A NEW biography focusing on the incredible life and career of The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan is set to hit the shelves later this year, and promises to leave no stone left unturned.
The tell-all book comes after author Richard Balls spent a tremendous amount of time travelling back and forth to Ireland in order to meet with the iconic singer, his family, friends, colleagues and even old teachers.
Richard, who is a lifelong fan of Shane's music, has called the opportunity "an absolute privilege", and says there is nobody like the musician.
“Spending so much time with Shane at his home in Dublin, and on occasions staying there, was an absolute privilege," Richard tells us.
"He’s great company and still a hugely charismatic character. There is no one like him."
I have just submitted the first draft of my extensive Shane MacGowan biography, the culmination of more than two years' hard graft. Really looking forward to @OmnibusPress publishing it later this year #ShanemacGowan #Pogues #Irishmusic #Ireland pic.twitter.com/xg6LSyEDhW
— Richard Balls (@RichardBalls) February 2, 2020
The in-depth biography is more than two years in the making, and initially stemmed from an interview Richard did with the frontman for a previous book about independent record label Stiff Records.
Richard, a former news journalist who has also written a no-holds-barred biography of punk singer Ian Dury, gave us an insight into what to expect from the as-yet untitled biography.
“I have had a huge amount of support from Shane’s sister Siobhan and his dad Maurice, as well as Shane’s wife Victoria," he says.
"I’ve also interviewed members of The Pogues and The Popes, friends, former girlfriends and even Shane’s old English teacher, some of whom have never spoken publicly about him before. No stone has been left unturned, so fans can expect an in-depth book and some incredible stories.”
Richard gave expectant fans a glimpse of what these 'incredible stories' might entail, as he took to Twitter to share how Shane MacGowan played an integral part in punk band The Jam's journey towards stardom.
Shane MacGowan played his part in getting The Jam signed. It was Shane who told Polydor's A&R Man Chris Parry to check them out when they supported Bearded Lady at The Marquee in January 1977. What a tip! #shanemacgowan #Pogues #TheJam #PaulWeller #punk #Irishmusic pic.twitter.com/b7hbrJhPp1
— Richard Balls (@RichardBalls) February 9, 2020
The biography will be released in August/September 2020 by Omnibus Press.