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Music

The guitarist Liam Gallagher claims is “the best since Jimi Hendrix”

In 2019, Liam Gallagher named the man he considered the greatest guitarist since Jimi Hendrix, and no it wasn’t his brother Noel. Nor was it Andy Bell, the precocious musician who followed him from Oasis to Beady Eye, and neither was it Paul Arthurs, the rhythm guitarist who has collaborated closely with Liam on his solo career. If you’re guessing Paul Weller, you’re also wrong, although the Gallagher brothers were happy to acquiesce (Oasis pun) lead duties to the former Jam frontman on (What’s The Story) Morning Glory standout ‘Champagne Supernova’.

No, the man Liam considers the best since Hendrix is John Squire, the formidable musician who led The Stone Roses, creating a new form of guitar in the process. It’s hard to argue with Liam on this one, especially when you consider the swagger of ‘Shoot You Down’, the layered invention of ‘Fool’s Gold’, and the raw purge of ‘Love Spreads’. Squire has performed publicly with Liam on two occasions: The first was at Oasis’ stint at Knebworth in 1996, and the second was more recent, plunging into the backdrop of ‘Champagne Supernova’ as Liam attempted to reclaim his crown at the venue that sealed the legacy for Oasis.

Clearly, Liam thinks very highly of the guitar player, especially when you consider his reluctance to offer praise to his heroes whose surname isn’t Lennon or Lydon (basically, the two men who influenced his vocal style).
Liam and Noel Gallagher credit The Stone Roses with their success, as both The Stone Roses and Oasis grew up in Manchester.

Liam admitted to spying on The Stone Roses, just as Oasis were recording their excellent debut, Definitely Maybe. “I’m on about a proper combine harvester,” Liam said, demonstrating his eagerness to spot the band. “You’ve got to get a ladder up to and it’s miles up. Off we f***ing go, crawling down the road with the big f***ing lights on. It looked bonkers.”

He continued: “We drove it in, turned the lights off and rolled out like something out of The Professionals. We could hear some f***ing bassline and drums. We got caught, we went in and had a little chat.” For those of you who are too young to remember The Professionals (which is probably almost everyone reading this magazine), it was a serial that saw Lewis Collins embark on a series of ludicrous adventures in the name of justice.

Back to The Stone Roses: Squire’s recent efforts with the band did little to show his level of invention, particularly since ‘All For One’ offered him nothing to do but parrot the anodyne nursery rhyme like melody, but his cameo appearance at Liam’s concert appearance showed the raw power that existed behind his fingerprints. With any luck, Squire will return to the studio to cut a solo album, in an effort to demonstrate his power, passion and piercing functions as a guitar player.

It’s unlikely that The Stone Roses will reunite for the third time, so it’s best to remember Squire’s past achievements by listening to the glorious debut and underappreciated sophomore album. But as Liam Gallagher says, he’s one of the best musicians in the world, so it would be a shame not to hear his work on tape again.