Pete Doherty queued for Oasis' Be Here Now album on day of release
21 August 2023, 11:09
"I just wanted to get on the telly," said the Libertines star when he was captured on TV buying the landmark Oasis LP back in 1997. Here's the full story...
Oasis released their third studio album Be Here Now on 21st August 1997.
The album, which followed the success of Definitely Maybe (1994) and (What's The Story) Morning Glory? (1995), was their most highly-anticipated release yet, and saw hundreds of fans queue outside HMV in London's Oxford Street to buy it.
One such fan was an 18-year-old future Libertines rocker Pete Doherty, who of course happened to be interviewed by MTV while eating a croissant.
Peter Doherty queues for Oasis album
In the video, the Libs frontman proves that he's always had a way with words, and when asked to describe the Manchester band in one sentence, responds: "I subscribe to the Umberto Eco view that Noel Gallagher’s a poet and Liam’s a town crier, and I've always seen that as a perfect combination."
Then, when asked to sum them up in one word, he simply responds: "Trousers".
And who was Umberto Eco you ask? An Italian philosopher, critic, novelist and social commentator who was born in 1932 and had absolutely nothing nothing to do with Britpop.
Still... sounds poetic, right?
22 years later, the iconic TV moment was set to take on a whole new dimension when Pete Doherty addressed the clip and his whole reason for being there.
SPOILER ALERT: It wasn't about him being an Oasis mega-fan at the time.
Speaking on Phil Taggart’s Slacker Podcast in 2019, Doherty said: "I wanna clear this one up. I was working in the Trocadero centre demonstrating wind-up frogs and I knew that there was something going on 'cause I saw TV cameras and photographers and there was a giant cardboard cut-out of Noel and Liam, so I went down there.
"I just wanted to get on the telly. Joined the queue, grabbed the cardboard cutouts, was doing these stupid 'please photograph me' things, jumping on the back of an open top bus with these cardboard cut-outs and then the next morning running to the newsagents thinking I was gonna be on the front of the newspaper with these cardboard cut-outs.."
He added: "I wasn’t queuing for an Oasis album. My sister was a big Oasis fan, and I later tuned onto them and decided they were brilliant, but at the time I was far more interested in getting photographed on the back of a bus with a cardboard cut-out."
When asked about his now famous Umberto Eco line, Doherty simply declared: "What a belter!"
Sadly, when one intrepid Oasis fan had the chance to ask Sig. Eco in 2016 about the quote, the author claimed that it was "false" and that "In the musical field I am a dinosaur, I am remain stuck on The Beatles". Boo!
My question to Umberto Eco about Oasis (La mia domanda a Umberto Eco riguardo agli Oasis)