far as they can together.”
”They remind us of ourselves, but on a more physically violent level,” added Barry. “We’ve been there and we came full circle.”
Indeed, the Bee Gees reached meltdown point for the first time in 1969 when they were just 19 and 20 year olds: “We wanted to do this rock opera but it ran into a brick wall,” Barry explains. “Mentally and emotionally, we were exhausted. We had stopped communicating and things went downhill.”
Happily the brothers Gibb put their differences aside years ago, but even in their 60s they aren’t above an ear-bashing from their dear old mum: “To mum we’re still kids,” says Barry. “She’ll say, ‘Why don’t you talk to each other? Just give him a call!’ She can still tell us off. We’re mummy’s boys.”
Perhaps it’s time for Peggy Gallagher to have a word with her boys…