A legendary model
From 1996 to 2009, Noel Gallagher played on this model of Gibson guitar some of the most famous hits of the group Oasis, co-founded in 1991 with his turbulent younger brother, Liam, on vocals. A firecracker red Gibson is already present in 1997 in the clip Stand By Me, from the album Be Here Now. “It’s the basis of everything,” he will say. My “355” [the Gibson ES-355] (…) is the best guitar of my life. Other rock legends, such as Johnny Marr, of the Smiths, or Eric Clapton, also cherish this model, whose production has never stopped since 1958.
A collateral victim
Nicknamed the Cain and Abel of English rock, Liam and Noel Gallagher have repeatedly come close to breaking up. It will be consumed on August 28, 2009. Behind the scenes of the Rock en Seine festival, in the Hauts-de-Seine, the siblings are raging as usual. During the altercation, Liam smashes Noel’s guitar. A few minutes later, in front of dumbfounded fans, the organizers announced the cancellation of the concert and their European tour. This umpteenth fight, one too many, blew up the Manchester group.
A meticulous restoration
In 2011, two years after the incident, Noel Gallagher, who is now pursuing a solo career, asks Philippe Dubreuille to restore the instrument. This French luthier based in London is a legend, known for having made electric guitars for Robert Smith (The Cure) and Iggy Pop. After a month, the perforated body is repaired, the handle straightened. The instrument resumed service for some time before Noel Gallagher sold it, in May 2017, to a French collector. Who in turn decides to get rid of it through the Artpèges music gallery and the Lemon Auction auction house.
A growth market
The electric guitar would have gone out of fashion, assured the Washington Post in 2017. This emblem of virilism, however, seems to still have a bright future ahead of it. “Since the pandemic, guitar prices have tripled,” confirms Arthur Perault, co-founder of Artpèges. In June 2020, the semi-acoustic used by Kurt Cobain during the recording of the Unplugged concert, in New York, of Nirvana, in 1993, sold for 6 million dollars at Julien’s Auction. A peak that did not reach the sale, in November 2021, of Eric Clapton’s Martin D-45. Used in 1970 during a concert by his group Derek and The Dominos, the guitar was sold for 625,000 dollars (after having been estimated at 300,000 and 500,000 dollars by Julien’s Auctions).