Pete Doherty

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Pete Doherty

Background information
Birth name Peter Doherty
Born March 12, 1979 (1979-03-12) (age 28)
Flag of England Hexham, England
Origin London, England
Genre(s) Alternative
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter
Instrument(s) Singer, Guitar, Harmonica
Years active 2001–Present
The Libertines, Babyshambles

Peter Doherty (born March 12, 1979) is an English musician, artist and poet. He is currently the singer and songwriter of the band Babyshambles, and has briefly re-united with Carl Barât who was co-frontman and songwriter (along with Doherty) of The Libertines, with whom he first shot to fame. Since 2005, he has become well known to the public at large as a result of his relationship with supermodel Kate Moss, his status amongst fans and his infamous rock and roll lifestyle. His drug use, arrests, and court appearances are frequently reported in the tabloid press.


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
    • 2.1 The Libertines
    • 2.2 Collaborations
    • 2.3 Babyshambles
    • 2.4 Guerrilla gigs, writing and solo work
    • 2.5 Modeling
  • 3 Controversies and legal troubles
  • 4 Influences
  • 5 Family and personal life
  • 6 Discography
    • 6.1 Albums with The Libertines
    • 6.2 Albums with Babyshambles
  • 7 Bibliography
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Early life

Peter Doherty was born in Hexham, Northumberland, England. He grew up at a number of army garrisons, due to his father Peter's work as an officer in the British Army, living at various times at garrisons in Catterick, Belfast, Germany, Bedworth, Dorset and Larnaca, along with his mother Jacqueline, a nurse of part Russian descent,[1] and two sisters, Amy Jo and Emily. Doherty was the second of the three children. He was academically successful, achieving 5 grade A* and 6 grade A GCSEs, at Nicholas Chamberlaine Comprehensive School in Bedworth (although this has erroneously been reported as 11 grade A*s)[2] and four passes at A Level, two at grade A.[3] At the age of 16, he won a poetry competition and embarked on a tour of Russia organised by the British Council.

After his A-levels, he moved to his grandmother's flat in London, where he said he felt 'destined' to be, and got a job filling graves in Willesden Cemetery, although most of his time was spent reading and writing while sitting on gravestones.[4]

He attended Queen Mary, part of the University of London, to study English literature, but left the course after his first year.[4]

After leaving university, he moved into a London flat with his friend and fellow musician Carl Barât, who had been a classmate of Doherty's older sister at Brunel University.

Doherty was voted to be joint #1 in alternative music magazine NME's 2004 Cool List, along with fellow Libertine Carl Barât. It is a common misconception that only Doherty topped the list. The following year he was placed at #6,[5] and on May 10, 2006 was voted #2 in their poll depicting 50 of rock's greatest heroes.[6]


The Libertines

The Libertines
The Libertines
Main article: The Libertines

Doherty and Barât formed a band called The Libertines in the late 90s, although it was not until 2002, with the release of their debut album Up the Bracket, that they began to achieve widespread mainstream success.

The group achieved critical and commercial success and gained a dedicated cult following, with Doherty in particular being praised by fans and critics alike as one of the most promising songwriters to emerge on the British music scene for some time. However, Doherty's increasing drug problems led to his estrangement from the band. In 2003, he was jailed for burgling Barât's flat.[7][8]

The two initially fell out over this incidence, but made amends whilst Doherty was in prison. He was originally sentenced to 6 months, but his sentence was cut to 2 months on appeal with the judge commenting "We feel that a custodial sentence was justified in this case but sufficient credit was not given for his timely plea of guilty which it should have been. We have reduced his sentence to two months which will allow for his almost immediate release."[9] Upon his release, Doherty immediately reunited with Carl and the rest of the band to play a gig in the Tap 'n' Tin pub in Chatham, Kent.[10]

Following his rejoining of the band, Doherty sought treatment for his drug addiction. He attended the alternative detox centre Wat Tham Krabok, a temple in Thailand, famous for its rehabilitation program for crack and heroin users, where he was beaten with a bamboo cane and forced to drink foul herbal concoctions to induce vomiting. He left after three days and returned to England.[11][12] As a consequence of this, The Libertines cancelled appearances that they were due to make at the Isle Of Wight and Glastonbury festivals.[13]

However, while post-production work was taking place on the second Libertines album (also called The Libertines) in June 2004, he was again asked to leave the band. The band cited Doherty's continuing drug addiction as the reason for his dismissal, but emphasised their willingness to take him back once he had addressed his addiction. Although Barât had previously stated that the Libertines were merely on hiatus, pending Doherty's recovery, the group effectively disbanded with Doherty's departure at the end of 2004.[14] All members are now involved in other projects (see Yeti and Dirty Pretty Things).

On April 12, 2007, Pete Doherty and Carl Barât played 13 songs together at the second of Doherty's "An Evening with Pete Doherty" gigs at the Hackney Empire, London.[15] The reunited Libertines played 'What A Waster', 'Death On The Stairs', 'The Good Old Days', 'What Katie Did', 'Dilly Boys', 'Seven Deadly Sins', 'France', 'Tell The King', 'Don't Look Back Into The Sun', 'Dream A Little Dream Of Me', 'Time For Heroes', 'Albion' and 'The Delaney'.


Prior to the disbanding of The Libertines, Doherty collaborated with local poet Wolfman. Together they recorded the single "For Lovers", which entered the top 10, charting at number 7, in April of the same year. Despite the success of the single, which was nominated for a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for songwriting,[16] Doherty and Wolfman received relatively little money, having already sold the publishing rights for a small sum in a pub.[17]

Later in 2004 Doherty, provided guest vocals to the song "Down to the Underground" by the British group Client. The song was released in June 2004 as a B-side to the groups single "In It for the Money"[18] and appears on their second album City.

In 2005 Doherty collaborated with the British rock band Littl'ans on the single "Their Way".[19]

In 2006, Doherty was featured on the charity single "Janie Jones", which was released to raise funds for Strummerville. A number of artists and bands, such as Dirty Pretty Things, We Are Scientists, The Kooks and The Holloways also featured on the track.

In August 2006 it was announced that Doherty was recording with The Streets frontman Mike Skinner on a new version of "Prangin' Out", from Skinner's latest album.[20]


Doherty on the cover of NME
Doherty on the cover of NME
Main article: Babyshambles

Doherty founded Babyshambles towards the end of his time with the Libertines. The group has released one album, Down in Albion, in November 2005, and their second single, "Fuck Forever", reached #4 on the UK singles chart. The band's touring schedule and releases have occasionally been disrupted by Doherty's ongoing legal problems. During this time, he began a relationship with supermodel Kate Moss. On Down in Albion, Kate Moss sings backing vocals on "La Belle et la Bête". The line-up of the band has changed several times: drummer Gemma Clarke left the band due to Doherty's drug problems and was replaced by Adam Ficek, and guitarist and co-songwriter Patrick Walden has also left the band on at least one occasion before returning intermittently.[21] Fellow British rock group Oasis had booked Babyshambles to support them on their UK tour in 2005. However, Doherty was attending the birthday celebration of fashion designer Hedi Slimane with Kate Moss and the band's spokesman claimed that he was unable to arrange transport back to the UK in time for the band's first appearance.[22] As a consequence Oasis cancelled Babyshambles' support for the rest of the tour. In August 2006, Babyshambles signed up with major record label Parlophone, on which they released The Blinding EP on 9th December 2006 to good critical acclaim.[23] In January 2007, they have signed a long term record deal with Parlophone.[24]

Guerrilla gigs, writing and solo work

Doherty has recently been rumoured to be working on new acoustic material, similar to the wealth of his unreleased songs that can already be downloaded on the internet.[citation needed] On his own, and often with his band, he has continued the Libertines' tradition of performing short notice guerrilla gigs in small venues.[25] On New Year's Eve 2005, Doherty held a guerrilla gig in his North London flat where he showcased some of his solo works, many of which later leaked onto the internet.[14] 31 March and 1 April 2006 Doherty was performing two surprising solo gigs, his first in Mainland Europe, at the NonStop Kino pornographic cinema and venue in Graz, Austria, after he failed to turn up for an earlier arrangement in January. For this occasion, he produced, at the suggestion of Bettina Aichbauer, friend of Doherty and owner of the NonStop Kino, a film with the title Spew It Out Your Soul which he showed on screen during his performance.[26]

Doherty has announced that he has signed a deal to publish his journals, in which he has recorded poetry, drawings, and photos over the course of his career, with Orion books.[27] Most of Doherty's journals are freely available on the internet.[28] The book is due out in June 2007.[29]


Following in the footsteps of model ex-fiancée Kate Moss, Doherty has become the current face of Roberto Cavalli's Fall 2007/2008 fashion advertising campaign. The photos have gained praise for depicting a much cleaner and more handsome Doherty. The 50's-style photographs are also being compared to the late Marlon Brando.[30]

Controversies and legal troubles

Main article: Pete Doherty's controversies

Doherty is frequently in the news for his problematic lifestyle and drug habits. The influence of drugs on his life had already reached such an intensity at times, that in his younger days, Doherty worked as a male prostitute to pay for his drug habit.[31]

He has been arrested many times, usually for drug possession, and sometimes for other offences arising from drug misuse, such as driving under the influence and driving with a suspended driving licence.


In interviews, Doherty has listed his favourite books as George Orwell's 1984, Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet, Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire and the complete works of Oscar Wilde.[32] He has also mentioned Emily Dickinson and Tony Hancock as influences; Doherty and his father were once members of the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society. Doherty mentions Hancock, and makes an allusion to his famous phrase 'Stone me!', in an early song entitled "You're My Waterloo". However numerous literary and musical allusions occur throughout Doherty's ongoing Books of Albion. He places particular importance on the Romantic poets and on existential philosophers such as Albert Camus and Miguel de Unamuno. Doherty has also alluded to work by the Marquis de Sade and Thomas De Quincey. On the Babyshambles album Down in Albion, there is a track entitled "A Rebours", which is significantly influenced by the novel of the same name by Joris-Karl Huysmans.[33][34] His favourite films include British films of the 1960s and seventies such as Billy Liar, Poor Cow, O Lucky Man! and the film versions of Steptoe and Son.[32] He cites Lee Mavers of The La's as a musical influence, as well as The Only Ones, New York Dolls, The Stooges, and Buzzcocks. He is particularly fond of The Smiths and The Clash.[35][36]

Doherty and Carl Barât are fond of Cockney musicians Chas & Dave.[37] Doherty has also supported up-and-coming British bands, such as indie band The Paddingtons.[17]

Doherty is also known to be a devoted follower of Queen's Park Rangers football club. As a youth he wrote a fanzine, entitled "All Quiet On The Western Avenue."[33] He sold copies of the fanzine on the club's grounds, however its mixture of literary references, quotes, poetry and football stories proved unsuccessful with the other fans.

A frequent lyrical theme for Doherty is Albion, the ancient name for Great Britain. Doherty also uses 'Albion' as the name of a ship sailing to a utopia called Arcadia, a place without rules or authority. Doherty and Barât shared a flat in London, at 112a Teesdale Street, Bethnal Green, affectionately known as 'The Albion Rooms', despite being rather run down. Doherty named his diaries, in which he writes poems and other thoughts, the Books of Albion.[38]

Family and personal life

Doherty has an older sister and a younger sister, named Amy-Jo and Emily, respectively. His mother Jacqueline Doherty is a nurse, who recently published a book about family life with Doherty and his drug problems, called Pete Doherty: My Prodigal Son.[33] Doherty's father, Peter Doherty, is an Army officer.

After numerous attempts to convince him to start a serious rehab, in early 2005, his father decided that he was tired of broken promises and vowed never to see his son until he is clean of drugs. The sensitivity surrounding the issue became apparent in the BBC Two Arena documentary about Doherty, on 12 November 2006, which included footage of him talking about this aspect of his personal life. He was visibly upset and had to politely ask the interviewer at one point to stop filming.

Doherty has had a tumultuous relationship with Kate Moss, frequently covered by the press. They met in January 2005 at Moss' 31st birthday party and have had an on-off relationship since. Moss has also taken to singing at some of Doherty's shows.[39] On 11 April 2007 he announced Moss as his fiancée during the first of his solo gigs at the Hackney Empire, London, at which Moss also performed.[40][41] Doherty planned to marry Moss during the summer 2007.[42] Since July 2007 Moss and Doherty have broken up.[43]

Doherty has a son named Astile with singer Lisa Moorish.


Albums with The Libertines

Main article: The Libertines

Albums with Babyshambles

Main article: Babyshambles discography


  • The Books of Albion: The Collected Writings of Peter Doherty (2007, Orion Books; ISBN 0-752-88591-X)
  1. ^ McGlone, Jackie. "Lament for a lost boy",, 3 September 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  2. ^ Wetton, Laura. "What a Shambles!", BBC, 31 August 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  3. ^ "Wild man of pop 'a model student'", Dorset Echo, 24 August 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  4. ^ a b Brewis, Kathy. "Pete's Dragons", The Sunday Times, 14 May 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  5. ^ "Who made it into the NME Cool List 2005?",, 22 November 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  6. ^ "Your biggest rock 'n' roll hero revealed",, 10 May 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  7. ^ "Musician admits burgling bandmate's flat", BBC News, 12 August 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  8. ^ "Libertines singer sent to prison", BBC News, 8 September 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  9. ^ "Libertines singer's sentence cut", BBC News, 29 September 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  10. ^ "Libertines reunite at freedom gig", BBC News, 9 October 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  11. ^ Smith, David, Smith, Zoe. "Annihilation beckons the dark star of rock", The Observer, 4 July 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  12. ^ Pete Flees Rehab Again. (14 June 2004). Archived from the original on 2006-02-20.
  13. ^ "Libertines cancel festival dates", BBC News, 9 June 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  14. ^ a b Thornton, Anthony; Roger Sargent (2006). The Libertines Bound Together. Little, Brown Book Group, p. 263. ISBN 0-316-73234-6. 
  15. ^ The Libertines reunite at Hackney gig. (2007-04-12). Retrieved on 2007-04-13.
  16. ^ "Geldof to follow up Live Aid and 'turn the world'", The Guardian, 27 May, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  17. ^ a b Binelli, Mark. "Over the Edge with Pete Doherty", Rolling Stone, 24 March, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  18. ^ "Pete finds new client!",, 29 April, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  19. ^ "Doherty records with The Littl'ans",, 19 September, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  20. ^ "Pete Doherty and The Streets record drugs anthem",, 9 August, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  21. ^ "Babyshambles kick off UK tour without guitarist",, 10 January 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  22. ^ "Babyshambles cancel Oasis support", BBC News, 7 July, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  23. ^ "Babyshambles speak about new deal",, 15 September, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  24. ^ "Babyshambles sign 'long term' record deal",, 18 January, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  25. ^ "Pete Doherty plays 'freedom gig'",, 9 February, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  26. ^ Einöder, Arthur. "Überraschungsgast in Graz", FM4, 1 April 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  27. ^ "Pete Doherty Journals to Be Published", Spin, 22 June 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  28. ^ Albion Arks. Retrieved on 2006-10-25.
  29. ^ The Books of Albion-The Collected Writings of Peter Doherty by Peter Doherty - 9780752885919- Orion Books. Retrieved on 2007-06-17.
  30. ^ Alexander, Hilary (2007-06-27). Doherty becomes fashion contender for Moss. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
  31. ^ Widicombe, Ben. "Gatecrasher", New York Daily News, 2007-03-21. Retrieved on 2007-03-27. 
  32. ^ a b Q&A with Pete., archived by (April 2003). Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
  33. ^ a b c Turner, Janice. "For Pete's sake", Times Saturday Magazine, 19 August 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  34. ^ Barton, Laura, Petridis, Alex. "'Emily Dickinson? She's hardcore'", The Guardian, 2006-10-03. Retrieved on 2007-03-26. 
  35. ^ Whaite, Phil. "This Charming Man: An Interview with Pete Doherty", Socialist Review, April 2004. Retrieved on 2007-03-23. 
  36. ^ "Pete Doherty On Orange Playlist", XFM. Retrieved on 2007-03-23. 
  37. ^ Lynskey, Dorian. "'We believe in melody, hearts and minds'", The Guardian, 10 January 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  38. ^ "The Books of Albion",, 26 June 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  39. ^ "Kate Moss and Pete Doherty Reignite Romance in Ireland", Fox News, 26 September 2006. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  40. ^ McCartney, Jenny (2007-04-15). Kate and Pete, babies and shambles. Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved on 2007-04-15.
  41. ^ Moss is now 'fiancee'. NZ Herald (2007-04-16). Retrieved on 2007-04-15.
  42. ^ Associated Press. "Pete Doherty cleans up act to marry Kate Moss", CTV, June 21, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-06-23. 
  43. ^ Now furious Kate brings in security to keep out 'cheat' Pete Doherty. (2007-07-02). Retrieved on 2007-07-05.
  • The Libertines Bound Together - official site of bestselling Libertines biography
  • Pete Doherty Shoots What May Be Blood At MTV Crew
  • Extended, unedited interview after release from Pentonville Prison (Channel 4 News)
  • Albion Arks - Libertines Media Archive
  • The Official website.
  • The Official Babyshambles Website.
  • Peter Doherty Interviewed by Alison Philcock
  • Peter Doherty interviewed by Phil Whaite
  • Archive of Pete Doherty photographs
  • Yahoo Pete Doherty News Search Latest 2007 news.
  • Rolling Stone Profile
  • Pete Doherty's Official Website.
  • For Pete's sake Interview with Jackie Doherty, Peter's mother about his drug history

  • The Libertines
    v  d  e
    Carl Barât | Peter Doherty | John Hassall | Gary Powell
    Anthony Rossomando | Johnny Borrell | Paul Dufour | Steve Bedlow
    Albums and EPs: Up the Bracket | I Get Along EP | Don't Look Back into the Sun/Death On The Stairs EP | The Libertines | What Became of the Likely Lads EP
    Singles: "What a Waster" | "Up the Bracket" | "Time for Heroes" | "Don't Look Back into the Sun" | "Can't Stand Me Now" | "What Became of the Likely Lads"
    DVDs: Boys in the Band | Who the Hell Is Pete Doherty?
    Books: The Libertines Bound Together
    Related articles
    Babyshambles | Dirty Pretty Things | Yeti | Bootlegs
    NAME Doherty, Peter
    SHORT DESCRIPTION English singer and songwriter
    DATE OF BIRTH March 12, 1979
    PLACE OF BIRTH Hexham, England
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