One of my favorite singers and songwriters, Shane MacGowan of the Pogues, is gone and has died at the age of 65. Shane has been in and out hospital a lot in his later years, and the last year especially. He was suffering from a long illness and my hearts go out to his wife Victoria, family, friends and band mates.
I saw Victoria post the sad news this morning as soon as I turned on my phone and I broke down in tears. Even when you know news like this is coming, it’s still hard to process. Based on the hospital photos, he did not look great. His legacy, his music, his personality, his stories and everything surrounding him will live on and I’m sure the movie about him coming out will pack an extra gut punch now. Let’s all celebrate the life of Shane by listening to his music and watching music videos and concerts of the Pogues, The Popes and other appearances today and beyond.
I was happy to have seen Shane perform over 7 times. 6 times with the Pogues in London and NYC. Once in Dublin with Sharon Shannon, Jerry Fish and others. The first time I saw the Pogues in 2005, I had tears in my eyes as “Fairytale of New York” played, Shane singing with Jem’s daughter and snow fell from Brixton Academy onto the stage. I just didn’t know if it was going to be the last time I would see them perform. I flew over there just to see them and the Levellers. Then the Pogues announced a long-awaited tour in the US in 2006. Then I would see the band on and off until 2011 when the band stopped playing after the death of Phil Chevron in 2013. Seeing the Pogues and Shane (even in a wheel-chair after a bar beating) were the highlights of my music-going life.