Alan McGee took his last line of cocaine in February 1994.

Long before Oasis - the band he discovered in Glasgow - became the biggest in the world. Long before he was getting invitations to attend receptions at 10 Downing Street with then Prime Minister Tony Blair at the height of Cool Britannia. Long before he got a phone call from the police telling him there was evidence the News Of The World had been hacking his phone (not that he ever checked his messages anyway).

He has been post-drugs for the best part of two decades; he is 53, lives in Wales with his wife and 13-year-old daughter and makes most of his money from property these days. "I bought an office block for 700,000 grand that's now worth £12 million, so Britpop was good to me," he says. "I've got a few things like that kicking about." Buildings don't give him the same thrill as records, he admits, "but I like the money off the American bankers who rent out these properties".

Still, he's not likely to escape his rock 'n' roll past any time soon. Not that he wants to, particularly. He has just written an autobiography, Creation Stories, which is full of stories of excess and ecstasy (the musical and the chemical kind). It's the account of how a former British Rail worker set up a record label in the 1980s, released records by everyone from Primal Scream (his childhood mates) to Teenage Fanclub and the Gallagher brothers. It's also the story of a man who turned out to be just as wild, rowdy, raucous and chemically deranged as many of his charges, until, after years of caning it (to put it mildly), he ended up having a drug-fuelled breakdown.

The book covers all that and more. "I'm a raconteur. I tell good stories," he says as we sit in his preferred London hotel, the place where he always comes to do his business in the capital. He is wearing a black zip-up top, sunglasses to hand (even though it's October); a hipster Frodo who may have moved on from the excesses of his past but not the thrill it engendered.

He's lost more than 30lb this year, partly as a result of ending up in bed for two months when his immune system went down, partly because a Harley Street doctor "rebooted" it earlier this year. "I've sold 60 million records. I can afford the medication." The reboot has given him his edge back, he says, so much so that he's started a new record label, 359.

But for the moment it's his former label we're talking about. Well, it's only fair since he's written a book about it. "There are a lot of stories I couldn't put in because basically they're unprintable, you know." He grins at me, teasingly.

That said, if you want tales of rock 'n' roll excess the book is as good a source as any. The one about Carl Barat of The Libertines, one of the bands McGee has managed down the years, turning up with his eye hanging out of its socket still gives me the shivers.

McGee is touchingly concerned whether I like the book or not. He says, "I'm reading the Morrissey book at the moment and it's brilliant. Is it a better book than Morrissey's book? I don't know. It's probably funnier, but I don't think it's a better book."

His book is funny, but there are shadows there too. Most of them can be found in his childhood. What did he learn about himself writing the book? "That I've got a lot of determination. But I knew that anyway. I think what it does is explain who I am for the first time ever, really. I am an emotionally tough human being. I'm not saying I'm physically tough because I don't think I am. But I'm emotionally tough because of the upbringing I had and that in its own bizarro way worked completely to my advantage."

McGee grew up in Mount Florida, Glasgow. His father John was a panel beater and his mother Barbara, who died in 1994, worked in shops. They imagined their son would do much the same. "I remember my mum and dad telling me that the best I'm gonna do was maybe become an electrician and by the time I'm 40 I might be able to buy a taxi. That's what I thought I was destined for."

His parents had no aspirations for him. In any area. "I can remember a great conversation with my father - it's probably why I've always loved beautiful women - when he told me someone like me, who looks like me, might even get a girlfriend one day. So of course when I broke up with my first wife I went mental chasing women for 10 years. It is what it is, man. I think things that essentially could break you can make you as well."

He has no real issues with his parents' lack of ambition for him. He had little enough himself, even when he was galvanised by punk. "I never thought there was any money in music. All I ever wanted to do was be in a punk band, play bass, maybe be a little bit famous and maybe have a good-looking girlfriend out of it. When I say a bit famous I mean famous in Glasgow. That was it. That was completely as far as it was going to take me."

But then lack of ambition is not the worst thing.

"Can I see your scar?" I ask Alan McGee.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." He turns his head around. "There you go." At the base of his bald head there's a threaded line that curls round like a hook. "Did you think I was making it up?"

No, but I wanted to see the physical evidence of one of the most disturbing moments in the book. The scar is a legacy of the time his dad punched and kicked him on the stairs as his sister Laura watched on helpless. "My dad was a strong man," he writes, "and he'd completely lose it."

Violence was part of growing up. On another night his father came back from the Masons drunk, and woke him up by giving him five rabbit punches to the face. That beating forced McGee to go round to his mate Bobby Gillespie's house to stay. "Bobby's family were pretty far ahead of their time: the only parents I knew who didn't batter their kids," he writes.

It doesn't sound much of a childhood, I suggest, when the best you could hope for was to be ignored. "I love my mother and I'm indifferent to my father," he tells me. "I don't hate him."

Why not? "There's nothing to hate. I don't hate my dad because without my dad giving me that upbringing I wouldn't have went on and done what I've done. So I'm not going to hate him for that. I don't think I was that different from anyone else particularly."

Jesus, Alan, I say. "Well, OK. Maybe I'm kind of playing it down, but I've had conversations with friends in music and they had pretty similar backgrounds, you know. There's a common thread. If I didn't have that tough-love scenario I don't know if I'd have got out of Glasgow."

Anyway, he says, not all the scars can be laid at his dad's door. "The really obvious scar is a punch-up I had with my old man, but there are other bumps there that are just Glasgow in the 1970s. So you cannae blame my old man for everything.

"I just want to say it happened. I'm a big boy. Big f****** deal. It happened. Move on. I don't mean you. I mean me. With my life."

I understand that. He has moved on. He has been hugely successful. He's married again with a child he clearly dotes on. He's survived. And maybe those teenage years seem long ago. But … well, there's a but.

Because what McGee's book implies - even if its subject is slightly less keen to accept the implication in person - is that much of his subsequent behaviour can be traced to his teenage years. He was diagnosed as clinically depressed when he was 35. But he thinks he might have been suffering as early as 15. That summer he didn't come out of his bedroom for months. "I knew that was a bit strange," he admits. In the book he wavers between suggesting his drug taking was the natural hedonism of the acid house era - there's a story that when Primal Scream, his mate Bobby's band, won the Mercury Prize they all celebrated by digging into a "pyramid of cocaine the size of a sandcastle" - and the idea there might have been an element of self-medication about it all.

He slides around this when I raise it. "Funnily enough if you think about it, my creative peak was 1991 [when he was at his most excessive]. It wasn't 1994, 95, 96. That was the commercial peak. But my actual artistic peak, when I was putting out the most interesting music, when I was putting out Bandwagonesque, Loveless, Screamadelica, Giant Steps, Foxbase Alpha - we had an incredible run of records - I was absolutely out of my mind on drugs. I don't know what that proves. Maybe that 31 is a good age for taking chances."

I tell him the boasting about drug use is something I didn't care for about Creation. It felt so, well, recycled, so second-hand. "I agree," he says. "I don't think I big up drugs in the book. Why I am so interested in the drug thing … up until I had the breakdown I probably was self-medicating. But I'm not saying I didn't have a f****** great time doing a lot of it. But it was some hangover."

Were there any drugs he didn't take? "Probably not … I've never done DMT."

I don't even know what DMT is, I tell him. "It's an acid trip in 15 minutes. It's a real Timothy O'Leary drug."

Through all this excess it's important to remember McGee was hugely successful. He was only 24 when he was managing the Jesus And Mary Chain as they played riotous 15-minute sets to 4000 people in New York and Los Angeles. And if Creation started off as an indie label McGee was always more interested in being big than cool, a desire that reached its apotheosis with Oasis. By the time the band were playing to 300,000 people over two nights at Knebworth, though, he'd already had his meltdown, having been carried off a plane while hallucinating and suffering from hypertension so badly he assumed he was having a heart attack. Did he think he was dying? "I don't think dying's the word for it. I thought I might be losing my mind. I probably was losing my mind."

He went into rehab, was finally diagnosed with clinical depression and gave up the drugs. So who was the person who went back into the Creation office at the end of 1994? "I think it was a shaky guy. A bit like your weird uncle they've let out at the weekends. I'd be alongside these little rock 'n' roll cool kids and I was a guy with a steel rod up his back."

Did the people around you - who were still presumably partying hard - resent the new you? "A little bit. Especially with the Primals, who thought I'd let the team down."

"Not just the Primals," he adds. "A lot of people thought I'd let the team down. But what can you do? It's called life. I remember somebody said to me in 2002: 'You've changed.' I went: 'Well, thank f*** I have.' Wouldn't life be shit if you didn't change?"

Amid all the craziness his first marriage collapsed. Maybe that was always going to happen. "Me and Yvonne were mismatched. We were in love at a certain point. But I couldn't give her what she wanted, which was me being normal. And she couldn't give me what I wanted, which was allowing me to be me. We were just mismatched."

The break-up meant he didn't get to know his estranged son Daniel, something he regrets. "But it was not meant to be."

He married again in 1998 to Kate Holmes. Their daughter Charlie was born to the strains of Primal Scream's Higher Than The Sun, one of McGee's favourite records. "I should tell her that."

He is, I hope, a little better to her than his father was to him. "It was acceptable to hit your kids in the seventies. If I pulled that stunt with my kid, who's like 13, I'd be up with the social services."

Rightly so, I say. "Fair enough. I agree."

This, I guess, is why I'm surprised by his accepting attitude towards his own father. "I don't think he was bad," he says when I bring McGee senior up again. "I just think he was him." OK, but I grew up in a working-class family in the seventies - admittedly not in Glasgow - and my father never beat me. And I didn't feel I was an exception, I tell him.

Maybe I'm projecting, I say. "You are a bit …" He pauses. "Look, this is where I am with my father. I don't love him and I ain't going to his funeral, so take of that what you will. But I don't hate him."

Alan McGee is his own success story. As well as the property deals he's making films, DJ-ing regularly, possibly making a music TV series. And he's got that new label. Was he, I ask him finally, the angriest man in rock, as it says on the press release of his book? "I don't know. I might have been. Was I angrier than Gillespie? Probably not."

I turn off the tape. "So what did you really think of the book?" he asks me. It's very entertaining, I tell him. But I think he might come across as slightly semi-detached from his own story.

"I think I feel semi-detached from everything anyway." But you're not an observer, I say. You're a participant.

"I don't know. I think I'm a voyeur in some ways. Yeah, the flame attracts me but a lot of the time I'm watching."

The flame didn't burn you too much? "I think I'm damaged goods. But I'm functional." n

Creation Stories: Riots, Raves And Running A Label by Alan McGee is published by Sidgwick & Jackson, priced £18.99.