Pete Doherty; A phenomenon from Arcadia

Pete(r) Doherty was born in Hexham, England march 12 1979.
Raised in the middle of an older and younger sister by a British Army Officer and a nurse.
Pete’s a Queens Park Rangers F.C. fan and soon showed promise of his super bright state of mind. Pete was a smart kid and without much effort achieved several A+ grades in secondary school. At 16 years of age he won a poetry competition and went on a tour to Russia arranged by the British Council.


At 16 he moved in at his grandmother’s in London and got a job filling graves in Willesden where Pete spend most of his time reading and writing poetry and lyrics while sitting on gravestones. This alongside attending University studying English literature but left the course after just 1 year and got himself a flat in London with what to become fellow frontman Carl Barât.

Backed by influenced by bands like The La’s, The Stooges, The Smiths and The Clash, Pete formed in the late 90’s The Libertines with Carl Barât. In their upcoming years they played many small gigs around the suburbs of London. Filthy Mc’Nasty’s Whiskey Cafe in Angel was their grail, which is one of my favourite bars in London. Check it out, I highly recommend the trip if you find yourself in London. Ask the bar manager if you can be allowed to see Pete Doherty’s old room. It’s in the same building, on the floor above the bar. Very interesting. In 2002 they released their debut album Up The Bracket and in 2004 released their self-entitled 2nd album.

Pete & Carl.

Due to Pete’s continuous drug using and addiction to crack cocaine, heroine, cannabis and ketamine he was finally kicked out of The Libertines for good in 2004. Pete’s struggling with drugs for several years led to multiple clashes with the law – amongst these offences was car thefts, drunk driving, possession of drugs leading to several trips in and out of jail and rehabilitation facilities.  Pete’s manager, Andy Boyd, once stated in an interview; ” The only time I can be sure he’s not doing heroin or crack is when he’s in rehab or prison or asleep”. Pete is also famous for throwing the so-called “Gorilla gig’s”. These are intimate “concerts” for a minor audience in various smaller locations – like his own apartment. These are typically thrown with very short notice, and without any warning.

Pete the performer.

In 2005 Pete started dating super model Kate Moss and his new band Babyshambles released their debut album Down In Albion with super hit “Fuck Forever” as track #2. While naturally doing the occasionally drugs Pete was enjoying himself with Kate for the next few years and even managed to make Kate his fiancé in 2007. That didn’t last for long though and they soon found themselves single again. Pete managed to distract himself from a broken heart and released with Babyshambles their second album Shotter’s Nation the same year. Personally I think this album is far better than their debut album in many ways – primarily I think Shotter’s is touched by a far more sophisticated and mature Pete and the structure and composition of the songs are more balanced.  But the albums are great in each way – Pete’s mayhem & havoc is to be found in both pieces – don’t’ get me wrong.

Pete with Kate.

Pete released in 2009 Grace/Wastelands – a solo album. Last year (2010) he reunited with Carl Barât under the flag of The Libertines. Though playing a few festivals together as a “band” they are still touring separately with the band – they prolly still can’t stand the guts of one another.

Pete is synonym with; A poet. Greatest 21th century songwriter (so far). Less fortunate painter. Low budget actor. Faltering model (once resembled with a young Marlon Brando). A dreamer who invented the utopia “Arcadia” – his personal safe-space-place where no rules and authority can be found. Pete’s a wonderboy who has decided to follow the path down Self Destructive Lane.

Pete & Amy.

I struggle to put words to my fascination of Pete and “reason” behind the affection. It is difficult and a very complex matter – to explain as well – even to myself. Since, on one hand there is no reason to feel this compassion and pity to a person who have done so many things wrong according to law, giving fuck about other people and led caring people near him down regardless of how much unconditional love given to him. On the other hand I am truly fascinated and ever amazed by this marvellous character; so smart, cunning, brilliant, talented, vivid and when observed he just seems like this innocent, well behaved young lad just caressing and ever tending his curiosity towards life like if he is still 5 years old experiencing things for the first time. It is a very admirable, captivating characteristic and this self destructive codex he’s decided to live by makes it so much more fascinating and mesmerizing because Pete could really lay down this world. This brain of his and that guitar he plays are truly puppet masters when synchronized – in haze or not.

Pete from Arcadia.

If you’re a Doherty fan or is a just a little bit curious on this fascinating person I highly  recommend you read; “Last of the rock romantics: Pete Doherty” by Alex Hannaford. Also “Pete Doherty: on the edge (the true story of a troubled genius)” is a good read.

Here’s a few takeouts by the legendary, Mr. Pete Doherty. Enjoy my friend.

Love, Daniel


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