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Noel's 50 but Don't look back in anger; CHAMPAGNE SUPERANNUATED AS MIDDLE AGE MELLOWS STAR.

Byline: Dawn Alford and Lewis Panther

A CHAMPAGNE supernova? Maybe. Cigarettes and alcohol? Definitely. White lines of cocaine? Not likely.

Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher is racing towards the big 5-0 and, outwardly, is still the ultimate rock'n'roll star sneering at the world.

The invites to his cocained-themed 50th birthday are classic Gallagher. They show him mocked up as Colombian coke baron Pablo Escobar from TV series Narcos along with the tagline: "There's no business like blow business."

But some might say reality for the High Flying Birds frontman is different these days.

The rock bad-boy, who boasted of snorting cocaine in a loo reserved for the Queen at a No10 party celebrating Tony Blair's election victory, has cleaned up his act.

He says he has quit the white powder and, these days, is more likely to get his kicks from watching Storage Hunters on daytime TV.

The former wildman can still go on 17-hour drink benders but now has middle-aged complaints such as tinnitus and back pain.

Still, as Noel approaches 50 on May 29 he's not looking back in anger.

Riotous

He said: "I didn't play the game and I still don't play the game. So, I think the 24-year-old me would think, 'He's all right.'

"All the dreams and hopes and impossible, colossal ideas that I had for the group when it started - they happened."

Mancunian Noel, who as a child was often beaten by his alcoholic dad, began refusing to play by the rules from a young age.

The youngster developed a stammer due to the beatings. And at 13 he was given six months' du ' probation for robbing a corner shop.

At 15 he was expelled from school for throwing a bag of flour over a teacher.

With little else to do he began to teach himself the guitar. After a chance meeting with guitarist Graham Lambert of Inspiral Carpets he became a roadie for the band and toured the world.

Back in Manchester he teamed up with younger brother Liam's band and Oasis, one of Britpop's most successful groups, were formed.

They signed a six-album deal and Definitely Maybe became the fastest-selling debut album in British history.

The hits that followed such as Some Might Say, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? Champagne Supernova, Wonderwall and Don't Look Back in Anger became anthems of the 90s.

But tension between Noel and Liam was never far from the surface, culminating in rows, public spats and physical fights using chairs and cricket bats. Their flare-ups were usually followed by cooling.

Fame toll as the abused drugs Critics, peers, off periods and fortune took their brothers drank heavily, and fought with fans, crand each other.

Noel spent extravagacars and a swimming pbeing unable to drive celebrities Kate Moss, Weller. antly, buying pool despite or swim. He named his house in Belsize Park, North London, Supernova Heights.

His two cats were called "Benson" and "Hedges" after his favourite brand of cigarettes.

But after a few years of riotous living Noel began suffering druginduced panic attacks, depression and paranoia. So he quit drugs.

In June 1997, he wed Meg Mathews in Las Vegas. Their daughter Anais was born three years later but within 12 months the marriage was over.

Noel later married Sara MacDonald who he had met in Ibiza. They have two sons, Donovan, nine, and Sonny, six.

Clearly Noel has mellowed over the years. But one thing unlikely to be resolved in a hurry is the rift with Liam, which in 2009 led to Oasis splitting up.

By then the pair had an estimated combined wealth of PS52million but Noel said he "simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer"

He thinks it is unlikely they will re-form. But Noel seems to be coping well with being middle aged.

Muscles

He said: "It ebbs and flows for me. When I'm between tours and have nothing to do I sit around and I become like a dad.

"Sara is constantly on my case. She'll burst in from the gym, jogging on the spot. 'What you doing today? You're watching Storage Hunters?' Me and my lads love that show."

A few years ago Noel had some health problems - glandular fever, tinnitus and pulled muscles in his hand. He said: "Then I went on holiday with the kids. I was getting out of a swimming pool with one of them in my hand and did my back in.

"That was a terrible year. But then again, as soon as I got back to work I was all right."

Noel, who has twice turned down appearing on X Factor, has never been much of a prima donna and still likes to use public transport.

He said: "Recognition falls into three categories - the fans who just scream and shout, people who know who you are but are cool about it and idiots who can ruin your day.

"There was this big fat Cockney g*t who said 'Can I take a photo with me son?' I said 'sure' and put my arm around the boy's shoulder and as I walked away he looked at the photo and just said, 'Yeah, you might want to try smiling mate.' It was so rude.

"Luckily that doesn't happen often. Most people are cool."

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CAPTION(S):

COKE: Noel's 50th invite

ROCK: Noel with wife Sara in 2007

FAMILY: Noel, left, with brothers and mum

BEFORE THE RIFT: Liam and Noel, 1995

PALS: With Paul McCartney and Paul Weller

RAW TALENT : Early shot of the band

BRITPOP: Noel plays with Oasis in 1996
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:May 21, 2017
Words:931
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