12 April 2006

You Want Heroin Chic?

I don't know how big Pete Doherty is over in the States, but he's constantly in the news here, more for his legal troubles and on again/off again supermodel girlfriend than for his music, which, from what little I've heard of it, isn't bad.

His image as it comes across in the media is of a talented but troubled, charming but hopelessly messed up junkie who's teetering between full-on stardom and sordid oblivion, with most observers seemingly betting on the latter.

Pete, who's already facing a variety of drug charges and compounding his problems by missing court dates and attacking photographers, certainly didn't do himself any favours by posing - however inadvertently - for this picture of him shooting up in his flat. Personally, I found it hard to look at, but then I've been barely able to manage looking at any hypodermic needle, even in the hands of a bona fide doctor, since I spent a few months in 1968 living with junkies and watching them shoot up three or four times a day, often with me being enlisted (involuntarily, but I was living there rent free) to help tie off a vein.

All three of those guys had died by the end of the 60s, and I won't be at all surprised - saddened, yes, but not surprised - if Pete follows in their footsteps before too very long. I also won't be surprised if someone soon thereafter turns the picture of him shooting up into an iconic poster adorning dorm rooms and quasi-boho habitats for the generation or two to come. Alternatively, Pete could get help, sort himself out, go on to be a major pop star, and always have that picture to remind him of where he's comes from, and how low he can sink if he ever tries to go back there again. Let's hope for the latter, unless, of course, you're one of those sickos who prefer their idols pale, dull-eyed, emaciated and dead.


1 comment:

drydock said...

Heroin chic? I hope you're wrong.