The moment was previously captured in the 2016 rockumentary 'Supersonic' (READ EXCERPT BELOW)
Jesse Valencia's new book "Keep Music Evil: The Brian Jonestown Massacre Story" features many tales centered around the infamous psychedelic rockers...
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On September 26, 1994, during the week Definitely Maybe was released in the USA, The Brian Jonestown Massacre opened for Oasis at the San Francisco stop on the Manchester group’s first American tour. Before the show, Live 105 DJ Aaron Axelsen tricked Blur and Oasis, who were both in town playing shows - and whose ‘Battle of Britpop’ rivalry was already well underway - into doing an interview at the same time. Blur had played the Fillmore with Pulp opening the previous day, while Oasis were to play the Bottom of the Hill that night with the BJM.
It was an exciting time, and after the interview, Aaron took Blur and picked up Jarvis Cocker of Pulp at his hotel, then drove over to Bottom of the Hill to watch Oasis and the BJM play to a capacity crowd. ‘To this day, I still have no idea how everyone fit into my piece-of-crap 1988 broken-down Jetta,’ he later said.
Earlier the same day, Anton [Newcombe] had bumped into journalist Bill Crandall on a Haight Street bus and pleaded with him to come see the show that night. ‘We’re playing with Oasis!’ Anton told him. ‘They’re going to be huge!’
In an article Bill later wrote for BAM magazine featuring what Joel [Gion] once said was the band’s first photo shoot, Anton recalled the sting he experienced when he actually met the Gallagher brothers face-to-face. ‘I met them and they go, Fuck you asshole! Who are you? And I go, Wait a minute. I’ve been telling everybody in the world about your band, and I’m not an asshole.’
‘They wouldn’t even come downstairs to watch us play because they were too busy fuckin’ snorting coke upstairs,’ says Matt [Hollywood], while Jeff [Davied] adds, ‘They were real rude to us. After we got offstage, the Gallagher brothers were just standing there as we walked by, talking shit about us and our set like we weren’t there.
Joel knocked on the door of Oasis’s tour bus earlier that day, and when Noel Gallagher answered, Joel offered him some of the best speed in town. According to Joel, Noel told him, ‘No thanks, we only do cocaine,’ and shut the door, but it turned out only Noel did cocaine, so Joel sold the speed to the rest of Oasis instead, and it ended up nearly breaking up their band.
Oasis weren’t the only ones who were fucked up that night. Dave [Deresinski, the band’s manager] asked Diane [Perry, a friend of the band] to go pick up Jeff and bring him to soundcheck, so Diane went to Jeff’s house in the Lower Haight and found him tearing his place apart in search of some heroin he’d hidden somewhere, only he couldn’t remember where.
‘It took me like forty-five minutes to convince him that we needed to go to Bottom Of The Hill [for] soundcheck,’ Diane says. ‘I called Dave and I said, Jeff isn’t listening to me - you have to come pick him up.’ Dave then came and talked some sense into Jeff, and Diane followed them back to Bottom Of The Hill, but by then the rest of the band had already soundchecked without him.
Still fiending for a fix, Jeff took off, and by the time the BJM’s set began he was nowhere to be found. Anton, infuriated, started rubbing his microphone all over his body and putting it down his pants. Then, at the last moment, Jeff and Dave came back. ‘Jeff comes in and he gets on stage right in the middle of the set, and he played the most amazing guitar solo ever, because he was so high.’ Diane recalls.
Joel remembers Jeff ripping the gnarliest, most heroin-fueled solo ever for ‘Straight Up And Down’ before spending the rest of the show trying to untangle his guitar cord. ‘Jeff was a hopeless mess,’ says Josephine Tavares, who was in the audience that night. ‘He never did get it untangled, the haze he was in. It was awful, and Anton threw a fit. Stopped the music several times. Yelled and threatened his bandmates.’
Oasis closed the show with their traditional cover of The Beatles’ ‘I Am The Walrus.’ As Liam Gallagher sneered into the microphone, Anton turned to Joel and said, ‘See that microphone? The one he’s got his top lip on? I just rubbed that all over my pubes!’
‘That was a great show - one of the best shows they ever played,’ Diane recalls. ‘We hung out with Oasis after, and then we drove up to Sacramento the next day and we saw them play in this little bar, Malarkey’s, that holds, like, three hundred people, and that was amazing.’
‘The next night, Anton’s like, I got us on the bill. We’re opening for them again!’ Jeff recalls. ‘And we drove down...we get to the place...we go in, but we’re not on the bill, and after the first band soundchecked, before anyone has started playing, Anton goes, We’re on. We’re just going to use the first band’s equipment. So we went onstage. No one’s asking anyone. The soundman didn’t realize...Anton tried to pull a fast one on everyone, and didn’t want us to hear him bullshittng. It was soon apparent we weren’t on the bill, and this was just a fucking escapade, but after the fact you have to applaud it!’
‘Oasis was actually really impressed with them, and I know it takes a lot to impress Oasis,’ says Diane, who maintains that in fact she sold the speed to the Manchester band, and that she and Joel had gone over to his friend’s to get it early, on the morning of the Sacramento show at Malarkey’s.
Oasis stayed wide-awake after their adventures with the BJM through San Francisco and Sacramento and then played a disastrous show at their next stop, at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles. The band members started playing different songs throughout the set, and Liam kept disappearing behind the amps to do more lines. Noel got on the mic and said something about it, to which Liam responded by whacking him with his tambourine.
Noel chased him offstage into the dressing room, and then flew back to San Francisco that night with the band’s stash - without telling anyone - to hang out with a girl called Melissa Lim, who he’d met at the show with the BJM. While he was there, he wrote the Oasis classic ‘Talk Tonight,’ which is all about the trip, while Melissa reportedly also inspired Noel’s song ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger.’
Finally, the tour manager located Noel and got him to agree to fly to Las Vegas, where Oasis demoed ‘(It’s Good) To Be Free.’ They decided to give the band another go, and the rest is history. And all because Joel and Diane cranked ‘em up. (Oasis’s side of this story is recounted in the 2016 documentary Supersonic, which I highly recommend.)
The Jonestown’s next gig was at the Foothill Club in Signal Hill, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and then the gig after that was at the Trocadero Transfer in San Francisco. It was the first of many shows they’d play with The Dandy Warhols...