Former Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher enjoyed an unlikely musical partnership with the late Burt Bacharach. He also struck up a friendship with Johnny Marr in a remarkable few days in May 1993 that found him shopping for vintage electric guitars with the former Smiths guitarist days before his life would change for good.
Gallagher was speaking to Gibson TV in the latest episode of its Icons YouTube series Gallagher recalled a surreal week in which he met Marr’s brother at the Hacienda, gave him an Oasis demo, before Marr called a couple of days later and they ended up talking guitars and heading to a vintage guitar store in Doncaster. Looking back, Gallagher still can’t quite believe it. He said [via Music Radar]:
“I don’t think anything of it. There are a lot of bullshitters in Manchester, glorious blaggers,” said Gallagher. “Was he Johnny Marr’s brother? Didn’t look anything fucking like him. I’m not even sure I mentioned it to the band, then I remember a couple of days after that coming in and the phone went. ‘Hello, is that Noel?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘It’s Johnny.’ Johnny Marr.”
Gallagher was asked if he expected Marr to call him after listening to the demo. He said:
“People said, ‘Did you think it was a wind-up?’ No. Call that arrogant? Of course he’s gonna fucking call me. My number was on the demo tape,” he said.
The next thing they know, Marr says they should go for a pint and they’re talking guitars and Gallagher recommends a spot called Music Ground, out in Doncaster, where he had been when roadying for Inspiral Carpets. Gallagher says Morris had the loudest, “most annoying” laugh ever but clearly not that annoying; Morris would co-produce and mix Oasis’s first three studio albums.
“We go to Doncaster. We go to Music Ground. [Laughs] This one in Doncaster is mad one. It was a mad vintage guitar shop,” said Gallagher. “They’re not the same anymore. It was like an Aladdin’s Cave. We go in the front door and Johnny says, ‘Okay, right. I need to go in and eat first before I shop.’ So we go to a sandwich shop and he says to me, ‘A bit of advice. Before you go guitar shopping, don’t do it on an empty stomach.’ We went and had a sandwich and a cup of tea in a cafe and then he bought a Stratocaster with fucking nine pickups in it.”