Episode 6: Managing rockstars, with Alan McGee
Music industry exec Alan McGee has witnessed the moving tide of the music industry over the last 30 years. Given that he's worked with some of the most notorious rock stars in history – including Bobby Gillespie, Liam Gallagher, Pete Doherty and Shaun Ryder – I was curious to know what cumulative mental health impact this has all had on him over time. His stories of drugs and excess are often passed with humour and anecdotal charm, but dig deeper, and I'm in touch with a haunting tale beneath – a world of self-harm, heroine, overdoses and childhood abuse.
I wanted to pause with Alan for a moment to reflect on some of these specific moments in time, from his own unique perspective. There’s a clear sense of humour in his narration, and you’ll catch glimpses of Alan’s life and charm as people weave in and out of this interview to say hello to him at different moments. You get a sense of his warmth and amenability, wisdom and compassion.
There are times when the interview really makes me laugh – it's a beautiful, sunny day, a wasp nearly stings my face, bands are rehearsing all around us, and Alan extols the virtues of his new healthy diet of fish and veg. It makes for a chaotic backdrop, which I love for its quirkiness and melancholy rolled into one. I’ve left in some of these glitches and blips to add to the sentiment behind this episode: that sometimes, the crossover between glam and grim is a really fine line.
(0.01–0.56) Primal Scream, Higher Than The Sun
(2.47) Biff Bang Pow, She Haunts
(2.47–38.05) Interview with Alan McGee
(38.05) Biff Bang Pow, She Haunts
Support, helplines and therapy
One North East London – specialist counselling, advice and workshops for friends and family of those affected by addiction, as well as for those suffering addiction of any kind themselves.
Music Minds Matter – Helpline for musicians looking for support
Samaritans – Anonymous, free, emotional support helpline for anybody feeling suicidal or struggling to cope
CALM – Support and advice for men struggling with their mental health or suicidal feelings
Adfam – A list of helpful organisations dealing with issues around family, drugs and alcohol
Frank – For local drug treatment services
To access free counselling via the NHS, follow these links
For urgent help, visit https://www.mind.org.uk/