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The Pogues’ Spider Stacy pays tribute to Shane MacGowan: “Heroes live forever”

The Pogues‘ Spider Stacy has remembered Shane MacGowan in a new piece written in tribute to his former bandmate.

The singer, tin whistle player and Pogues co-founder remembered MacGowan in a new first-person article for Mojo, describing the late musician – who died in hospital aged 65 in November from pneumonia – as a “hero”.

“It’s a strange place to find myself, writing about my friend who has died, my friend without whom my life would have been utterly different,” Peter Richard ‘Spider’ Stacy began the piece.

He described the musician as a “towering figure, a genius who could shape the hopes and fears, the sad, stained glory of the human condition into such extraordinary forms”.

Stacy recalled first meeting MacGowan watching the Ramones at the Roundhouse in 1977, before running into him again the following year at a squatter’s community in Bloomsbury, London.

At that time, Stacy performed with his “rudimentary punk trio” the Millwall Chainsaws, for which MacGowan would sometimes fill in on guitar in rehearsals.

From there, the “first seeds of The Pogues were sown” and the pair’s friendship “grew deeper”. He recalled landing an early gig at Richard Strange’s Cabaret Futura, which led to “an intense period of me sitting with Shane in Cromer Street night after night, drinking colossal quantities of cider, practising Deep Listening to the Irish Revolutionary songbook”.

“The gig itself was something of a farce but an idea was taking shape,” he added.

“What had started with Shane sneering out a punk version of ‘Poor Paddy On The Railway’ on a friend’s acoustic guitar turned into something of a different order to anything we could have imagined.

“Somewhere towards the end of our first tour I told Shane I thought we were the best band in the world. He scoffed. “Of course we fucking are!”

The Pogues, Shane MacGowan, James Fearnley, Spider Stacy, Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt, Belgium, 25/08/1991 (CREDIT: Gie Knaeps/Getty Images)

Stacy concluded the piece: “Heroes live forever.”

At the beginning of this year, Stacy and The Mary Wallopers rang in the New Year by paying tribute to MacGowan with a rendition of ‘Streams Of Whiskey’ on Jools Holland‘s Hootenanny.

Fans lined the streets of Dublin for MacGowan’s funeral in December, which took place in Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland, and was attended by Nick Cave, Glen Hansard and Irish President Michael D. Higgins.

Shane MacGowan’s wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, recently revealed that she is in grief counselling following her husband’s death.

Elsewhere, a US tribute concert for MacGowan and Sinéad O’Connor – who died last July – has been announced for March.

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