Contrary to what you might think when you see the picture, this Martin is 100% as it left the factory! At the end of the 1950s, Martin noticed their competitors achieving great success in the electric guitars market, so the Nazareth brand decided to look into the subject. But since Martin’s engineers have always been very conservative and their production methods for their acoustic guitars were already well established, they decided to simply add two pickups to their three flagship models, thus creating the 00-18E, D-18E and D-28E.
Each of them was similar to its purely acoustic counterpart, with the not-very-discreet addition of two DeArmond pickups, a three-position toggle switch, and four buttons arranged in line along the top. The problem with the concept was that the idea was not effective from any point of view. In terms of acoustics, adding the pickups to the top dampened the vibrations. And when plugged into an amp, the generous bass notes of the dreadnought had the unfortunate tendency to immediately generate feedback. Add to that the fact that these guitars were much more expensive than their acoustic counterparts, and it is easy to understand why Martin stopped these series in 1963, which means this D-28E comes from the last year of production.
Of course, there is the superb Brazilian rosewood body that adorns all the D-28s of that era. And the particular and individual sound of those series has finally found an audience among lo-fi fans looking for an instrument from off the beaten track. This series had its greatest moment of glory in 1993, when Kurt Cobain played a D-18E at Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged concert. Except for a refretting job, this D-28E has the particularity of never having been modified (while the electronics of many vintage guitars have been updated).
And of course, it belonged to Noel Gallagher. The British legend used this Martin for inspiration before releasing it into the wild, where its round voice had no trouble winning over others.
Group : Oasis
Main guitar : Epiphone Sheraton
An absolute “must-hear” track : Supersonic
It is easy to forget when an excellent band Oasis was, since their music was often overshadowed by their frequent indiscretions and the media coverage of them. And yet, the boys from Manchester wrote some of the most beautiful songs of the 1990s, truly building the soundtrack for a decade in need of idols.
From Supersonic in 1994 to Falling Down in 2009, Oasis sold 75 million albums and topped the charts with eight singles. Of course, their music is deeply inspired by the Beatles of 1966, whose visual style and production approach they replicated. But they took that sound and brought it to their decade, updating it with songs that would probably not have been out of place on Revolver, such as Wonderwall or All Around The World.
As everyone knows, the band was led by the Gallagher brothers, Liam on vocals and Noel on guitar, even if on occasion Noel sings with his very endearing sound, such as on Don’t Look Back In Anger. Like the Kinks before them, the Gallagher brothers failed to keep their family quarrels outside the professional sphere and the group eventually exploded under the weight of them.
Since then, Noel has started his band High Flying Birds with an excellent eponymous first album in 2011, proof that the guitarist still has things to say artistically. He is still touring with that band, which is now on its third album, Who Built The Moon (2017). In terms of his guitar playing, Noel has not changed and remains faithful to the instruments he loved when he played in Oasis: he was firmly associated with an Epiphone Sheraton (the Epiphone version of the ES-335), and has played extensively on several semi-hollows in the same style, including a superb Cherry Red ES-355 and Epiphone Casino. He is also a fan of Les Pauls, in sunburst or other colours, and his favourite acoustic is of course the J-200, an instrument that remains associated with him to this day.