The music mogul famous for signing Oasis has told of his hope that the feuding Gallagher brothers can patch up their differences - in time for the 20th anniversary of their made-in-Wales classic.
Alan McGee, the founder of cult record label Creation, signed the Mancunian rockers when they were an up-and-coming outfit playing Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in 1993.
And two decades on the pop svengali, who now lives near the idyllic Mid Wales booktown Hay-on-Wye, says he is particularly looking forward to the new year because it is marks 20 years since the release of the band’s Definitely Maybe debut.
In his new book, Creation Stories, Riots, Raves and Running a Label, McGee harks back to the band’s rapid rise to fame, after the recordings at Monnow Valley Studio, Rockfield, Monmouth.
The breakthrough release, which features an inside picture of vocalist Liam Gallagher reading The Mirror - went on to sell more than 15 million copies worldwide and brought widespread critical acclaim.
In June 2006, the NME named it the greatest album of all time.
“Definitely Maybe was released in August 1994; we had just got a Sony deal and I’d become a millionaire,” said McGee, who now lives in a mansion near the town famous for its annual literature festival.
“It was a weird time for me, I was lost in a haze and the album was a painful birth.
“The recording was a lot more complicated than it should have been and it took three attempts at mixing to get it right with Owen Morris, Mark Coyle and Dave Batchelor.
“There was a lot of ‘it’s not good enough’ so it was very difficult because we didn’t want it to sound laboured. But singles from the album (Supersonic and Live Forever) were going crazy in London.
“It is the 20th anniversary of the album in 2014 and it would be great if Oasis could get back together for that but I don’t think any reunion is going to happen just yet.
“Liam is 41 and Noel (Gallagher) is 47 or something; they are still young so maybe in another five years or so they will be ready to get back together... but it is not the right time at the moment.
“Noel has his solo career and Liam has Beady Eye, they have released a couple of albums and both are doing all right.
“We are living in the age of the Stone Roses comeback; they are kicking it right now.
“I’m friends with Noel and we run into each other in Europe and Tokyo.
“But I don’t even know Liam’s telephone number.
“There is no bad blood between us, we have had nothing to fall out about but we are not in touch - guess that’s just life.
“I’m not on that touring schedule, I’m just living in Wales in the middle of nowhere and if Liam turned up to have a coffee in a cafe in Hay-on-Wye, the locals would probably have a heart attack!”
Even though they have drifted, McGee fondly recalls the time Liam wanted him to take him to India to meet the Dalai Lama.
“When he asked me in 1997 I said, ‘OK’ and went as far as booking tickets.
“But he later rang me and said ‘We can’t go to India. I’ve only got a week off and Patsy (Kensit - Liam’s then wife) won’t let me’.
“My wife Kate didn’t want me to go either.
“She didn’t want me to get the anti-malaria tablets.
“‘You are mad enough already Alan,’” she told me.
He also reveals how a mystery woman he chatted to in the dark about the music industry turned out to be Lisa Marie Presley.
“I was at Joaquin Phoenix’s house chipping a ball at a party in 2007 and there was an American woman sitting in the shadow of a tree.
“She started firing questions about the music business to me, so I asked her, ‘Are you in the business?’
“She said: ‘Yes, I am, my dad was Elvis’.
“That was the best one-liner ever!
“And she invited me to her birthday party with her family.”
Creation Stories, Riots, Raves and Running a Label, is published by www.Panmacmillan.com, price £18.99
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