“Entertaining and shocking at the same time. . . . Informative and fun. . . . This book is really good because, in a sense, it is one long fascinating interview.” Bryan Kremkau, Read Magazine
A Drink with Shane MacGowan
978-0-8021-3790-6 • $17.00 • Paperback • June 2001
A fascinating, offbeat memoir by Shane MacGowan, cofounder of The Pogues, brilliant lyricist, and legendary carouser
Best known as the cofounder of the Irish band The Pogues, Shane MacGowan has become a cult figure on the alternative-music scene. His achingly beautiful lyrics, as well as his legendary lifestyle of excess, have earned him an avid following that packs his shows and buys his albums.
One of the most unusual memoirs to come along in quite a while, A Drink with Shane MacGowan is structured as a series of interviews between MacGowan and his wife, Clarke. The singer recounts his experiences growing up on a farm in Ireland, where his family began giving him two pints of Guinness a night at the tender age of five and his father took him to hang out with bookies and drunks at the local pub. He tells of moving to London and becoming part of the London club scene in the mid-1970s, just as punk was beginning to emerge, offering a firsthand portrait of a seminal time and place in music history. MacGowan also provides his own, strongly opinionated views on The Pogues' success and the reasons for his abrupt departure from the band.
As he invites us into this fascinating world, MacGowan tells many hilarious stories and riffs on a wide range of subjects, from Irish history and politics to literature, film, religion, his own substance abuse, and much more. Sometimes maddening, sometimes charming, often brilliant, and always honest, A Drink with Shane MacGowan is an enjoyable romp with a truly unique personality.