Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to one of his “all-time favorite writers,” the former Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, in an Instagram tribute on Friday.
“The passion and deep intensity of his music and lyrics is unmatched by all but the very best in the rock & roll canon,” he wrote. “I was fortunate to spend a little time with Shane and his lovely wife Victoria the last time we were in Dublin. He was very ill, but still beautifully present in his heart and spirit. His music is timeless and eternal. I don’t know about the rest of us, but they’ll be singing Shane’s songs 100 years from now.”
In May, MacGowan’s wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, posted a photo of Springsteen leaning over MacGowan showing the two of them smiling at each other. “What an amazing honour and a beautiful experience to get a visit from The Boss!!!” she wrote. “Such a truly wonderful man and a total genius!”
Nick Cave also wrote about his friendship with MacGowan, with whom he once sang “What a Wonderful World,” in his Red Hand Files newsletter. In it, he recalled how he made an appearance at MacGowan’s 60th birthday celebration, where he sang the Pogues‘ “Summer in Siam” with MacGowan.
“Shane’s wife, Victoria, then pushed Shane on in a wheelchair and, well, I know I should be talking about the pure unbridled genius of Shane MacGowan and how he was the greatest songwriter of his generation, with the most terrifyingly beautiful of voices — all of which is true — but what struck me at that moment was the extraordinary display of love for this man, so powerful and deep, that poured forth from the audience,” Cave wrote, adding, “It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.” The Let Love In singer said the feeling brought to mind Raymond Carver’s poem, “Late Fragment.”
“Shane was not revered just for his manifold talents but also loved for himself alone,” Cave wrote. “A beautiful and damaged man, who embodied a kind of purity and innocence and generosity and spiritual intelligence unlike any other.”
Bono paid tribute with an illustration he made of MacGowan that also bore lyrics from the Pogues‘ “A Rainy Night in Soho.” “Shane MacGowan’s songs were perfect so he or we, his fans, didn’t have to be,” the U2 frontman wrote.
MacGowan died on Nov. 30 at the age of 65. His wife confirmed the musician’s death in a statement. “There’s no way to describe the loss that I am feeling and the longing for just one more of his smiles that lit up my world,” Clarke wrote. “Thank you thank you thank you thank you for your presence in this world you made it so very bright and you gave so much joy to so many people with your heart and soul and your music.”