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Book Review

Book Cover

Creation Stories
Riots, Raves and Running a Label (Hardback)


Author: Alan McGee
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
RRP: £18.99
ISBN: 978 0 283 0717 5
Publication Date: 07 November 2013

Creation Stories: Riots, Raves and Running a Label is the new autobiography from Alan McGee, who set up Creation Records and still today is a force in the music industry.

The book charts his life from birth to aged fifty-two. From a violent upbringing and the inevitable move to London, it sails through the early days of independent labels and provocative bands. McGee has produced a very honest book which is not afraid to tell the story, warts and all, including his own, at times, unreasonable behaviour. The book ends in 2013 and sees him returning to his old stomping ground, an independent record company, 359 Records.

The story is prefaced with his well known drug meltdown, before swinging back to a childhood, where violence and bullying were common, an experience which at once hardened him, but also caused great damage to his sense of self-worth, damage that he would fill with music and drugs.

The story is told with a truthful brutality, making some parts of the book difficult to read, for someone who has, thankfully, never had to endure the same type of upbringing, you really feel for the young McGee, but then had this not happened to him, it is unlikely that he would have had the drive to succeed or the need to bury himself in hedonism. McGee is a product of his upbringing, both for good and ill.

Music was McGee’s salvation, from his early love of Bowie to the setting up of Creation Records, for McGee it was always about the music and letting novice bands grow and develop. The label had some impressive bands on its roster, including, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Super Furry Animals and of course the phenomenally successful Oasis.

The book is, at times, funny, traumatic, but always honest. It is a good peek into the world of independent record labels and excess.


Charles Packer

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