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Here Comes Everybody: The Story of the Poguesby James Fearnley
Synopses & Reviews
The Pogues injected the fury of punk into Irish folk music and gave the world the troubled, iconic, darkly romantic songwriter Shane MacGowan. Here Comes Everybody is a memoir written by founding member and accordion player James Fearnley, drawn from his personal experiences and the series of journals and correspondence he kept throughout the band's career. Fearnley describes the coalescence of a disparate collection of vagabonds living in the squats of London's Kings Cross, with, at its center, the charismatic MacGowan and his idea of turning Irish traditional music on its head. With beauty, lyricism, and great candor, Fearnley tells the story of how the band watched helplessly as their singer descended into a dark and isolated world of drugs and alcohol, and sets forth the increasingly desperate measures they were forced to take.
"In the 1980s and '90s the Pogues inspired an entire music genre — Celtic punk — with their combination of original punk-rock song mixed with traditional Celtic music played by British musicians celebrating their Irish heritage. Fearnley was an original member of the Pogues — short for 'pogue mahone,' or 'kiss my arse' — and his book is less a traditional history of its career then a relentlessly detailed and paced view of the band's first nine years, from its formation in 1982 by Fearnley and lead singer Shane MacGowan to the band having to fire MacGowan in 1991 for his increasingly self-destructive behavior. Fearnley celebrates how MacGowan was the band's fiery engine in its first years, a charismatic front man and songwriter whose 'carriage, his contours, the attitude he copped, from which he did not break, were simultaneously authentic and artful.' But even while the band was achieving recognition and support from stars like Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan — and almost constant touring — MacGowan slipped into a haze of drugs and alcohol that Fearnley unflinchingly recounts. 'I couldn't understand how anyone could let himself become so bereft of responsibility for anything and yet write songs of such incisive beauty, full of chastening pity for the human condition.' Fans of the Pogues — which occasionally reforms and tours — will be moved by this brutally honest account of a still much beloved band. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“If you think all rock-music memoirs are a mixture of PR fluff, second-hand observations and strategically selected memories, then Here Comes Everybody: The Story of the Pogues is the book to make you change your mind....That Fearnley hasn't been quarantined for writing such a warts-and-all tale says much about the band and the bond formed across 30 fractious years. A band of brothers to the very end, then, and with a fine, salty memoir to raise a glass to.” Irish Times
About the Author
James Fearnley is a musician who played guitar in various bands, including the Nips with Shane MacGowan, before becoming the accordion player who still tours with the Pogues. He lives in Los Angeles.
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