Shane petition: fans speaks out against manager

Shane MacGowan's official website is running a campaign, supported by his father, to oust his manager Joey Cashman

In a somewhat bizarre turn of events, Shane MacGowan's official website is running an online petition to oust Joey Cashman as the former Pogue's manager. One of Cashman's harshest critics is Shane's Tipperary-based father, Maurice.

"I wholeheartedly support the campaign to remove Cashman from his position, whatever that may be," MacGowan Sr. says. "Recently Shane has called him 'P.A.' or 'Tour Manager'. I think the time for change has come and Cashman must be removed for change to occur.

"Shane is now at best a middle ranking artist – and declining all the time – when he should be up there with the majors. He still has the huge talent that brought him fame. It just needs to be unlocked and a fresh start with a new set up might be the key.

"I hope that Shane will bring in an expert, or team of experts, to look at and eliminate very serious weaknesses in the current set-up such as Financial control; Gig management; Tour management; Administration; and PR and Publicity."

Central to the wrangle is the cancellation of European dates that Shane was supposed to play in June under the Hellfire Club banner with Ronnie Drew, Eamonn Campbell and Terry Woods.

"The disastrous decision to cancel the dates approximately two weeks after confirmation by Shane personally, and when tickets had been on sale for sometime, is symptomatic of some of the weaknesses I've referred to," Maurice MacGowan charges. "It exhibits a breathtaking contempt for the fans and is bound to limit gig opportunities. It also puts paid to a venture which would probably have led to new material, and certainly new versions of old material, being put out. I'm delighted that fans are showing their teeth and long may they continue to do so."

Talking to, The Hellfire Club's live booker, Jim McKee, says: "The facts are that Shane was very much up for the idea of The Hellfire Club, in fact he insisted on jamming with Ronny, Terry and Eamonn down in (Dublin restaurant) Dobbin's in January and later that night told us he loved the idea and wanted in.

"Anyway, these dates came up and I eventually got hold of Shane in Glasgow on January 23 to ask him if he was interested in doing the four shows. He said 'yes', he wanted to be counted in for definite and asked me to tell Joey Cashman the dates. This I did which took a week because Joey wasn't easy to find.

"Joey said he'd check with Shane and that he'd get back to me. I said Shane had already confirmed the dates and I explained the deal to him. He said 'yes' and I put the phone down and confirmed the shows with the European promoter.

"This week Joey called me and said that Shane had never confirmed the shows, that he has a gig in Poland on June 12 and there must have been a misunderstanding probably to do with mobile phones. Needless to say I was furious since Shane gave me his word and I knew there were no other dates booked in for that period."

Since being put up on Friday February 27, the petition has received 800 signatures, a figure that's bound to rise as word spreads among fans.

Comments a spokesperson for the site: "In recent years there's been no proactive communication from management. This has left Shane's official website and fans using their own resources to find out about live dates, TV appearances etc. Worse still, we've been flooded with complaints from fans when things go wrong such as dates being switched or cancelled. This is unacceptable to us, especially as all our efforts are voluntary and unpaid."


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