Alan McGee - Creation Stories

Today sees the long awaited publication – well by some anyway – of Alan McGee’s autobiography Creation Stories: Riots, Raves and Running a Record Label, so I’ve included the first link below for anybody wanting to see a 3 part interview recorded for Cherry Red TV, where an in-form McGee chats with his fellow 359 Music founder Iain McNay (at the moment as far as I can see only the first two parts are available to view).

McGee’s raconteuring ranges across his life in music, from getting into glam rock and then progressing to punk as a youngster in Glasgow through to setting up new label 359 Music with plenty in between such as his friendship with Bobby Gillespie, starting up Creation Records, My Bloody Valentine, Teenage Fanclub, his huge addiction problems, and inevitably, a night out at King Tut’s on 272 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, where a then largely unknown Manc band blagged a fourth on the bill support slot.

Back in 1977, when McGee was developing a passion for bands like The Clash and The Sex Pistols , Saints & Sinners at 272 St Vincent Street was one of the relatively few bars in Glasgow that put on live music, and that music could be anything from jazzers like the Frank Pantrini Quintet to folk rockers Jack Easy to the pretty much impossible to pigeonhole Rezillos and even the easy to categorise punk rockers, Johnny and the Self Abusers.

Saints & Sinners Glasgow March 1977

That latter named band will always be remembered as being the main precursor to Simple Minds, but before that they were notably the first Glaswegian punk outfit to play live in the city – a raucous show at the Doune Castle in Shawlands; their second gig was, according to many accounts, a near riot with the bar trashed and the group banned from ever playing there again.

Being a fresh faced fifteen year old at the time I missed out on all the fun.

The Self Abusers certainly caused a stir in the city, although if you only knew them via the local papers, you would believe they were actually called Johnny and The SA’s. The influential London independent Chiswick signed them up and their one and only single, released by on 11. November 1977, immortalised the Glasgow bar where that second gig had taken place. You’ve guessed it: Saints & Sinners.

Twenty eight years later in 2005, as part of their ‘Intimate Tour’, singer Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill returned to 272 St Vincent Street (their ban seemingly lifted by the new management) which had by then, of course, established itself in the music world as a multiple award winning venue where internationally acclaimed acts like Biffy Clyro, Blur, The Strokes and Radiohead had all performed headline sets although King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, as it’s been officially known since 1990, is still best known for the McGee/Oasis connection.

And just to tie everything up, in case you don’t know, Alan McGee once unsuccessfully auditioned as bassist for Simple Minds in their very early days although Alan fails to mention this in the Cherry Red interviews but if you read my previous post Newspeak and the Dawn of Creation, you’ll know that Jim Kerr later became a fan of McGee’s band Newspeak and regularly watched them whenever they gigged in Glasgow.


Last night 359 Music provided this link for the third part of the Alan McGee/Cherry Red TV interview.