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Alan McGee’s “bedwetters” comment

The Creation Records boss takes a shot at Coldplay

28 Jul 2000

Alan McGee’s “bedwetters” comment
Guy Berryman
Guy Berryman

The infamous article

Alan McGee was the man behind Creation records – home of Oasis and many many uber-cool 90s bands. You don’t achieve that without knowing how to play the media game. After a period where Coldplay had received almost universal love from the press, they were a great choice to say something controversial about.

It’s easy to write his words off as a cynical bid for attention, but whatever the motivation, coming from a man so highly regarded in the indie world, this must have hurt. It’s tough to ignore any attack this personal. It’s not even about the music, it’s about who they were as people and it questions their “authenticity” – which, in the indie world, was the absolute measurement of worth.

The audio clip above is from a chat in 2015 with longtime band friend Tim Crompton. Tim shared the flat at 268 Camden Road with Jonny and Chris in 1999 and indeed is the man who came up with the band name Coldplay. He will have been close by when all of this went on – and doubtless helped them deal with the emotional fallout.

This then, was their first taste of “backlash”, “bad press” and “haters”. One thing about the band, though, is that they work very well when they’re under pressure or backed into a corner. The second album was about many, many things and this was merely a step along the way. But it’s difficult to believe that when they needed a fire in their bellies, this didn’t provide some very potent fuel.


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