Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Shane MacGowan

My wife came home the other day and told me that, as she was driving listening to the college radio station (CJSR), they played a solid half hour of The Pogues. My initial reaction to this was “Oh my god – Shane MacGowan must’ve died!” and frantically searched the Internet for something to either confirm or deny my thoughts. I was very much relieved to learn that Shane is still alive (though given his troubles with alcohol and drug abuse I won’t say ‘well’) and performing.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Pogues, pay a visit to for a list of their CD’s, etc. In a nutshell, the Pogues were pioneers in combining the rawness of punk rock with the melodic and lively sounds of traditional Irish music, and eventually went on to evolve their sound through the incorporation of World music (Middle Eastern and Spanish for example). Shane left the group after their first few and greatest recordings to strike it out on his own with his band, The Popes.

In spite of his self-abuse, I believe that Shane MacGowan is one of the greatest folk writer’s of the 20th Century, along the likes of Bob Dylan. Shane wrote some of the most beautiful ballads and tumultuous drinking songs, with the odd political statement, in the entire folk canon.

In any case, my words could never be adequate in the whole Poguetry experience – check out some of their stuff and, if they are making a rare and united appearance, check them out! I’ve seen them twice in the post Shane days with Spider Stacy up front and, though a great show, it was like putting Famous Grouse next to Langavulin! (scotch drinkers know what I'm on about !) All I can say, as I watch my musical icons get old and die as with Joey Ramone, Kirstey McColl and Joe Strummer, thank god we’ve got some Shane left!


  • At 11:22 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Pogues! You are young; they are descendants of the Dubliners, a group of filthy rebels too controversial for CKUA to play. "Christmas In New York" was one interesting song, but then what?
    There was a video from late '80's I collected and lost that had surviving Dubliners with Pogues. You can see what kind of unkind, disrespectful slovenly murderous bums your hero is parented by. Odd, that I went to see the Dubliners with my mother, but an old Glaswegian friend in Vancouver nearly killed me for playing that "rebel crap". Tastes we defend in our existential aloneness are incomprehensible! I crawl back into the Norwegian fog and mist of my fjord-minded exile and call like a moke for Hel.

  • At 1:13 p.m. , Blogger Real-E said...

    I'm a massive Dubliners fan! I spent an evening drinking Guinness with Ronnie Drew at O'Donohughes in Dublin in 1991 - it was great!

    Erin go Bragh!

  • At 5:02 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    o how i envy you that. i am a worm and nomad under a bottle of tequila now. but the pacifism of faith sits in the same soul as the rebel and his old alarum clock. at the rising os some future moon, maybe we can down some guiness and blow up stuff. i think it's a good lutheran privilege to post theses, then throw fesces. but let's not go an inmate route. so i apologize for underestimating your background and roots. it was just on the dylan record i bought, 'dear landlord'. then i came up here and dug up the l.p. versions of 'blood on the tracks','desire', 'highway 61'and 'street legal'. somehow the flow of art and mind went from orbison to dylan to dubliners and pogues and... reminds me of a geldof opus, ' the great song of indifference'. guarded emotions leave me flatulent, yet fully employed and paying taxes. i hope the kids are alright, under your tutelage and all, owl.... cockroach wormtongue, archie and ouch, roger that. erin go bragh...


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