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A new Oasis conducting a clean and sober tour
NEW YORK (CNN) -- When Oasis burst onto the music scene, lead members Noel and Liam Gallagher strutted around like teens taking Britney Spears to the prom.
They were interviewed by everybody -- TIME, CNN, MTV -- and had a tendency to talk big. "We're bigger than the Beatles," they'd say.
They were, as far as sales went. After coming to prominence with "Definitely Maybe" in 1994, Oasis' 1996 release, "Morning Glory" outsold the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," making it officially the biggest-selling British album of all time.
But their antics -- the braggadocio, reports of heavy substance abuse and public feuds that fueled speculation they were on the verge of a breakup -- rubbed some the wrong way.
Whether Oasis has the staying power of the Beatles has yet to be proven. The band, now touring North America to promote "Standing on the Shoulder of Giants," has two new members -- bassist Gem Archer and guitarist Andy Bell, who replaced Paul McGuigan and Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, respectively. Drummer Alan White has stayed with the band.
So far, the tour has progressed without so much as a shoving match between lead singer Liam Gallagher and his older brother Noel, who head up the band from Manchester, England. They've made music -- not headlines for drug- and alcohol-fueled behavior.
"There's been no friction," reports Noel.
No story, no news coming out of this tour at all? "I'm afraid not," he answers.
It's not the media image Oasis once cultivated.
When Liam Gallagher joined this reporter over pints of ale in New York in 1996, he was in fine form, insisting Oasis was going to capture American hearts like the Beatles did. The interview might have been seen as a testament to Liam's ego at a time when everybody wanted to talk to him:
Liam: "You want me big time."
CNN: "No, not me personally."
Liam: "Not you personally, no, but CNN wants it."
Fast-forward to the present, when Noel shakes his head while watching the replay of the interview with his brother. "Oh, dear, the bad old days," he says.
"I wished I had shared his enthusiasm," he says. "I never likened my band to the Beatles, ever, because I just thought that was just stupid. I may have gone along with it a couple of times in interviews, but that was about it. Liam, on the other hand, you know, is Liam.
Different attitude 'back in the day'
"(We) were the biggest band to come out of England since the Beatles, you know," he continues. "Back in the day there was a tendency to get carried away with that."
Liam, who declined to speak with CNN this time, and Noel have both recently become fathers. That's played a part in their new-found sobriety.
"I had already cleaned up my act two years ago now, before my wife was even pregnant," Noel says. "But I suppose that having a baby daughter gives me a reason now to stay off drugs. Everything's going right. So I mean -- touch wood -- we'll get to the end of this, and that will be the last you'll see of us, and everything will be cool."
Oasis' Gallagher has SIDS scare
Official Oasis site
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