Friday 1 December 2023

Celebrity Jukebox #115: Shane MacGowan

When Shane MacGowan stayed at Bono's house, he did what only Shane MacGowan could do...

“Bono put in a glass roof and wall,” MacGowan explained in an interview with The Times. “I used to wave my willy at the train as it passed and hope that they thought it was Bono’s.”

Sad to say I must be on my way
So buy me beer and whiskey 'cause I'm going far away
I'd like to think of me returning when I can
To the greatest little boozer and to Sally MacLennane

I've been giving the Celebrity Jukebox a rest over the past couple of weeks. It's been nice to have a stretch without any big name deaths. But I've been worrying about Shane MacGowan a lot lately, hoping his time wasn't nigh. The pictures from his hospital bed didn't look great, and... I dunno... could we really stand to lose both Sinéad and Shane in the same year?

Another post then, written with a very heavy heart...

Let's start with a Canadian Irish band who owe their entire act to Shane...

Well, the next thing you know I was lying on the ground
I drank some more whiskey, you know I was feeling sound
I dreamt I met MacGowan and he bought me another round
And the two of us went drinkin' 'til the morning

And they're not the only ones in debt...

Last night as I slept
I dreamt I met Macgowan
That poetic old drunk
Who consumes me with his words
The romantic lines of verse
He writes down without effort
I pray the angels catch him
If he should fall from the grace of God

Meanwhile, back in Canada, a song about the new set of teeth Shane had fitted in 2015...

Next, a tribute from German band Hasenscheisse which mentions Shane in the same breath as Elvis, Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin...

Ohne Feuerwasser kein Rock'n'Roll
Harald Juhnke ist mein Held 
Und Shane MacGowan ist mein Idol

...which translates thus...

There's no rock'n'roll without firewater
Harald Juhnke is my hero 
And Shane MacGowan is my idol

And now a word from Sweden...

From Sweden to Devon, where the Black Anchors are searching in vain...

Another rainy night in Soho
Looking for Shane MacGowan
A barmaid with spider tatoos
Said he's not been around
And I'm coming down

And a band featuring the bassist from The Libertines. Pete Doherty had nothing on Shane...

Finally, a bunch of grubby urchins who go by the name of The Dipsomaniacs. I'm sure Shane would approve.

It was Ben who alerted me to the new of Shane's death, and he was pretty certain the mainstream media coverage would hinge around that Christmas song he did with Kirsty. A fine tune (if over-played), but there's so much more to Shane's legacy. There were more great duets to start with. Such as this...

And this, which I no doubt posted back in July when Sinéad passed because it's a high point in both their careers...

Final word to Shane himself. I hope they follow his wishes to the letter...

Bury me at sea
Where no murdered ghost can haunt me
If I rock upon the waves
And no corpse can lie upon me

Let me go, boys, let me go, boys
Let me go down in the mud, where the rivers all run dry


  1. As you say not a surprise.But still too young. A unique talent.

  2. another for the list , Jesse Malin"s "Shane", too many great talents gone too soon

    1. Thanks (Brian?). I wish I'd thought of that one, but I was scared searching for Shane would cast the net too wide.


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