Chapter 8: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Fisticuffs, Handcuffs, and Feuds)

Noel Gallagher, guitarist and songwriter for Oasis, understood what his job was in a way that seems to come instinctively to British musicians: he was a rock star, and that meant he not only had license to engage in inappropriate behavior, people would laud him for it. When I interviewed him, as his band started to break through in the United States, he trashed Blur at the drop of a hat (“They’re just pseudo-middle-class Cockney twats, egotistical confrontational paranoid wimps”), tried to start a new feud with Pearl Jam whenever he got the chance (“I wish Eddie Vedder would get on with it and kill himself”), and told stories about waking up in a Detroit hospital after a 72-hour drug binge.

“People encourage rock stars to act like children,” he said. “You can act like a big spoiled baby and people think it’s great.”

  1. Did a girl really get killed in the studio while the Ohio Players were recording “Love Rollercoaster,” and if you listen close you can hear her screams?
  2. Was there any kind of a feud going on between Steely Dan and the Eagles in the ’70s?
  3. What was the deal with Chuck Berry and those bathroom cameras?
  4. A friend told me that Son of Sam would pump himself up by listening to Hall and Oates–can that be true?
  5. Why were the Kinks banned from playing the United States in the ’60s?
  6. Did George Harrison bet Jimmy Page that he couldn’t write a ballad?
  7. Did Jim Morrison really whip it out in Florida?
  8. What was the feud between Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement? How’d it start?
  9. I heard the Army tried to draft Frank Zappa because he was a pornographer–is that right?
  10. A friend told me Gregg Allman shot himself to avoid serving in Vietnam–is that true?