"All of us are in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
The cracksmoking creature pictured at left is called Pete Doherty, singer of the British alt.-lite-punkers Babyshambles, but you may know him as The Guy That Kate Moss Got Busted Hoovering With Last Year. If you're anything like me, you love a good public breakdown, especially if it stars a bitter, out-of-control, drug-addled rock star—and let me tell ya, Pete Doherty brings the bitter, the out-of-control and the drugs like no other rocker of the day.
Blowing rails with frail supermodels is the least of Petey's offenses. This is a guy who allegedly spends $1,500 a day on his habit, which includes pretty much every illegal substance known to man, and some that haven't even been discovered yet, has had 10 run-ins with the law since January, and last week pleaded guilty to seven counts of hardcore drug possession. After the verdict was read, he kicked a microphone out of a reporter's hand, climbed over a wall outside the courthouse and swerved off down the road in a new Jaguar. Gang way, birdbait...Petey needs a fix!
Even more bizarre, recent internet claims speculate that Pete's power drugging and supermodel corrupting are an elaborate hoax designed to poke fun at the media's love of real-life soap operas. The people supposedly responsible for cooking up this whole story are ex-members of '90s one-hit-wonders The KLF (remember "3 a.m. Eternal"—"KLF, uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh"?) Allegedly, the two KLFers discovered Pete when he was a young Buddy Holly impersonator (riga wha?) and drafted him to be the centerpiece in the biggest media hoax in UK history. Yeah, I couldn't make this stuff up.
Besides all that, Pete has been a favorite son of the evil British media since his days in the late, great lo-fi/garage outfit The Libertines, during which he fought constantly (sometimes on stage) with bandmate Carl Barat and went so far as to burgle Barat's flat and sold the loot for drug money. Not surprisingly, The Libertines went on tour without him and broke up soon after. Pete went on to start Babyshambles, but has yet to get his shit together. He's been jailed countless times, flunked out of numerous rehabs, ODed at least once, wrecked several cars, performs solo gigs and private shows for fans to earn drug money and even fell asleep on stage in the middle of a Babyshambles gig. Hardly a week goes by without news of another arrest and it's really hard to keep them all straight. I swear I saw the headline "Pete Doherty arrested" about 873 times when I typed his name into Gawker.
The thing that makes looking away most difficult is that he makes no secret of his crack-headedness, openly smoking and shooting up during interviews and saying things like, "I'm 300 grand in debt. Why do you think I'm dating Kate Moss?" During the course of a recent Rolling Stone interview, he smoked and shot heroin, smoked crack and took an Ecstasy pill in front of the reporter. Even if there wasn't documented proof of this, you know anyone who has a gold-fronted ex-drug dealer named "Johnny Headlock" as a personal assistant is seriously smacking.
So I'm sure you'll completely understand why he has become an icon of sorts in his homeland. He was voted "Sexiest Male" by NME magazine readers and is also supposed to be the pillar of fashion in Londontown—all the little mods are donning the junkie look—fedoras, skinny ties, striped rugbys and Jackie O sunglasses. I'd personally describe his look as Baby Huey with an uncombed Louise Brooks bob haircut. Couple that with a requisite fag dangling from the corner of pouty but parched lips, perpetually cracked and blackened fingertips, a stylish chronic case of crackne and a loogie at the ready (to be hacked at errant journalists), and you are ready to hit the runway, superstar.
I have been reading so much about him lately that I thought I'd post about it. Up next: Whitney Houston's drug den, as exposed by The National Enquirer. What's the greatest love of all? Crack!