It's All Gone A Bit Sad

By shane

Well, it's been a long time coming. I've even taken crap from my friends for backing the guy for as long as I have... but, quite simply, there comes a time when you've got to step away and look a situation realistically.

Pete Doherty, it's time for you to fuck off. Click READ MORE for my whole rant.

What is it about Pete that we find captivating?

For me, it was the obvious. Here was a guy who looked like your best friend. With his baby face and his unkempt clothes, Doherty sauntered around like the most likeable guy in the world.

Of course, all that's second to the fact that Pete's a hell of a songwriter. It took me a while to get into the awkward, shambolic nature of the Libertines. When you listen to the Libs, they always sounded like a band on the very verge of crashing. Instruments not being played very well, vocals that only sometimes chose to be in pitch or decipherable, it was like a train rolling perilously close to the edge of the tracks.

But the tunes stood the tests of time AND embarassment. And the lyrics were nothing shy of addled genius. "The New Clash"? Hardly. But a stellar good time and a definite cause for repeated listens.

And, all the time, Doherty at least seemed to be SOMEWHAT in control. I mean, sure, there were the magazine articles and the occasional drug arrest, but hey, "it's rock and roll," as they say. Some of that sort of behavior is not just forgiven, it's damn near expected in this day and age.

When Doherty lost the plot (and the Libertines,) I still felt like supporting the guy to a degree. I mean, it takes some serious independence and fortitude to go running around in public going, "Yeah, I've got a habit. What of it?" Some people have accused Doherty of waving his drug habits in our face; I think it's just the opposite. We WANTED him to wave his drug habits about all willy-nilly (at least, the newspapers we read did.) It wasn't Pete's fault that he was all over the news -- he really wasn't doing much to get himself there.

When NME put him on the cover of their "cool" issue, there was a pretty serious backlash from some fans -- how could NME dare to put some heroin junkie as the face of "new cool"? Quite honestly, I think he WAS at that time. No, no, I'm not supporting drug abuse. BUT there really WAS a sort of superstar quality to Pete at that time. Here was a guy who rolled along, doing what he wanted, not taking guff from anybody, and strangely managing to survive and succeed at it! I mean, it takes a special breed to be completely, devastatingly addicted to heroin and crack cocaine AND still be able to pull off legendary live appearances and, with Babyshambles, a halfway decent record (though no Libertines by a mile.)

But sometime it's got to stop. Our fixation with this doofus is reaching the end. From December to present, he's been in the paper for arrest after arrest, and there's finally little to no creative juice left in the jug.

This weekend, Doherty was arrested (again) because the Sun got their grubby little hands on some Polaroid photos of Pete appearing to inject a young girl with heroin. Bad, right? Well, the girl also appears to be unconscious at the time. That's pretty damn evil.

Pete's already posted on his website that (a) the photos were stolen from his house, and (b) the pics were staged.

Let's just say that's true. Let's take the junkie at his word.

What kind of freakshow would think it a good, funny lark to stage pictures of shooting up some unconscious girl? Frankly, Pete, I think you'd be better off claiming the pics were real. At least THEN we could fall on your habit as the ultimate excuse.

Granted, we sure have done that an awful lot. We've sat through, jeez what is it now, like 15 drug arrests in the past year? We've watched you go to rehab on the dime of folks like Carl Barat and Alan McGee, and we've watched you fuck up every time.

Count me out. I'm officially no longer a fan. Dude needs help, and it's obvious he's not gonna do it alone. The police need to throw him in jail, and probably for a couple years. At this point, it's his only shot at redemption.

Stick him in a cell, hand the guy an acoustic guitar, and if we're lucky, we'll get some revolutionary music out of him. Even if we don't, we've stopped his self-destructive path.

The last thing I ever want to see is Pete Doherty dying from heroin and turning into some kind of rock and roll messiah. The last thing I ever want to do is walk into a Spencer Gifts and be able to buy my Pete Doherty memorial t-shirts.

If he ever DOES become a martyr, we put him there by all of us putting up with his shit for as long as we have. In this sorry case, EVERYBODY's failed. Maybe the guy needs some empty concert venues and some piss-poor record sales to get his head round.

He's a talented guy - I'll fight anybody to the teeth who claims otherwise. But he's also a total screw-up. And enough's enough.