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how Oasis sank a Rolls-Royce

ZURICH - In 1997 (the famous "21 August" yesterday), the Oasis album Be Here Now became the fastest-selling album in British history. On the cover was a Rolls-Royce submerged in a swimming pool in true rock ‘n’ roll fashion, but What’s The Story behind it? Here's the photographer who captured the well-known image...

You might think plunging a car into a swimming pool would be simple enough for a rock ‘n’ roll band, especially given the devil-may-care nature of many heroes of the music business.
With the intention of paying homage to Keith Moon’s much-rumoured ‘carpooling’ antics, the crew needed to find an appropriate venue. Stocks House in Hertfordshire, UK, was deemed the most appropriate by famous rock photographer Michael Spencer Jones: “It had a swimming pool directly in front of the house, and from a photographic point of view was ideal”. Perhaps just as importantly, it also had the required history: "In the 70s it played home to Playboy’s UK arm, regularly holding parties of a ‘hedonistic’ nature. Make of that what you will…"
Jones recalls: “The white Rolls-Royce arrived at Stocks the day before the shoot, albeit without an engine”. Although the final cover image embodied the frivolous ‘rock star’ lifestyle, the Rolls had in fact been destined for the scrapheap, before being purchased for £1,000 by the crew.
Otherwise in good condition, the Silver Shadow was lowered into the empty swimming pool – the only change being a new numberplate. “It needed to be replaced with a more interesting number” explains Jones, “and it was suggested that it should be replaced with the number plate 28 IF, as seen on the VW car on the cover of The Beatles’ album Abbey Road. This was too obvious, so I decided it would be better to have the plate from the black police van, which was SYO 724F.”
Once the car was lowered into the pool and the scaffolding arranged to support the car at the ideal angle (with the registration number visible just above the water line), the local fire brigade helped to refill the pool. However, “the oil and dirt from the underside of the Rolls had transferred into the swimming pool, creating a scummy mess on the surface,” Jones reminisces. “With the band's arrival imminent, I began to imagine their reaction. Luckily oil and water don’t mix, so with the aid of a rowing paddle, the top layer of oil and scum was carefully removed from the surface.”
With everything in place – including the band members and associated props – the scene was set to become one of the most iconic images in musical history.

Also, Liam, wearing RayBan red sunglasses from Milan, was on a red & black Milano Lambretta Bella, with the plate "514 FMK" = a backward acronym for "Kate Moss Forever", in a less permanent form than the "Winona Forever" tattoo Johnny Depp (playing slade guitar in Fade In-Out) once had on his forearm.
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Oasisblues copyright © 1994 - 2017

Beady Eye gigography and next tour dates

2000

30 May - Forum, Milan, Italy (the first "Noeless" gig since 1991 when he didn't join Oasis yet)

summer tour without Noel

2003

16 November - Andy Bell unplugged - Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden (bootleg)

2011


3rd & 4th March - Barrowland, Glasgow, Scotland +here and here + bootleg
6th & 7th March - O2 Apollo, Manchester +bootleg 1 +bootleg 2
9th & 10th March - Troxy, London +bootleg 1
13 March - Casino de Paris, Paris, france
14 March - E-Werk, Koln, Germany
16 March - Alcatraz, Milan, Italy +dvd bootleg
18 March - La Riviera, Madrid, Spain +bootleg
19 March - Bikini, Toulouse, france
21 March - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland (bootleg)
22 March - Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium (bootleg)
14 & 15 April - The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland here a bootleg image
17 April - Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
20 April - O2 Academy, Newcastle (a photo here)
23 April - Centre, Newport (photo and bootleg)
30 May - Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany
+a photo here + win tickets here
8 June - Saschall, Firenze, Italy +my story here +bootleg here +win tickets here
11th June - Papillons de Nuit Festival, Saint Lo, france
12 June - Isle of Wight festival +story here and here +interview here +videos here +interview and bootleg here
25th June - Theater of Living Art, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
30 June - Rock Werchter, Belgium (bootleg)
1 July - Main Square Festival, Arras, france +a photo here
7 July - BBK Live Festival, Bilbao, Spain
9 July - Oxegen Festival, Naas, Ireland
26 August - Reading Festival (win tickets) +videos here +review&video here +bootleg here
3 September - AX Hall, Seoul, South Korea
14 September - Twinkle Rock Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
7 October - Atlantico, Rome, Italy +main bootleg here +another bootleg here
+win the concert here
11 October - Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland (postponed)
13 October - Gasometer, Vienna, Austria (postponed)
31 October - Theater Caupolican, Santiago, Chile
2 November - Teatro de Verano Ramon Collazo, Montevideo, Uruguay
3 November - Teatro Colegiales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 November - Personal Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 November - Planeta Terra festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil
12 November - O2 Academy, Sheffield
14 November - O2 Academy, Birmingham
17 November - O2 Academy Brixton, London
2 December - The Warfield, San Francisco, U.S.A.
3 December - Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, U.S.A. +another complete review here +win tickets here and here
5 December - First Avenue, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
6 December - The Rave Ballroon, Milwaukee, U.S.A.
9 December - Terminal 5, New York, U.S.A.
10 December - House of Blues, Boston, U.S.A.

2012

new tour

2013

3 June - Abbey Road, London (acoustic) +bootleg here
7 June - McClusky's, Kingston (album launch acoustic gig)



8 November - Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland

2014

Noel Gallagher solo gigography, and Low Lying Turds tour dates

(although his blinded fans say he's a "new solo artist", it's 20 years he's around and already played "solo" gigs previously (the first one in 1994), with the help of other people of course, as the Unplugged 1996, the gig for Tibet, the tour in 2006-2007, London, Milan, Manchester, Moscow, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Australia, etc.)

2010


25 March - Royal Albert Hall - London

2011


28 November - Alcatraz - Milan, Italy + review here +video bootleg here +audio and video bootleg here

2012


lost interest... even Noel got bored of himself

10 April - Auditorio Banamex - Monterrey, Mexico (cancelled)

END OF THE HIGH FLYING BIRDS

2013

fans leave the gig again and ask for Liam again
..... € 10 = £ 8
 

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