If you're an Oasis fan, James Hargreaves's YouTube channel is highly recommended viewing. A recent video outlines his pretty compelling theory that the band's second album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? and b-sides compilation The Masterplan were written by Noel Gallagher as a pair, documenting a period of the songwriter's life in chronological order, but now he's also taking his fandom to a whole new level.
Not only has Hargreaves assembled a band and gone to the same Coach House Studio in Rockfield, Wales, where Oasis tracked Don't Look Back In Anger and the rest of their second album in the Spring of 1995, he's even using the same Takamine acoustic guitar Noel used on the album.
The drums are even recorded using the same microphones in the same positions as drummer Alan White's kit on the original. The bass amp was set up and mic'd in the booth like original Oasis bassist Guigsy's. The same grand piano Bonehead played was used. Hargreaves even tracked using the same vocal mic as Liam Gallagher in 1995. But what about that guitar?
While the same mics and room were used as Noel in 1995, and the electric lead and rhythm was tracked using a 1984 Epiphone Riviera (a favourite model of Noel's that features in the song's video), the real star of the show is the acoustic guitar.
The Takamine [we believe it to be an FP-460SC model] plays a pretty significant role in Oasis history. It was used by Noel to write and record the band's second album, but he also played it onstage during the band's legendary two-nights at Knebworth in 1996.
The guitar is now owned by that album's recording engineer Nick Brine (he also worked on the follow-up Be Here Now), who brought it to the Coach House Studio for the Hargreaves recording. But the Takamine's value is further enhanced by its role in possibly Oasis's most famous song; it's the Wonderwall guitar.
As Brine tells it in the documentary Oasis - Return To Rockfield posted below, the guitar was gifted to him from Noel at the beginning of the Be Here Now sessions at Abbey Road, following the destruction of Brine's own acoustic guitar there.
"Mine was in a thousand pieces on the control room of Abbey Road floor," recalled Brine. Liam, in an incident would foreshadow a later incident that would contribute to the band's 2009 split, had allegedly smashed Brine's guitar thinking it was Noel's.
The Takamine guitar Noel gave to Brine to replace it is the same one he used to track Wonderwall on the album. It was one of two acoustics Noel used on (What's The Story?) Morning Glory, the other probably an Epiphone Frontier – based on what we can see in the archive footage above.
Noel also used the Takamine to track a version of Wonderwall while sitting on top the wall outside the studio that can be heard at the start of the album, opening the track Hello.
The Takamine FP-460SC could also be the same guitar Noel uses in the famous 1996 MTV Unplugged show, where Noel had to take the lead vocal role for the whole set while Liam heckled him from the balcony. That cutaway guitar also features the Rare Earth soundhole pickup that's fitted to Brine's.
Check out more Oasis videos at the James Hargreaves Guitar YouTube channel.