Why Oasis Went Up in a “Champagne Supernova”

Oasis Performs in 2005
Oasis performs at San Diego's Coors Amphitheatre in 2005. Photo by FreschWill/Flickr

In late January 1998, one of my friends sent an email inviting me to an Oasis show at the Verizon Theatre in Houston. Nowadays, it’s called the “Verizon Wireless Theatre” so as to keep up with advances in technology.

January 27, 1998 3:08:15 PM CST*

Hey Buddy ol’ pal

I have a couple of tickets to see Oasis in concert this coming Sunday, and I might not have anyone to go with. [My girlfriend] might not be able to make it into town this weekend, so I thought I would run it by you.  I won’t find out until Thurs. if she can go or not.

I was rocking the pager back then, so he paged me to confirm that his girlfriend – now wife – was definitely not going to be using her ticket, and I was golden for the Feb. 1 show.

If you remember Oasis, they were the “it” group of the late ’90s. They were routinely called the “modern day Beatles,” and their sound and popularity seemed to support that.

Now, I haven’t been to the Verizon Theatre since 1998, but back then it was a fairly small venue. It was general admission for this show, and most folks preferred to rub up against one another on the floor. I, on the other hand, found some decent seats on the second level. These seats appealed to my sense of not wanting to get fondled by a bunch of random people while getting beer spilled on me. After all, I was unaware that I should have a change of clothes available when drunk people get more of their beer on others than in their mouths. Despite all of these obstacles to enjoyment, the show was terrific.

Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory?I bought their CDs and would sing along if I heard them on the radio. Then, something weird happened a couple years later. Oasis fell off the face of the Earth. Two of the original band members departed and were quickly replaced. Yes, the band still released a few more albums over the next decade, but those were always met with mixed reviews. Further, whenever I would hear about Oasis again, it was usually because of an alcohol-fueled fight, cancelled shows or some other incident with the band.

By 2009, Noel and Liam Gallagher had finally had enough of one another, and the brothers split – effectively ending the band. At the end of the day, these guys just couldn’t figure out how to work with each other. The end result: failure.

I’m hard-pressed to call Oasis a failure when it sold more than 70 million albums, but I think the label is accurate. Oasis failed because the two leaders couldn’t figure out how to work together.

Capitol HillI think this analogy also can apply to our current Congress. Republicans and Democrats aren’t willing to give an inch to the other party when it comes to legislation. When both houses of Congress are controlled by one party, this isn’t usually a problem, but when Capitol Hill is split, getting anything accomplished is virtually impossible without compromise.

I’m not willing to lay all the blame on the White House for all the problems in America today. Sure, it’s deserving of some blame, but not all. To me, it seems that a Congress that is unwilling to negotiate in good faith on the most important issues is a key ingredient in the recipe of government failure.

Like Oasis, the two parties are in a position where everything the other says is wrong, and the band (or in this case, Congress) will come to a screeching halt. If we’re not already there, we’re pretty dang close.

I’m not sure who I’m voting for in 2012. I like to take my time to decide who has the best ideas and the best plan before voting. However, if I’ve learned anything from Oasis (aside from all the lyrics to Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova), it’s that doing more of the same won’t lead to effective change.

As for Oasis and Congress, I truly hope the two parties in each can work out their differences in a constructive dialogue. Compromise is the only way to ensure the best in music – and legislation.

* Yes, that was the actual e-mail. I have every email sent to me since 1997 in an archive.

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