This morning, my wife and I were listening to a playlist on the newly-relaunched Slacker service that was called "The 35 Biggest Jerks In Music History." Don't ask. Anyway, the feuding Gallagher brothers, Liam and Noel, made it on the list, which just made me want to listen to Oasis all morning.
I am a HUGE Oasis fan. They didn't quite get their due on this side of the pond, but they left an indelible impact on British rock for two decades, and bands ranging from Radiohead to Coldplay to Bastille have trod the ground originally broken by the Gallaghers. When Oasis came out, rock either sounded like Bon Jovi or the Nirvanalikes, but Oasis essentially pioneered the mid-tempo, indy/Brit rock style that pervades the charts to this day. What is most remarkable to me is how they were able to create such a significant and prolific body of great music when, by all accounts, they fought with each other violently and often.
But then, that's the origin of many of the great canonical works of rock, no? Think about how many enduring classics came from these duos: Lennon and McCartney, Townshend and Daltrey, Page and Plant, Jagger and Richards. And yes, Gallagher and Gallagher. You might accuse me of cherry-picking examples here, but you can hardly argue that these duos haven't achieved greatness. Not just "above average," but true greatness.
And none of them got along. These are rock's greatest songwriters, and rock's greatest feuds. Often, they couldn't stand to be in the same room with each other. Their tension leaked into their songs, and their songs have transcended their time and place to become as much a part of our history as Dickens and Picasso. But they hated each other.
Today, we unfriend people who post disagreeable views. We block those for whom we've established a litany of grievances. And Facebook prioritizes our news feed to give us more of what we "like," and less of what we don't. I'm a McCartney guy. And I may have blocked, weeded out. or otherwise become insusceptible to the views of the Lennons with whom I might still create great things.
I'm not saying anything new here, nor am I saying it any better than some other have. But for 2015, I'm resolving to be slightly more disagreeable. Maybe even with you.
And I hope we find greatness together.