April 8, 2009
Would you French kiss Shane MacGowan, deeply and passionately, for a minimum of a minute per kiss, twice a day – once immediately after he woke up and once just before he
fell asleep passed out – every day, for a year?
Jeepers. It’s hard to know where to start with this one, so I guess I’ll start here, with an inside view of Shane MacGowan’s mouth (pay close attention right around the :30 mark; there’s a close up of it there.). If ever there was someone who does not fear the Cavity Creeps or Yuck Mouth, it is Shane MacGowan, lead singer of the Pogues and the original Pete Doherty. Never a man to turn to for dental advice, MacGowan has pretty much said fuck you to toothpaste and dental floss, opting instead to embrace a life free from the tyranny of daily brushing and regularly scheduled visits to the dentist. The Tic Tacs that once filled his mouth have rotted down to his gums, and those which MacGowan did not erode away with constant boozing have been destroyed in more creative ways: Two were knocked out when he drunkenly fell over a wall while attempting to vomit up booze; a bunch of others fell out in 1996 when, according to longtime girlfriend Victoria Clarke, MacGowan tried to eat a copy of the Beach Boys’ Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 LP while tripping balls on acid. (Congratulations, Vicky! Hold on tight to that one!) I have a pretty good feeling that his mouth first thing in the morning is absolutely rancid, and that in the wee, shitbombed hours before he turns in, it might best be described as putrid. Add in the chronic halitosis caused by non-stop drinking, puking (at a 2002 concert in Dublin, he threw up on audience members in the first row) and tooth decay, and I’m sure it smells like an animal that sleeps in its own dung crawled down his throat and just fucking expired there. Oh – I almost forgot – have you seen If I Should Fall From Grace? The documentary about The Life of MacGowan? You should, if only to see him drool into his beer as he slurs poetry and to watch spit fly from his mouth as he laughs at his own jokes. And you know what all that adds up to? A no on this dare for me. I get nauseous just thinking about that smell, a sickening stench that stays with you all day long, no matter how much you try to brush or gargle it away – and then you have to go back for more at night! No. Thank. You. I’m sorry to be such a wimp but I don’t think I could keep food down. It would be a road straight to a cavernous state of depression for me.
As a bonus, I want to share with you a story a friend told me years ago. He’d gone to see the Pogues (or the Popes…I don’t remember now) and, of course, everyone there was singing along and all that, when MacGowan suddenly left the stage. The band played on for 20 minutes while audience members wondered aloud where he’d gone and if he’d ever come back. When he finally reemerged, Shane MacGowan ran onstage, grabbed the mic, and shouted, “Ahhhh…there’s nothing like a good shite!”
So, again, in conclusion, no. No. No.