Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Alan McGee: he really does see Oasis as his legacy

In the latest Guardian Music blog, Alan McGee sounds a deathly warning against hype. "Would you put your life in the hands of these rock and roll bands?", he asks, a not-very-subtle reminder of the band he put his pension scheme in the hands of, before kicking off a list of some of the much ballyhooed acts who flopped - Sigue Sigue Sputnik, The Roaring Boys, Orlando. That sort of thing. There's no room, oddly, for references to Baby Amphetamine, or the other bands that he pushed himself despite their lack of saleability; nor the Ozymadiantics of post-Definitely Maybe Oasis - Knebworth, surely, being a working example of what happens when you over-inflate the myth.

What really marks out the piece, though, is the opening, where McGee kicks the shit out of two of his own acts - two of the bands whose presence on the Creation roster made it impossible to dismiss the label as simply the packaging of nutritionally questionable fayre it had become by the time it ended:

Highlights of my hyping skills include talking up Kevin Shields to be a Brian Eno-like genius (when in fact you could put a monkey in the studio with Alan Moulder and make it sonically interesting), and the Boo Radleys, who were signed to demonstrate to Kevin that I could take anybody doing "his" music and make it a number one.

Although, of course, the Boo Radleys never had a number one single, and their number one album was the least Valentines-esque collection they ever turned in. Still, it's nice that McGee is keen to distance himself from the records which we used to have admit gave him a grudging claim to care about music - and it answers the question of how he could have put out Be Here Now with a straight face. It's the sound of calculators.

And his view of the current music scene is equally odd:
Now the internet is such well-trodden territory, death by blog-hype is becoming de rigueur. Both Beirut and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah had been called the indie second coming, and enforced an A&R policy of "Sign anything above an eight in Pitchfork" that caused certain bands to be picked up and dispensed with very quickly. Beirut's poor live performances were his death knell while Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's second album was (perhaps unfairly) dismissed.

Beirut, surely, is something of an acquired taste - Zach was never going to be a David Hamilton hotshot or play the lottery show, and it seems a little odd for McGee to be sniffly dismissing him after one album - not to mention that 4AD hardly oversold that one.

And who called Clap Your Hands Say Yeah "the indie second coming" anyway? Not to mention that per McGee's opening gambit, I might not put my life in their hands, but I'd certainly bet on them giving me a better evening or two than anything on Poptones.

The comments box on the blog has been overflowing with responses, but the sweetest of them all is a simple link to this, on YouTube. We're not entirely certain, but we think it might proves that Creation records was founded on the income McGee generated from his time as the Hofmeister bear:

[Thanks to Oliver Keens]


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