Thursday, December 16, 2004

he loses it again

Lots of stuff in the NME and over on the Libertines forum about how the last couple of Babyshambles gigs have seen Pete Doherty back to his very worst; passing out on stage, climbing the speakers, his bandmates walking offstage mid set. He even had to be - eventually - pulled offstage by a member of the road crew, who put him in a headlock and dragged him away. His lyrics and guitar playing were incomprehensible apparently.

"I saw a girl near me crying tonight"
from a review of the gig the other night on

You wonder just how long his behaviour will continue to be tolerated. It's only 3 weeks since he won the NME Cool List thing, and two weeks ago he was described (rather bizzarely) as a musician proving that drugs needn't screw you up. As Simon over at No Rock and Roll Fun puts it:

And as The Day Today (Comedy DVD, 5) makes a hat of tinsel and prawn sandwiches, you've got Natasha Vromen from Drugscope saying that - hey - calling Pete Doherty the coolest guy of the year isn't a bad thing at all ("he's a successful musician... he disproves the myth that if you start using drugs you will always be taken over by them.") No, Natasha, he proves the truism that if you've got someone to underwrite your habit, clean up and issue apologies after you, you can carry on blundering up your own arse. He's been kicked out of his own band, fucked his relationship with his best mate and got - at best - a shaky reputation. Let's not hold him up as an example of living well on crack.
Well. You wonder how long he can carry on blundering. How long before the rest of Babyshambles get sick of him? How long before the tide of sympathy becomes irritation and the NME turns its back? Or has he just - since leaving his real band - surrounded himself with other crackheads and sycophants who will continue to humour his excesses? But it's (frankly) a disgrace that he was allowed to go on stage in the first place. Don't they have a manager? Wasn't there anyone there who could spot what was happening? Why on earth did they go on to do the second gig with him in that state?

It's like I've slowed down for a car-crash, I know. I think of the guy from The Vines and the fact that the NME printed pictures of him happy and well, playing a low-key gig at the weekend - essentially doing what he wants and getting support - and then this poor kid Doherty, feted as a genius and an icon, and getting ruined in the process. So I try to keep driving and not look back.


BB said...

Kirsty Wark interviewed hime at the end of Newsnight last night. She did adopt a rather mumsy tone (if 'mumsy' is indeed a word) and he did look a bit wan and spaced-out, but was coherent and even performed little bits and pieces. Still, you can see how people are attracted by the whole "tortured genius" thing. Even artists.

jonathan said...

Well, it's clear that he's totally caught up in the self-referential pop myth rubbish - I just watched it now and while he does come across as a nice lad all that rubbish about the 'black hole, the great abyss' is just a kid playing at being meaningful. Drugs are probably part of that.