Rockers React to the Death of The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan
As was reported earlier this morning (Nov. 30), the late great Shane MacGowan of The Pogues has died at the age of 65. News of his passing has started to spread and some fellow musicians, journalists and media personalities have begun to weigh in on the musician's legacy and life.
His wife Victoria Mary Clarke confirmed the news on Instagram, declaring that "the start and end of everything I hold dear has gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese." MacGowan had recently been discharged from the hospital where he had been staying since being diagnosed with viral encephalitis.
In a statement shared on MacGowan's socials, his wife Victoria Mary Clarke shared, "It is with the deepest sorrow and heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our most beautiful, darling and dearly beloved Shane MacGowan. Shane died peacefully at 3:30 am this morning (30 November 2023) with his wife and sister by his side. Prayers and the last rites were read during his passing. He is survived by his wife Victoria, his sister Siobhan and his father Maurice. Further details will be announced shortly but the family ask for privacy at this very sad time."
The Pogues recorded five albums with MacGowan beginning in 1984, brilliantly combining traditional Irish music with punk rock. He was fired in the early '90s during a ferocious bout with alcoholism, but not before the Pogues' duet with Kirsty MacColl on "Fairytale in New York" had become a timeless classic. The single reached No. 1 on the Irish charts, No. 2 in the U.K. and the Top 10 in Norway and New Zealand.
Among those sharing remembrances and tributes on social media was MacGowan's longtime Pogues bandmate Spider Stacy, who simply quoted Walt Whitman's, "O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done," with a photo of the musician in his natural element onstage. Against Me's Laura Jane Grace responded to the photo, noting, "Okay, now I'm crying."
Grace also posted on her own socials stating, "Forever grateful to have had the opportunity of opening for the Pogues years ago. Shane was a lyrical god to me, always will be."
Frank Turner also weighed in, stating, "Gutted, had the honour to share the stage once, Christmas 2012. One of the all time greats. RIP."
Even the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, offered a statement on the passing of MacGowan. "Shane will be remembered as one of music’s greatest lyricists. So many of his songs would be perfectly crafted poems, if that would not have deprived us of the opportunity to hear him sing them."
"The genius of Shane’s contribution includes the fact that his songs capture within them, as Shane would put it, the measure of our dreams - of so many worlds, and particularly those of love, of the emigrant experience and of facing the challenges of that experience with authenticity and courage, and of living and seeing the sides of life that so many turn away from."
"His words have connected Irish people all over the globe to their culture and history, encompassing so many human emotions in the most poetic of ways," read part of the statement, with Higgins adding, "It was a great honour for me, as President of Ireland, to present Shane with a lifetime achievement award in the National Concert Hall in January 2018 as we marked his 60th birthday. A richly deserved honour."
See some of the other Shane MacGowan tributes below, and we'll continue to add to this post throughout the day as more remembrances come in.
Rockers We've Lost in 2023
Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff