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.”