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Pogue Mahone, ya Nipple Erectors
September 13, 2009 1:51 PM   Subscribe

Shane MacGowan is the face and name most often associated with The Pogues. Unraveling Shane's psyche would require a book-length study but the crux of his identity lies somewhere in that conflict between English experience and Irish heritage. The abbreviated story of his life starts with his birth in England, but he was raised in Ireland, and moved back to England some years later. He won a scholarship to the renowned Westminster School, where he was possibly enrolled alongside Thomas Dolby and other notable people. MacGowan was involved with drugs and publicized hooliganery before being in a band, the first of which was The Nipple Erectors in 1977.

In the short life of the band, the line-up shifted a number of times, the name was changed to The Nips, and their sound ranged from rockabilly to a punkish R&B, and softer pop. The band in one form or another released four singles, and got as far as to send a demo to Polydor Records in 1980, but the band broke up before the end of that year. MacGowan joined up with another group, The Millwall Chainsaws, who formed in 1979 with Spider Stacy, where Stacy sang and MacGowan played guitar. Inspired by The Dubliners (previously), they renamed themselves The New Republicans, with Shane as the lead singer. "Singing Irish rebel songs was a really good way of sticking up two fingers at the establishment," says Spider. The band shifted a bit, changed their name, and coined their own battle cry: "We are the Pogue Mahone/Fuck The Clash and The Rolling Stones", and began to blaze a trail across the bars and venues of north London. "We just wanted to do something that nobody else had ever done and take it as far as it would go," says MacGowan. "We, knew that people didn't want retro-punk. They wanted fast dance music with good tunes, something they could whoop and scream and cry to. And what fits the bill better than Irish music?" The Pogues had begun.

Pogue Mahone initially playing old Irish folk tunes like Waxie's Dargle and Poor Paddy, alongside new compositions like Streams Of Whiskey (here on Old Grey Whistle Test) and The Old Main Drag (BBC Radio Session). In 1984, the band released their first single, Dark Streets of London, and received serious airplay until a Gaelic-speaking producer on BBC Radio Scotland heard the band's name and realized what was being said, and it was banned in Scotland and frozen by Radio 1. The band changed their name to The Pogues, and in October 1984 they released their next single and their first studio album, Red Roses for Me. Their view of The Clash changed enough that they opened from the band's 1984 tour, and Joe Strummer became a friend and accomplice to the band. The band continuing to gain renown, opening for Stiff Records label-mate Elvis Costello in 1985. That same year, Costello produced their second studio album, Rum Sodomy & The Lash, which has been included in a number of "greatest albums" lists. In 1986, band released Poguetry In Motion, a four-track EP that was also produced by Costello, though it was considered "hardly a collection of leftovers."

There were strains on the band in this time. The long-time bassist, Cait O'Riordan, left the band and married Elvis Costello, leading to the first major change in the band's line-up, and Shane MacGowan was increasingly erratic and unreliable. The group survived to make their third studio album, If I Should Fall From Grace With God, which came out in January 1988. This effort included more than the Irish folk/punk sound of the past, including middle-eastern influences, a Spanish-inspired party song, and a Christmas ballad (previously, twice), featuring vocal accompaniment from album producer Steve Lillywhite's wife, Kirsty MacColl. The band's fourth album, Peace and Love, is the first to be without a single cover of a traditional Irish song, and includes songs of London, more Spanish influences, even opening with some instrumental jazz of a sort.

Unfortunately, Shane MacGowan's drinking and drug abuse worsened, and he failed to turn up for opening dates for the band's 1988 tour, and hindered the band's effort to promote their fifth studio album, Hell's Ditch. This album shifted farther from the Irish folk roots of the past, and included Asian themes and more Spanish influences that were gained in part from the band's time in Spain while shooting Straight To Hell, an action-comedy homage to Spaghetti Westerns (clip). (Director Alex Cox wanted to put on a tour to raise money for Nicaragua, but instead shot this film in Spain and made what one critic called "A Fist Full of Nothing".) The soundtrack includes covers and exclusive tracks.

Finally the band dropping MacGowan in 1991, and two Pogues compilations were issued that same year: Essential Pogues and The Best of The Pogues. Another compilation was issued in 1992, The Rest of The Best, as if to mark the end of the band. But The Pogues lived on, with Joe Strummer filling in for vocals until Spider Stacy took over and returned to his old role of lead vocalist, and giving other band members a chance to write songs for the group. In 1993 they released Waiting for Herb, their second album without a traditional cover. Even though the band was without their iconic frontman, they still had their first top 20 single since Fairytale of New York, with Tuesday Morning (YouTube). The band line-up changed dramatically between their 6th and 7th album, Pogue Mahone, which even the band members considered "a less ambitious, rather conservative Pogues album, all in a well-established Pogues style." Reviewers were less forgiving: "No angst. No identity. Nothing memorable." In 1996, the remainder of the band called it quits, but this wasn't the end.

Various members of the band went on to their own side projects or to form new groups. In October 1995, Jem Finer (one of the original Pogues) started to work on Longplayer, the one thousand year long musical composition (previously). Spider Stacy, Darryl Hunt and Andrew Ranken formed The Vendetta (initially named The Wisemen, not Stacy's idea), and had half an album written before The Pogues reunited. Ranken also performed with Nigel Burch and the Flea-Pit Orchestra. James McNally released a solo album and joined Afro-Celt Sound System. Jamie Clarke formed Perfect in 1997. Shane MacGowan formed The Popes in 1994 after parting ways with The Pogues, releasing two studio albums in the 1990s, only to reunite the band in 2001 and again in 2004, then in 2006 and 2008, though no new studio material has been recorded. The Popes live on, without MacGowan. They released a studio album from the new line-up in 2000, then released a 2-disc Best-Of compilation and a live album in 2002 from their time being fronted by MacGowan. The Popes released another studio album in May 2009, featuring a more orderly Shane MacGowan.

More Pogues Media
BBC Radio 2 documentary - Pogue Mahone: The Story of the Pogues
Written summary and and streaming in Real Media

The Story of Fairytale of New York (2005), from BBC Three
6 parts on YouTube: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 6

The Pogues: Live at the Town and Country on St. Patrick's Day in 1988, one of the official live video recordings (also available via unofficial media, as listed on the highly detailed database of live audio and video recordings of The Pogues and related bands) and YouTube, from the Japanese LaserDisc:
Intro
1. The Broad Majestic Shannon
2. If I Should Fall From Grace With God
3. A Rainy Night In Soho
4. Thousands Are Sailing
5. Fairytale Of New York (with Kirsty MacColl)
6. Lullaby Of London
7. Dirty Old Town
8. London Calling (Joe Strummer vocals)
9. Turkish Song Of The Damned
10. Fiesta
11. The Irish Rover
12. Worms
13. A Message To You, Rudi (Lynval Golding vocals)
14. The Wild Rover and end credits
Demos on YouTube
Dark Streets of London (1983 demo version)
Fairytale of New York (2nd demo of the song, with Cait O'Riordian dueting with Shane)
Playlist with another 10 or so

Straight to Hell, the movie, as a 9-part YouTube playlist. Viewable in scaled up HQ, but with a wonky display ratio either way.
posted by filthy light thief (87 comments total) 174 users marked this as a favorite

 
Random things that didn't fit in well: Previously mentioned: Spider provided background music for a short animation called The YuYu in 2006.

The origin of this whole FPP was a comment by FelliniBlank that linked to the Town and Country video of Worms. I was going to keep the post short, but I spent the weekend reading up on The Pogues and listing to a lot of music, and wanted to share the whole thing. Plus, there's not a lot about The Pogues on the blue, beyond comments and mentions of the band and/or Shane.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:55 PM on September 13, 2009


Dag nabit .. it sits too heavily on the front page. Oh well, it'll get pushed down in a few days.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:56 PM on September 13, 2009


[more inside]
posted by ericb at 1:57 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dag nabit .. it sits too heavily on the front page.

More like filthy pixel thief! Just kidding, fantastic post.
posted by marxchivist at 1:59 PM on September 13, 2009


Thank you for this post; a winding, soul bearing, era-straddling colossus, like the man himself. Cheers.
posted by churl at 2:01 PM on September 13, 2009


Naturally there is a longstanding wiki-war over whether or not to call him Irish.
posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy christing fuck, you have just obliterated my free time for the next goddamn week, you turd.

Thanks!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:02 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Every time I see Shane I ponder how the hell he's still alive....

Was watching him sing Dirty Old Town by the magic of youtube only the other day and it was truly sublime (though having the final episode of The Wire and about a third of a bottle of whisky behind me might have helped)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:11 PM on September 13, 2009


Wow, what an FPP. A hearty hat tip to you, you Filthy Light Thief. Well done.
posted by spacely_sprocket at 2:14 PM on September 13, 2009


Oh my God. Should we ever meet, I'm buying the drinks. All night. This is amazing.

(At first glimpse I thought Shane was dead. Then I realised I'm not sure if he can die.)
posted by kalimac at 2:17 PM on September 13, 2009


I still remember over a decade ago when music critic Michael Heaton (brother of the much-unloved Patricia Heaton, but don't hold that against him) wrote a piece that put forth the bold theory that some bands needed to get back on drugs in order to justify their continued existence (he cited Motley Crue), whereas some others needed to get off drugs post-haste, not just for their own sake, but for the good of society as a whole (he cited the Pogues -- and of course by citing the Pogues what he meant was, "Shane"). The poor man needs a keeper...think of a benevolent Annie Wilkes. That he's lived this long is promising, though; I hate to say it, but when I saw this FPP, I assumed he had died, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:20 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


At first glimpse I thought Shane was dead.

As I was saying....
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:21 PM on September 13, 2009


Awesome work. Awesome dude.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:23 PM on September 13, 2009


Awesome post.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:23 PM on September 13, 2009


Best of web, right here yes sir.
posted by nonliteral at 2:24 PM on September 13, 2009


OK, shit, now I'm crying. Fucking MacGowan...one song and I'm all in tears. This should be marked NSFW.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:27 PM on September 13, 2009


I love The Pogues and I love this post. Thank you for putting this together.
posted by threetoed at 2:27 PM on September 13, 2009


Every time I see Shane I ponder how the hell he's still alive....

Like Iggy Pop, he is indestructable.
posted by Artw at 2:27 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


How it is done, when it is done how it can be done. Hats off, flt.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:30 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sweet blessed mother.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:33 PM on September 13, 2009


One of fav comments (out of many) from Mojo Nixon: "That Pogues fella looks like he could floss with a two by four."
posted by memewit at 2:35 PM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


I lost a couple teeth just reading this post.
Awesome.
posted by _dario at 2:40 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm going to go brush my teeth right now.

(This is an EXCELLENT post.)
posted by ocherdraco at 2:42 PM on September 13, 2009


when I saw this FPP, I assumed he had died, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one.

Yeah, me too. I don't even know where to start with this post.
posted by Jimbob at 2:43 PM on September 13, 2009


This is a bit thin.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:55 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Merciful CHRIST, this was a great post!
Gawd bless ya, Shane!
posted by newfers at 2:58 PM on September 13, 2009


I saw him a few times in a pub I used to frequent in North London, sat at the bar wearing a knackered top hat and drinking something that looked like a glass of gin with a spoon in it. I am sad to say that I did not lend him a tenner, and he did not buy me a drink.

Thank Christ this post does not require the use of a .
posted by permafrost at 3:10 PM on September 13, 2009


He's rather alive, and with some new teeth. In regards to the current status of Shane, Paul "Mad Dog" McGuinness of The Popes recently said: “I’ve never seen Shane in better shape or more enthusiastic,” reports McGuinness, in a Dublin accent thick enough to steamroller tarmac. “I always had a great time with Shane, but this time it’s been great to meet some very fine new musicians and work with a different kind of person.”
posted by filthy light thief at 3:13 PM on September 13, 2009


I saw him a few times in a pub I used to frequent in North London, sat at the bar wearing a knackered top hat and drinking something that looked like a glass of gin with a spoon in it.

He does have a fair number of look-alikes around Camden Town though. Many of whom will very much demand that tenner.
posted by Artw at 3:15 PM on September 13, 2009


The first Pogues song I heard was "If I Should Fall From Grace With God." The screams he did in between choruses and verses convinced me instantly that he was just a touch insane, and that I must listen to more of his teachings. Even if some of his lines sounded like vowel movements. Glad to have found them, and glad for this post.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 3:20 PM on September 13, 2009


Thanks for the clean-up, mystery mod! The division of the introductory paragraph was further split to lessen the burden on the front page, possibly making my earlier comment a bit confusing.

I added the tags NewTeeth and NotDeadYet, to clear up any worries or confusion.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:20 PM on September 13, 2009


I wish I could favorite this a hundred times.

Like Iggy Pop, he is indestructable.

Yeah, right up until he isn't.
posted by lumpenprole at 3:20 PM on September 13, 2009


'Wild Cats of Kilkenny' sounds just like a Pink Floyd song.
posted by ovvl at 3:26 PM on September 13, 2009


Great post. I'll have to dig through this because I find myself liking a Pogues song here and there (Summer In Siam), but like Van Morrison or Richard Thompson, I find that it is a case of quickly diminishing returns, and a sense that none of the other music has that something in it that I liked so much in their one song.
posted by vronsky at 3:32 PM on September 13, 2009


He played in Dublin a few years back and managed to vomit on the crowd (I heard this via a friend).
What a legend.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 3:36 PM on September 13, 2009


Oh thank you! I was having a bit of a Pogues weekend, now I feel it may turn into a month, or maybe more.
posted by Helga-woo at 3:57 PM on September 13, 2009


Shane's contribution to the documentary Danny Boy - In Sunshine and in Shadows is the highlight IMHO.
posted by Edward L at 4:06 PM on September 13, 2009


Shane is, without a doubt, one of the single most talented lyricists to come out of Ireland, or anywhere, in the past half century or so. There's a tendency in rock and roll to celebrate somebody's self-destructiveness, but, if you've ever known a serious alcoholic, you know that what the manage to do they do in spite of their alcoholism, rather than because of it. We've been denied, I would guess, years or decades of productive work because MacGowan is a drunk, and he'll probably die early from it. I've never found his toothlessness or his drinking to be amusing, but, instead, indicators that there is a lot of terrific work from him that we'll never hear from him, because he'd rather be a famous wreck than a world-class artist. Anybody can be the former; he's one of the few that can be the latter.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:07 PM on September 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


Epic post!
posted by DaddyNewt at 4:08 PM on September 13, 2009


On the other hand... Bono.
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I remember reading that NME review of the Clash gig the week it came out and thinking WTF? Who goes around biting their girlfriend's ear off for a pose in a club?

My own favourite Shane YouTube clip is Shane and Christie Moore
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:16 PM on September 13, 2009


"There's a HUGE post about Shane MacGowan on MeFi."
"Oh? Did he die?"

I hear that during this last tour he's had a little booth onstage in which he can cool off if he gets too stressed from, y'know, being Shane MacGowan.
posted by Madamina at 4:16 PM on September 13, 2009


Fantastic post. Very well done, thank you indeed!
posted by davebushe at 4:17 PM on September 13, 2009


"but like Van Morrison or Richard Thompson, I find that it is a case of quickly diminishing returns"

With all due respect, are you EFFING insane????

No wait, I'll be nice. To each his own, even if they are dead wrong!

CHEERS! *raises a glass*
posted by newfers at 4:52 PM on September 13, 2009


I'm swooning!

I worked the Boston Guinness Fleadh in '99 (I think it was), and MacGowan was with the Popes. At one point during the set, he says "I gotta take a piss" and wanders off for maybe three songs. Yeah. And a friend told me stories of shows years earlier for which Shane had to be coaxed on stage with a bottle of champagne.

Thank you for such an amazing post, and not saving these wonderful treasures for the obit file. He should indeed be celebrated while alive.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 4:57 PM on September 13, 2009


My first reaction on seeing this: "oh man... Shane finally died".

My second reaction: Holy shit, what a great post. Time to break out the Jameson's, I guess.

My third reaction: dammit, it's only an hour before the season finale of True Blood airs, and there's NO DAMN WAY I'm going to be able to process all this before then.
posted by deadmessenger at 5:01 PM on September 13, 2009


That's my Metafilter five bucks right there! Incredibly great post... THANKS.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:13 PM on September 13, 2009


Holy mother of god, wotta post! Amazing, flt! Many thanks!

I can't help being a little sad, though, when I think of how ephemeral YT can be... looking back on many of my YT-intensive posts over the past few years, and seeing how many clips have been pulled. A year from now, half of these (or more) may well be gone...

BUT! They're here now, and thanks again, filthy light thief!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:28 PM on September 13, 2009


Oh, and excellent use of the NewTeeth tag!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:29 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy crap.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 5:33 PM on September 13, 2009


Edinburgh 1985: A friend and I realized that we weren't going to be lucky in getting any last minute return tickets on a sold out Pogues concert. As the start time passed we wandered home stopping in a pub about a mile away where we found Shane propping up the bar. We bought him a drink, lobbied him unsuccessfully for tickets and pointed him in the direction of the venue. Wish my story had been less predictable.

I love the list of former Westminster School pupils. I had no idea Shane McGowan was a former pupil and I'm having great fun picturing how he might have got on with not Just Thomas Dolby but also Nigella Lawson and Helena Bonham Carter.
posted by rongorongo at 5:35 PM on September 13, 2009


.

Oh wait. Every time I hear about Shane MacGowan I assume he's died.</small?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:41 PM on September 13, 2009


I can't help being a little sad, though, when I think of how ephemeral YT can be... looking back on many of my YT-intensive posts over the past few years, and seeing how many clips have been pulled. A year from now, half of these (or more) may well be gone...

Since you're whispering, I'll whisper, too ;)
I've been thinking about YT posts for a while, especially after reading posts warning of YouTube content and snarky comments to SLYT posts back in 2006. On re-checking these links, they range from early 2007 to late 2009. I think my fear of longevity of YT posts is decreased, especially knowing someone could search for "Pogues" and find thousands of songs today, and I doubt that it will change in the future. On the flip side, any of these minor website I linked to could vanish any day if they don't pay their hosting bills. In short: I worry more about the other sites, and less about YouTube. This isn't a rant against you, just me being dumping my thoughts again.

posted by filthy light thief at 5:46 PM on September 13, 2009


Apparently, he regularly drinks at my local, The Boogaloo.
posted by Magnakai at 5:53 PM on September 13, 2009


Wow. What a stunningly great post. Love Shane, love the Pogues, have been lucky enough to see them on stage a couple of times. And even when Shane is drunk off his ass -- which, I guess, is every minute of every day -- he still puts on an amazing show.

Thanks! This is awesome, and yeah, glad Shane's not dead yet.
posted by OolooKitty at 5:54 PM on September 13, 2009


Another weird little track: a video for a cover of Miss Otis Regrets and Just One Of Those Things, which seems to have been released on Red Hot + Blue, part of the series of AIDS benefits compilations, this time all covers of Cole Porter tracks.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:01 PM on September 13, 2009


Christ, you scared me, I thought he was dead.

My band opened for The Pogues years ago. It was a memorable night, to be sure. Cases and cases of tequila were delivered to The Pogues' dressing room. I don't think I have ever seen so much alcohol consumed in one evening.

Thanks, great post.
posted by free pie at 6:10 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I saw the post I just assumed it was an obit post, but then I realized that he'll die the same day Keith Richards does - just seconds after a giant meteor destroys the Earth.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:23 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Strange that my first reaction to Shane MacGowan new look is, "What happened to his teeth? What a shame."
posted by stavrogin at 6:47 PM on September 13, 2009


I have no idea whether it's somewhere within this mountain of links, but The Parting Glass is a great website that explains many of the references in Pogues lyrics.

Starting at the very beginning, for example:

"In the rosy parks of England
We'll sit and have a drink
Of VP wine and cider 'til we can hardly think..."

"VP Wine" refers to VP Sherry, a British wine (and not a "true" Sherry for you wine enthusiasts out there). The "VP" is an abbreviation for the company that produced the wine, Vine Products, based in Kingston upon Thames.


[previously]
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:58 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I couldn't agree more with Astro Zombie. Shane is one of the 20th century's truly great lyricists. A ridiculously disproportionate amount of his work is very close to genius.

I am exceedingly glad to hear he is back on the scene and enthusiastic about writing and singing.

Seriously, as far as I'm concerned, this guy is right up there with Yeats and Wilde.

And the music is the feckin' shite too.
posted by Aquaman at 7:30 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Shane is one of the 20th century's truly great lyricists.

I vaguely recall Nick Cave saying as much, too. In fact, I think Nick called Shane the very best, bar none.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:37 PM on September 13, 2009


Hope the new teeth don't screw up his singing.

Great post, filthy; let me guess, part of your master's thesis?
posted by Bron at 8:19 PM on September 13, 2009


Hope the new teeth don't screw up his singing.
Well, it isn't like his old teeth remained consistent.

(and I'm another one who saw this on the front page and felt their heart seize thinking it was an obit.)
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:33 PM on September 13, 2009


I almost never watch SNL but once years ago I happen to be watching and caught this and fell instantly in love with it.

Awesome post..thanks...
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:43 PM on September 13, 2009


Oh, man, I'm seeing the Pogues at the end of next month and I'll about have finished reading the links by then. Awesome post!
posted by immlass at 9:01 PM on September 13, 2009


This isn't a post, this is a full wikipedia entry!

well done, filthy light thief!
posted by DreamerFi at 10:39 PM on September 13, 2009


god ferkin damn epic and thanks.
posted by mwhybark at 10:59 PM on September 13, 2009


This is a first class FPP, congratulations and thanks to filthy light thief. Personally, I just bought tickets to see the Pogues live in concert. I'm just glad that Shane is still alive and fronting the band - as long as he continues to do so until I see them!
posted by ooga_booga at 1:38 AM on September 14, 2009


Fantastic, thanks. I can also recommend the 1997 BBC4 documentary "The Great Hunger" (clip), which I think explores nicely the whole "broken genius" duality of the man. There's come great footage of Shane just sat near-comatose at a bar, with the normal pub hubbub going on, and he just starts singing, and the bar is silenced into reverie...actually, here's the clip.
posted by bokeh at 1:42 AM on September 14, 2009


Arise, Sir filthy light thief. This is a post for the ages.
posted by zemblamatic at 1:52 AM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nick Cave and Shane MacGowan duet at the Oxegen festival
posted by minifigs at 2:53 AM on September 14, 2009


Fine post. Used to have that Town and Country Paddy's Day gig on VHS; highly recommended.
posted by El Brendano at 3:44 AM on September 14, 2009


Great post, filthy; let me guess, part of your master's thesis?

Nope, just the work of a weekend of The Pogues, and a few breaks for food and drink and whatnot.

I really like music, and information about music, and sharing music and information. Just a little.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:32 AM on September 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is wonderful. Thank you. I'm also seeing the Pogues at the end of the month.
posted by collocation at 6:27 AM on September 14, 2009


Brilliant filthy light thief. I owe you a drink at the next LA meetup.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:23 AM on September 14, 2009


Good lord what an incredible post - thanks filthy light thief! Not going to have any spare time for a while...
posted by goo at 1:08 PM on September 14, 2009


For all the jokes about what a drunken mess he is, it's apparent to those who take a closer look that Shane's pretty much fucking brilliant, as Astro Zombie points out. Even a cursory look through the book A Drink with Shane MacGowan, which is basically just a gussied up transcript of a bunch of rambling conversations between him and his wife, a journalist, that he's incredibly smart and incredibly hilarious.

Oh, and in case it hasn't been said (and because it can't be said enough), that first album he did with The Popes is nothing short of amazing.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:54 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, what a thorough post. I saw him in concert about ten years ago. He was drinking the whole set. At one point, he paused, turned to the side, and vomited something clear and pinkish. He paused for a second more, and then went right back to singing. It was amazing.
posted by Locative at 2:29 PM on September 14, 2009


The POGUES, for God's sake. Not the fucking POPES.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:37 PM on September 14, 2009


[this is good]
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:47 PM on September 14, 2009


dnab: who are you talking to? I am confused.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:07 PM on September 14, 2009


The POGUES, for God's sake. Not the fucking POPES.

No, The Popes. Of course the albums he did with The Pogues were amazing; that's a given.

But that first album, The Snake, that he released with The Popes after having left The Pogues was also amazing.

On preview: filthy light thief, I think DNAB was talking to me.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:49 PM on September 14, 2009


A friend of mine went to see the Pogues at Bogart's in Cincinnati in 1990 or 1991. She said he was drinking something he called a screwdriver, but that it was clear, and that the other band members had to slap Shane awake between sets.

Maybe I'll get to see them one of these days before he dies.
posted by dilettante at 4:19 PM on September 14, 2009


But that first album, The Snake, that he released with The Popes after having left The Pogues was also amazing.

That's the one with Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway, isn't it?

I like how it builds to the line "Her father was a right cunt anyway", and then he just yells "CUNT" as the music takes over.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:16 PM on September 14, 2009


*sigh*

try to make a joke...
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:24 AM on September 15, 2009


When I saw the post I just assumed it was an obit post, but then I realized that he'll die the same day Keith Richards does - just seconds after a giant meteor destroys the Earth.

Actually, given the fact that all their flesh and organs probably resemble preservative-soaked wood by now, I'd expect them to survive any such impact and be scrabbling around the resulting asteroid field for drinks, only to be discovered there centuries later by visiting aliens.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:38 AM on September 25, 2009


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