10 odd-couple guitar duos

4th Jun 2014 | 14:15

10 odd-couple guitar duos
Pete Doherty & Carl Barât
The Libertines

From mic-sharing homoeroticism to bust-ups so violent they had to be restrained in the studio by bouncers, Pete and Carl were 2000s-indie’s most combustible bromance.

“If you put them in a room together, you got explosive music,” says former Libertines manager Alan McGee, “but there was always the chance someone was going to get hurt.”

10 odd-couple guitar duos
James Dean Bradfield & Richey Edwards
Manic Street Preachers

The early Manic Street Preachers line-up was chalk-and-cheese, with Bradfield cast as the technically impeccable lead man, and Edwards as the arm-slicing iconoclast with chops so rudimentary, the band often didn’t plug him in (when they did, festival soundmen would occasionally turn up the wrong guitarist, causing much cacophony and embarrassment).

10 odd-couple guitar duos
Dan & Justin Hawkins
The Darkness

Two brothers, two wildly different personas, as Justin prances across the Darkness stage in shrink-wrap spandex, while Dan locks down straight-faced rhythm in a sober black T-shirt.

10 odd-couple guitar duos
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

The phrase ‘fire and ice’ springs to mind. Hetfield is the teeth-baring grizzly whose pint you wouldn’t spill, while Hammett is the sort of kohl-eyed human pipecleaner you’d expect the frontman to have bog-flushed at school. Somehow, it works...

10 odd-couple guitar duos
Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones
This unlikely pair teamed up on Everly Brothers tribute album Foreverly

Green Day’s punk prince and the fragrant coffee- table jazz chanteuse donned acoustics for a shared tribute to the Everly Brothers on Foreverly – but Billie Joe didn’t offer to gob into her mouth, as he used to with Mike Dirnt in the early years.

10 odd-couple guitar duos
Keith Richards & Mick Taylor
The Rolling Stones

Taylor seemed an unlikely wingman for the cackling, perma-sozzled Keef of the early 70s. Yet when the pair locked guitars, the planets aligned. Frustratingly, it was over by 1974, and Richards recruited virtual doppelganger, Ronnie Wood.

10 odd-couple guitar duos
John 5 & Les Paul
This man shared the stage with a pensioner.

Admittedly, it was for one night only in 2003 – but it’s hard to imagine the octogenarian’s thoughts when the ghoul-faced rocker climbed onstage with him in New York. “It was another of those situations,” said John 5, “where I turned up with makeup all over my face.”

10 odd-couple guitar duos
Tim Wheeler & Charlotte Hatherley

Ash became roughly 100 per cent more sophisticated when the saucer-eyed, SG-wielding guitarist joined in 1997. “I think a lot of people were a bit upset that I’d joined,” Hatherley told TG. “Loads of female fans were a bit like ‘What the fuck?’, especially as Ash were known as a young teenage boy band.”

10 odd-couple guitar duos
Phil Collen & Steve Clark
Def Leppard

Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott nailed the disparity when he described Colle as “a total, utter technician” and Clark as “the creative one”. Offstage, the so-called terror twins had more in common. “We once rode a tandem bicycle through the lobby of a hotel,” Collen told TG, “and we were sober...”

10 odd-couple guitar duos
Angus & Malcolm Young

It’s hard to believe these men are in the same band, let alone from the same gene pool. There’s Malcolm: rooted to the spot, face etched with concentration. And there’s Angus: writhing, spasming, duckwalking and feigning electrocution. Sometimes, you suspect Young Snr is dying to give his kid brother a clip round the ear and tell him to stop showing off...

Share this Article

Most Popular

Edition: UK
TopView classic version