The Disappearance Of A Libertine

Pete Doherty burst onto the rock and roll scene in the early 00s as one of the lead singers/guitarists in the Libertines.  With Carl Barat, Doherty wrote quick, explosive songs chock full of scuzzy riffs and harmonies that pulled from any number of famous groups — the Beatles, the Clash, the Stooges, etc.  An ex-literature student, Doherty (2nd from the left in photo) had the baby-face and the fashion down already, and he adapted quickly to the rock and roll lifestyle, getting heavily into drugs and repeatedly running afoul of the law.  The Libs barely lasted long enough to record a second album; one of the biggest hits from this last gasp was “Can’t Stand Me Now,” in which Doherty and Barat traded verses about their mutual dislike. Then Doherty drifted into his own group, Babyshambles. His first album as Babyshambles came out in 2005; it was half-great and half-abysmal, a testament to both the advantages and disadvantages of wandering through celebrity in a doped-out haze.  Two years later, Babyshambles put out Shotter’s Nation, which had the cleanest sound of anything Doherty had ever released. It contained some excellent songs and didn’t have any massive clunkers, but it wasn’t an off-the-cuff expression of sentiment like some of his other work.  Since then, Doherty has done basically nothing, aside from a solo acoustic album that was largely a waste of space. Its too bad that an artist of such potential can’t get it together.

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