Johnny Marr explains why giving Noel Gallagher a guitar inspired him to stop drinking
Johnny Marr once gifted a young Noel Gallagher two guitars. “The chances are I was very hungover when I agreed to that,” he says.
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In an interview with The Guardian, the musician explains that he gifted Gallagher a 1960 Gibson Les Paul guitar previously owned by The Who’s Pete Townshend, which was used by Marr on The Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead.
After Gallagher broke the guitar while trying to hit a stage invader during a show in August 1994, Marr, surprisingly, gave Gallagher another guitar, this time a black 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom.
“Me giving Noel those guitars has become such a big story over the years, but people don’t realise that at the time he wasn’t who he is now. He was just a kid from Burnage,” Marr explains. “I had no idea Oasis were going to go on to such big things. I did it because he was in need, because I was lucky and had lots of guitars, and because I wished someone had done it for me.”
Writer Andy Welch then goes on to question why Marr would easily give over two expensive guitars:
“I must confess it’s why I quit drinking,” he admits. “I wasn’t drunk, but the chances are I was very hungover when I agreed to that.”
Noel Gallagher has recently recalled going guitar shopping with Johnny Marr. Speaking on Gibson TV’s Icons series, Gallagher says that soon after two struck up a friendship in 1993 they travelled to Doncaster’s vintage guitar shop Music Ground.
“I still only know this guy for two days,” Gallagher says of the surreal experience. “He’s like a poster from my bedroom wall that’s come to life. He’s got this black Strat with nine pickups and he’s saying, ‘Do you think it’s a bit mad?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s mad as fuck.’”
You can watch the full interview below: