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EDITIONS
Monday, 2 December, 2002, 15:56 GMT
Liam rolls with the punches
Liam Gallagher holds up an award during the 2001 NME Carling Awards
Liam Gallagher: Has had several brushes with the law

Oasis singer Liam Gallagher has been arrested in Germany and accused of kicking a policeman during a fight at a hotel.

To some, he is a classic rock and roll hero. To others, he is a childish and arrogant lout whose mouth works faster than his brain.

Whatever your view of Liam Gallagher, there is little doubt that Oasis would not have been as big without his hellraising antics that helped define the band.

Liam Gallagher in 1996
The wild behaviour has been inseparable from the music
His seemingly constant rows with brother and bandmate Noel, the public spats with other stars and tempestuous stage performances have all added to his reputation for wild behaviour.

Music fans have let him get away with it because in a world of manufactured pop, we relish someone with a colourful personality - as long as it stays firmly in the realm of tabloid fantasy.

When the world first heard of Oasis in 1994, the image of the brawling brothers went hand-in-hand with the music.

Before Oasis became household names, Liam and guitarist Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan were locked up on a ferry for causing mayhem in the bar.

'Hooligan'

The incident sparked a row between Liam and Noel during a press interview that was so ferocious and - to many - hilarious that it was later released by the journalist as an unofficial single.

In it, Noel accused Liam of acting like a football hooligan.

Patsy Kensit and Liam Gallagher
The singer was married to Patsy Kensit for three years
Later that year, as the band enjoyed their first top 10 single, another incident saw Liam dragged away from a fight after a fan punched Noel, and the gig descended into a riot.

As the group's stature grew and they became the biggest band in the UK, the bickering and unpredictable behaviour continued.

In 1996, the band scaled new heights by playing to 250,000 people at two outdoor concerts in Knebworth - a record for a single band in the UK.

But two weeks later, their future looked in doubt after Liam pulled out of a US tour at the last minute to go house-hunting with then girlfriend Patsy Kensit.

He only informed his bandmates of his decision 15 minutes before their flight was due to leave, saying: "I can't go and look at houses while I'm in America trying to perform for silly Yanks."

The band went on without him and he flew out later, but Noel was reportedly furious.

Oasis
The band released their fifth album in July
Two weeks into the tour, the tensions reached boiling point when the pair had a huge row that was said to have led to them coming to blows. The remaining dates were scrapped.

Cocaine

On their return, Liam had a brush with the law when he was cautioned for cocaine possession on London's Oxford Street.

But by that evening, he was back at home with Kensit giving journalists the V-sign through his front door.

A group of MPs complained that his lenient treatment could "only bring the law into disrepute".

In 1997, he was cautioned again after a road rage incident in which he leant out of his Mercedes window, grabbed the shirt of a cyclist and pulled him along with the car. The man was unhurt.

Marriage did not appear to mellow Liam, and in 1999 police were called to the couple's home after neighbours complained about screaming and shouting.

It was one of a string of rows, but a baby, Lennon, followed in September 1999. The divorce came 12 months later.

The other tempestuous relationship in Liam's life - with his brother - led to the pair coming to blows again during a European tour in 2000.

Nicole Appleton with Liam Gallagher
Nicole Appleton and Liam have a baby, Gene
Noel left the rest of the band to play without him for all shows outside the UK because he could not stand to travel with them.

"We don't have a relationship outside the band. We are not good at playing happy families," he told a newspaper.

Spiteful

Later that year, Liam walked off stage after being pelted with bottles and cans at a Swiss festival.

The organisers said Liam was "a paranoid idiot" who had repeatedly hurled insults at the crowd and almost incited a riot.

At that year's Brit Awards, Robbie Williams challenged Gallagher to a fight - sparking one of the most spiteful spats in rock.

As Oasis slipped away from the cutting edge of music, Liam stayed in the headlines - although, with a reputation that is now firmly entrenched, it is hard to know how much is blown out of proportion.

In 2001, police dropped an investigation after allegations of an indecent assault on a female member of British Airways staff.

A year later, he was investigated by police again after allegations that he assaulted someone at a London bar.

See also:

02 Dec 02 | Entertainment
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05 Oct 01 | Entertainment
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