Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Ciara O'Loughlin

‘It’s like my dirty laundry’ – Shane MacGowan goes in search of new crock of gold as he launches art book

Shane McGowan and Victoria Mary Clarke with Louis Walsh at The Park Cafe in Ballsbridge. Photo: Frank McGrath

The Pogues legendary frontman Shane MacGowan said his new book, The Eternal Buzz & The Crock of Gold airs his “dirty laundry” at its launch in Ballsbridge, Dublin, this evening.

Friends, family, and stars including Patrick Bergin and Louis Walsh attended the launch in the newly opened The Park Café to celebrate MacGowan’s limited edition art book which contains never-before-seen illustrations, self-portraits, essays, and song lyrics, including early versions of Pogues songs.

His wife Victoria Mary Clarke put the book together after she kept his drawings, lyrics, and essays for years, unsure of how they would be used in the future.

“I collected it for years because I didn’t want to throw them away, I thought they were important, so eventually I said let’s do something with this, a book or something,” she told

The journalist and author has been married to MacGowan since 2018, but they have been together for decades after she met him in a London pub when she was 17.

After an accident in 2016 in which he broke his pelvis, the singer has been wheelchair-bound and his wife cares for him.

“There is quite a bit of porn in the book,” Clarke told attendees at the launch. She is very open about their sex life and previously told the Irish Independent that, as a couple, they had a “voracious sexual appetite.”

She continued: “There’s also quite a lot of notes which are interesting because there are some instructions from The Pogues that Shane wrote on what they should do, what way they should behave and how they should record. There were also his cocktail recipes, and several stories.”

While speaking to his audience, as MacGowan’s illustrations were displayed in a slideshow behind Clarke, the singer shouted that the book is airing “my dirty laundry”.

“It’s like my dirty laundry, it smells,” he said.

“I am very grateful to Shane for letting us share his dirty laundry,” added Clarke.

“I’m a bit of a hoarder and collector and I hoard paper in particular, so I kept all these bits of paper not knowing what I would do with them or if they would have any value.”

One of the never-before-seen songs, read out by actor Patrick Bergin, is an ode to his “gypsy wife with the black hair”.

Lyrics in the song include: “Her eyes, oh her eyes, her lovely Irish eyes” and “My heart bursts and I want to cry, Victoria Mary Clarke come on up here and give me a kiss”.

Former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said MacGowan is “so lucky” to have Clarke, who has minded him all this time. “Fair play to Victoria Mary Clarke for combining over 3,000 sketches, scribblings, lyrics, and any number of graphic, phallic and provocative drawings by Shane which she salvaged and is now presenting to the world,” he said.

“Shane is lucky that he has had Victoria to mind him all this time. Ireland and our culture are lucky that we have Shane MacGowan to bring us his wonderful art, lyrics, and songs, work of a genius.”

The musician’s sister, Siobhan MacGowan, who recently published her debut novel The Trial of Lotta Rae, said writing is in their blood, and it’s something they have both done since they were young children.

“He is so pleased about the book,” she said, pointing to her brother. “I love the book, the two of us used to write a lot when we were young.”

Among the attendees at the launch was Louis Walsh, who said he has always admired Shane MacGowan as a writer and poet “but now he’s an artist too and it’s great to see it”.

Related topics

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.