HE PUT out the first single by The Jesus and Mary Chain, signed the likes of Teenage Fanclub, My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream and has managed the likes of Happy Mondays, Black Grape and Glasvegas. But Alan McGee will always be best known for discovering Oasis.
“I’m just a music fan, although, compared with most, I’ve probably got it right more times than I ever got it wrong,” says the co-founder of the Creation Records label.
“But you learn more from failure,” adds the 58-year-old from East Kilbride. And I was never an overnight success. People might think I was, but I was doing Creation for 10 years before Oasis, you know.”
He’ll be discussing it all on Saturday 30 November at the Fiery Bird in Woking in An Evening with Alan McGee, for which the blurb describes him as “Scottish businessman, music industry executive, record label owner, musician, manager, and The Guardian music blogger”.
“That’s because I’m old and I’ve been around a bit, y’know,” he says.
His success has made him a rich man, but he always had a love of music at the heart of his projects, releasing material by bands like Felt, The Pastels and The Weather Prophets as well as the more famous names.
“I did that because I loved the music,” he says. “I never worried about sales and whether something’s going to sell or not. I just put it out.”
And McGee continues to do his bit for music – even though he could easily just put his feet up. Last year he returned with Creation 23, a label specialising in seven-inch singles while also launching tracks across streaming services.
“It’s just another version of Creation,” he says. “I offered to put my pal’s band’s record out on a new label. I wasn’t going to call it Creation then I was just like, ‘McGee, you own the name, you are Creation’. I didn’t want to call it Creation Records because I thought it was disrespectful to Dick Green and Joe Foster who first founded it with me, so I changed it to Creation23.
“The important thing is that guitar music is good again, but the mainstream media don’t want guitar bands. That’s what I never saw coming. I’m putting these out because I love rock ’n’ roll.”
So, if you want to catch the next Oasis or Primal Scream while they’re young, snapping up singles by the likes of Rubber Jaw, Young Garbo and Juggs on Creation23 would be a good start.
In the meantime, you could pick up some musical tips from the man himself at An Evening With Alan McGee at the Fiery Bird later this month.