Former Oasis lead guitarist Noel Gallagher reportedly bought the domain name noelgallagher.com from a squatter in exchange for band memorabilia and free gig tickets.
According to British tabloid The Sun:
The former OASIS star found out recently that a cunning punter in Barcelona had snapped up the domain name noelgallagher.com ten years ago.
And The Chief’s plans to get things in order for his solo career were being held up by the Barca Bandit – because he was demanding a small fortune to hand it back.
Noel took matters into his own hands last week. He paid for the Spaniard to fly to London, put him up in a plush hotel and met him in person to thunder out a deal.
And after some serious haggling, and a few Oasis anecdotes, the chancer changed his demands from tens of thousands of pounds – to some signed memorabilia and guest list action at Noel’s next solo gigs.
I’m not sure how much success Oasis ever had outside of the UK. If you’ve never heard of them: briefly here in the 1990s they were regarded by some (mainly themselves) as the second coming of The Beatles.
I’ve never before seen a domain name story reported in The Sun, a notoriously unreliable but hugely popular Murdoch-owned daily rag, so I did a bit of fact-checking.
Whois history shows that the original registrant was from Madrid, not Barcelona, and that the domain was initially registered in 2002.
While the report claims Gallagher flew the squattter to London to negotiate the deal “last week”, the domain actually seems to have been owned by someone at Oasis’s record label since March 2010.
So either the cybersquatter got a free city break, or The Sun is — shockingly — reporting unreliable celebrity news.
The domain name does not currently resolve.