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Pete Doherty

Background information
Born 12 March 1979 (1979-03-12) (age 31)
Hexham, Northumberland England
Origin London, England
Genres Punk rock
indie rock
garage rock revival
post-punk revival
Occupations Musician, Songwriter,
Instruments Singer, Guitar, Harmonica
Years active 1997–Present
Associated acts The Libertines
The View
Carl Barat
The Streets
Alan Wass
Notable instruments
Epiphone Coronet
Gibson SG
Gibson ES-125
Epiphone Casino

Peter Doherty (born 12 March 1979) is an English musician, writer, artist and poet. He is currently a singer and songwriter in the band Babyshambles, but first came to fame with indie band The Libertines, alongside Carl Barât. In 2005, Doherty became prominent in tabloids, the news media, and pop culture blogs because of his romantic relationship with model Kate Moss and his well-publicised drug use.


Early life

Peter Doherty was born in Hexham, Northumberland, England, the son of Jacqueline (née Michels), who is of paternal Jewish and maternal Russian descent,[1] and Peter John Doherty, who is of Irish descent.[2][3][4] He had a Catholic upbringing[5] and grew up at a number of army garrisons, due to his father's work as an officer in the British Army, living at various times at garrisons in Catterick, Belfast, Germany, Bedworth, Dorset and Larnaca, along with his mother, a nurse, and two sisters, Amy Jo and Emily.[3] Doherty was the second of the three children.[3] He was academically successful, achieving 11 top GCSEs, 5 of which were A* grades, at Nicholas Chamberlaine Comprehensive School in Bedworth[6] and four passes at A Level, two at grade A.[7] At the age of 16, he won a poetry competition and embarked on a tour of Russia organised by the British Council.

After his A-levels, he moved to his grandmother's flat in London — where he said he felt 'destined' to be—and got a job filling graves in Willesden Cemetery, although most of his time was spent reading and writing while sitting on gravestones.[8] In a clip later made famous by YouTube, an eighteen-year old Doherty can be seen in an interview with MTV, on the day of the release of Oasis' Be Here Now album.[9] He attended Queen Mary, part of the University of London, to study English literature, but left the course after his first year.[8] After leaving university, he moved into a London flat with friend and fellow musician Carl Barât, who had been a classmate of Doherty's older sister at Brunel University.


The Libertines

Pete Doherty, 2007

Doherty and Barât formed a band called The Libertines in the late '90s, although it was not until 2002, with the release of their debut album Up the Bracket, that they began to achieve widespread mainstream success.

The group achieved critical and commercial success and gained a dedicated cult following, with Doherty in particular being praised by fans and critics alike as one of the most promising songwriters to emerge on the British music scene for some time. However, Doherty's increasing drug problems led to his estrangement from the band. In 2003, he was jailed for burgling Barât's flat.[10][11]

The two initially fell out over this incident, but made amends whilst Doherty was in prison. He was originally sentenced to 6 months, but his sentence was cut to 2 months. Upon his release, Doherty immediately reunited with Barât and the rest of the band to play a gig in the Tap 'n' Tin pub in Chatham, Kent.[12]

Following his rejoining of the band, Doherty sought treatment for his drug addiction. He attended the alternative detox centre Wat Tham Krabok, a temple in Thailand, famous for its rehabilitation program for crack and heroin users, where he was beaten with a bamboo cane and forced to drink foul herbal concoctions to induce vomiting. He left after three days and returned to England.[13][14] As a consequence of this, The Libertines cancelled appearances that they were due to make at the Isle of Wight and Glastonbury festivals.[15]

However, while post-production work was taking place on the second Libertines album (also called The Libertines) in June 2004, Doherty was again asked to leave the band. The band cited Doherty's continuing drug addiction as the reason for his dismissal, but emphasised their willingness to take him back once he had addressed his addiction. Although Barât had previously stated that the Libertines were merely on hiatus, pending Doherty's recovery, the group effectively disbanded with Doherty's departure at the end of 2004.[16] All members are now involved in other projects (see Yeti and Dirty Pretty Things).

On 12 April 2007, Pete Doherty and Carl Barât played 13 songs together at the second of Doherty's "An Evening with Pete Doherty" gigs at the Hackney Empire, London.[17] The reunited Libertines played "What a Waster", "Death on the Stairs", "The Good Old Days", "What Katie Did", "Dilly Boys", "Seven Deadly Sins", "France", "Tell the King", "Don't Look Back into the Sun", "Dream a Little Dream of Me", "Time for Heroes", "Albion" and "The Delaney".


Prior to the disbanding of The Libertines, Doherty collaborated with local poet Wolfman. Together they recorded the single "For Lovers", which entered the top 10, charting at number 7, in April of the same year. Despite the success of the single, which was nominated for a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for songwriting,[18] Doherty and Wolfman received relatively little money, having already sold the publishing rights for a small sum in a pub.[19]

Later in 2004, Doherty provided guest vocals to the song "Down to the Underground" by the British group Client. The song was released in June 2004 as a B-side to the group's single "In It for the Money"[20] and appears on their second album City.

In 2005 Doherty collaborated with the British rock band Littl'ans on the single "Their Way".[21]

In 2006, Doherty was featured on the charity single "Janie Jones", which was released to raise funds for Strummerville. A number of artists and bands, such as Dirty Pretty Things, We Are Scientists, The Kooks and The Holloways, also featured on the track.

In August 2006 it was announced that Doherty was recording with The Streets frontman Mike Skinner on a new version of "Prangin' Out", from Skinner's album The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living.[22]


FIB festival, Madrid 2008

Doherty founded Babyshambles towards the end of his time with The Libertines. The group has released two studio albums, Down in Albion, in November 2005 and Shotter's Nation in October 2007. The band's touring schedule and releases have occasionally been disrupted by Doherty's ongoing legal problems.

The line-up of the band has changed several times: drummer Gemma Clarke left the band due to Doherty's drug problems and was replaced by Adam Ficek, and guitarist and co-songwriter Patrick Walden has also left the band and was replaced by Mick Whitnall.

In August 2006, Babyshambles signed up with major record label Parlophone, on which they released The Blinding EP on 9 December 2006 to good critical acclaim.[23] In January 2007, they have signed a long term record deal with Parlophone.[24]

In November 2007 Babyshambles played their first arena tour, taking in dates at the MEN Arena in Manchester, the Nottingham Arena, Bournemouth International Centre, London's Wembley Arena and Birmingham's National Indoor Arena.[25]

Solo work and Guerrilla gigs

Doherty has been working on new acoustic material, similar to the wealth of his unreleased songs that can already be downloaded on the internet.[26] On his own, and often with his band, he has continued The Libertines' tradition of performing on short notice guerrilla gigs in small venues.[27] On New Year's Eve 2005, Doherty held a guerrilla gig in his North London flat where he showcased some of his solo works, many of which later leaked onto the internet.[16] 31 March and 1 April 2006 Doherty was performing two surprising solo gigs, his first in mainland Europe, at the NonStop Kino pornographic cinema and venue in Graz, Austria, after he failed to turn up for an earlier arrangement in January. For this occasion he produced, at the suggestion of Bettina Aichbauer, friend of Doherty and owner of the NonStop Kino, a film with the title Spew It Out Your Soul which he showed on screen during his performance.[28]

The Royal Albert Hall, where Doherty played his biggest solo show as of 2008.

On 12 July 2008, Doherty played a solo gig at the Royal Albert Hall. It was his biggest solo show so far. The concert was originally scheduled for 26 April, but had to be rescheduled to a later date due to Doherty being sentenced to 14 weeks in prison for breaching probation on 8 April.[29] The solo show did not get the best ratings but was all in all still well received. According to the critics "whole chunks of the set passed by as listless noodling, with neither Doherty nor the audience appearing to know quite how to behave". The consensus was that - without a full band - Doherty seemed out of place at such a big venue. Friend and collaborater Peter Wolfe had a guest appearance on stage when Doherty performed "For Lovers". Wolfe's performance however did not meet critical acclaim. The Daily Telegraph stated Wolfe would have ruined the song with "some especially tuneless backing vocals".[30] The gig was forced to an abrupt end during the encore due to a stage invasion by the fans.[31]

On 13 January 2009, NME.COM announced that Doherty's solo album, entitled Grace/Wastelands would be released on March 16, preceded by a single, "Last of the English Roses", on March 9. The website also revealed the tracklisting of the album and credits.

Painting and writing

In June 2006, Doherty announced that he had signed a deal with Orion Books to publish his journals, in which he had recorded poetry, drawings, and photos over the course of his career.[32] Most of Doherty's journals are freely available on the internet.[33] The book, titled The Books Of Albion: The Collected Writings of Peter Doherty, was released on 21 June 2007.[34]

On 15 May 2007, Doherty exhibited his paintings for the first time. The art exhibition took place at the London's Bankrobber Gallery, and was on show for one month. The collection featured 14 paintings.[35]

For a whole month, from the 25th of April to the 25th of May 2008, an exhibition of Doherty's paintings, titled "Art Of The Albion", took place at the Chappe Gallery in Paris.[36] The art exhibition caused controversy because of the art works being made with Doherty's own blood. According to newspapers, anti-drug campaigners were enraged and accused Doherty of glamorising illegal substance abuse.[37] Art experts were similarly unimpressed - David West, the owner of London's Decima gallery, slammed Doherty's work: "It's not got any artistic merit. He's using his blood to make them interesting, but when you look at them they're what any four-year-old can do." [38]


Following in the footsteps of model and ex-fiancée Kate Moss, Doherty has become the current face of Roberto Cavalli's Fall 2007/2008 fashion advertising campaign. The photos have gained praise for depicting a much cleaner and more handsome Doherty. The '50s-style photographs are also being compared to images of the late Marlon Brando.[39]


In interviews, Doherty has listed his favourite books as George Orwell's 1984, Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet, Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire and the complete works of Oscar Wilde.[40] He has also mentioned Emily Dickinson and Tony Hancock as influences; Doherty and his father were once members of the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society. Doherty mentions Hancock, and makes an allusion to his famous phrase 'Stone me!', in an early song entitled "You're My Waterloo". However, numerous literary and musical allusions occur throughout Doherty's ongoing Books of Albion. He places particular importance on the Romantic poets and on existential philosophers such as Albert Camus and Miguel de Unamuno. Doherty has also alluded to work by the Marquis de Sade and Thomas de Quincey. On the Babyshambles album Down in Albion, there is a track entitled "A'rebours", which is significantly influenced by the novel of the same name by Joris-Karl Huysmans.[41][42] His favourite films include British films of the 1960s and seventies such as Billy Liar, Poor Cow, O Lucky Man! and the film versions of Steptoe and Son.[40] He cites Lee Mavers of The La's as a musical influence, as well as The Only Ones, New York Dolls, The Stooges, Buzzcocks and Chas & Dave.[43] He is particularly fond of The Smiths and The Clash.[44][45]

Doherty has also supported up-and-coming British bands, such as indie bands The Paddingtons[19] and The View.[46]

Doherty is also known to be a devoted follower of Queens Park Rangers football club. As a youth he wrote a fanzine, entitled "All Quiet on the Western Avenue". [41] He sold copies of the fanzine on the club's grounds, but its mixture of literary references, quotes, poetry and football stories proved unsuccessful with the other fans.

A frequent lyrical theme for Doherty is Albion, the ancient name for Great Britain. Doherty also uses 'Albion' as the name of a ship sailing to a utopia called Arcadia, a place without rules or authority. Doherty and Barât shared a flat in London, at 112a Teesdale Street, Bethnal Green, affectionately known as 'The Albion Rooms', despite being rather run down. Doherty named his diaries, in which he writes poems and other thoughts, the Books of Albion.[47]

Drug abuse and legal problems

Doherty on 6 May 2008, when he was released from prison, showing a certificate proving he had passed a drugs test while inside.

Doherty has been repeatedly arrested for drug offences and those arising from drug misuse, such as driving under the influence, car theft,[48] and driving with a suspended licence.[49][50] He has plead guilty to possession of crack cocaine, heroin, cannabis and ketamine.[49] His addictions have resulted in jail time and multiple trips to rehabilitation facilities.[50] The influence of drugs on his life had already reached such an intensity at times, that in his younger days, Doherty worked as a drug dealer to pay for his drug habit, as he stated to author Peter Welsh in his biography.[51] Doherty stated that he has been a rent boy, and that during that time he robbed one of his male clients.[52]

In 2003, while Doherty's first band The Libertines were performing in Japan, he broke into Carl Barât's flat and stole various items, including an old guitar and a laptop computer. On 7 September Doherty was sentenced by Judge Roger Davies to 6 months in prison, however the sentence was eventually shortened to two months on appeal with the judge commenting, "We feel that a custodial sentence was justified in this case but sufficient credit was not given for his timely plea of guilty which it should have been. We have reduced his sentence to two months which will allow for his almost immediate release." Doherty was released from jail on 8 October.[53][54][55][56]

On 2 February 2005, Doherty was arrested after an altercation with documentary filmaker Max Carlish, who was making a rockumentary about the singer and sold photos of a heroin smoking Doherty to the tabloids. Doherty and his friend Alan Wass had been charged with robbery and blackmail. On 7 February Doherty was released on bail after his record company Rough Trade put up £150,000 in bonds.[57][58] All charges against him were later dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service due to a lack of evidence.[59]

In late 2007, a photo was published in several newspapers of Doherty allegedly forcing his pet cat to inhale from a crack pipe.[60][61][62]

On 8 April 2008, Doherty was jailed for 14 weeks by a court for breaching a probation order after a string of brushes with the law for drugs and driving offenses. On the 18 April 2008, he was moved to a private area of Wormwood Scrubs prison after learning that fellow inmates were planning to attack him, therefore making it safer for the singer. On 6 May 2008, he was released after his sentence was cut in half and further 18 days were remitted due to a government plan to reduce overcrowding. He also had another 2 days off for being in police custody (after serving just over 4 weeks of a 14-week sentence). He described prison life as "a lot of gangsters and Radio 4" and showed a certificate confirming he had passed a drugs test while inside.[63]

Doherty made another attempt to fight his drug addiction in September 2007, when he underwent rehab for six weeks at Clouds House.[64] However, Doherty relapsed in November 2007 following his appearance at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007 in Munich.[65] In September 2008 Andy Boyd, Doherty's manager, claimed in an interview with the Daily Mail that Doherty did not get off heroin. Boyd stated: "The only time I can be sure he’s not doing heroin or crack is when he’s in rehab or prison or asleep." and implied that when Doherty had an implant fitted, which blocks the body’s opiate receptors, he replaced heroin with another drug.[66]

In June 2009, Doherty was arrested in Gloucester and charged with driving dangerously, while drunk, and being in possession of heroin. He was released on a £50,000 bail[67] and after 'guilty' pleas were entered, was asked to return to court on 21 December for sentencing.[68] On this date, Doherty was spared jail but was ordered to pay £2,050 in fines, and was banned from driving for 18 months, despite the court hearing Doherty had 21 previous drug offences and six motoring offences. Following his release from court, he was escorted by officers to the nearest police station and re-arrested for possession of a controlled substance[69], later revealled to be heroin.[70] The following day, 22 December, it emerged that Doherty could be charged with offences linked to a hit-and-run incident, which left a pedestrian in a critical condition. Doherty's manager, Andrew Boyd, has already appeared in court charged with a number of offences relating to the incident.[71] Whilst Doherty was in Gloucester court on 21 December, heroin fell out of his coat pocket. He was arrested for possession and was convicted for this offence at the same court on 27 January 2010. He was fined £750 and ordered to pay £85 court costs.[72] On 11 March 2010, Lowestoft magistrates fined Doherty £500 and banned him from driving for 12 months for allowing his Daimler car to be used uninsured by his manager.[73]

Family and personal life

Doherty has an older sister and a younger sister, named Amy-Jo[74] and Emily[75], respectively. His mother Jacqueline Doherty is a nurse, who recently published a book about family life with Doherty and his drug problems, called Pete Doherty: My Prodigal Son (ISBN 978-0755316083).[41] Doherty's father, Peter Doherty Sr., is a retired Army Officer (Major).[76]

After numerous attempts to convince him to start a serious rehab, in early 2005 Doherty's father decided that he was tired of broken promises and vowed never to see his son until he was clean of drugs. The sensitivity surrounding the issue became apparent in the BBC Two Arena documentary about Doherty, on 12 November 2006, which included footage of him talking about this aspect of his personal life. He was visibly upset and had to politely ask the interviewer at one point to stop filming. In October 2007, Doherty said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 show, Front Row, that he briefly reconciled with his father after 3 years of no contact when his father came to visit him in rehab, but they are currently estranged due to his ongoing difficulties with drugs. [77] In a radio interview in France on July 6 2009, Doherty stated that 'I'm clean – the last 11 days I've been clean for the first time in quite a long time.' Doherty also stated that 'as we speak' work has begun on the third Babyshambles album, stating that he was keen to begin writing while he was clean, however he displayed some anxiety at writing music while clean due to the fact many of his songs have been written under the influence.

Doherty has had a tumultuous relationship with Kate Moss, frequently covered by the press. They met in January 2005 at Moss' 31st birthday party and have had an on-off relationship since. Moss has also taken to singing at some of Doherty's shows.[78] On 11 April 2007 Doherty announced Moss as his fiancée during the first of his solo gigs at the Hackney Empire, London, at which Moss also performed.[79][80] Doherty planned to marry Moss during the summer 2007.[81] Since July 2007 Moss and Doherty have broken up.[82]

In October 2007 Doherty was briefly engaged to fashion model Irina Lazareanu.[83][84]

Doherty has a son named Astile Louis Doherty (born Camden, London, 2003)[85] with singer Lisa Moorish.[4][41] Doherty did not have much contact with his son until 2008. In an interview with the Daily Mail Doherty said, that he intentionally kept away from Astile because of the state Doherty was in. However, their relationship has become a closer one since then.[86]

Doherty currently lives in a nine-bedroomed red-brick Georgian house on the outskirts of Marlborough, Wiltshire - the house is leased from Lord Cardigan. Doherty chose Wiltshire to seek 'peace and quiet', and also because his probation order doesn't allow him to live in a residence with a London postcode.[86] Doherty was rumoured to be facing eviction, due to the squalid conditions in which he lives, but his spokesperson dismissed these tabloid claims as false. [87][88]

There was speculation that he was dating a girl who lived in Reading, but Doherty has since said he is single.[89][90]

Doherty has developed an interest in the Church of Scientology, after being introduced to the religion by an ex-girlfriend.[91][92]

Musical equipment

Doherty prefers vintage equipment. Unfortunately, many of his vintage guitars and amplifers have been destroyed in various domestic incidents.[93]




Solo Album


non-album singles
from Grace/Wastelands

Other appearances

  • Down To The Underground (Client, featuring Pete Doherty). Taken from the City album.


Awards and honours

  • 2004: Doherty was voted to be joint #1 in NME's 2004 Cool List, along with fellow Libertine Carl Barât. The following year he was placed at #6,[95] and on 10 May 2006 was voted #2 in their poll depicting 50 of rock's greatest heroes.[96]
  • 2008: On 28 February 2008, Doherty won the "Hero of the Year" award at the 2008 Shockwave NME Awards. [97]
  • 2009: On 25 February 2009, Doherty won the "Best Solo Artist" award at the 2009 Shockwave NME Awards. [98]


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  85. ^ Births England and Wales 1984-2006
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  87. ^ Savage, Tom. Daily Star. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  88. ^ Magazine, NME. NME. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  89. ^ Doherty drops in to buy guitar
  90. ^ Pete Doherty's pub crawl
  91. ^ " "Pete Doherty obsessed with Scientologyar". 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  92. ^ "Guardian "Will Scientology cure Pete Doherty of all his ills?". 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  93. ^ Chris Vinnicombe Pete Doherty on gear... Retrived: 2009-04-30
  94. ^ "Pete's solo album". NME. 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  95. ^ "Who made it into the NME Cool List 2005?". 22 November 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  96. ^ "Your biggest rock 'n' roll hero revealed". 10 May 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  97. ^ Shockwaves NME Awards 2008: Pete Doherty named Hero Of The Year | News | NME.COM
  98. ^ Shockwaves NME Awards 2009: Pete Doherty voted Best Solo Artist | News | NME.COM

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Peter Doherty (born March 12, 1979, in Hexham, Northumberland, England) is the frontman and songwriter for the band Babyshambles, and formerly co-frontman and songwriter (along with Carl Barât) of Britrock band, The Libertines. He is also a poet. Since 2005, he has become well known to the tabloid-reading public as a result of his on/off relationship with supermodel Kate Moss and his struggles with his drug addiction.



  • Basically there’s a gulf between truth and untruth, I don’t want to be too mathematical about it, because I’m not very good at maths. But it’s a divide between, I dunno, a film and a cartoon. I’ve just become this cartoon character. I try not to follow it, but when you see pictures of yourself that have been photo-shopped to show you doing something you didn’t…. that’s wrong. It’s my worst nightmare – and being misquoted, too, especially as I’m so precious about words.
    • Speaking out on the media's caricature of him
  • I'm not going to be hardened by these people, to these things, I'm not going to let them destroy my feelings or my emotions.
    • From the BBC documentry Who The Fuck is Pete Doherty, on the media's hounding of him
  • We have played at venues up and down the country on this tour, some of which had no security, and have encountered no problems or witnessed any aggression. I simply asked the bouncer last night to apologise for his behaviour, three times in fact, and he refused. I was very upset at his attitude and although I'm very sorry for letting everyone down last night, I refuse to play at venues where pumped up, 16 stone men feel the need to be aggressively rude and to bully teenage kids around.
    • After cancelling a gig at the Barfly, August 2004
  • I made this big statement saying, "I've left The Libertines." A couple of people said, "You can't do that! You're such a great band! What are you gonna do about Brixton?" And some people said, "Well, I'd rather be here than Brixton." There's no reason you can't do both. If I was 16 or 17 and Morrissey opened his front door to me and let me go and listen to him and chat to him it would be a joy. Why not? It's possible. I don't really have that much else going on in my life.
    • On removing the barriers between performers and audiences, NME (New Musical Express), March 13, 2004.
  • "We've had death threats", Pete says, "saying, 'You're evil and your days are numbered." What was it, "Don't panic but be scared". Someone shat on our doorstep once and nailed a sparrow to our basement door. I don't mind, me. I'll out-weird any stalker.
    • On the downside of fame, NME (New Musical Express), March 13, 2004
  • I can't buy her diamonds, my dick's too small. I never know where I stand with her. It's either a black eye or a love bite.
    • On his relationship with Kate Moss
  • Nooooooah. No, that was a big joke in the family. When I was 16, 17, I started drifting away from everything else and picking up a guitar, and it was like, "What are you doing? You can't sing and you can't play a guitar", right up to the day we got signed by Rough Trade. And then it was like, "Go on play us a song", whereas before it was, "Shut up, fucking racket."
    • On growing up as a dreamer, The Guardian, November 2005
  • You've got to understand... these days I just can't afford to get involved [with the press]. People - they turn on you... on me. They write horrible things, deliberately twisting my words.
    • On his growing wariness in talking to the media, Spin Magazine, Autumn 2007.
  • ‘You can only be so thick-skinned. You can only pretend not to care for so long before you have to admit that you hate being made to look like an idiot. I hate seeing myself misquoted. I hate being linked romantically with girls I’ve been close to for years but never slept with. It’s just upsetting, isn’t it? My nan reads and believes these things. I say, “Hiya Nan, how are you getting on?” and she’ll say, “Are you all right? What about that cat you injected with crack?”’
    • Mail On Sunday, September 2008

Definitions and objects

  • The more you read and the more you teach yourself, the less you rely on something like drugs to take you to a better place.
  • I have a very bad relationship with the future. We don't get on. We just ignore each other.
  • Broken glass. It's just like glitter, isn't it?
    • NME (New Musical Express), November 2005
  • It's that mysterious thing called hype. I've looked under every rock, and I couldn't find out what it means. Certain people hear a certain melody, and they're attracted to it. I'm in love with that feeling. We're looking for fun and adventure and a bit of redemption and somewhere to live. Everything else is a blind venture into the unknown.
  • I don't really know what "intellectual" means, but if it means you've got a desire to learn, you've got a desire to look for things that haven't been presented to you, then, maybe. I think that "intellectual" is quite an exclusive word. I think it's just for anyone that has a thirst or a hunger to improve themselves, or a yearning to escape from somewhere to get to a better place.
    • When asked whether he considered he (and Carl) to be "intellectual", 2002
  • The main instinct a lot of the time is to masquerade and hide the truth at all times. Whereas in reality what happens in songs is laying bare the truth. So a lot of time it's fighting that instinct, and the songs become almost confessional. They can also be quite condescending to myself, almost like I'm putting myself down.
  • I do have utopian fantasies. A lot of them are more - I wouldn't say spiritual, but they relate more to the imagination and the individual. But for me socialism is a way of trying to put far-fetched ideas into everyday use, trying to find a way to bridge the gap between that fantasy and reality, and reaching out across that gap to the people who can actually do something to make the change.
  • I know the basic facts cause they’ve been repeated again and again across various duty desk counters at police stations over the past months and years: I’m 6ft 2in, green-brown eyes. Distinguishing features: moles. Tattoos: loads. Got a wolf, a mermaid, a heart with a K in it. They don’t go through your personality traits.
    • When asked how he sees himself, The Sunday Times, May 14, 2006
  • Something good has happened to us. We are, dare I say it, a professional unit these days. When people get us in a room together now, they actually treat us like musicians. Before, they would treat us as anything but: pigeon fanciers, candles, dry humpers...
    • Talking about Babyshambles to Spin Magazine, Autumn 2007
  • There are three things that I know a bit about in my life and that's QPR, my guitar and drugs. I know QPR are the best football team in the world, my guitar is the most beautiful thing I own and that I don't take enough drugs to kill me. It isnt drugs that I need to get rid of; it's the demons that fill my head. Once I have come to terms with my demons, maybe I'll be able to get clean.
  • Until I was nine years old I thought 'cunt' was a term of endearment
  • The story of The Libertines starts for me when it was me, Carl Barât and Steve Bedlow sat on the side of a canal, throwing stones at a bottle and we had a game where whoever hit the bottle first with the stone got to choose the name of the band - I can't even remember who it was that hit the bottle but, yeah, from that night onwards we became The Libertines. We ended up throwing ourselves into eternity, as we called it at the time
    • On how The Libertines got their name


  • Arcadia? The realm of the infinite? It's a poet's corner... It's not a cult or a religion – it's an awareness of your surroundings; you're not going to force yourself on anyone and, equally, no one's going to force themselves on you. And it's about community and pleasure. It came from a whisper through the trees. It came from a crack in the pavement. It can also come when you open a bag of crisps, or when you kick a football against a goalpost. Even if I was winding you up, it would still be true, because Arcadia and the Arcadian Dream is so deep, is so true to our hearts... It can be as powerful as your imagination can allow it to be. But, it can also be as dark and twisted as your soul... Arcadia encompasses the infinite, and that's why it comforts me.
    • 2002
  • Just when you get really wound up, you turn a corner and you're somewhere else completely. You find an Arcadian glade - a glimpse of paradise in the middle of it all. And that's why you persevere. That's why you don't chuck yourself off a building or shoot yourself at the same time as someone else, like he [Carl] wanted us to.
    • The Guardian, January 10, 2003.
  • I still do. It's changed a lot. It started off as something ancient and forgotten; and became something modern and real. I just couldn't swim. The tunnels get narrower and narrower.
    • NME (New Musical Express), December 15, 2006, when asked if he still believes in Arcadia.

Music and politics

  • Has there ever been a musician of cultural significance who's been aware they're significant? Maybe it's a generation whose parents came from a working class environment and because they were rootless in a way, like me and him, they latched onto that as an identity. Maybe we romanticise what our parents wanted to escape from. We're, like, fantasising out a living.
    • NME (New Musical Express), March 13, 2004
  • There's a point you reach before you're perverted and tainted by all the things that drag you into the music business, like avarice or a lust for fame. The original reason why I started was some feeling of community, equality, wanting to fight for things you believe in. Any kid who's gone to a state school knows what it's all about - bullying, racism. And you've just got to make a stand.
    • 2004, The Socialist Review; on why it was important to do the Love Music, Hate Racism gig
  • You can't get that feeling anywhere else. It's communion. It's like being washed away in the ocean, carried aloft on a wave.
    • On performing, interview by Neil McCormick, March 2003
  • I think it's woken me up to a few things, and you do become complacent. As well as being anti something, you've got to be pro something. So you're anti racism, so what are you pro? You're pro community. I would put my hand on my heart and I'd attach myself to socialist ideas. Because I believe in society. And it's bollocks that black people have any less worth in society than white people, which is basically what people like the BNP say.
    • 2004, The Socialist Review; on what the Love Music, Hate Racism campaign could achieve today
  • They left me, by the side of the road, with a plastic bag and all kinds of bitterness Well, in my mind, and I can say this forever I suppose, and people might laugh at it, but I don't think I ever really left The Libertines, nor can I ever leave The Libertines, you know, having been a founder of the band with Carl, but that sounds silly, doesn't it, seeing as they played all the festivals without me and made it difficult, no - impossible, for me to play live with them.
    • December 2004, Newsnight; when asked whether he left The Libertines or The Libertines left him
  • I’ve got a fierce passion for politics but I can’t stand the smarmy, hypocritical upper-middle-class dictator nation that prevails and has always prevailed in this country. I’m up for petrol bombers, mate, and fighting in the streets.
    • Metro, August 25, 2006
  • I think I only needed something to hold on to. It has never been about depravity. It's always been about melody. But melody and I met in many depraved situations. Meeting melody is the victory of the empty spiralling nightmare.
    • Extract from Prison Diaries, published in The Guardian, 2006

Oasis (band)

  • “Yeah, well, I subscribe to the Umberto Eco view that Noel is a Poet and Liam is a town crier.”
    • Gigwise, 1997
  • "With Oasis stepping up a gear and proving they've still got it, they need to be shown there are people out there who can surpass them. Can we match them? The quality is good (in Oasis), but there really is no competition because my band is the greatest in the world and we're going to prove it."
    • May 2009, latest news


  • It's not people in bands, is it? Why do people who take drugs, why are they in bands? 'Cos they're trying to prove themselves. To make themselves blank and numb and not able to communicate with other people.
    • October 2002, NME (New Musical Express); when asked why people in bands take drugs
  • If I want drugs, I don't have to do a gig to get them. I do a gig when I feel shit, because I need to be playing. There's no drug in the world that can compare with playing music
    • July 2004, the Guardian; when asked about the perception that he staged gigs to get drug money
  • With drugs, I think the sort of person that would die from an overdose is gonna die soon enough anyway, because they’ve got that will to destroy what’s left of their life.
  • I'd say exercising self-control is very important for a dissolute life. You don't need to control your drug intake to lead a free life. Whether you take no drugs at all or everything you can get your hands on, a free life is separate from that.
    • NME (New Musical Express), December 15, 2006
  • Sometimes I feel really guilty complaining about it because there are some amazing things happening around me but the darkness has prevailed, to be honest, in extremis. Yesterday, man, I went to buy a pint of milk and I got stopped in the street and searched. They found a crumb of rock in the lining of my coat that I didn’t even know was there and I spent all day in fucking Charing Cross [police] station. They’re taking the piss, mate.
    • Metro, August 25, 2006
  • That’s right, but I’m not sure it’s my place to talk about drugs. I’d rather take them or not take them - but not talk about them.
    • Metro, August 25, 2006 (When asked if he was trying to stop taking drugs)
  • I was so, so lost and unhappy. If you listen to the songs on the first album, you can hear it. They’re really sad songs and they come from a lonely place. The relationship broke up, and I went into free fall. I saw drugs as a way of avoiding…the darkness.
    • The Sunday Times, May 14, 2006
  • I realise it’s proved to people that I don’t love them. It’s dawning on me now that if I say I love someone… it’s like lying, really. As long as I’m taking it, the lie continues. I’ve got a lot of proving myself to do.
    • The Sunday Times, May 14, 2006
  • Drugs don’t work. They don’t even make you forget – only momentarily, because if something’s that painful, nothing’s going to make you forget it. You think they’ll fill the hole, but the hole just gets deeper… It’s like trying to fill in a hole without a spade.
    • The Sunday Times, May 14, 2006
  • After years of entrenched drug abuse, you have a mourning period. I know it’s a bit sad, but I’m in mourning. I’m in mourning for an armful.
    • NME (New Music Express), Novemeber 5, 2007 (days before heroin relapse)
  • They've been around me since day one, but so has corduroy. Know what I mean? Drugs don't create the sound - they might just change the pitch slightly. Or make you spell a word wrong.
    • Loaded Magazine, August 2008

Carl Barat

  • Yes, it was riveting. Despite everything, you knew there was goodness there. Something to believe in. Something which is good, pure and untainted by anything.
    • On meeting Carl Barat, The Guardian, January 2003.
  • Carl's all right. It's just like EastEnders really. He's still my kid.
    • NME (New Musical Express), December 15, 2006, when asked if the Libertines were a perfect vehicle for his early dreams.
  • I got headbutted in Wolverhampton. You [Carl] get snogged in Northampton, head butted in Wolverhampton and I won't even tell you what happened in Southampton. Basically Carlos gets the love and I get all the head butts, it seems to be the way of things.
    • 2002
  • Probably Carlos
    • When asked what his best feature was, 2002
  • Basically, too many other people made important decisions for us and we just wrote songs and worried about clothes and girls. In the early days he came round once with this girl who had convinced him that I was just a weirdo and that we had an unhealthy relationship. He sat me down and said, “Maybe we shouldn’t see so much of each other? Maybe we should knock the band on the head? It’s not really going anywhere, is it?" I was desperate for us to stick together and see it through because I never stopped believing. When we got signed, Carl was shocked. I had prepared myself and had been reading the NME since I was 16. Carl wasn’t like that.
    • Mail On Sunday, September 2008


  • I fall in love with Britain every day, with bridges, buses, blue skies... but it’s a brutal world, man.
    • Metro, August 25, 2006
  • I knew I was destined for London, so I came to live with my nan in her council flat. It was the summer after my A-levels. Got a job in Willesden cemetery. I was getting a man’s wage, filling in bumholes. Stood around while they did the last rites. Cut the grass. A lot of the time I’d just sit on the gravestones and read and write. Scribbling away.
    • The Sunday Times, May 16, 2006


  • I mean you look in the paper and you see the bodies of mutilated people, and that's controversy. Controversy isn't saying something like 'Oh I've fucked Noel Gallagher' or something. Which I have.
    • October 2002, Interview by Flashers Inc.
  • No, because it's not like they're the only songs we have. They're like children; you shouldn't really have a favourite. Unless one of your kids develops into a pervert.
    • February 2005, Guitar and Bass, on whether publishing Babyshambles songs online would cause legal problems when they were released on an album.
  • Mental-stability, I would say. I’d like to achieve a fluidity, where everything stays consistent – always doing shows, always with the chance to release records, meeting new people.
    • (around 2002), when asked about his goals for the future.
  • I’m vain because I’m imperfect.
    • The Sunday Times, May 14, 2006
  • I got bitten last night actually. Just some bloke bit me. I wasn't doing anything and he just bit me. I was in a public telephone box in the centre of London and some fella came up and started biting me. Nah, I didn't bite him back. I hit him with a telephone, right on the hooter and it exploded like a ripe tomato
    • July, 2003
  • My idea of paradise is that period just before the sun rises and I’m at home painting or writing songs and everything is flowing. I pray that the sun won’t rise so I can paint and write for ever. That’s my ideal time.
    • Mail On Sunday, September 2008

Lyrics and poetry

  • I knew she wasn't English
    Because she spoke it far too well
    The grammar was goodly, the verbs as they should be
    And the slang was bang on the bell
    So as the language barrier clanged and banged
    I couldn't hear--hear or see
    England, London, and Bow
    Crumbled into the sea.
    • Recited on Newsnight with Kirsty Wark, December 22, 2004
  • The Thames and the Mersey, the Tyne and the Wear and the Clyde
    They spew slums like gravy on the banks of the poisonous tide
    What became of the working class?
    Nike, Reebok, Adidas
    Scratchcards, pitbulls, ecstasy
    Hooray for the 21st Century
    • "Hooray for the 21st Century"
  • If you've lost your faith in love and music
    The end won't be long
    But if it's gone for you I too may lose it
    And that would be wrong...
    • "The Good Old Days" (with Carl Barat)
  • The red-faced president took afternoon tea
    With her majesty The Queen
    And they watched old films flicker
    Across the old palace movie screen
    Crying, "What a shame!"
    As she slipped in the rain
    Poor dancing girl
    Well, she won't dance again...
    • "Radio America"(with Carl Barat)
  • There are fewer more distressing sights
    than that of an Englishman in a baseball cap
    Yeah, we'll die in the class we were born
    That's a class of our own, my love
    • "Time for Heroes"(with Carl Barat)
  • Don't let the tide of your sorrow
    Drown your nights and flood your days
    • "Don't Be Shy"(with Carl Barat)
  • Her old man, he don't like blacks or queers
    Yet he's proud we beat the Nazis
    How queer...
    • "Arbeit Macht Frei"(with Carl Barat)
  • Music when the lights go out
    Love goes cold in shades of doubt
    The strange face in my mind is all too clear
    Music when the lights come on
    The girl I thought I knew has gone
    And with her my heart has disappeared
    • "Music When the Lights Go Out" (with Carl Barat)
  • When she wakes up in the morning
    She writes down all her dreams
    Reads like the Book of Revelations
    Or the Beano or the unabridged Ulysses
    Oh, I really wanna know
    So tell me, Where does all the money go?
    Where does all the money go?
    Straight, straight up her nose
    • "What a Waster"(with Carl Barat)
  • I was a troubled teen
    Who put an advert in a magazine
    To the annoyance of my imaginary lover
    She doubted my integrity
    And this is what she said to me:
    She said, "Oh, you, you're green
    You don't know what love means
    Well, let me tell you
    • "I Love You (But You're Green)"
  • If you get tired of just hanging around
    Pick up a guitar, spin a web of sound
    And then you could be strung out all day
    With lovers and clowns
    Now I find myself still hanging around
    • "Ha Ha Wall"(with Carl Barat)
  • New York City's very pretty in the night-time
    But oh, don't you miss Soho?
    • "The Boy Looked at Johnny"(with Carl Barat)
  • She said, "I'll show you a picture,
    A picture of tomorrow,
    There's nothing changing, it's all sorrow."

    "Oh, no, please don't show me
    I'm a swine, you don't wanna know me!"
    • "Horrorshow" (with Carl Barat)
  • If you're looking for a cheap sort
    Glint with perspiration
    There's a five mile queue
    Outside the disused powerstation
    • "Albion"
  • I defy you all
    To know twice as much as nothing at all
    It's still nothing at all.
    • "A'Rebours"
  • I can't believe you've listed everything
    I stole since we met
    But I stole no kisses
    Just some books
    And the odd cigarette
    • "Love Reign o'er Me"
  • In the morning theres a buzz of flies
    Between the pillows and the skies that beg into your eyes
    Through the looking glass in between your thighs
    It's really no small surprise
    How it goes straight down the rabbit hole
    There it goes
    • "Through the Looking Glass"
  • Well, I'll tell you a story but you won't listen
    It's about a nightmare steeped in tradition
    It's the story of a coked-up pansy
    Who spends his nights in flights of fancy

    Met two fellas over gin and mixers
    They talked for a while, he soon got the picture
    One was a souped up Soho mincer
    And the other was a pikey with a knowledge of scripture
    • "La Belle et la Bete"
  • She was getting pally with a scally in the alley
    Giving head for gear
    She called a spade a spade
    Got slit from ear to ear
    I showed no decorum
    Spilled my heart out on the forum
    Like a snapshot of the most tragic day
    Carl is kept sedated,for the frontman elevated
    While McGee does all he can to ruin my band and keep me out the way
    In this industry of fools, musclemen and ghouls
    If you're not a puppet or a muppet then you might as well call it a day
    The truth gets so distorted
    The wall scrapings get snorted
    I'm welcome back if I give up crack
    But you gave me my first pipe anyway
    • "Gang of Gin" (never released owing to threats of legal action by pop mogul Alan McGee)
  • You should get some sun on your face
    We've been sitting like a lord in the bath for days
    It's getting like I don't even know you
    • "Merrygoround (That Bowery Song)"
  • It's one and the same, one and the same
    What's the use between death and glory?
    Hard to choose between death and glory
    Happy endings they never bored me
    Happy endings, they still don't bore me
    They have a way, a way to make you pay
    And to make you toe the line
    Now I'm severing the ties because
    I'm so clever but clever ain't wise
    • "Fuck Forever"
  • Make no mistake
    She sheds her skin like a snake
    On the dirty road to fame.
    • "There She Goes (A Little Heartache)"
  • Now I can deal with all the blood on my shoes,
    The holes in my sole,
    My spirit is tainted and,
    Oh, all my tears are painted
    • "Lust of the Libertines"
  • What did I dream? Oh, what did I dream?
    No one can keep me from my...
    No one could keep me from my...
    No fucker gonna keep me from my...
    Oh, what did I dream?
    • "Loyalty Song"
  • Doff your cap and raise your glasses,
    Make a toast to the boring classes
    I'm burning your secrets to keep me warm.
    • "Love on the Dole"
  • And he's crossing the road,
    He's picking up his Daily...Star
    • "Begging" (with Carl Barat)
  • Once upon a time...
    When the cold wind that blows,
    when the cold wind that blows in my heart,
    it was a summer breeze and she would meet me in Chinatown,
    for opium and tea
    and she always brought me flowers
    but I spared you those old ballads
    All those songs I couldn’t play
    But every giro day she’d dress me like a lady boy
    And take me high out of the way
    Don’t let the horse chase the new deal away, no
    If we make love in the morning
    I see your eyes look like two marbles in your head
    • "Lady Don't Fall Backwards"
  • Oh promises, promises
    I know you've heard them all before
    Love is, love is, love is, love is, love is...

    Oh well, it's just around the corner
    • "Back From The Dead"
  • Why should I wait until tomorrow?
    I've already been
    I've already seen
    All the sorrow that's in store
    • "Beg Steal or Borrow"
  • There's a slow train rumbling east of a place called Eden
    Feeling wind-blown and proud as the trees upon the plain
    And a stranger's voice talked to me of liberty and freedom
    Yeah, it seems like he done gone wrong again
    And he wears that hat like shame
    Well he tasted the fruit of another
    And when his Margie, when she discovered
    Said she's gonna love him ten times more
    Ain't nobody's business if she do
    • "East of Eden"
  • There's a man who came to stay
    The boy he replaced, disappeared without a trace.
    Stole all my songs and my style away
    No-one would say what they wanted to say
    So he was king for a day.
    If you sail into the sun
    Beware the eyes of green
    And if the whole world tells you 'you are the one'
    I defy you not to believe them, my son...
    • "The Man Who Came to Stay"

Quotes about Doherty

  • He's a sweet kid, I've met him a few times. He'll go down in history as a Morrissey and Marr or Lennon and McCartney type character. Him and Carl were great for each other. Apart they'll probably be shocking. There's a lot of hypocrisy in the British press about drugs. The people who write the stories are usually off their heads on cocaine anyway.
  • What are you thinking when you see Pete Doherty self-destruct? - He's such an intelligent man. I completely understand, I just understand.
    • A Guardian interview asked Pete Townshend of The Who in 2006
  • "I think two years ago, if you thought Pete Doherty, he was kind of untouchable. Now when you think of Pete Doherty you think of that guy who's always in the background if that picture with Kate Moss. And if he wants to go out like that, then each to their own, and I'm sure he's having a great time but, y'know, are you gonna be remembered as Kate Moss's boyfriend or a f**king artist? In six months, if he's not put a record out, it's gonna smack of the emperor's new clothes, all of it. My opinion of him hasn't changed. His heart's in the right place but the people he's around are not that good for him,"
  • I think I felt a bit trapped before I met Pete. Have you seen The Lavender Hill Mob? Alec Guinness plays this wonderful, colourful person who locks it all up and goes through the motions. I always felt a bit like that. But then I met the Pigman and he said, 'You can actually knock that on the head and get out.' So we threw ourselves into eternity. And it worked.
    • Carl Barât, The Guardian, January 2003.
  • Pete is incredibly frustrating, yet you can't help but like him. The trouble is, he knows it.
    • Stephen Street, Spin Magazine, Autumn 2007.
  • I immediately fell for him; not only as a musician and poet - he has a rare grace, as well.
    • Hedi Slimane, 2007.

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File:Pete doherty
Pete Doherty

Peter Doherty (born 12 March 1979) is an English musician. He is most famous for his drug and legal problems and his relationship with fashion supermodel Kate Moss. He was born in Hexham, Northumberland. He is in the popular rock band The Libertines. He is also in a band called Babyshambles.

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