Dear Bonehead, there is life after Oasis

Sacked Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll has turned his back on the celebrity circus and devoted himself to working with alienated youngsters. Speaking exclusively to the `IoS' he tells just-departed guitarist Paul `Bonehead' Arthurs that fame isn't everything
IN TRUTH, I've never been happier or more excited about the future. I have no regrets about leaving Oasis, all that trouble is behind me now and at least I can sleep well at night.

"No one really knows what goes on behind the scenes but if Bonehead decided to walk away of his own accord then he has made a very brave decision and one that he should not regret.

"Unlike Liam and Noel, who appear to have abandoned their Northern roots, Bonehead never really moved to London. His family is based up here, his home is here and his friends are here.

"When you have a young family it is hard to do world tours. He's just finished his part in the fourth album and I guess he wants to get out before all the madness starts with endless gigs and promotions.

"I wish him the best of luck and I am sure sooner or later we are going to bump into each other. I'll probably need to get a few things off my chest before we can be real mates again but I don't see that being a problem.

"Bonehead's departure seems to me to be the end of an era, it's very sad in some ways.

"Sure, I would like him to come and see our latest project. Oasis inspired a lot of lads to form bands in Manchester and produce music and they are still around, waiting for that breakthrough and I want to be there to help.

"Last year I bumped into Roy Mitchell, an old school friend, who has a great experience of the music business. We decided to form a company aimed at helping young bands and developing their skills.

"It is good, honest work and takes me right back to my roots. We have converted an old launderette into rehearsal rooms and a recording studio and it should be ready to open in September.

"Roy picked the name Potential House Limited and Potential Records because that's exactly what we want to do... get the best potential out of all of these bands, or as Roy says, free the potential in these kids. We might even find the next Oasis, although neither of us are in this for the money.

"Potential House is in Denton which is a little town where Mick Hucknall comes from. Although I haven't spoken to him yet I will be asking him for some sort of input into the project.

"We also have a so-called Music Circle of ex-members of different bands who will be on hand to advise and encourage youngsters interested in music.

"Musically, I've spent some time with my two brothers, Jed and Adrian, toying about with songs and acoustics. We don't have a name for the band, in fact we need a bass, rhythm and lead guitar, but we are not going to rush in to anything.

"My main passion at the moment is Potential and that is what I am sinking all my energies in to. We are going back to rock and roll. We are going back to the basics. There's no room for boy bands or girl-power stuff. I mean look at the charts at the moment, they're a bag of shite.

"I am sure we can create another scene like Oasis did in the early 90s when the only records in the charts were dance orientated. There is a great music scene in Manchester and there's nothing to drag us to London - we have everything here.

"We will be advising the bands musically, legally (to avoid the pitfalls that I suffered) businesswise and about drugs. There's a strong link between drugs and music but Potential House will be a drug-free zone - including alcohol and cigarettes.

"You can't glamorise drugs; a lot of the kids round here have lost respect when they discover major figures are on drugs. We will be driving home the message that taking drugs shortens talented lives. I mean look at Jimi Hendrix, what a waste. People looked up to him, he was idolised and yet he cut short his life.

"But we still need lots more equipment, donations, midi systems etc. All contributions gratefully received. I've invested thousands of my own money but we still have major outlays coming up, like equipping the studios and rehearsal rooms.

"I know it sounds very cliched, but I will never look back in anger. My new life is so refreshing now and I wish the same peace of mind on Bonehead and his family.''

Donations can be made to: Potential House Ltd, 27a Market Street, Denton, Manchester. Tel: 0161-337 9351.