Noel Gallagher once wiped Peter Green’s signature off one of his Les Pauls before buying it – to prove a point to a rude store owner

“Noel spat on his T-shirt and rubbed off the signature, and then said, ‘That’s alright; doesn’t matter now. I’ll take it anyway,’” recalls Bill Ryder-Jones, who now owns the guitar.

Noel Gallagher performing live with a Gibson Les Paul

Credit: Hayley Madden/Redferns

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While Peter Green‘s most famous Les Paul, Greeny – so famous, in fact, that it has its own Wikipedia page – is far and away the most talked about of the late blues guitarist’s collection, there are some ridiculous stories attached to some of his other guitars, too.

In a new interview with Guitar World, The Coral’s Bill Ryder-Jones – who currently owns another of Green’s old Les Pauls – traces the instrument’s origins. As it goes, the guitar, being Peter Green-played, is undoubtedly worth a pretty penny, but it would have been worth more if Noel Gallagher never got his hands on it.

As he explains, Gallagher owned the guitar before him, and purchased it from a rude store owner, only after doing what many guitarists would regard as the unthinkable: he spat on his T-shirt and rubbed off Peter Green’s signature, simply to prove a point to the man who sold it to him.

“Noel saw one of the guitars at the top of the shelf behind the counter, and said, ‘can I have a go with that Les Paul?’,” Ryder-Jones says. “And the guy behind the counter goes, ‘erm… you do know that was Peter Green’s, and it’s signed by Peter Green, right?’”

An issue was immediately made clear: “He didn’t know who Noel was; he somehow had not heard of Oasis.” The salesman went on to reluctantly hand the guitar to Gallagher. However, he couldn’t resist making a bit of a statement.

“Noel spat on his T-shirt and rubbed off the signature,” Ryder says. “And then Noel said, ‘That’s alright; doesn’t matter now. I’ll take it anyway.’

“He purposefully rubbed off Peter Green’s signature to make a point to the guy in the guitar shop – he thought [the guitar shop employee] was being a bit rude, you know?”

Now we weren’t there, but we’re pretty confident the employee would have been left speechless – it’s hard to imagine having the guts to rub off something like a Peter Green signature. But Gallagher had to make his importance known, treating the signature as if it were blemish on the otherwise perfect instrument.

The guitar later came into Ryder-Jones’ possession when Gallagher gave it to him as a gift. “It was given to me by Noel Gallagher in 2006 when I was 23,” Ryder-Jones explains. “The Coral were making a record in Noel’s studio, Wheeler End Studios, and I’d used this Les Paul for most of it, not knowing it was Peter Green’s!”

Of course, Ryder-Jones does sometimes wish his guitar still bore Green’s signature. “I woulda loved for it to have Peter Green’s signature. I probably would have sold it by now, and had a house,” he laughs. “But I’m so very thankful I didn’t do that; it’s a cracking guitar.”


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