Noel Gallagher's 1963 Gibson B-45-12 N
Played extensively, if behind the scenes, during the Definitely Maybe and What's The Story? years, a gem of a guitar with a huge warm tone - not to mention one of the earliest of Gibson's B-45-12s.
Not all of Noel's guitars are front-of-house. Sold on his behalf by the Aladdin's Cave that is the New King's Road Vintage Guitar Emporium, with all the signed provenance you need, there's plenty of pictures of Noel with a Guild or Takamine 12-string from those years. But nothing with Noel using this particular guitar, at least to date. Contrast his 1967 Firebird I, which is everywhere in those years. Still, this is a wonderful guitar, with plenty of vintage mojo, and one that needs little imagination to hear Noel sharing the love with acoustic versions of Slide Away, Wonderwall or Whatever.
Hard to believe nowadays, but 12-string guitars fell out of favour in the mid-1930s. Interest revived in the late-50s, with the emergence of a new generation of folk guitarists, including Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, and The Kingston Trio. 12-strings were still considered a devil to play, and even at that time, the first 12-string produced by Gibson was an electric, the EDS-1275 doubleneck (which later took its place in the halls of fame for other reasons - check out our EDS-1275 Hotel California).
So, when it came out in 1961, it was Gibson's first catalogued 12-string acoustic. On introduction, with a cherry sunburst finish, round shoulders & a trapeze tailpiece beyond the bridge.
By 1963, popularity was increasing, and Gibson introduced this Natural version, alongside a single bridge, replacing the tailpiece. Production continued through to 1979.
This one has been played and aged beautifully since then. A really low action makes it as easy to play as a 6-string, and the warmth of tone in the lower strings and the sparkle at the top-end make this a really full-bodied player.
No idea why Noel would want to part with this one, but he's known for a periodic refresh of his collection. This guitar is just what God's Own Guitars is all about - all definitely, no maybes, an iconic guitar, shared.
See & Hear It In Action
Wish You Were Here? Covered By Retrofret Guitars: No 12-String experience would be complete without a run through the intro to Pink Floyd's classic, here on a 1965 model, with exactly the same build and spec as Noel's.
Pete Seeger's "Living In The Country", Arr Leo Kottke: And for the more ambitious, some incredible finger-picking from Andrew Lardner, to an arrangement by Leo Kottke, one of the most prominent folk proponents of the guitar. Amazing stuff!
Sources & Links
Original 1962 Gibson Catalogue from Vintage Guitar And Bass: Introducing the original B-45-12, with round shoulders and prior to the introduction of the square-shouldered, Natural-finish version in 1963.
The Full History of Gibson's B-series Guitars: A lovingly researched and illustrated guide through the years from the deservedly named Unique Guitar Blog.
If you've hired this guitar, please do leave us feedback on the experience. We'd love to hear it and it will help us improve what we do for you and others into the future.