James Allan Lives The Rock Star Dream So You Don’t Have To

Glasvegas frontman James Allan knows a thing or two about rock and roll. You don’t need to be Brian Cox to work that one out. The guy dresses head to toe in white, for fuck’s sake. Who else does that apart from Elvis and Jesus?

Glasvegas' James Allan

Brian Cox, of course, would describe Allan with much enthusiasm and goofy conjecture – a hyperkinetic maelstrom of relentless force and palpable energy hurtling towards the earth at maximum velocity, or something equally fluffy and baffling. To you and I, that basically means that the guy’s a total car crash, which for me, as a self-confessed rubbernecker, is great news.


A rubbernecker, of course, is someone who gawks morbidly at the 28-vehicle pileup on the M4 looking out for limbs and offal splattered across the road. Someone who takes great pleasure in the downfall of man. Someone who delights in the tales of extreme rock excess and chemical misadventure that a dwindling number of bands create these days. Just about covers most of us then, right?

In this week’s NME, James Allan gives his most open and honest interview since admitting that his no-show at Coachella in 2008 wasn’t in fact down to sunstroke and dehydration as he’d previously claimed (yawn), but in fact due to an overdose of cocaine and industrial strength animal tranquilisers (yay).

This week's NME

Describing the moment he collapsed, he says, “I was walking off the bus – and I remember this as being almost like a dream – and I fell off the top stair. I couldn’t put my hands up to break my fall, and when I hit the ground, it was the most relaxing, comfortable feeling I’d ever felt.”

Now I don’t know about you, but that’s exactly what I want from my rock stars. Less of this going to bed at 11 to play Nintendogs, more falling asleep in a puddle of piss having ingested your own bodyweight of booze and uppers please. I know this might seem like I’m advocating the use of hardcore drugs, but I assure you, this couldn’t be further from the truth. What I’m advocating is the return of true, bona fide, don’t-give-a-fuck rockstars who live their lives like gods and are therefore above the dangers and pitfalls of us regular plebs.

Okay, so there may be a few casualties along the way, but remember, this is a war, and we’re not all going to make it. Luckily for us, James Allan has: a man who knows a thing about a rock and roll so that you and I don’t have to.


Blog: Tim Chester and Luke Lewis argue for and against drugs in music

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