Be Here Now, Oasis

Be Here Now

I cannot get enough Oasis!  When I announced on Facebook that I had chosen them as tonight’s blog topic, a friend of mine commented, “Same old, same old.”  “Yeah,” I admitted, “but I love them!” 


Be Here Now opens with a huge song, “D’You Know What I Mean?”  This album is huge in general; it was released in August of 1997, and by the end of the year it had sold eight million copies all over the world.  Also in August of 1997, I had found a new best friend since the guy who had been my BFF for three years dumped me two months earlier.  My Oasis fixation grew alongside my co-dependent relationship with him.  We had drama for the last year of our friendship, and my new BFF was not going to have any of that, so I had to adjust to being in a normal friendship.  But I was a hot mess.


Noel and Liam were hot messes at this time as well, hot messes who had the whole world kissing their arses while they snorted their weight in powder.  But their music continued to be powerful and brilliant and gorgeous.  I played the opening track millions of times.  The helicopters that start the song, the first sounds you hear, those lyrics…holy fucking shitballs! 


Step off the train all alone at dawn

Back into the hole where I was born

The sun in the sky never raised an eye to me

The blood on the tracks and must be mine

The fool on the hill and I feel fine

Don’t look back ’cause you know what you might see


And I never cared that they ripped off The Beatles with lyrics like “The fool on the hill and I feel fine.”  I thought it was ridiculous when Noel said they were better than The Beatles, but I know he knows what bullshit that it; it’s just something you say to get people pissed off.  These guys were a fucking amazing band, and they could do whatever the fuck they wanted.


It must be bizarre to have millions of people think you are a genius.  We worshiped Oasis.  Totally.  And they had fun with that shit.  They knew people thought they actually were gods, that they were extremely important.  They were extremely important to me.  I’m getting chills listening to this album, remembering what was going on back in ’97 when I was playing this album every day.  That’s how I know they are still important. 


Noel was always a little less of a bullshitter than his brother.  And though he did his share of partying and shit, he was always a bit more professional.  And I think he didn’t honestly believe the hype, but he had fun with it anyway.  Here’s what he told the BBC back then about this song:


“I was going to make up some profound statement in the chorus but I couldn’t come up with anything that fitted. Then I just thought ‘All my people right here, right now. D’You Know What I Mean? Yeah, Yeah.’ Very vague, very ambiguous, that’ll do. Look in the mirror and wink while you’re singing it and it’s quite saucy. And I fucking love that line, ‘Coming in a mess, going out in style’. We were a bunch of scruffs from Manchester and we’re going out in a Rolls Royce.”

“Stand By Me” is another great song on here, and it’s especially poignant because of my BFF leaving me earlier that year.  There were many things wrong with our relationship, but we truly did love each other.  We were just young and dumb and didn’t understand life, so we didn’t always act right.  I was very hurt when he left, but I don’t think I was as devastated as I thought I would be.  Still, it was strange not talking to him 12 times a day.  And my new BFF was not a phone person.  But he was a better friend.


Stand by me, nobody knows the way it’s gonna be

Stand by me, nobody knows the way it’s gonna be

Stand by me, nobody knows the way it’s gonna be

Stand by me, nobody knows

Yeah, nobody knows, the way it’s gonna be

If you’re leavin’ will you take me with you?

I’m tired of talkin’ on my phone

There is one thing I can never give you

My heart will never be your home


Every song on Be Here Now really transports me not only to 1997 but fills my soul with joy and more love for Oasis than I had yesterday.  “All Around the World” is a huge song like “D’You Know What I Mean,” and it makes me feel happy.  It really contains the optimism and inspiration I find in so much of Oasis’ music.  The tension leaves my face while this song plays.  I am light.  I am peace.  This is some real hippy shit right here.


‘Cause all around the world, you’ve got to spread the word

Tell them what you heard, we’re gonna make a better day

And all around the world, you’ve got to spread the word

Tell them what you heard, you know it’s gonna be okay

It’s gonna be okay

It’s gonna be okay

It’s gonna be okay

It’s gonna be okay


I’m not sure how I heard these lyrics back then, but they must have helped me move forward after my BFF stopped talking to me.  Like I said, I didn’t really have a big breakdown about it like I thought I would, maybe because there had been drama for so long anyway.  But these lyrics must have planted a seed for my ability to get over it.


As did “It’s Getting’ Better (Man!!).”  Things did get better for me in a lot of ways, though I was still a mess at heart. 


Build something

Build a better place and call it home

Even if it means nothing

You’ll never ever feel that you’re alone

Maybe the songs I sing are wrong

Maybe the dreams I dream are gone

Bring it on home and it won’t be long

It’s getting better, man

And what was that you said to me?

Just say the word and I’ll be free

And while the stars are shining bright

It’s getting better, man

And crashing in upon a wave

It’s coming up beyond the grave

I’ll light a fire in the sky

It’s getting better, man

It’s getting better, man

How can you hear these words and feel like shit?  Believe me, I am not a happy-go-lucky kind of girl.  But sometimes music can turn me into one for a while.  As fucked up as Oasis was with drugs and shit, Noel could write some beautiful and hopeful lyrics.  And maybe that’s why he’s still here.  Liam’s still around, but his voice is not what it was and he’s still an asshole.  Noel grew up.  He said that at one point in all the craziness he decided that music was more important than anything, so he got his shit together and made sure that music was Number One.  The Gallagher boys each have a band that records and performs, and their respective music is good, but it will never be Oasis.  That’s not a slam against anyone.  Sometimes there’s just a chemistry that makes everything work, and that was Oasis.  Sure, their last few albums were not as iconic as the first three, but the music on those still had that thing that made you know it was Oasis as soon as you heard it. 


Anyway, I can relate to Noel’s transformation.  I was a heavy drinker for many years.  That habit started back when I began listening to Oasis—not that I blame them, mind you!  I have always been a writer, and I was always fascinated with excess and extremely talented people who fucked themselves up with drugs and booze and other self-destructive behaviors.  In order to write, I thought, I needed drama, I needed craziness, I needed stories to tell.  I was bored before Oasis came along.  I was bored before my best friend came along.  We always talked about how bored we were.  Then all this drama started, and the boredom turned into bullshit.  And after three years, everything was over.  My best friend was gone, but Oasis was still there.


It’s only been in the past five years that I learned to respect myself and my talents.  After going through another dramatic friendship (not with the one who replaced the first BFF, but another one whom I met in my 30s) and ending it once I realized that I could never keep my shit straight with him in my life, I started figuring out that what I needed to do was write, not party.  It took me a while to really know what I was supposed to be writing, and I feel like I’m still trying to understand exactly what it is I’m good at.  I love confessional-style stuff like this, I love revealing myself in words and tying it into the music that made me who I am.  I wrote a lot of fiction and poetry in my 20s.  Some of it was good, some just alright, some crap.  When I read some of that stuff now, I feel like I was trying too hard.  With this blog, I just listen to the music and write what comes to mind.  And that’s it.  I might do a little research on the music if I want to make a point about something, but most of it is just letting it all flow through my fingertips to the keyboard.  I used to write my novels on a typewriter or with a pen in a notebook.  Poems were usually written in pen, but the more visually stylistic ones were often done on a typewriter.  It took me a long time to warm up to using a computer.  It didn’t feel natural or right.  Truman Capote insultingly called Jack Kerouac a typist because of his Benzedrine-fueled run-on style that could only be achieved through a typewriter.  I tried copying that (only with coffee, not drugs), as many writers have, but I’m no Ti Jean.  Some things I am better at writing out by hand, some through the keyboard.  There’s still something romantic about anything handwritten, maybe because it’s so rare these days.  If only I could blog on paper!


Thank you, Oasis, for unblocking my writer’s constipation.  I am still one of your people, right here, right now. 

3 thoughts on “Be Here Now, Oasis

  1. Great post. One of the best albums of all time. Tied with Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory. Huge sound of electric guitars and orchestras. Very big. Too bad it didn’t went on to sell what should have been sold. 30-40 million copies, instead of 8.


  2. Pingback: “Long Tall Sally”, The Beatles | What I Like Is Sounds

  3. Pingback: 2014: The Year I Looked to the Past for Great Music | What I Like Is Sounds

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