In the wake of Labour’s triumph in the 1997 UK general election, few images seemed as symbolic of the shift in regimes as this photograph of Tony Blair with Oasis guitarist and vocalist Noel Gallagher at a music industry reception at 10 Downing Street. Oasis were at the peak of their popularity, and their narrative as a “real band” who hit the big time seemed to match up perfectly with Blair’s image as a new kind of politician. But, whoops: it turns out it was all an accident.
British music newspaper NME reports that the just-published diaries of Blair spokesman Alistair Campbell reveal Blair had “no idea” how Gallagher had been invited, and was worried he might “do something crazy,” in that way rock ‘n’ roll stars do. Desperate calls were made to Alan McGee, manager of Oasis’ label Creation Records, for assurances Gallagher would behave; McGee promised, but said it was a good thing they hadn’t invited lead singer Liam instead.
The Guardian has already reported how “Cool Britannia’s” union of Britpop and Labour was a marriage of convenience; this kind of seals that deal, although it does make Oasis seem a bit cooler in retrospect: Noel crashed Tony Blair’s party!
Hey, let’s watch some Oasis videos after the jump.
“(What’s the Story) Morning Glory”
“Champagne Supernova” (Live at Knebworth, 1996)