Derelict Junction

Providing missile launch codes for foreign cryptographers everywhere.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Libertines Update

As expected, I bought a ticket to last night's sold out Libertines show at the Fillmore. So for the third time, I've paid 100% to see 75% of the band. As mentioned before, Libertines co-frontman, and full time drug addict, Pete Doherty, was not along for the second consecutive US tour. Reports have him abruptly canceling UK shows of his other band, Babyshambles. The official excuse for an Aberteen no-show? -Pete fell down the stairs. As expected, riots promptly followed.

"Fell down the stairs." That poor, sick fuck. That must be the most incidious, infuriating component of addiction, the inability to see merit in anything other than your next fix. The Libertines are one of the top two bands in England (along with The Darkness), yet Doherty wants nothing to do with them, which I'm convinced is due to fellow band mate and guitarist Carl Barat demanding he clean up.

These guys only play to sold out shows, and even Babyshambles is wildly popular, but Pete continues to prioritize that well below heroin and crack. As a fan, it saddens me, I can't even begin to imagine how frustrating it must be for someone who is close and cares for him. Those people must have had their hearts broken about a thousand times already.

For England, this is a national tragedy. Even beloved 77 year old English actress, June Brown, got involved and paid to have Pete sent and committed to a Thai rehab monastary. He only lasted a week before escaping and going on a 3 day heroin bender in a Bankok hotel room. -Sad, but not the first time he's released himself from rehab by his own reconnaissance. At a British clinic, he claims to have been kicked out because he left to take in a soccer game. Soon after that, he posted this message to fans on his website: "Will someone lend me £1,000 until the album comes out? I'll do a one-on-one, any song you like. Or gig for the cash on the nail." His financial hardship is due to Libertines manager, Alan McGee, limiting his cash flow for obvious reasons. Even in this month's Spin magazine there's a report of multiple photos circulating around the internet of Pete smoking crack.


And for the compassionate side of the story, fellow bandmember, Carl Barat, has always condended that Pete is welcome back in the band once he cleans up. In fact, he pleads and looks forward to that day saying, "I want to be in a band with my friend. That's all I can say." And when asked if they'd ever play together again- "if he turned up and he was the Peter I know and love, then of course, that’d be natural. It’s a bit of a fucking tricky one really." So while Pete continues to slide and publicly trash his old band and friend, it appears Carl only wants his friend back. Indeed, here's the cover photo of NME when Pete got out of jail and they were back together long enough to cut the latest CD (Pete on the right):

That type of loyalty and compassion I find amazing. It must be incredibly difficult to take someone back despite repeated fuck-ups. It must be even harder to decide it better to shun a close friend rather than to accept his self-destruction.

One of the Libertines many strong points has always been their lyrics. So last night while contemplating the obvious void onstage and all the band's efforts to keep it together, it seemed heart-breaking to watch Carl sing:

"Monkey asked the mouse before
If she loved anybody more than he
It turns you into stone
Now I'm reversing down the lonely street
To a cheap hotel when I can meet the past
And pay it off and keep it sweet
It's sweet like nothing no
It's just like nothing at all

Yes I've seen you there
How could I help but stare
It rips the heart out off your baby
Now I've taken far too much to see
Or think or touch what's real
I'm stranded on this street that
Paved my only way home

You really need it oh
You just won't leave it behind

So baby please kill me
Oh baby don't kill me
But don't bring that ghost round to my door
I don't wanna see him anymore"

Oh, yeah, the show was great. -Lots of hip high schoolers. When I looked around, my first thought was, "Man, I haven't seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High in a long time." And despite there not being the full Libertines line-up, it's always worth it to see a show at the Fillmore, if for no other reason than for the free poster on the way out. The one for last night's show is magnificent. Posted by Hello



At 12:21 PM, Blogger Drew said...

Pete Doherty's got it all wrong. What he should have done is write or 'inspire' some awful song for the Counting Crows. Then he can sit back and wait for Smack money to come every month in the mail! And all without the added pressure of actually being in the band or anything. This all of course is purely hypothetical as I don't know of anyone who's ever done this.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Drew said...

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