Books

Pogues Accordionist Squeezes Out Anarchic Band's Story

Here Comes Everybody: The Story of the Pogues By James Fearnley Chicago Review Press, 416 pp., $18.95.

It's interesting to note that, despite their status as one of the contemporary groups most identified with traditional Irish music, none of the members of the Pogues are actually Irish. Nevertheless, their insertion of punk-rock energy into the familiar sounds, instruments and themes of the Land of Erin have made records like Red Roses for Me, Rum, Sodomy & the Lash and If I Should Fall from Grace With God essential listening.

Accordionist James Fearnley has been with the band since its 1982 formation, when the group was called Pogue Mahone; roughly translated into "Kiss my ass," they changed it for obvious reasons. He offers this memoir (or, as he calls it, "creative non-fiction") of his run with the group from its early days to their 1991 sacking of troubled front man Shane MacGowan.

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero