Noel Gallagher, The Gift That Keeps On Giving

So Noel Gallagher has a new interview out. His interviews are always far more entertaining than his records nowadays, and this one sees him try and pick a fight with One Direction fandom, amongst others.

But this quote takes the biscuit (I’ve left the swears in)

I was being asked about a reunion five weeks after I left the band. It’s a modern phenomenon. It’s a modern disease. All the bands that get back together, all those ones you’ve mentioned [Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin] they didn’t have anybody in the line-up as fucking brilliant as me. What’s the guitarist out of Fleetwood Mac called? Lindsay Buckingham. I can’t remember him setting the world on fire. Jimmy Page? That’s debatable. He’s a good guitarist but I’m not sure how many solo albums he’s fucking made.

Oh dear, oh dear.

The software development industry, or rather the software development recruitment industry, often talks about “Rock star developers”. I have always found the concept utterly ridiculous, and the above quote goes a long way towards demonstratng why. In today’s world, the concept of “Rock Star” is far more about swaggering ego than it is about actual skill.

As a guitar player, Noel Gallagher is at best a mediocre talent who is not fit to tie the shoelaces of Jimmy Page or Lindsay Buckingham. If you read some listicle of supposedly great guitarists and see his name there, it’s as much proof that the list is a load of cobblers as the absence of Tony Iommi or Nile Rogers. And as a songwriter his work is so derivative and backward-looking that if he was a programmer he’s be writing in COBOL.

There was a day when “Rock Stars” represented the top talent of their profession. The larger-than-life personality was part of the package, but the talent had to be there. But the days of Freddy Mercury and Jimi Hendrix had long gone by the time Oasis arrived on the scene, and the worlds of creative artists and media celebrities have gone their seperate ways.

Anyone who talks about “Rock star programmers” is living in the 1970s.

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3 Responses to Noel Gallagher, The Gift That Keeps On Giving

  1. Synthetase says:

    Is Gallagher for real or is he just trolling? Does he think he’s Gilmour or something? I know he had a reputation for being a bit of an ego in the 90s, but that was twenty years ago. You’d think he’d grow up eventually.

    The funny thing about being a brilliant guitarist – often it’s completely irrelevant. I can think of heaps of great songs that any beginner guitarist should be able to knock out after a bit of practice. Just because it’s hard to play doesn’t mean it’s good.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    Even when a song only has four chords, it does help if the guitarist can hit those chords cleanly and have a halfway-decent tone. Which to be fair Gallagher could do.

    As for virtuosity, it’s a means to an end, not an end in itself, one reason I’ve never been as big a Dream Theater fanboy as some people I know.

  3. Synthetase says:

    Oh for sure. I mean, he’s good, but so what? Not the be all and end all of a band or a great song.

    Another thing that I think is worth considering between the sound of pro and amateur guitarists is that pros are usually playing beautiful very high quality instruments that (and I think this is the most important part) are well set-up and maintained. Obviously a good player can make a crappy guitar sound good, but it’s amazing what a great set-up will do for your sound.

    I’m also not a fan of Dream Theater. I don’t like the way they chop and change so abruptly. It’s like they play a couple of bars of this then a couple of bars of that just because they can. There never seems to be any rhyme or reason to it. Contrast that with something like Shine on You Crazy Diamond, where each part of the song bleeds into the next part gradually and almost (I hate to say it) organically. There’s a world of difference.