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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Gallagher attacks US record industry
Oasis
The band have been on tour in the US
Oasis singer Noel Gallagher has slated the US music industry at a time when UK music bosses are keen to promote British talent across the Atlantic.

Oasis are currently continuing a tour of the US, despite a car crash involving Gallagher and two other band members.


The British brand became equated with arrogance and quality

Paul Brindley
Gallagher told the New York Post he would rather not have a US Number One album if it meant having to ingratiate himself with music industry executives.

He said he refused to shake hands with record company bosses, marketing men and radio promoters - or their wives and families who are brought backstage after concerts.

"For our music to be heard, I think that there's just too much politics to be dealing with," he said.

Music embassy

Last month UK music bosses held crisis talks with their American counterparts in New York to try to improve the sales of British bands and artists in the United States.

A report recently showed that British music had gone from commanding 36% of the US charts to a low of just 2%.

Noel Gallagher
Gallagher said there are few decent bands in the US
And Oasis's new album Heathen Chemistry has not done as well as the million-selling What's The Story Morning Glory? six years ago.

The British Government has also been involved in efforts to boost the profile of UK bands across the Atlantic.

Following a series of meetings between industry figures and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, a music industry report recommended the opening of a British music office or "embassy" in New York.

Co-author of the report, Paul Brindley, told BBC News Online he did not think Gallagher's comments would affect the initiative too much.

Shock

But he said many people interviewed for the initiative did cite Oasis as an example of how the British brand had been slightly tarnished by the reputation they created through their behaviour in the US.

"The British brand became equated with arrogance and quality," he said.

Mr Brindley, who played in the band The Sundays, said Gallagher's comments did highlight the culture shock many bands faced when coming face to face with the US music industry.

"The music office could prepare people for what to expect and the kind of cultural behaviour that come as quite a shock," he said.

He added there were only about half a dozen decent bands coming out of America - namely the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the White Stripes, the paper reported.

'Nonsense'

And he described US teenagers as "little immature idiots" who would "buy anything".

"Actually, you shouldn't be able to buy records until you're 16," he said.

"You'll buy any old nonsense. Britney Spears and Eminem. What's all that about?"

As well as accusing Radiohead of selling out in order to make it in the States, Gallagher confirmed his rock star ego had not been battered by the taxi crash.

"We've only got half a dozen good bands in England," he said.

"There's Oasis and there's five Oasis tribute bands."

See also:

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