Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan Biography
Paul McGuigan (born 9 May 1971 in Manchester), better known by his nickname, Guigsy (pronounced "Gwigzee"), was one of the four founding members of British rock band Oasis. He was the bass player for Oasis from 1991 to 1999.
A staunch football fan and a life-long supporter of Manchester City F.C., Guigsy had originally shown great promise as a footballer. He would regularly play football at Maine Road, which was also frequented by future band mates Noel Gallagher and Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs. However, a torn knee ligament at 16 years of age put this dream out of the question. Whilst still with Oasis, he and journalist Paolo Hewitt wrote a book about football player Robin Friday, entitled The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw (ISBN 1-85158-909-0). Guigsy was renowned for his encyclopaedic knowledge of football and cricket. In an interview for a BBC Radio 1 documentary in 1995, Guigsy described his favourite magazine as being FourFourTwo.
The Rain and Oasis (1991–1999)
In the late 1980s, Guigsy started a band with his friends, Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Tony McCarroll (drums) and Chris Hutton (lead vocals). They called themselves "The Rain", after the Beatles B-side. When Hutton quit, Guigsy invited his school friend, Liam Gallagher, to join. Gallagher suggested changing the band’s name to Oasis. Liam's brother Noel joined shortly thereafter.
Even in the mid-1990s, with the band's popularity at its zenith, he remained characteristically reserved. Acknowledged as the "Quiet One", there are very few recorded interviews with him at all. Noel Gallagher said of his bass player "I think he's spoken to me, and this is no word of a lie, since I was 17—thirteen years—for a total of about an hour. All he says is sweet as and alright. That's all." Though a competent bassist, Guigsy was often replaced by Noel Gallagher on the bands early recordings. However, there is no sign that the two were on edge as was the case with McCarroll, whom Gallagher would also often replace.
Guigsy, unlike the rest of the band, has only a handful of notable instances of unruly behaviour (including being locked in a cell with Liam on a ferry to the Netherlands, and subsequently being denied access to the country). Paolo Hewitt has suggested he "had a much more valuable role to play as a calming influence." There certainly is evidence to merit this claim. During the recording of their debut album, Definitely Maybe, it was Guigsy who took Noel to a pub after a dispute with Bonehead, filled him with booze and then accompanied him back to the studio where the band then recorded "Slide Away". Additionally, when Liam had to attend a court trial for unruly behaviour in Australia in 1998, it was Guigsy who, amid the chaos and mayhem that descended on the tour, gathered the entire party for a game of football in the local park.
He met Ruth Tolhurst on a plane whilst the band were on their way to Japan for a series of gigs on September 1994. They entered a long-term relationship. Guigsy left Oasis for a short time in 1995 due to nervous exhaustion. Ian Robertson, who was Oasis' tour manager at the time, puts this down—in part—to Liam Gallagher's vitriolic attacks, stating "more than anybody, Liam's venom poison surrounds him." He was replaced by Scott McLeod (who can be seen in the "Wonderwall" video). However, after McLeod's disappearance in the middle of an American tour, Guigsy agreed to return (it later emerged that McLeod had become homesick and left without telling anybody). His first gig back in the band was a legendary show at Blackpool's Empress Ballroom on 2 October 1995 — the same day that (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was released.
When, in 1999, Bonehead quit the band after a drunken row with Noel, it seemed probable that, due to his nervous disposition, it was only a matter of time before Guigsy would follow him; indeed, a few weeks later, he left Oasis for the second and last time. He claimed he wished to spend more time with his family and that he had been toying with the idea of quitting anyway, a proposition he began considering as far back as the Be Here Now tour, during which Ruth (whom he married 4th April 1997 on the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean) gave birth to his first son, Patrick. Though he was present at the birth, within a week he was forced to leave them for the tour. In an interview on August 2001, Guigsy stated: "At the time, I thought, I'll make one more album, play one more world tour and then that will be it. But when Bonehead left, I thought, 'Now's the time.' One original member has gone. They are going to have to get a replacement so the best thing would be to get another at the same time. I always said when it stopped being fun I would quit. And that's what happened." Noel Gallagher claims Guigsy quit by fax, and would avoid phone calls from the Gallaghers in the following weeks. Though he eventually gave up trying to contact him by phone Noel claims to bear no malice towards Guigsy.
Guigsy presently lives outside London with his wife and son. He occasionally performs as a DJ. He declined to appear in the 2004 Definitely Maybe DVD, though a polite letter explaining his reasons for doing so appears as a hidden extra, along with a short segment with pundits giving their views on him.