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A Likely Lad

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Whatever you think of Pete, I think he's incredibly charismatic, stylish and he definitely has a strong X-factor and is a modern day poet (sure enough a real asshole too only mentioning his daughter's birth with two sentences). At times Doherty's wit and humour shines through, and some anecdotes of his past debauchery are hilarious. Doherty speaks about the drug scene in which he sought refuge from the paparazzi and police, stealing phones to “prove myself” to a dealer or hiding out at a super-fan’s flat. It sounds like he has the love of a very good woman on his side, and he's managed to find a way to access his creativity without the need for substances. Fans of the Libertines – who formed in 1997 – may hope for a work rivalling the literary merit of Patti Smith’s Just Kids or Bob Dylan’s Chronicles.

And I am happy for the new life of Pete in France and watching recently the libertines and Pete they are much professionals and better then ever . It was more like me talking him out of it, saying,’ No, I’ll tell you what, if we’re still not signed in a year, then we’ll do it. Doherty has made it out the other end of flashbulb infamy but, as A Likely Lad makes clear, it was touch and go. It’s a perfectly normal biography all the info is in there but the whole time I’m waiting for the romanticism and fantasy and lyricism with which the same events are described in the Books of Albion etc. This talented artist (or Simon Spence) had forgotten something namely to say a few words about the dangers of drug use especially hard drugs that Pete used to get.

Loving/preferring happy uppers was lucky I guess, but I wasn't cut out for the life of a smack-bandit or crack-head. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. I’m hard pushed to think of another musician who managed to be so prolific with such a sustained drug problem.

But then that was always part of Doherty’s appeal, the last of the great romantics, and man out of his time, positioned as the final epithet to a dying tradition of addict as artist. But all the while Doherty and Barât are committed to the sound and aesthetic that would define them – intricate, overlapping guitar riffs, muddy production and knowing, kitchen-sink lyrics, anchored by two charismatic frontmen competing for the spotlight. Coke and speed were nice little additions, and benzodiazepines for the come-down were really just a way of helping to get to sleep after being up partying and munching "disco-biscuits" for 3 or 4 days at a time. You can enjoy slumming it for a few years, hanging about with dodgy characters and having a non-stop stream of strangers coming and going from your flat, with parties that last for as long as the drugs do.

Pete relates his life through the people in it, and tells it very well through the excellent narration. Much of what is known about Doherty comes from sensational headlines grabbed from tabloid newspaper and bombastic interviews where the singer spieled exaggerated stories about his rockstar lifestyle or just blatantly told lies. Towards the end of the book, Pete seems to open up more and takes on a much more optimistic tone with the musician finally seeming to grapple his life, meet a woman he loves, and commit himself to sobriety (sort of).

Doherty also reflects on the turbulent relationships with various significant people in his life across the years. I am actually genuinely interested in what life is like as a sober person after so many years as an addict. It was great to be able to hear his take on those situations and how he got out of them by the skin of his teeth!

A classic example is when he mentions the birth of his daughter in passing, the way someone would mention eating a Mars bar: 'Oh yeah, my daughter was born around then.

There are eccentric, shady characters, altercations with celebrities, tabloid dramas, and, of course, copious quantities of hard drugs. Despite advice from Keith Richards that the key to a successful drug habit was to inject “good quality stuff, pharmaceutical stuff” into the surface of the skin, Doherty’s heroin use inevitably reached the point at which he was “getting a lot of abscesses and veins were just collapsing”. But then it's such a Peter thing to do, telling everyone the book was written by someone else, based on his words, but not what he was expecting and cut up by his misses and others who wanted certain stories to stay quiet, just before it was released. In addition, there isn't any insight into why Pete was driven to such olympian levels of self-destruction. I miss something what Keith Richards said in Life ,that he didn’t advice to follow him in the hell of the drugs because his case is somehow unique .

Deep down I know I never wanted to end up a hopeless junkie, with an addiction that I became a slave too.

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