A Drink with Shane MacGowan

Victoria Mary Clarke

Shane MacGowan

09 October 2014
400 pages


Funny, honest, brilliant and opinionated, A Drink with Shane MacGowan is the highly-acclaimed memoir of a true music icon.

'One of the freshest, most original biographies I've ever read' - Lynne Barber, Observer

'His candour, coupled with an acerbic wit, makes him an ideal guide through an unmistakably colourful life' - Time Out

Shane MacGowan was an intensely talented songwriter whose band, The Pogues, merged punk with Irish folk music to create a sound uniquely their own. An anarchic hellraiser with the soul of a poet, he is forever associated with Christmas after the chart-topping success of 'Fairytale of New York', his duet with Kirsty McColl.

He grew up on a small farm in Tipperary, won a scholarship to Westminster, was rapidly expelled, became a rent boy, then a central figure of punk and the hugely influential star of The Pogues - until his bandmates got so fed up of his behaviour they kicked him out for a time. MacGowan's music, innovative and powerful, is as distinctive as his chaotic, breakdown-scarred, drug and alcohol-fuelled lifestyle.

Written with his girlfriend (and later wife) Victoria Mary Clarke, A Drink With Shane MacGowan is a joyful celebration of a charming musician with a remarkable perspective on the world.

'An enormously vivid and descriptive picture of his life and dramatic times' - Irish Times

'This endearing memoir . . . is Irish rock distilled' - Sunday Times

He weaves raucous stories with esoteric musical, historical and literary references . . . MacGowan comes across as lucid and funny
One of the freshest, most original biographies I've ever read . . . Buy the book, it's great.
A refreshingly intimate read