The Picture | The Story

Janette Beckman: Shane MacGowan, The Pogues, Soho, London, 1981


Janette Beckman

Shane MacGowan, The Pogues, Soho, London, 1981


"Shane MacGowan was infamous. He'd been 'drunk and bloodied' in virtually every pub in London worth mentioning. He was in a punk group called 'The Nipple Erectors' at the time. I got an assignment from Melody Maker to photograph him.

We were walking around the seedy streets behind Leicester Square on a grey London day looking for a perfect place to take a photo and spotted this graffiti. Shane jumped up on the wall to pose. Just then, the old lady walked by and I took the shot. 

This is the beauty of shooting on the street, you never know what is going to happen.

The photo seemed to perfectly epitomize dreary England at the time: the 'no future'  and 'don't give a fuck' attitude."

- Janette Beckman