Co-founder and accordion player for the Pogues, the Low and Sweet Orchestra, Cranky George and now James Fearnley and the Walker Roaders.
This book was pure magic. I felt like I was there it was so real. It should be a film. Thank You.
Thanks very much. It nearly was a film. Someone suggested Domhnall Gleeson to play Shane. That would have been cool.
Hi James, I got the book for xmas and thoroughly enjoyed every page.
It was a fascinating read and jogged quite a few good memories of gigs and trying to get to them and back in one piece.
Wikipedia (for what it’s worth) states that this is “Volume 1” – are there plans to follow up? There must be some cracking stories around the Hells Ditch tour with Strummer?
Jon, Thanks for getting in touch. I’m appalled at how long I’ve left it before replying. I haven’t even had the excuse of being able to say I’ve been busy, well, a bit, of late, with the US Book tour and some recent dates with the Pogues in the UK and Europe. Wikipedia says it’s ‘Volume 1’? I suppose I should be thankful that it doesn’t say some other number, which would imply I should already have written at least a prequel. ‘Volume’ (without a number) would be more accurate. There’s not going to be a sequel. At my readings on the book tour in May and June, it was rare that someone didn’t ask if there was going to be a sequel. Sure, the story’s still going on. My glib answer has been that ‘Here Comes Everybody’ had an end, with our letting Shane go. The current episode hasn’t had such an ending, yet. But even when it does, I’m not sure I’d be the right one to write it. Leaving England in 1993 for the United States, I took myself out of the running, when it might come to recounting the remaining three years of what was left of the Pogues, and what the Pogues changed into, not to mention the events that came between 1996 and the reunion in 2001, and there were several major ones: deaths, mostly, but a re-birth or two, too.
I wrote a haphazard blog of a couple of what might nowadays be called ‘tour cycles’, for the Pogues website (Pogues.com), and that about does it for any sequel, I’d say. I’m sorry to disappoint, but, during the period explored in ‘Here Comes Everybody’, the Pogues wrought something of worth, I think, from somewhere, from a few places – some specific, some not so much – and hammered it into a sharp point to – I don’t know – goad people with. Since 2001, whatever it was we made has always run the risk of turning into just another garden ornament, if it wasn’t for the people who come out to see us play, year upon year, to remind us of how useful a tool our music used to be.
Anyway, Jon, thanks for the question. The tours with Strummer were among the best I’ve ever done. There’s a record of them – but not in writing. It’s the live recording of Joe and ourselves at the Forum, Kentish Town, in 1991. There were vinyl copies selling on ‘Record Store Day’, a month or two ago, but I’m not sure if there’d be any of them left. It is, however, included in the 30th Anniversary Box Set – a lure, if you will, to buy stuff you might have bought, and maybe more than once already.
I was given the book as a present for Christmas (after dropping a few strong hints). I have to tell you that I am enjoying every aspect of it, it is such an incredibly good read. I love reading about the songs as I cue them up and listen. I love how you put me in the room with everyone, for good and bad and at times awkward. I have to say any flaw that I see in the book makes me love it even more…if that makes any sense. Are you going to publish in the US? I may have a distant contact for you along that line if you would ever need one. Congratulations on the book, you should be very proud that you have documented it all so well and brought it all back to life on the page.
All the best again
Patrick, Thanks for your message. A friend suggested publishing an e-book, let’s say, with the tracks embedded where they’re mentioned in the text. I’m sorry that couldn’t happen, for a few reasons. Publishing in the US? I spent my wad in London, and everyone who would have bought it in the US, just got it on import, and so obviated the need to publish it in America at all. If I had known then what . . . etc. Cheers, James
Hi James, I just finished your book “here comes everybody” which I am now going to give as a christmas present. Your music when it arrived on radio first was to my Irish ears very original in its speed and lyrical content. Had a little difficulty with the actual date and year of the story particularly at the beginning but its a very satisfying read and pretty honest also. Write another book on music and culture.
Pat, When you say you had difficulty with the actual date – I’m not sure what you mean. Would it help to say that it starts at the end and then goes back to the beginning? But you probably got that. Thanks for your comments. I was as honest as I hoped others would be able to tolerate. I’m working on another book. It’s not about music. James
James, I loved your book, just like I loved your music. I play acoustic guitar, but I am entertaining? the thought of trying the accordion. Any suggestions? I can’t afford one, but I am hoping someone like Shane McGowan will bring one to me at no cost. Keep up the good work!
To have your accordion brought to you is by far the best way to start. After that – well, the only thing that I know works, is to listen to what you do on it and listen to what other people who have been playing longer than you do on theirs. Sounds easy. It’s not. I’m still selling snake oil.
James, Is your book available to download from iTunes? I just finished reading “Kiss My Arse, The Story Of The Pogues” Great book! It was great to learn of how you made your way to the accordian and how many other instruments you play. I was lucky enough to catch you guys on St Pats day in NYC on the Parting Glass tour for the first time I had chills the whole night what an amazing tight band with such energy to the pogues music, I can’t even imagine what it was like to see you guys in your prime you still are quite the showman!! I hope the band is considering another USA visit. You can do a book signing in NY…. there’s an idea what do you think?
John, You know what? I’ve no idea if it’s available on iTunes. I know it is available in other digital forms. But iTunes – don’t know. NYC was always a stamping ground for us and we have enjoyed playing there over the years. If my book was published in the US, I’d love to do a book signing there (though the fact that it’s not published in the US didn’t stop me from doing one here in Los Angeles). Maybe there’ll be opportunity.
Hey there…looking forward to the book…any chance of stopping over in the US?
All the Best,
When the book comes out here in the United States, I’d love to do a reading or two – it occurs to me that you might actually be talking about the Pogues and not my book. Either way, I’d love to come out to play the United States and would love to do a reading or two. As far as the former goes, there’s a lot of planning and a number of variables. With the latter, I have yet to get a publisher/editor. Here’s hoping for both.
James, any plans for a book event in Manchester?
I’d love to do something in Manchester. I’m working on it. The publicity budget ran out a while ago, but let’s see what I can do.
The Dublin Writers Festival website has the event listed as 7th June, but when you book it’s on 8th June (as you have it listed on your site). Just thought I’d give a heads up. Anyway, I’ve booked my spot for 8th June – see you there!
I’ve looked at the Dublin Writers’ Festival website and I can’t see anything amiss. Maybe I missed something totally obvious, but it all looks good to me. See you there.
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