Author(s): Alan McGee
Alan McGee's role in shaping British musical culture over the past thirty years is hard to overstate. As the founder of Creation Records he brought us the bands that defined an era. A charismatic Glaswegian who partied just as hard as any of the acts on his notoriously hedonistic label, he became an infamous character in the world of music. In Creation Stories he tells his story in depth for the first time, from leaving school at sixteen to setting up the Living Room club in London which showcased many emerging indie bands, from managing the Jesus and Mary Chain to co-founding Creation when he was only twenty-three. His label brought us acts like My Bloody Valentine, House of Love, Ride and, of course, Primal Scream. Embracing acid house, Alan decamped to Manchester and hung out at the Hacienda, and took Creation into the big time with Screamadelica. His drug-induced breakdown, when it came was dramatic. But as he climbed back to sobriety, he oversaw Oasis's rise to become one of the biggest bands in the world. Alan himself becoming one of the figureheads of Britpop. Having sold the label to Sony to stave off bankruptcy, he became disenchanted with the increasingly corporate ethos and left in 1999. Since then he's continued to be an influential figure in the music industry, managing the Libertines and most recently setting up a new label, 359 Music, with Cherry Red.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Alan McGee’s record label Creation not only had the valuable resource of 'indie cred’ in abundance, it also had infamy when it came to rock n’ roll debauchery (and, in the case of bands like The Jesus And Mary Chain, the tendency to incite riots onstage).
While Creation Stories is strikingly candid about these hedonistic times - and searingly honest when they end up taking their toll - the book is most illuminating in describing what happens when one of the label’s signings ends up becoming the biggest band in the country. The arrival of Oasis to Creation meant that, within the space of just over a decade, McGee had gone from putting on indie club nights above a pub to watching a band he managed play to a quarter of a million people at Knebworth. Considering that McGee admits to regularly taking a helicopter from London to Dublin just to have lunch, this memoir is therefore a startling first-hand insight into the excesses of a music industry unrecognisable from today’s. Thomas, Book Grocer Northcote
Alan McGee was the co-founder Creation Records, which he ran from 1983 to 1999, and the Poptones label. After running Poptones for a number of years, in 2013 he set up a new label, 359 Music, in conjunction with Cherry Red. He has also managed bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and the Libertines and is a popular DJ who pulls in the crowds in cities as diverse as Liverpool, Mexico City and Tokyo.