The guitar that split rock band Oasis goes under the hammer in Paris
Later repaired, the destruction of the red Gibson during the French capital’s Rock en Seine festival in 2009 was “a cult moment” in music history, says Jonathan Berg, guitar expert and co-founder of the gallery. Artpeges organizing the auction.
With a starting price of 150,000 euros ($160,000), bidding for the guitar could reach 500,000 euros at the May 17 sale.
A flagship of the 1990s Britpop movement built around the notoriously grumpy Gallagher brothers, Oasis achieved worldwide success, selling 60 million albums and spawning hits like ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’.
The band were due to play Rock en Seine in 2009 towards the end of their year-long Dig Out Your Soul world tour – named after their album of the same name.
But “things had been brewing between the two brothers for a while,” Berg said.
“It exploded backstage, one of Noel’s guitars broke and that led to the band splitting up.”
An eager crowd waiting for the duo to perform were stunned to receive the message that the group was now history.
The dramatic split sparked years of public discussions between the brothers via the press and social media that gradually cooled.
The two have continued to make music since splitting, but have repeatedly ruled out getting Oasis back together.
Noel told AFP in 2015 that working solo was “more rewarding, it’s more fulfilling. I like being in charge of everything.”
“I just write songs and put them together and make an album out of them,” he explained.
After the band split, Noel sought out a luthier to repair his broken instrument, a Gibson ES-355 built in 1960 which he called the best guitar he had ever played.
A London-based French luthier, Philippe Dubreuille, managed to piece it together two years later, and Noel played it again for a time with his band Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds.
But the musician “finally got rid of it, because it reminded him too much of Oasis”, explains Arthur Perault, partner of the gallery’s founder, Arthur Perault.