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Doherty
April 22, 2006 5:01 AM   Subscribe

England's literary crackhead rockstar.
posted by Tlogmer (46 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, please! There's more talent and poetry in my turds.
posted by gsb at 5:14 AM on April 22, 2006


He regularly claims to have utterly no idea why the media are so interested in a crack smoking moron. This just makes them write even more articles about him though. I don't think you should insult him, it's not like he's Jade Goody who's famous for not winning a reality TV show and generally being totally annoying and worthless.
posted by public at 5:40 AM on April 22, 2006


I like Pete Doherty.

OK, so his music sucks, and he's a naive dimwit, but there's something wonderfully romantic about beautiful young boys who are prepared to sacrifice their lives and liberty for the sake of making a public spectacle of themselves.

And as a marketing campaign, it's an absolute winner for him. He gets loads of money, loads of drugs and he gets to do Kate Moss. And we get to watch. So we all do well out of the bargain.

The world needs more like him.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:51 AM on April 22, 2006


good article, and I agree with public. Has he sold his soul to the devil to churn out bites of perky pop fun to the lucrative pre-teen ringtone exploit market? I wouldn't have him any other way.
posted by 6am at 6:26 AM on April 22, 2006


Hooray! The heroin version of Shane MacGowan!

without the songwriting chops
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:27 AM on April 22, 2006


Good article, but he went to University College London, not Oxford.
posted by matthewr at 6:30 AM on April 22, 2006


I understand this boy is taking the usual one way ticket to pop veneration via early drug-induced demise....

... But what I don't understand is why people continue to pay money to see his band Babyshambles play, when they only show up to about 1 gig in 5, and at that 1 gig he's so fucked he can't even remember the lyrics.

So what, we like our flawed heroes so much we want to keep giving him the benefit of the doubt? Or is it the fascination or watching a car crash?

Whateva.
posted by LondonYank at 6:30 AM on April 22, 2006


Sorry, I meant crack, not heroin. 'Cause we all know rock stars can live for years with a heroin habit, but only months with a crack jones.

Yeah, I could've supplied links. But it's more fun if y'all think about it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:40 AM on April 22, 2006


I'm not so convinced about the romantic beauty of watching someone kill themselves. I'd very much prefer this rumour to be true.
posted by grahamspankee at 6:52 AM on April 22, 2006


Has he sold his soul to the devil to churn out bites of perky pop fun to the lucrative pre-teen ringtone exploit market?

Yes?
posted by public at 6:55 AM on April 22, 2006


On New Year's Eve, he played a gig in his own apartment for a select group of fans. After the set, he retreated into his bedroom and had the kids line up outside, entering one by one, at which point they were allowed to request a single song for a private performance. What kind of popular artist, big or small, does this kind of thing? Well, yes: an artist looking for quick cash to buy drugs. But there's more at work than a need for a fix.

Wow. That's just...wow...

"They're afraid. They think it would be a car crash." He laughs again, more harshly this time, and without smiling. Gesturing at his trashed surroundings, he continues, "They don't realize, the car's already crashed. And there's been a nuclear explosion. And we're the last people alive on Earth."

The man's got a way with words.

Thanks for this Tlogmer. I knew who Doherty was, but I didn't know much about him. This is a fascinating article, Binelli's got a real knack for putting you in the moment. I love people like Doherty, regardless of their issues, they make the world so much more interesting. Yes, on the one hand it's a human train wreck, but on the other hand, he seems to be pretty aware of what he's doing. BitterOldPunk is right in his assessment of Doherty as "The heroin version of Shane MacGowan", even if Doherty has (more) teeth.
posted by biscotti at 7:00 AM on April 22, 2006


but there's something wonderfully romantic about beautiful young boys who are prepared to sacrifice their lives and liberty for the sake of making a public spectacle of themselves.

History Repeating
posted by elpapacito at 7:07 AM on April 22, 2006


OK, so his music sucks

There, for me it's the opposite, I love the music in all its ramshackle underproduced shamboholic romantic messiness blah blah, wouldn't claim it's anything mindblowing or groundbreaking, I just like it, but I don't really care much for the dangerously living rockstar appeal. He's got talent and charm to sell but is also a bit of a twat and his mythologising himself as the last bohemian can get tiresome.

Although, I care a whole lot less for the tabloids' moralistic obsession (such a bad model for our children! yeah, as if kids were completely unaware that drugs even exist if it wasn't for Doherty, or Moss). Every time I've read a tirade of that kind they made me like him a little bit more.
posted by funambulist at 7:15 AM on April 22, 2006


But what I don't understand is why people continue to pay money to see his band Babyshambles play

Either because when they do show up and he's not so fucked up, they really rock, or because the personality cult has taken over any interest in the music, or a bit of both...
posted by funambulist at 7:19 AM on April 22, 2006


OK. Interesting article, I couldn't stop reading it. Like a lot of other people I'm oddly attracted to this stuff and find it amazingly interesting and entertaining to read and follow.

With that said, it still remains that is guy is a complete loser.
posted by punkrockrat at 7:20 AM on April 22, 2006


That article made me feel a bit ill when I first read it in the print version of RS.. It just felt so totally inappropriate to give a person who is doing this to themselves even the slightest hint of exposure or reverence. The romanticization of his situation almost made my skin crawl.

Yuck.
posted by davey_darling at 7:32 AM on April 22, 2006


It just felt so totally inappropriate to give a person who is doing this to themselves even the slightest hint of exposure or reverence.

Why? It's not like he doesn't know what he's doing to himself, and it's not like anyone is forcing him to do it, and it's not like he became and stays an addict because of the exposure he gets.
posted by biscotti at 7:35 AM on April 22, 2006


It would be great to just party every day and take drugs relentlessly. But, I have to work! Argh!

There is no legitimacy of genius here. Just a handsome youth made prettier through destruction.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 7:46 AM on April 22, 2006


My problem was not with feeding into his problems, but rather glamorizing them for his young fans. Sure, the article painted a somewhat dingy picture of his life, but man, he was having a good time, wasn't he! And he's a crackhead! That must not be so bad, after all! Let's try it!
posted by davey_darling at 7:46 AM on April 22, 2006


Well, he may be a crack head, or this might be really good rock and roll PR. How convenient is it that there was a copy of Thus Spake in the trash, just for that little hint something underneath all the debauchery? And that a half-nude woman ran out crying just as the reporter got there?

But anyway, reading a few classics does not make one literary. Especially if you're not even lucid when reading them.
posted by Zinger at 8:23 AM on April 22, 2006


My problem was not with feeding into his problems, but rather glamorizing them for his young fans.

Luckily no-one under the age of 40 reads Rolling Stone.

And he's a crackhead! That must not be so bad, after all! Let's try it!

You damn kids better stay off my lawn!
posted by atrazine at 8:31 AM on April 22, 2006


This guy rocks. And likes drugs. And has had some literary success. And stick-up-the-butt USians just can't stand it. Har.
posted by telstar at 8:33 AM on April 22, 2006


That must not be so bad, after all! Let's try it!

If someone is so stupid that they take up crack and heroin after reading this article, then they deserve to become a crackhead.

But it doesn't happen that way does it? People don't become addicts due to the famous example of self-destruction. There's millions of addicts on the globe that are in far worse conditions than Doherty and they never even heard about him.

And I don't think this article was glamourising anything, the descriptions are far from glamorous. Just seems to me the writer was trying to hold back judgement and let the picture speak for itself. What an idea, treat your readers like adults who can make up their own minds.
posted by funambulist at 8:40 AM on April 22, 2006


You're right. This guys fans are clearly all adults who can make up their own minds. No teenager would ever try to imitate their idol, and if they do, they'll get what's coming to them anyway.

Thanks for clearing that up for me!
posted by davey_darling at 8:47 AM on April 22, 2006


Darling, are you under the impression that many teenagers read Rolling Stone?

I'm not taking a position one way or the other as to whether teenagers would smoke crack because their role models do. I just don't think that there are many impressionable fifteen year olds reading Rolling Stone.

Thanks for clearing that up for me!

No problem whatsoever.
posted by atrazine at 8:56 AM on April 22, 2006


The bar for genius is now set at an all-time low.
posted by psmealey at 8:58 AM on April 22, 2006


I don't think this article was glamourising anything

No?

Most of these arrests have been a result of Doherty's long-standing drug abuse, which, in a spirit both theatrical and self-destructive -- and, perhaps, of protest -- the singer has never made any effort to hide.

Of course! He's not just a crackhead -- he's making a protest!
posted by verstegan at 9:15 AM on April 22, 2006


I don't know about the whole KLF conspiracy thing, but every time I've read/seen/heard anything about or by Doherty, it just screams "fake" or at least "contrived". He has debauched-rock-star pretensions, and he's been allowed to play them out; and people need a rock star, so they lap up any tales of his excess they can find.

At any given time, he knows exactly how much he resembles which Famous Personalities and will play into that role, IMHO. I don't get what the big fuss is about his music, either... it's all right.

And yes, I know my favourite band sucks.
posted by Drexen at 9:19 AM on April 22, 2006


"Most of these arrests have been a result of Doherty's long-standing drug abuse, which, in a spirit both theatrical and self-destructive -- and, perhaps, of protest -- the singer has never made any effort to hide."

Of course! He's not just a crackhead -- he's making a protest!


OMG! I'm shocked! the journalist is writing about Doherty's posing as a rebel without adding a moral tirade for the benefit of those who haven't picked up that living in "a house that looks like a homeless person's squat" in a "a shabby-looking apartment complex" where a "mountain of garbage bags has accumulated near the stairs", having "fingertips split and blackened from crack use", having been "jailed a half-dozen times", reduced to begging money from his most fanatic fans, surrounded by a bunch of pathetic hangers-on and in no condition to even give an interview, is not exactly the most glamorous lifestyle one could aspire to.

A disclaimer at the end should have been necessary to prevent further tragedies! Shame on Mark Binelli, encouraging drug abuse like that!
posted by funambulist at 9:47 AM on April 22, 2006


If he keeps the Gallagher bros. out of the papers, it's a win for me. I don't blame the guy at all--he's doing what he wants with his (probably quite short) life, and he uses the press to get what he wants re: drugs and sex with women who are a lot more attractive than he is. However, the dozen or so hipsters in almost every American college town who decide to get into heroin to emulate *whatever* it is he has? Those guys are fucking annoying. It's really more about moxie than talent, but that's rock for ya.
posted by bardic at 9:51 AM on April 22, 2006


No teenager would ever try to imitate their idol, and if they do, they'll get what's coming to them anyway.

No. But they'd have to have access to a lot of money to afford imitating his drug habits, and they'd have to be fucked up already in the first place to even think about it. And no, they wouldn't "deserve" that, no one does, that was a throwaway remark to hightlight the ridiculousness of the mathematical equation that reading about Doherty will influence anyone to take drugs.

When I was a kid, there was not a single (ok, exaggerating, but they were a lot) male teenager in my school who didn't idolise Sid Vicious or Jim Morrison or Keith Richards or some other more or less infamous junkie, dead or alive, in fact the dead by overdose ones tended to gather even more adoration. Guess how many of those ended up becoming junkies themselves. Yeah, none.

The ones that did get into heroin didn't have the money, time or inclination for paying attention to rockstars antics in tabloids.
posted by funambulist at 9:57 AM on April 22, 2006


Sure, the article painted a somewhat dingy picture of his life, but man, he was having a good time, wasn't he! And he's a crackhead! That must not be so bad, after all! Let's try it!

I don't reckon the article implies that at all. I thought it presents the insanity of his situation pretty matter-of-factly, and you've drawn a particular interpretation from it.

Why do people think Doherty acts the way he does for ratings? He's just a creative bloke with drug addictions. He can make enough money to scrape by and he doesn't really give a bollocks about hiding any truths, in part because he knows the reality of the guy is interesting to people, in part because he isn't bothered about peoples judgement. He doesn't maintain a drug habit just for the sake of keeping his image up, it's because he's fucking addicted, and sometimes it's a good laugh. People don't seem to accept that people like him can exist, but they do, people resent him because they can't understand why other people respect him. Their reasons are their own, but are probably related to the kinds of attitudes that make people brush off Jackson Pollock paintings as being "just a big fucking mess". You might not like his art, but it still is.
posted by 6am at 9:59 AM on April 22, 2006


He's holding a laptop computer in one hand and a tiny round laptop camera in the other. He is using the camera to film something in front of him -- though there is nothing in front of him -- and he is staring hard at whatever he is filming as it appears on the laptop's screen. Without looking at us, he says, softly, "Johnny, this is not a good time." Johnny begins to speak, but Doherty, without raising his voice or taking his eyes from the screen, interrupts: "Are you not listening to me, Johnny? This is not a good time."

Ah. This explains Island.
posted by dhartung at 10:15 AM on April 22, 2006


I can't believe that people take this stuff seriously. "But what about the children? OMG!"

I mean, this warmed-over Jim Morrison crap, people think this is new? Please.

This guy is playing out the fantasies of a generation, and people are living vacariously through him. Isn't this pretty much the definition of celebrity?

And you really think that if Doherty wasn't out there doing his thing, that the kids would never know anyone who took things just a little too far? Who didn't have a friend (or friends) like this growing up? These people are always attractive, and often fun to be around. However, when it comes down to it, we don't follow them down the rabbit hole becasue we have, like, jobs and dreams people who care about us and stuff.

Don't know anything about this guy's music, but I have to admit (in spite of myself) that I'm actually kinda curious now.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:22 AM on April 22, 2006


Doherty's journals, for further reading.

6am has, it mostly. I can't defend anything about Doherty's life, but I've been watching the spectacle for a couple of years now with a kind of fascination, from the split with Carl Barat to the grotesque film by Max Carlish to the (what feels like) daily google alerts of his various arrests. Partly it's been the whole mythos of the thing, how he's enacting the "doomed rock star" notion, that bastard child of Romanticism, which is so inane and destructive.

Still, in all this, the songs are worth hearing, some of them are marvellous, and the way things are going they are all that will be left.
posted by jokeefe at 11:14 AM on April 22, 2006


Worthless human flotsam is as worthless human flotsam does.
posted by HTuttle at 11:48 AM on April 22, 2006


Oh wait, he plays some out-dated hasn't-been-an-original-idea-for-30-years croppola MUSIC!

What an ARTIST!
posted by HTuttle at 11:49 AM on April 22, 2006


Afroblanco: check out Up the Bracket, it's the best of the lot. It's got two or three songs that are excellent, and a bunch that are OK. He's not a genuis.

Other than that: seriously, who gives a shit about his life-style, people?
posted by Football Bat at 12:42 PM on April 22, 2006


I'm not so convinced about the romantic beauty of watching someone kill themselves.

Just to clarify, I wasn't trying to say anything of the sort.

What's romantic is the idea of someone living exactly as they like, without giving a fuck about the law or its consequences.

And he's the thing that's beautiful.

Watching such a spectacle is unquestionably fascinating. And while death is a possible outcome, it's a very, very long way from likely. He'd be at far more risk if he was obsessed with climbing K2, and wouldn't suffer from any of the moral opprobium -- which is another of the factors that makes our obsession with him so interesting.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:00 PM on April 22, 2006


Golly, I kind of reserve the word genius for people who are brilliant and really develop something new. There are other ways to praise artists.

And what the fuck does "last of the wild men" mean? Snort They'll just use find and replace and published the same article again next year about somebody else, changing a few pertainent details...blah blah...last of the wild men ...panflute virtuosi...new wave clarinet players...
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 2:18 PM on April 22, 2006


Just another lost soul looking for direction and purpose.

Real life hits coddled middle-class children especially hard, when they realize that they have just been raised to be the best consumer that they can. This guy is just going through that realization in a very public way.
posted by meringue at 6:58 PM on April 22, 2006


The Libertines were shite; Pete Doherty is shite; anyone who ever rated him is shite. I have nothing against drug-addled, dissipated rock stars at all. But I do insist they be talented. Doherty is just a giftless little chancer. He's not even good-looking. He has no chin. His head looks like a month-old new potato. I've written better songs with my arse. Oh! There goes another one!
posted by Decani at 7:03 PM on April 22, 2006


The latest updates from this last week:
Pete Doherty sent to rehab

Pete Doherty Arrested Yet Again

Pete Doherty arrested in London hours after court appearance

and of course, from today's news: Pete Doherty Back on the Streets

This defines a quality alternative lifestyle. Must hurry up and buy the movie rights!
posted by zaelic at 7:16 AM on April 24, 2006


To be honest, I'm sick of defending Pete Doherty to people who have heard nothing more than the tabloid headlines and have already formed an unshakable opinion that he is worthless trash.
I could go into great detail about why I believe his output & ethos entirely validates him as an artist, but rather than get involved again here, I'll just say that if you don't get it you're either too old or too close-minded. And I don't fucking care if you disagree.
posted by anagrama at 9:16 AM on April 24, 2006


Are there other people who get arrested as much as Pete Doherty does? In such a short period of time?
posted by armacy at 1:04 PM on April 24, 2006


I'm sick of defending Pete Doherty to people who have heard nothing more than the tabloid headlines

Oh, I wish I were one of those people. I really do. Unfoitunately I have had the misfortune to be exposed to every shitty little bit of "music" he's ever released.

The man is a giftless junkie prole, and his material reeks sickeningly fo the fact. Oh, sorry! I mean "My God! Aren't the Emperor's new clothes absolutely splendid!"
posted by Decani at 5:30 PM on April 28, 2006


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