Tuesday, February 22, 2005

THIS IS YOUR HERO ON DRUCKS: Interesting piece about the coverage of Doherty's drug life in Spiked, which compares the way the papers barely mentioned Jarvis Cocker or Brett Anderson's fondness for heavy drugs while really going after Doherty. Neil Davenport suggests that this marks a change in how the media deal with star's little habits, although it's not really the cultural shift he seems to think it is. The real difference between now and the Britpop/Grunge years is actually mentioned by Davenport, although he doesn't seem to notice:

And they're not alone. Recently BBC4 devoted half an hour to Doherty, with Newsnight's Kirsty Wark cheerily probing his drug habit like it was a fondness for Haagen Daaz. [...]
Elsewhere Kurt Cobain famously threatened British journalists who raised questions about his and Courtney Love's heroin use.

So, let's ask the question again: why are the media running interviews with Doherty (happy to chat about his problem to fund drugs he otherwise couldn't afford) when they didn't with Kurt, Brett et al who were desperate not for it to become too-common knowledge to the extent where they would schmooze or threaten to keep it out the papers? Any ideas?

Actually, it's not even true to say that there was this blanket 'don't mention the drugs' at the start of the last decade. Surely there wasn't a person alive who didn't get that Brett's skin problems weren't the side effect of forgetting to use a buff-puff three mornings running? And for a solid nine years, the only mention of Evan Dando in the pop papers was in the 'How much of his talent has he pissed away on crumble this week' column on page seven of the Melody Maker.

A final point: if the tabs didn't write about Doherty doing drugs... well, there's not much of a story there, is there?

Meanwhile, Doherty turned up on stage for a Babyshambles gig last night, waving his naltrexone implant about. Truly, he is the People's Smacko.


Anonymous said...

surely he was of no interest to the tabloids until the kate moss connection. now he's "kate's rock star boyfriend" (even if he isn't). supermodels outrank indie rockers by a long way.

Robin said...

But Simon's point holds. The real turning point came when the pop generation took over the "serious" media (broadsheets, BBC4 &c.) - that wing of the media has changed far more in the last ten years than the tabloids have in that time.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

And also - Doherty was in the tabloids way before the Moss "link-up"; it was just when he became Mr. Kate Moss, he shifted from being a loveable version of Nick Cotton (ooh, stealing from his mates, he's back on the smack, tut) to being Kate's Junkie Boyfriend.

For example, the Guardian's "What to say about..." column did Pete Doherty in press cuttings back in July:

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