Noel Gallagher fluffs the guitar solo to Don't Look Back In Anger onstage

Noel Gallagher onstage in 2023
(Image credit: twt_07 / YouTube)

You might think you're well-rehearsed but it will happen to you at some point if you ever play live; you'll totally forget how to play something onstage. The live experience is a funny thing like that – a heady brew of nerves, adrenaline, joy and equipment failure that even the pros can fall victim to sometimes. Yes, even Noel Gallagher with his most famous song.

Noel doesn't always play the Don't Look Back In Anger solo live in his performances with High Flying Birds; for acoustic renditions, guitarist Gem Archer will do it. But for full band versions he's played it countless times and nailed it. Except this time at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on 9 June…

As you'll see above in the clip posted on YouTube by user twt_07 things go south during the second half of the solo, and they never recover. Noel laughs it off, as does bassist Russ Pritchard but we're not here to laugh at the error. It's a reminder that everyone makes mistakes and it's ok. 

By his own admission, Noel doesn't consider himself a lead guitar virtuoso and chosen to delegate some of the guitar solos in High Flying Birds songs to producer and session man Paul Stacey, but his ear for melody made his Oasis solos integral parts of the songs he wrote.

"I do play a few on this new record," Noel told That Pedal Show in the episode below. "But if I'd have got a sessions guy, let's just say I was writing Live Forever tomorrow or Don't Look Back In Anger, and I got one of my mates to play it, it just wouldn't the same. There's something in the simplicity and once you know too much you can't just simplify it."

"I put everything into the melody," he added. "If I've got what I consider to be a finished song and the melody is great the tune is great, you're there. You can't mess it up after that."

Well not completely. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.