“It suddenly escalated when a Mercedes in the car park got trashed… it belonged to the hotel manager”: the night Oasis wrecked London’s most rock’n’roll hotel and got a lifetime ban for their efforts

Oasis in 1994
(Image credit: Photo by Michel Linssen/Redferns)

Liam Gallagher did a thrilling job of recreating songs from Oasis’s early era on a recent tour celebrating 30 years of their classic debut Definitely Maybe but one thing he sought not to revisit on the jaunt was the time, 30 years ago this week, that Gallagher and his bandmates trashed London’s Columbia Hotel and got a lifetime ban for their efforts.

The hotel, situated in west London, is no stranger to rock’n’roll behaviour and was long a go-to venue for any musicians looking to get up to some late night shenanigans. Oasis, as Oasis did, took it too far. Their antics, manager Michael Rose told The Independent, were “more than a tolerant hotel can cope with.”

Definitely Maybe producer Owen Morris elaborated on the debacle to Q Magazine. “At the end of the second day of recording when we’d finished Whatever, we went back to the hotel to drink. By six in the morning, it was just me and [guitarist] Bonehead and [friend of the group] Sid left drinking and, for some reason, don’t exactly know who or why, all the furniture in the bar started getting thrown out of the windows – chairs, tables, sofas, pot plant, very archetypal rock’n’roll sad behaviour.”

“It suddenly escalated when a Mercedes car in the car park got trashed by something landing on it,” Morris continued. “The Mercedes belonged to the Columbia hotel manager. The hotel rang the police who arrived in force, but by which time we'd all packed our bags and walked out. No one was hurt and no one got arrested. Oasis's management didn't bat an eyelid and booked everyone into the Hilton Hotel next door, which frankly was a much better hotel.”

Looking back on the incident a couple of years later, Michael Rose was sanguine. “I don’t suppose they’re worried about the Columbia,” he stated. “They’re multi-millionaires now. They can buy their own hotel.”

“We were told, ‘Get out and don’t ever come back’,” reflected Bonehead. “We were happy to get out as the Columbia’s a pit. It’s like somewhere your Granny would star.”

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.