Creationist story: Alan McGee and the 80s

Alan McGee was a Thatcherite. That assertion can’t be proven with reference to the Glaswegian’s investment dealings nor do I really believe the one-time music mogul to be a Keynesian laissez-faire bed-fellow of the shopkeeper’s daughter from Grantham.

The fact though that he got on his bike in the 1980s – more likely an Inter-city 125 train – made his way to London to work and established a brief but glittering recording company which sold throughout the world before he sold up… were his magpie eyes not a sign of his hunger for self-betterment? His networking with other creative insiders all grasping for showtime in Camden and Islington’s indie venues not a parallel of the feverish trading of stocks and shares amongst the old boy network in the City?

The champagne and cocaine of later years clearly wasn’t the over-riding desire of this record company boss however; McGee’s stock in trade was talent, be it Bobby Gillespie, Kevin Shields, Momus or… Medalark Eleven.

More successful than any of his contemporaries, the ‘labour of love’ that was McGee’s Creation Records squatted in teenagers’ rooms to offer whiffs of illicit drugs, a swig of convivial snakebite and short blasts of nigh-on obliterated Beach Boys -cum- Suicide blown-up melodies amidst full-on heartache.  At a time when Eric B. and Rakim were re-drawing the rap map with measured braggadocio and jubilant Italian piano stabs had begun to arrive courtesy of the likes of Daniele Davoli, McGee’s men held the ground for rain-anchored wistfulness and endless yearning.

Both McGee and Thatcher’s reigns came to an end, their achievements (Teenage Fanclub‘s first album and the Falklands victory) filed away in history books. But just as many Tory boys currently hanker for a tough leader so countless music lovers still keep their Valentine close.

From the compilation album Doing It For The Kids, a minor, overlooked piece of McGee magic from Pacific, dedicated to the memory of once meeting a Creation alumni, Sheer Taft.    

‘Jetstream’ by Pacific aka Dennis Wheatley (from the days before he turned to making tawdry trance)

© Pat Mellow 2018


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