Macgowan and Me

7 Jun


It’s January 30th, 1988 and in room 612 of the Brisbane Parkroyal, shenanigans are afoot. My old band Weddings,Parties,Anything and the Pogues have just done the last gig of a national tour and the hotel manager has gamely promised that if we leave the cocktail bar and return to our rooms, drinks will be delivered. Being a man of his word, room service staff are busy bringing trays of tropical cocktails. I have no idea who’s paying. The mood is convivial, a guitar’s getting passed around and t-shirts and other possessions are being exchanged.
Suddenly, Shane Macgowan’s infallible drug radar goes off and he weaves his way to the bathroom. Mick Thomas, my band’s singer, runs through the Hunters and Collectors classic ‘Throw your arms around me’ while folk-rock lynchpin Terry Woods listens glassy-eyed assuring Mick that they will, despite the song’s lyric, meet again.
Shane enters the bathroom to find Brian and Angus, our Glaswegian roadies, unfolding a foil package.
‘ Woss thaat? ‘ demands Shane.
‘ It’s speed ‘ the brothers reply in unison. Shane snatches up the foil and in a great wheezing gulp inhales all of the powder into his nose and mouth, pauses for a moment then turns and leaves emitting his Muttley-from-Wacky-Races laugh.
Shane returns to the singalong where Mick’s going down well until he begins to sing ‘Spanish Bombs’ by The Clash. At the time, Joe Strummer was being mooted as Shane’s eager understudy should ill health make him unable to go on tour.
‘ I fuckin’ hate the Clash ‘ is Shane’s neat summation of his feelings on the subject. Spider, Shane’s apparent closest pal, gets the shits and demands Shane sing a song if he finds the current choices wearisome.
‘ I WILL sing a song ‘ Shane states and takes the guitar to perform, in his singular voice, a version of Sam Cooke’s ‘Saturday night at the Movies’.
There’s no topping that and thankfully another tray of fruity tequila drinks arrives.



3 Responses to “Macgowan and Me”

  1. Ian Kitney June 22, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Pete, what a great story! And even greater photo of you n Shane!!

  2. Ian Kitney June 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    Whew, delusional!! X

  3. Gferg July 22, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    good read!

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