2002 Epiphone Union Jack Supernova, as made famous by Noel Gallagher
From the original run of Epiphone Supernovas, this guitar screams "Britpop". Noel Gallagher's original is now a museum piece, so it's models like these that keep the glory days alive.
Anyone who was there then or has seen Oasis in their "What's The Story?" heyday will know and love this guitar. Modified and refinished from an original 1993 Epiphone Sheraton Nashville Series, Noel's guitar stood loud & proud for Britpop. The 1997 - 2005 models may not be entirely faithful reproductions (see below), but up until Epiphone came up with a closer (but still not completely accurate) version in 2014, there was no closer model available. And it has all the punch & bravado of that Oasis sound when you plug it in to play.
See & Hear It In Action
Acquiesce: Back to Maine Road, 1996, the original Supernova in all its Britpop glory. An epic song, a B-side - could have been a single in its own right. And, as far as I know, only one of two Oasis songs released where the brothers sing different parts of the song.
Union Jack Supernova
Red, White & Blue
Number of Frets
Epiphone 57 Classic Humbucker
Epiphone Stop Tailpiece
There's a lot of discussion online about which Epiphone model was the starting point for Noel's Union Jack guitar. For as many years as I've had it, I thought Noel's was painted onto an Epiphone USA 1964 Reissue John Lee Hooker Sheraton I - I'd read that in one of the many threads about Noel's Supernova. Thanks very much to superfan Wayne Watkins (aka memonkeyboy007) for putting me straight late in 2020. It's actually painted onto a 1993 Epiphone Sheraton Nashville Series that Noel owned at the time. Had I done my research properly, I'd have realised that the first John Lee Hooker signatures didn't come out until 2000. Noel may be magical in many ways, but he doesn't have a time machine....
The first production Supernovas were built from 1997 to 2005, in the Samick and Peerless factories in Korea. To be fair, they are not the most faithful reproduction of the unique guitar Noel made famous. A closer if not exact match has been achieved with Epiphone's 2014 Limited Edition Union Jack Sheraton Outfit.
Major differences to Noel's include:
Union Jack finish applied only to top of body
The Union Jack Blue is darker and the White yellows from its Arctic White brilliance under the lacquer
The neck and headstock back & sides are Blue, rather than Arctic White
A stop tailpiece replaces the Frequensator
Classic humbuckers replace mini-humbuckers
All hardware is chrome, rather than gold
The traditional Sheraton-style floral headstock inlay is replaced with a simpler Epiphone oval inlay
More simply, these early models did not base their design on the Nashville Series Sheraton that was the backdrop for the Union Jack finish that immortalised Noel's guitar.
But, but, but... until 2014 there was no closer reproduction available - and this plays like a dream, while looking the part (at least to all but the most devoted of Noel guitar fans).
Sources & Links
Guitarlist Review & Spec: Guitarlist is a hugely valuable and recommended resource for brief reviews and specs of a wide range of guitars. A nice introduction to the range of Supernova models from 1997 - 2000.
Live4Ever Forum Cross-Compare: A really informative discussion about the history of the Noel Gallagher original Supernova and the differences to the production first-run Epiphone Supernova - on Oasis/Gallagher expert site, Live4Ever.
The Painted Player's Supernova Tribute: If you really want to go for it, this is as good as it gets, and some, The Painted Player's Artist Tribute Supernova. Not to mention the many other great tribute guitars they have on offer.