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“Fifty Shades of *****” and much more – Noel Gallagher’s epic rant against fiction


GQ magazine has an interview with Noel Gallagher and the interviewer Danny Wallace covers the subject of books (Wallace is an author with at least four books to his name) with the former Oasis star. I’ve included the book-related portion of the interview below. I think there are 24 swear words in this section alone.

Noel really doesn’t like fiction and probably does not own a short story collection from Alice Munro. I agree with him on Fifty Shades though.

What would be our Bible, then?
I only read factual books. I can’t think of… I mean, novels are just a waste of ****ing (editor – this word rhymes with mucking) time. I can’t suspend belief in reality… I just end up thinking, ‘This isn’t ****ing true.’ I like reading about things that have actually happened. I’m reading this book at the minute – The Kennedy Tapes. It’s all about the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis – I can get into that. Thinking, ‘Wow, this actually****ing happened, they came that close to blowing the world up!’ But… what ****ing winds me up about books…

This is already the best sentence I’ve ever heard.
…is, like… my missus will come in with a book and it will be titled – and there’s a lot of these, you can substitute any word, it’s like a Rubik’s Cube of *** titles – it’ll be entitled The Incontinence Of Elephants. And I’ll say “What’s that book about?” And she’ll say, “Oh it’s about a girl and this load of ****ing nutters…” Right… so  it’s not about elephants, then? Why the **** is it called The Incontinence Of Elephants? Another one: The Tales Of The Clumsy Beekeeper. What’s that about? “Oh it’s about the French Revolution.” Right, **** off. If you’re writing a book about a child who’s locked in a ****ing cupboard during the ****ing Second World War… he’s never seen an elephant. Never mind a ****ing giraffe.

Why are album titles different? Why don’t you call yours Some Songs That I’ve Written, then?
Because people who write and read and review books are ****ing putting themselves a tiny little bit above the rest of us who ****ing make records and write pathetic little songs for a living.

Thing is, I write books, and…
Hey. I know you write books and all that ****. I’m just saying. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize [for fiction]. What a **** (editor – I’m not even hinting at this swear word). Whoever that is, has got to be. I don’t get it. Booksellers, book readers, book writers, book owners – **** all of them.

Book owners?
Yeah. And I own books! But about shit that happened. That’s what I’m talking about. Fifty Shades Of Grey? Fifty shades of ***** (editor – this word rhymes with bright). I’m not having it. Novels… how could you read that? Do you write novels? Don’t tell me you write novels.

I’ve written a novel.
What was it about?

About a guy who sees a girl…
Here we go. Already the ****est (editor – his word rhymes with fittest) book of all time.

…and he finds her camera and…
But you know that doesn’t happen in real life! You know that never happens! Sounds like that film about the yellow Rolls Royce.

What’s the film about the yellow Rolls Royce?
It’s about a yellow Rolls Royce that’s passed down through the ages. Becomes a Nazi staff car. Ends up in a garage in ****ing Chippenham.

It’s not exactly like that.
Please don’t tell me it’s called The Tale Of The ****ing Amateur Beekeeper.

It’s called Squirrels In June.
You ****ing ****. You’re not trying to tell me you called it Squirrels In June, are you?

No, I didn’t call it that. But do you like films?
Yeah, I love films.

But films aren’t real. Do you sit watching them thinking, “Oh, this didn’t happen”?
Well, you’ve presented me with a dilemma there. But, say, my favourite film, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly… now, that might’ve happened. The American Civil War – that happened. I guess I don’t have the chip in the brain that allows me to… like, if I was to read the book of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, I don’t want to have to invent the character Clint Eastwood plays… I want to just watch him.

You want all the work done for you.
Too ****ing right. Novels and the people who write them, like I say, are putting themselves a few rungs above the rest of us. They’re purporting to be intellectual, and… for you to write a book, is for you to say, “I am better than you.” My 68 million records beat your one book.

Your album’s over in 45 minutes.
Yeah! Done! In and out, put the kettle on. There’s just a lot of time devoted to the reviewing and reading of books. More man-hours are devoted to reading about books – not even reading books.

So, as with Hitler, books are out. What would be your idea of hell?
One of your book signings. Or actually, if someone was caught not taking it easy - “You were seen working late on a Friday!” – I would make them listen to Radio 1. Pretty ****ing dreadful. The music is… I can’t get my head round pop music [right now]. It all sounds the same. It’s all on the same frequency. It all seems designed to aggravate my teeth. You know music that makes your teeth hurt? There’s a lack of… soul on Radio 1. I mean, what is going to be the future of chart music? I don’t understand it. It’s when radio stations start focus groups. They literally go outside their building and ask people walking by, “If I played you this song, what would you think?” and all that. Don’t ask the man on the street! He’s a ****! That’s why he’s the man on the street, not the man in the expensive restaurant eating ****ing mini sausages at four in the afternoon! There’s great records coming out this year you’re not going to hear on theradio. Temples. Jagwar Ma. Great stuff, but it’s on a lower level. It’s not on the battleground. You have to be in that world to hear it.

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