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Tuesday, August 10, 1999 Published at 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK


Gallagher shrugs off Oasis departure

Paul Arthurs, far left, wants 'to concentrate on other parts of life'

Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher has played down news that guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs has quit the band after eight years.

The 34-year-old musician's split from the rest of the group is thought to have been amicable.

The BBC's Parminder Sidhu explains why Bonehead has left Oasis
But Gallagher tells this week's edition of music paper NME: "It's hardly Paul McCartney leaving the Beatles."

Gallagher also said that Arthurs had actually left the band in March to spend more time with his family.

Arthurs helped found the band's original incarnation, Rain, in 1991.

In a statement issued on Tuesday by Oasis' record company Creation, he said: "After a lot of consideration I have decided to call it a day with Oasis.

"I've had a fantastic eight years in one of the best bands ever to come out of Britain, and now feel I have come to the stage where I'd like to concentrate on other things in my life, outside of the demands of being in a successful rock and roll band.

"I've made some great friends along the way and wish everyone in the band every success with the next album, and intend to enjoy watching the band go on to further success in the coming years.

"I would like to thank the band and everyone around it, especially the fans, for making it so special. See you at the next show!"

Founding member

Arthurs founded Rain in Burnage, Manchester, with drummer Tony McCarroll and bass player Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan.

[ image: Bonehead was one of the founding members of Oasis]
Bonehead was one of the founding members of Oasis
A new singer, Liam Gallagher, who suggested the name Oasis, and the appointment of his brother Noel - a former roadie with Oldham band Inspiral Carpets - gave the group a new direction.

Bonehead's rhythm guitar playing was an integral part of Oasis' powerful sound, but he kept a lower public profile than lead guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher.

The father of two, who lives with his wife Kate in Bowden, Cheshire, had completed work on the band's fourth studio album, which is due out next year.

Drummer sacking

His departure means that only McGuigan remains from the original line-up.

McCarroll was sacked in 1995 and awarded a lump sum of £550,000 earlier this year in an out of court settlement instead of royalties.

Although Noel is now the band's songwriter, Bonehead - who acquired his nickname years ago because of his thinning hair - had helped to write the tracks in the early days.

When they played their first gig as a quintet at the Boardwalk in Manchester in October 1991, their set included Take Me, a song he had co-written with Liam.

Pop star lifestyle

With the fortune he has acquired through playing with the band Arthurs has bought a £500,000 home and expensive cars including an Aston Martin with the number plate S1SAO - which almost reads OASIS when seen through a rear-view mirror.

The band's former tour manager Ian Robertson said: "You couldn't wish to find a more easy-going guy than Bonehead. He was very popular with the rest of the band and the crew.

"He did his job well but there wasn't much asked of him to tell the truth."

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