Pretty fan who inspired Oasis’ (What’s the Story) Morning Glory and boozy tale behind cover
It’s 25 years today that Oasis released their career-changing second album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, and it’s very existence is said to be down to one woman
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Prepare to feel very old because today marks 25 years to the day that Oasis released their career-defining album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory.
Chances are you had it on tape – or CD if you had a lucrative paper round – and lived your best teenage life to a soundtrack of Wonderwall, She’s Electric and Don’t Look Back in Anger.
And the story behind the number one album that sold 345,000 copies in the first week alone is a fascinating one, largely because it’s a miracle it was even made in the first place.
Just nine months before Liam and Noel Gallagher recorded it in May 1995, Noel went AWOL after Liam hurled a tambourine at his head during a drug-fuelled gig at Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles.
Noel stormed off stage, took his passport and flew to San Francisco where he contacted a female fan who’d taken his fancy at an earlier gig in the city.
And as far as Noel was concerned, he was done.
The woman in question, Melissa Lim, told the San Francisco Chronicle: “He was very upset. I took him in, fed him and tried to calm him down. He wanted to break up the band.”
“I wasn’t going to let it happen on my watch. I told him, ‘You can’t leave the band – you’re on the verge of something big.’”
As Oasis’ manager and execs frantically searched for the missing rocker, Melissa set nursed him back to health with walks in the park, music and her favourite drink – strawberry lemonade – which ended up as a lyric in the track Talk Tonight, thought to be about his time with Melissa.
Noel eventually decided to rejoin his bandmates but stayed in touch with Melissa, who often answered the phone using a line from the film Bye Bye Birdie – “What’s the story morning glory?”
Things fizzled towards the end of the year when Noel met first wife Meg Matthews but Melissa’s throw away greeting ended up being the name of Oasis’ 22 million-selling album.
For Noel’s part, he claimed in the band’s 2016 documentary Supersonic that his time with Melissa was a blur.
“If I close my eyes now, I can’t even picture the girl,” he said. “I can’t remember her name.”
Meanwhile, there also turned out to be high drama with the album’s cover, which features two unrecognisable men walking past each other on Berwick Street in London’s Soho.
With a shooting cost of £25,000 it was supposed to feature the Gallagher brothers, but true to form, they were supposedly too ‘refreshed’ to make the 5am shoot.
Photographer and graphic designer Brian Cannon told the Big Issue: “It was supposed to be Liam and Noel, but they cried off, I think because they were p*ssed from the night before.”
Brian ended up standing in for one of the brothers and is the man in the beige jacket on the right, while his drinking buddy, DJ Sean Rowley, is the other man. The band’s producer Owen Morris can be seen stood in the distance holding the master tapes over his face.
But what did it all mean? Apparently the question is the answer.
Brian continued: “Noel told me one time about how he was coming from this, which was: ‘There aren’t ever answers, there are only ever more questions.’ All an answer does is provoke more questions, if you like. So that kind of intrigued me. That’s an about-face way of looking at things.
“The idea was that you had these two guys passing in the street. You didn’t have any idea who they were, where they were going, what they were saying to each other.