Q Magazine - January 1997

Noel and Liam with their Q award

By Andrew Collins

And the Winner Is... Liam Gallagher: give them a column inch ...

I can't stand these photo opportunities, man," complains Liam Gallagher, 24, "losers trying to muscle in on my act, man,'Cos I'm fuckin' handsome, man, and successful and fuckin' rich, and these total losers want a slice of the action, man! Look at this one for a start. . ."

He holds up a Polaroid of himself and brother Noel.

It is the lunchtime prior to the morning after the night before, and Oasis are enjoying the relatively private pleasures of the 1996 Q Awards, Friday November 8. Having picked up the award for Best Act in The World Today (the first time in seven years that U2 and R.E.M.'s duopoly of the honour had been broken), both brothers - despite spurious tabloid speculation about demanding "separate tables" - happily circulated among the 350-plus invited guests, posing for snaps, giving autographs and supping complimentary beer.

Liam, squeaky-haired, cleanshaven and accompanied by Patsy Kensit, had proven co-operative and pally, being first up to participate in a group photo-call for all winners after the 45-minute ceremony, and proceeding to charm the room with a breezy conviviality only interrupted when he broke a Polaroid camera after the film had run out. At 4pm, as selected guests moved down the road to Piceadilly's St James's Club for the invite-only after-show wind down, no-one could've foreseen the unholy spectacle of the younger Gallagher splashed across the Sunday papers ("Liam's Drug Shame", "Oasis Star Held In Drugs Quiz" etc), arrested for suspected cocaine possession.

News Of The World reporter Sean O'Brien and photographer Chris Ball had laid in wait outside the club, brandishing a snap of Liam with a "mystery ravenhaired beauty" taken in the Drum & monkey pub in MaidaVale while Patsy was filming in Wales. After a physical exchange, Liam left the tabloid hound, bruised of ego but with a "great" story, and sped off into the night - a night which ended, after a brief stop-off at Soho's Groucho Club and an extended tipple in a £140 room at the Berners Hotel ("He had two bottles of Beck's in an hour," revealed shocked staff), with the "pop wildman" arrested at 7.25am on Oxford Street and taken to Marylebone Police Station. Having at first mistaken him for a well-dressed, clean-haired tramp, police questioned Liam for 25 minutes, and released him on bail until December 30, having taken away some suspected "chaz" for analysis.

The newspapers were full of it on Sunday and Monday, many taking the moral high ground and cleverly pointing up the irony of Gallagher winning Best Act In The World Today at lunchtime and being an arrested "tramp" the next morning. Those at the Awards would surely prefer to remember him before the News Of The World "stepped in". AndrewCollins.

Q Jan 1997

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