Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pete Doherty: What is he like?

Two possible Pete Dohertys presented their face to the world yesterday.

The Guardian had a little fawn over him, as the promotional work for the film he's in starts to roll:

Now the enfant terrible of British rock has reincarnated once again as Doherty the actor. The singer has just finished shooting his first film in France, where he has attained cult status, not just as a musical star but as a poète maudit, a tragic literary figure and tortured soul.
Doherty is extraordinarily popular in France, where fans queue for hours to see him perform, and forgive him when – as frequently happens – he does not show.

Verheyde believes it is because he is seen through his lyrics as a "literary figure, a poet". Others liken him to the Gauloises-puffing, hard-drinking Serge Gainsbourg, seen as a talented but ultimately tragic figure. "Charlotte admitted Pete did remind her a bit of her father," said Verheyde.
It should be pointed out that Verheyde is not merely trying to promote her film, but to persuade Doherty's fans to cough up cash to finish off the making of the movie. Playing into the myth that Doherty is a tortured soul who only you understand is as much a part of her pitch as Tescos sticking up Half Price Beer signs is part of theirs.

But could it be true? Are we in danger of pegging Doherty as some sort of Mr-Bean-reads-Rimbaud figure when, in fact, he is really the greatest mind of our age?

Let's look at yesterday's other Doherty story, on Holy Moly:
Pete was at London's Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday on charge for cocaine possession, to which he pleaded guilty. He's probably on his way to jail - for the third time - but doesn't really seem to give a shit about that, larking about outside the court and stealing his barrister's wig so he could take a hilarious photo of himself on his phone.
But, hey, apparently people queue up to see him in France, right?