10 odd-couple guitar duos
4th Jun 2014 | 14:15
Pete Doherty & Carl Barât
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.”
James Dean Bradfield & Richey Edwards
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).
Dan & Justin Hawkins
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.
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...
Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones
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.
Keith Richards & Mick Taylor
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.
John 5 & Les Paul
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.”
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.”
Phil Collen & Steve Clark
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...”
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...