Alan McGee auction interview: memorabilia of the 'Man Who Discovered Oasis'


The Creation Records documentary film, 'Upside Down', was recently
released on DVD and Blu-Ray

Alan McGee needs no introduction to fans of British rock music.

After founding his own independent music label, Creation Records, in 1983, the impresario carved a strong legacy by releasing records from a string of influential acts including the Jesus and Mary Chain and Primal Scream.

But it was in the mid-'90s that Alan (pictured top right) really became known in mainstream culture, as "the man who discovered Oasis." After years of enjoying the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll highlife, McGee was later invited into Number 10 as a guest of Tony Blair's newly-elected Labour Government in 1997.


Signed rarities from Britpop's heyday, featuring the era's greatest
bands including Oasis (above), will appear at Omega Auctions on Saturday

Almost 15 years later, the now-defunct Creation Records continues to influence young bands and Oasis memorabilia has sold for thousands at auctions - most notably a lot of Noel Gallagher's song lyrics and concepts which brought £4,140 at Christie's in 1998.

Alan McGee, meanwhile, has decided to have a clear-out of memorabilia spanning his remarkable career in music. The sale takes place this weekend, November 5, at Omega Auctions. Alan kindly took time out to answer our questions in the run-up to the sale...

Paul Fraser Collectibles: Your collection includes personal and rare pieces many music fans would hate to part with. Why have you chosen to part with these pieces now? 

Alan McGee: It's all clutter in my basement. I am not nostalgic and have no interest in music anymore. So I will do these sales until I clear it.

PFC: Are there any pieces in the sale to which you are most attached, or are sad to be selling? 

AM: No, I don't listen to music anymore - bar The Beatles.

PFC: Today's markets are dominated by decades-old legends like Elvis and The Beatles. How do you see Creation being remembered by collectors in 50 years time?

AM: No idea. It [Creation Records] was just something I did when I was young.

PFC: The most valuable piece by estimate is a John Squire [guitarist in Stone Roses] artwork. Aside from music memorabilia, is there anything else you collect - other art for instance?

AM: I seem to have a lot of art - I have too much art.




Small pieces of rock history: items for sale in Alan's auction include
an early letter from Jesus and Mary Chain singer Jim Reid bemoaning
a "stupid bastard engineer" and a Ramones group autograph

PFC: The auction includes signed gifts from New Labour when you supported them in the late '90s. Why did you include these pieces - is it a deliberate attempt to 'leave the past behind'?

AM: If it's to do with that part of my life, I will get rid of it. [Alan has previously commented: "The Labour Party is a joke, and I was conned into helping its cause."]

PFC: If you could own any piece of memorabilia from history - your dream item and not necessarily music-related - what would it be? 

AM: Aleister Crowley's main wand.

PFC: Are there any interesting stories behind how you acquired the pieces in your collection?

AM: The Ramones Tour Poster [signed by the group, CJ, Johnny, Marky and singer Joey Ramone and dated October 2, 1989]: Joey gave me that in the '90s.

PFC: Do you expect the Stone Roses reunion to boost interest in the John Squire artwork when it auctions with a £16,000 estimate?

AM: I put that up for sale, and then they reformed - which was funny. I love it. The missus wasn't a fan, so I will have to sell it. We have too much "stuff". 

PFC: An unusual lot in Omega's auction, not from your collection, is John Lennon's tooth. What do you think about it being sold on the markets?

AM: I might buy Aleister Crowley's tooth.

Omega Auctions' Vinyl, Music & Film Memorabilia Auction begins on Saturday 5 November 2011, starting at 10.30am. The auction will be held in Stockport, UK. Online bidding is also available.

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