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 " My family values " The Guardian, 20 décembre 2013

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MessageSujet: " My family values " The Guardian, 20 décembre 2013   Ven 20 Déc - 16:12

Shane MacGowan: My family values

The musician on his childhood in an IRA safe house, learning religion and hedonism at his auntie's knee, being put on the kitchen table to sing and why he was jealous of his sister


When my mother was pregnant with me, she passed out one day and nearly had a miscarriage because she opened a boiled egg and there was a baby chick inside it. Another time while she was pregnant, she got hit in the stomach by a football, right where my head was. I survived and was born on Christmas Day in Tunbridge Wells. That was my first time being in a newspaper.
My ma always made a big effort to make it a special day for me, but it was always more important to me that it was Christmas than that it was my birthday. The concept of my birthday being more important than Christ's was ludicrous to me. I was a very religious child. I might have become a priest if I hadn't been a singer.
I was brought up mainly by my mother's family in Tipperary because although my parents both had jobs in England, they were very unhappy there and wanted me to have as much happiness as possible before I had to go to school. The family home in Tipperary was a safe house for the old IRA, during the Black and Tans war; my uncle Mick had been the local commandant. It was always an open house – people would come around at all hours and there would be dancing and card-playing and boozing and singing. It was like living in a pub. I was smoking and drinking and gambling before I could talk.
My auntie Nora combined gambling on the Irish sweepstakes with teaching me my catechism for my first Holy Communion. She was a religious maniac. And she liked a drink and she chain-smoked. We used to pray on every horse. And we used to win again and again and again. My first horse came in at 10 to one when I was five. And that is how I became a religious maniac and a total hedonist at the same time.
My Uncle Sean taught me everything about women. He spent all his money on clothes and taking women out. He was a rocker and a brilliant dancer and he wore winklepickers and wraparound shades.
My sister Siobhan arrived when I was five. I was jealous as hell because she got all the attention and I wanted it. I called her "it" for most of her childhood. But I think that is a natural thing for kids. We get on very well now: I can't imagine a better sister.
My family were all very literate – my father went to university and is very well read – so I learned to read really young. I was regarded as a gifted child and I won a scholarship to Westminster school by writing essays. At Westminster, I started doing pills and acid and going to the pub. I didn't last there very long. I got nicked for smoking a joint and was kicked out. My mother was a bit upset, but my father wasn't. He didn't think that I was getting a lot out of school.
Both sides of my family were very musical. I used to learn a song a day from my mother's family, so I built up a huge repertoire. Mostly Irish songs. I gave my first performance when I was three. They put me up on the kitchen table to sing and the song went down very well. I did public performances regularly after that.
I owe my career entirely to my family and to the way I was brought up. I am very grateful to them and to Christ and His Holy Mother and all the saints. And, of course, I am grateful to Victoria, my muse. Without whom I might well be dead by now.

The Pogues 30 Years box set is out now


http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/dec/20/shane-macgowan-musician-my-family-values
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" My family values " The Guardian, 20 décembre 2013
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