Punks and Money: Pete Doherty Talks About Filthy Lucre
PUNKS and money have always been a funny thing, mainly because the entire foundation for punk is to not give two hoots about cash. They mean it, maaan. Anti-establishment, lone wolf rock music, that does things on its own terms without caring about what the SUITS think.
Right on! And all that.
Of course, all punks soon get tired of being poor and living grottily, which prompts them to say everything was just one big Art Jape. Look at John Lydon – poster boy for punk, later, advertisements for butter and appearing on reality TV shows in the jungle. Har de har har, all that stuff about being real? It was a joke wasn’t it? And all the reunion tours and reissues of our old records? Yeah, when we said ‘no future’, it was supposed to be funny! This was always likely to end up being our pensions! Hark! We even say ‘we’re only in it for the money!’ and talk about ‘filthy lucre’!
Alan McGee was another punk-turned-capitalist. Everything that doesn’t sit with some imagined punk ethos gets the ‘it’s an art statement’ treatment.
And so, to the reformation of The Libertines, where a band of Think They’re Punks have eschewed guerilla gigs and being 4REAL, in favour of a big fat payout.
Pete Doherty has talked about the money they’re getting, frankly. That’s because talking about the big wage makes your tediously drippy fans coo in unison! ‘Oooh, ha ha! Why shouldn’t someone play the system? You stick it to ’em Peter!‘ While these bozos are right, it doesn’t stop rock music from being painfully regressive. Ever since popular rock was a thing, rock fans buy the same old lines – ‘We’re lone gun-slingers! For now. Then, when everyone tires of that, we’ll do some solo records which won’t sell as well, and then get back together and be post-modern about the money we’ll make from it!’
At least hip hop as the decency to always state their fondness for making dough, rather than dressing it up as some post modern commentary.
Doherty has said that reforming The Libertines for money is entirely in the spirit of the band: “What do they [critics] think The Libertines did? We signed to Rough Trade, right? Purely for the money. It’s completely in the spirit of the band to play Hyde Park for the money! What the fuck are they talking about?! It’s a fucking horrorshow, it just happens to be amazing rock ‘n’ roll music.”
With that, Doherty decided to show everyone his bank statement. How much will he be making at Hyde Park? “It’s filthy. Last time [Reading and Leeds Festival 2010] was supposed to be £240k each after tax for me and Carl. But by the time they paid for all the buses and shit there was just a tax bill. This time I think we’re getting half a million each, me and Biggles.”
Har har! See? It’s “filthy”. Libertines fans will be unswayed in their baffling devotion. Peter Doherty mentioned the money! He got in there first! The critics don’t have a leg to stand on now! Attaboy Peter!
Never trust a punk.