When Oasis split up just before a concert performance at the Rock en Seine Festival in Paris, France, on August 28th, 2009, it came with an appropriately wild story. The Gallagher brothers had been feuding in the days prior to their scheduled appearance, with Noel claiming that the band cancelled an appearance at the V Festival a week before because Liam had a hangover. Liam sued Noel but quickly dropped the case when Noel apologised. Still, the atmosphere was extremely tense as the band flew to Paris.
The final straw was when Noel’s beloved Gibson ES-335 was allegedly “wielded like an axe” by Liam and was subsequently damaged. The guitar had been used extensively in the studio and live since the (What’s the Story) Morning Glory sessions, and appears in the video for ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’.
Reports vary as to what actually happened backstage, with neither Gallagher confirming the exact details: some say Liam smashed the guitar, some say he threw a chair and damaged the guitar, and others say that he simply dropped it. In any case, it was enough for Noel to quit the band on the spot. A message told fans at the Rock en Seine Festivals that Oasis would not perform because of a “backstage altercation”, and hours later, Noel confirmed that he had left the group.
Now, over a decade after the fateful incident, the ES-335 that proved to be the straw that broke Oasis’ back will be going up for sale through the Paris auction house Artpèges. With a starting price sitting at £125,000, the guitar that played a prominent role in Oasis’ demise can now be yours.
The guitar will come with a certificate of authenticity from Noel. The auction house putting the guitar on the block is estimating that it could fetch as much as £400,000. That would put it well outside the realm of the most expensive guitars ever sold, including Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ and Jerry Garcia’s ‘Wolf’, but it’s still a pretty penny for a guitar that broke up one of England’s biggest bands.
Check out the first look of the now-repaired guitar going up for auction down below.