Alan McGee recently spoke to UK newspaper The Guardian and discussed the Mary Chain, meeting Tony Blair and reveals who were the hardest band he’d ever had to manage.
On the Mary Chains early days he admits to some exaggeration – “I’m a good myth-maker. I was having these nice conversations with journalists, going: “This is truly art as terrorism” – it was a good statement but it was just me talking fucking nonsense. Then at the Electric Ballroom [in London in 1985] it really was a fucking proper riot. I remember leaving in [Rough Trade boss] Geoff Travis’s car, thinking: “What have I done?”
On the infamous Cool Britannia Oasis meeting with Tony Blair at Downing Street he has no regrets ” Noel and I got slagged off for [going to 10 Downing Street], but I don’t regret it. I saw a lot of stuff, how it worked, brilliant insights. Tony Blair, Cherie Blair – Cherie’s the brains, by a mile. Stuff like that. Everybody at the time wanted the Tories out. What we didn’t realise was that we were voting in the Hugo Boss version of the Tories instead of the more conservative tweed suit version that was already in place after Thatcher and the Major years.”
He also briefly managed The Libertines when they released their self-titled second album and reveals they were the hardest to handle
“I couldn’t control it, everything else, I’ve been able to control the scenarios. The Libertines were completely out of control” In his book he tells of an incident in which Carl Barât’ frustrated, and totally out of it smashed his head repeatedly into a marble sink during a Libertines writing session.. “I was instated as the Libertines’ manager and by the Monday or Tuesday we were in Wales, hence that whole bit of madness in the book. That was totally true, [Carl Barât’s] eye was hanging out of his head. There was so much blood it was unbelievable. He managed to do £400-worth of damage to a big marble sink.”
Alan McGee has launched his new label 359 Music earlier this year and started a new club night in Liverpool.
“Creation Stories: Riots, Raves and Running a Label” is out now