- 20 Dec 21
The Eternal Buzz And The Crock Of Gold is slated to arrive in April.
Shane MacGowan has announced he will release his first art book — The Eternal Buzz And The Crock Of Gold — will drop in April.
Only 1000 copies of the art folio book will be available. It features candid tour photographs of the Pogues frontman alongside stars like Bob Dylan, Kate Moss, Nick Cave, Bryan Adams, Daniel Day-Lewis and Pete Doherty over six decades.
The book also includes character studies, self-portraits, sketches, paintings, stories, photographs and handwritten lyrics taken from MacGowan’s childhood and beyond his ascent to stardom.
MacGowan described the art book as a “labour of love” and it was curated by his wife and collaborator Victoria Mary Clarke. It was edited by Paul Trainer and features forewords from Johnny Depp and art critic Waldemar Januszczak.
“I was always into drawing and painting, and I used to do all sorts of things, hurlers, IRA men, teenage punks hanging around in cafes, you name it…” MacGowan said in a statement.
“When I was about 11 or 12 I got heavily into studying history of art and looking at old paintings and modern paintings, I knew a lot about art. It’s one of the only O Levels I got, was in art,” he continued.
“I did the album cover for The Pope’s album Crock of Gold and I designed the Pogues first album cover, Red Roses For Me. And I more or less designed the second album — If I Should Fall From Grace With God.”
“In terms of my materials, I like pastels but I don’t really think about it. I’ll paint or draw on anything, with anything. I like more or less everyone from Fra Angelico and Giotto to the latest, like Caravaggio was the last of the Renaissance, before it went into Expressionism,” he elaborated.
“I love Cezanne, Gauguin, Monet, Manet. I love the Irish impressionists, Lavery, Jack B Yeats, Brendan Fitzpatrick. The 20th century impressionists who painted the period of Ireland fighting for its freedom. I like Max Ernst, the surrealists, Dali, Chagall… God there’s millions of them.”
Victoria Mary Clarke said that the book came about unexpectedly:
“When we were making The Crock of Gold documentary, Julien Temple wanted some of Shane’s drawings so I asked my mum to have a look and see if she had any. She sent me a bin bag full of drawings and lyrics that I had asked her to look after 25 years ago, we didn’t even know it existed, it was miraculous, like finding a crock of gold!”
“His art brings back lots of very funny and often hideous memories of different stages in our life together, a lot of his drawings have been done on my shopping lists and my own diaries, and on things like sick bags and hotel note-pads, airline sick bags and recording studio sheets, and diaries, so it is easy to know exactly when they were made.”
“I love the way that the drawings and notes and scraps of stories provide an insight into Shane’s songs, it is like walking into his studio and seeing everything that was happening in his mind.”
“The illustrations are like a visual tapestry of the inner workings of his creative process. I feel very privileged and very excited to be able to share them with the world in a book, especially for people who love the songs,” she added.
In his foreword for the forthcoming book, Johnny Depp wrote:
“It’s rare for a creative genius like Shane to have one avenue of output. Such an incendiary talent is likely to have a multitude of facilities whereby his talent might infiltrate the atmosphere and change the climate as we know it.
“And so, revealed here, is Shane’s propensity for the wild, for the absurd, for the political, for the beautiful, all funnelled and threaded through the needle of his pen. But, this time, not via the tool of language. Instead, Shane’s visual acuity will take the lead here. His visions will speak for themselves."
“Sometimes they will invoke wonder, sometimes they might appear decidedly threatening, but, regardless of medium, his work will always be full of poetry – a bit like the great man, and my great friend, himself; the artist, Shane MacGowan.”