Alan McGee stumbles across an Oasis of hope after signing the band on the spot
In 1992 Creation Records head Alan McGee sold 49 per cent of the famed 80s indie to Sony in order to salvage his dying business, and promptly lost himself in drugs for a year. Then, at Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut on May 31, 1993, he saw the label’s future: Oasis. A late addition to the night’s line-up, their name wasn’t even on the bill. McGee says the band threatened to smash the place up if they weren’t allowed to play, and when they did he signed them on the spot. Well, he thinks that’s how it went down...
I became a millionaire and then I suppose I went a bit mental
“I remember signing Oasis and not much else in 1993. There were a lot of drugs, and I was caning it madly. It was the year after we’d done the Sony deal – in September 1992 I became a millionaire and then I suppose I went a bit mental. I went from having fucking two bob in my pocket to having a couple of million and I just handled it in the usual fucking Scottish working-class fashion. Instead of getting one gram of cocaine I would get seven grams of cocaine. I remember spending the summer in LA and sitting round the pool with Arthur Lee playing Forever Changes to Bobby (Gillespie) and Evan Dando on acoustic guitar. People probably do drugs now for very different reasons – we were doing it for some romantic fucking trip whereas people now do it to numb themselves from the fucking boredom of life and because they can’t get a job.
I don’t think anyone saw a movement coming along. We were our own movement, to be fair. It was a dysfunctional label run by a completely dysfunctional human being. Creation did put out some good records that year – Sugar, The Boo Radleys – and we did have some bands that were better than people thought, like Swervedriver and The Telescopes. I’m quite invigorated by what’s going on in 2013, because I can listen to 2,000 mp3s and search the internet – I’ve got a lot of new stuff coming out in the next year-and-a-half on my new label 359 Music. The whole thing was great, though. I don’t regret a thing. I got a text off Noel the other night - he must have been drunk - he was like, ‘HELLO!’, and I said, ‘HELLO!’ He was like, ‘You signed us 20 years ago, we did well!’, and I was like, ‘Yeah, you did!’ I love Noel, but it was a weird text to get. I suspect he must have been pissed.”