Alan McGee, the battle-hardened boss of Creation Records, has shared that when he first met Liam Gallagher he thought the singer was Oasis’ drug dealer, not their frontman.
In a brilliant new podcast, McGee spoke with Helen Woods about his first encounter with the Mancunian legends and took listeners back in time to visit Oasis at their fiery beginnings.
The band hit the big time with McGee following a chance meeting as Oasis were billed as the supporting act for 18 Wheeler at Glasgow venue King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. The stage welcomed Liam and Noel Gallagher, Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, Paul ‘Guigsy’ McGuigan and Tony McCarroll and McGee knew instantly they were destined for greatness.
Without prior knowledge of the band, McGee was convinced almost instantly, “I didn’t know the Gallaghers – I’d met Noel one time at Reading Festival when he was going out with a girl that worked at my record company, and I shook his hand.
“He wasn’t ‘Noel Gallagher’ then – he was Noel the roadie for the Inspiral Carpets with a bowl haircut. That’s how he was in 1989.”
Having traveled to King Tut’s to see a singer named Debbie Turner, McGee caught a whopper when he visited the iconic venue and came across the Gallagher brothers, with Liam, in particular, possessing an unstoppable star power. “I went in to see my two bands playing and see Debbie’s band, and I got presented with this band who were going to play called Oasis,” said McGee.
“I looked over and Liam was sitting on a couch. He looked like a great looking version of George Harrison, in an Adidas blue tracksuit,” a recipe made in heaven. But the sportswear and attitude had McGee questioning Gallagher’s validity as the frontman, “He was 19 or 20 years old, and looked absolutely stunning, great, just like a rock star. But me being cynical, I thought, well, he’s got to be the drug dealer.”
“Bands in 1993…they didn’t look as good as Liam Gallagher,” he explained.