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Famous Like Me > Singer > G > Liam Gallagher

Profile of Liam Gallagher on Famous Like Me

Name: Liam Gallagher  
Also Know As: Liam Gallagher
Date of Birth: 21st September 1972
Place of Birth: Burnage, England, UK
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Liam Gallagher

William John Paul Gallagher (born September 21, 1972), better known to the world as Liam Gallagher is the vocalist, and sometime tambourine player, of Britpop band Oasis, known for his erratic behaviour, distinctive singing style and abrasive attitude. Although his brother, Noel Gallagher, writes the majority of the band's songs, in recent years Liam has developed himself as a standalone songwriter alongside Noel.

Liam, more than his brother or his band, is one of the most polarising forces in the British music industry. His aggressive, controversial nature has led many to debate whether these are attributes necessary of a true "rock and roll star" or detriments showing Gallagher to be little more than an intensely unpleasant person, who, through chance, has been thrust into the public eye. Despite differing opinions on his antics, Liam was one of the figureheads of the britpop movement in the 1990s and is one of the most recognisable and charismatic characters in British music.


Liam was born in 1972, to Irish parents Thomas and Peggy Gallagher. He is the youngest of three sons, his brothers being Paul (b. 11th January 1966) and Noel (b. 29th May 1967), to whom he is affectionately known as "our kid". When Liam was a child, he was often called "Peggy's shadow" as he regularly clung to his mother. When he was 14, his mother took Liam and his brothers and left Thomas due to his alcoholism.

Paul and Noel often contend that even from a young age, Liam had gone out of his way to annoy people, especially his two brothers. When Liam was around 8 years old, he went through a stage in which he claimed that he hated music and would often insult people walking down the street with guitars in their hands. Noel has made much of the fact that at the point he was becoming quite affluent with guitars. Because they shared a bedroom, they often fought with each other.

Liam on stage during one of Oasis' stadium concerts

At school, Liam met Paul McGuigan, nicknamed Guigsy, and the two became friends. In the early 1990s, Guigsy informed Liam that his band, "The Rain", was in need of a vocalist, and so Liam offered his services. When he joined, Liam suggested the band's name be changed from "The Rain" (which was the name of a Beatles song) to "Oasis"; a name which he apparently saw on an Inspiral Carpets poster in Noel's bedroom. Liam became the band's song writer, along with Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (who was the also band's guitarist). Noel has since openly mocked this writing partnership, whose output was not strong. The band only rehearsed one day a week and didn't get many gigs. It was after one of their rare gigs in 1992, that Noel, having recently returned from touring America as a roadie with the Inspiral Carpets, saw them perform. He was highly critical of his younger brothers band, describing them as "utter shite". However, Noel clearly saw some potential and offered to join if he was given complete control of the band and wrote all of their songs.

Under Noel's guidance, Oasis acquired a record contract and recorded the album Definitely Maybe, which became the fastest selling British debut album ever. Liam was praised for his vocal contributions to the album, and his presence made Oasis a popular live act. The second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was even more successful, becoming the second-best selling album in British history.

Liam smoking in 1995

Liam's life in the eye of the public has not been without its share of controversy. He is regularly involved in scuffles with members of the media, famously trying to drag a photographer into a fight outside the hospital where his girlfriend had just given birth to his son Gene. On December 1, 2002 he broke several of his teeth and sustained injuries to his face after a fight broke in a Munich hotel. He and Oasis drummer Alan White were arrested, but were released without charge. Oasis had to pull out of the shows in Munich and Düsseldorf due to Liam's injuries. He has been embroiled in disputes with celebrities ranging from Robbie Williams and John Lydon to former Oasis drummer Tony McCaroll and his own big brother, Noel.

Throughout the 90s the British tabloid press often ran stories concerning Gallagher's alleged drug use and sexual promiscuity. Various reports for his sexual life surfaced in the media and some female fans complained that after tours, Liam, completely drunk or under the influence of cocaine, tried to verbally and sexually assault them. Liam met his first wife, Patsy Kensit in 1994 and married her on April 7, 1997. A week after the marriage it was revealed he already has a daughter named Molly, born in April 14, 1997, by Kill City vocalist Lisa Moorish. A son, Lennon Francis, was born September 13, 1999. He and Kensit divorced in September 2000, shortly before Noel announced he was to divorce Meg Matthews. Shortly after his divorce was closed, Liam began a relationship with Nicole Appleton of the British bands All Saints and Appleton. His second son, Gene, was born to Appelton on July 3, 2001. Liam's song Songbird, on Oasis' Heathen Chemistry album, is about his love for Nicole.

Upon the departure of Paul Arthurs and Paul McGuigan from Oasis in 1999, Liam became the only remaining original member of the band. They were replaced by Gem Archer and Andy Bell.

In 2004, Gallagher made headlines when it was revealed that he regularly paid £2000 in child support for his son Lennon Francis and daughter Molly. Furthermore, he criticised the father of Lisa Moorish's other child - former Libertines and current Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty - for his alleged lack of child support. The relationship between the two was put under further strain, because of Doherty's heavy heroin habit and latter's visits to Moorish under the influence of the drug.

Public Persona

Liam displaying his legendary arrogance

Oasis appeared on the music scene in 1994 and quickly made a public image for themselves. Whereas other Britpop bands such as Elastica and Manic Street Preachers chose not to play the media 'game', or if they did it was usually seen as un-inspiring, Oasis chose to portray themselves, arguably realistically, as loud mouthed, arrogant and aggressive. This caught the public's imagination. Though the other members of the band took this role lightly, Liam appears to have really taken it to heart, often verbally abusing photographers and members of the public in his Mancunian accent, with his trademark arrogant swagger.

His aggressive character occasionally gets into fights. One of his most high profile disputes was with Robbie Williams. Following Williams split from the boyband, Take That, the two became close friends. However, it was not to last. In his autobiography "Feel", Williams claimed "Liam was really paranoid about everything. It's dreadfully sad for him." The two battled through the press and the dispute finally came to a head when Robbie offered to fight him for a £100,000 charity purse. Liam never agreed. Although there was genuine ill feeling between the two, many thought the dispute to be little more than a publicity stunt. When James Walsh of Starsailor approached Noel to question him about negative comments made in the press, Liam interjected and ended up "squaring up" to Walsh. The two were to feud for some time afterwards. It is alleged that he once tried to crush the testicles of an NME photographer with his bare hands. Public opinion of him is generally more a result of an exaggerated media reports, rather than truthful events.

Liam has also had a habit of making incomprehensible statements. He has in the past claimed that he was possessed by the spirit of John Lennon, even going so far as to suggest he is John Lennon in a re-incarnated form, despite the fact that he was eight years old when Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman. However strange Noel claims to find this obsession, he occasionally indulged him, going so far as to buy him Lennon's "dreamcatcher" necklace.

Unlike many band frontmen, actors and celebrities, Liam and Noel remained quiet about the Iraq War in 2003, never solidly stating whether they were for or against it. They both criticised people who chose to use their celebrity as a soap box for political opinions.

Lead Singer

Liam Gallagher singing on stage

Liam is well known for his original style of singing and his stage presence. Grating, arrogant and often nasal, Liam's voice in the Oasis tracks is recognisable. Noel has hinted that he uses certain words regularly in his songs because of the way Liam pronounces them when he sings. For example, Noel has included the word 'shine' in several songs because Liam famously sings it as 'Sheee-yienn-ah' (probably influenced in part by John Lennon's protracted, nasal phrasing on words such as "shines" in the Beatles song "Rain"). Noel jokes that Liam now does this all the time, imitating Liam phoning him up and asking "D'yer wanna go for a piiiiiint-ah?"

Liam's stage presence has also been both praised and derided, with some commentators stating that he obviously copies the styles of Ian Brown and Richard Ashcroft. He is famed for going against rock and roll tradition by rarely touching the microphone or its stand. Instead, he stands, hands behind back, leaning towards the microphone in the same way that Brown and Ashcroft do. This recognisable singing pose has been suggested by some as a main reason for his distinctive vocals, which have become something of an Oasis trademark. However, whilst this style has been praised for enhancing Liam's singing, it may also be damaging his voice as it is not good for the vocal chords.

The strain on Liam's voice has meant that, while on first three albums Noel would sing lead vocals on no more than one album track, and on some of the B-sides, the later two Oasis albums saw him take a more active role as a lead vocalist in the band. This could be explained as an attempt to preserve Liam’s voice, which has grown more nasal and grating from his years with Oasis. As a tongue-in-cheek reference to this, Liam gives thanks to the orange juice consumed during the Heathen Chemistry sessions on the album sleeve.

This strain hindered his singing and his role in the band. Thus, following the harsh critical reaction of Oasis' performance at Glastonbury 2004, where the pain made him give up while the band were performing "Stop Crying Your Heart Out", he decided to approach noted vocal teacher Lisa Garvey in Autumn 2004 because of his voice deterioration. According to her, Liam was forced to quit cigarettes and raise the microphone stand while singing, because the way he used to lean with his head up put a lot of stress on his larynx. This progress is evident on Oasis' latest album Don't Believe the Truth as well as on the concerts supporting the new record.


Recently Oasis have adopted a more democratic approach to songwriting, giving Liam a chance to showcase his abilities in this particular area, where his sibling Noel had previously been dominant. Liam had some artistic approaches before 1999 having co-wrote a song (titled "Love Me & Leave Me") with former The Stone Roses guitarist and songwriter John Squire for the band The Seahorses' debut album in 1997, but mostly due to his inexperience and lack of necessity of writing songs, his contigent attempts were unsuccessful.

Liam's first successful attempt to produce a song adequate for an Oasis album was "Little James" about his stepson James for 2000's Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. It became clear from subsequent interviews for the album, that Noel still has a lot of input to this song. However, this first song was not received well by fans or critics who mocked its childlike rhyme scheme.

For 2002's Heathen Chemistry, Liam wrote three songs; a ballad, "Born On A Different Cloud", the sneering rocker "Better Man" and the acoustic "Songbird", written for his fiancée Nicole Appleton. Noel claimed that his brother had written five songs for the Heathen Chemistry sessions and from these they took the best three. His tunes, along with the record, received a much warmer reception from fans and high sales, despite receiving bad reviews from critics again.

The latest Oasis album, 2005's Don't Believe the Truth, features a further three of Liam's songs - "The Meaning of Soul", "Love Like A Bomb" and "Guess God Thinks I'm Abel". The second is described by Noel as "Songbird's bigger brother" and a "song for the ladies", while the latter - as a song in the vein of "Born On A Different Cloud", but without the guitars. Another Liam song is the acoustic ballad "Won't Let You Down" - also inspired by Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" - which appeared on their new single "Lyla". Noel stressed that most of the batch of 70 tunes written for the turbulent Don't Believe the Truth sessions were written single-handedly by Liam. Another new Liam-written song will be released as a b-side to the new single, "The Importance Of Being Idle". The song, entitled "Pass Me Down The Wine", features a acoustic-led melody in the vein of "Songbird".

However, in an interview following the release of Don't Believe the Truth, Liam stated that he doesn't believe he is improving as a songwriter and often needs guitarist Gem Archer's assistance. As a consequence, Gem is credited as co-writer of "Love Like A Bomb" on the new album. He commented "Gem helps me out a lot, I struggle with lyrics sometimes... I can't find the words. The words I find hard 'cos I'm fucking thick."

A new Liam song "The Boy With The Blues" will be released in a standalone way like "Whatever" next year. According to Noel, the recording of the tune might be tight with a recording of a new album, both statements contradicting with the one before, when Noel said the band won't release new material before 2007.

Relationship with Noel Gallagher

Liam on the set of the Wonderwall video

The Gallaghers' share a famously turbulent relationship. Their arguments have achieved a status as something of rock legend. One of their arguments was even released on a bootleg single entitled 'wibbling rivalry'. To most observers their arguments seem to pit Noel's calm, complacent wit, logic and canniness against Liam's arrogance, tendency to fly off the handle, penchant for psychedelic non sequiturs (he once ended an on-stage argument by appealing to the crowd for biscuits (but note that 'disco biscuits' may be UK slang for MDMA tablets)) and his vocal dedication to any stand-point, no matter how incorrect or easy to dispel it is. Although Noel often ends up making Liam appear quite stupid in these exchanges, Liam's tendency to shout and swear his brother down appears an equally effective tactic. There are only a handful of known incidents where the two have actually come to blows. During their first American tour in 1994, Liam took to changing the words of Noel's songs so that they were offensive to both Americans and Noel. A confrontation after the show led to a chair being thrown and Noel leaving the tour and heading for Las Vegas. During recording sessions for (What's The Story) Morning Glory?, they had a violent fight involving a cricket bat, when a drunken Liam invited everyone from a local pub back into the studio whilst Noel was trying to work. Whilst on tour in Barcelona in 2000, Oasis were forced to cancel a gig when Alan White's arm seized up, the band spent the night drinking instead. During the night, Liam made a derogatory comment about Noel's then wife Meg Mathews (apparently questioning the legitimacy of Noel's daughter) and Noel punched him, knocking him down. Following this, Noel declared he was quitting touring overseas altogether, and the rest of the band (with guitarist Matt Deighton replacing Noel) played the rest of Oasis' non-UK shows for the rest of the tour..

External Links

  • Oasis net, Official Oasis Website
  • IMDb Entry
  • Oasis Fansite
  • Oasis Fanatic - An online community of Oasis fans
  • Stop Crying Your Heart Out - Oasis Fan Page

Liam Gallagher Noel Gallagher Gem Archer
Andy Bell Zak Starkey

Current line-up: Liam Gallagher – Noel Gallagher – Gem Archer – Andy Bell – Zak Starkey

Ex-members: (Alan White) – (Paul McGuigan) – (Paul Arthurs) – (Tony McCaroll)

Studio Albums: Definitely Maybe, (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, Be Here Now, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, Heathen Chemistry, Don't Believe the Truth

Other Albums: The Masterplan, Familiar to Millions

DVD Releases: Live By The Sea, ...There And Then, Familiar to Millions, Definitely Maybe - The DVD

Related: Britpop – Owen Morris – Alan McGee – Big Brother

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Liam Gallagher