Alan McGee on 359 musicWritten by Alan McGee
© Words Alan McGee
It’s been a busy 6 months and there have been many revelations, Where to start? I have started a label called 359 Music with my old friend Iain McNay from Cherry Red. Iain has been around since the start; he signed my songs as a publisher 33 years ago. There had been talk of my new label for a while and I had the option of running 1123 Records for Warner’s Japan but when it came down to it owning half of the company is a lot more sexy than a 6 figure salary and no shares,
359 Music it fits my mindset better. I have 21 acts that I have signed or currently in talks with and we will put a release out by each of them by Christmas Day 2014 (the 359th day of the year). If you are wondering where the name came form, and most people ask, I chose 359 because it's one degree before revolution. Christmas Day is the 359th day of the year and it's also a reference to Aleister Crowley in The Book of the Law. It's actually been great fun so far. You can run a record company from Wales by a Blackberry and a MacBook as technology has made where you are based irrelevant – well as long as you have the right partner and Cherry Red are a brilliant one. So first singles will be out in September and the first albums will be out in October, and considering we launched on May 7th big respect is due to all the artists and Cherry Red for moving so fast and being completely on the ball.
I have just come back from New York, which was great fun as I showed KUBRICKS in Soho House and managed to see my old friend Seymour Stein, who is the don. I played him my new bands as he is one of the only people in the whole industry who has an opinion I still respect – he loved them.
Before we launched the label I managed to get ill for two months over February and March and allowed myself to drop off the grid of social networks and realised they are designed to just waste your time. If you have no job don't worry Facebook and Twitter will sort that out and make you feel as if you are achieving something. But for me life is a lot easier and productive without Facebook, for a start I don't have to look at people's cats or what they’re about to eat.
My book Creation Stories now has a release date of November 7th on Pan Mcmillan. I have sent it out to some friends to have a read and feedback has been that they love it, which is almost weird to me. I think, or at least hope, I have managed to explain why I am what I am and how it was a kind of by default that I have ended up here now in Wales in this house on 25 acres of land. True test will be though when it is out there for everyone else to read. It’s going to be interesting as Creation Stories is my story in my words.
KUBRICKS is my first journey into actually pulling a film together, just like Creation Stories is my first book, both have been and, I imagine, will continue to be huge learning curves for me. With Creation Stories I initially had a ghostwriter but he unfortunately disappeared off my radar late October after having only handing in one chapter in a year so, of course, we were sacked by Pan McMillan - not a great start. Not wanting to give up I had a second go and this time hired a freelance book editor to edit me down on paper. I threw out a stream of consciousness from my literally my birth in 1960 to 359 music in 2013. I sent it into the Editor at Pan McMillan and she loved it, resigned me and gave it a release date.
With KUBRICKS I worked with the genius that is known as Dean Cavanagh and we somehow managed to make the whole film for 15 grand which is peanuts in the world of film. It’s about a director that goes mad making a DIY film and will come out around the same time of my book. So for me it will be an interesting time!
Back to 359 Music – I have also decided to start a monthly club night in Liverpool starting on September 6th at the club District. The plan is it will be monthly until Christmas. If it's successful and there is a demand for it I will probably do it every 2 weeks or maybe even weekly depending on how the first few nights go. I am doing it in Liverpool as I find London is all about people's clothes and who is there wearing them, whilst Liverpool is about your songs. Liverpool seems to have an amazing vibe about it so am glad we are doing it there, it fits. There seems to be a lot of unsigned talent both old and new out there that has been shut out so hopefully 359 can help knock the door down and bring new people through.
Finally I want to give big love to my great friend Jonathan Owen and his film Svengali. He recently, very deservingly won Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Film Festival and the film definitely going to be a British hit at the very least. I play the role of me in it and people tell me I am good at acting - in truth isn't that difficult as I have been playing Alan McGee since 1974. If you read Creation Stories you’ll understand that.