Double Nugget, Gone but not forgotten


Here’s some proof, if any was really needed, that everything in music has been done before and will be done again to the nth degree. A regular visitor to these pages once pointed out to me how similar The Libertines ‘Last Post on the Bugle’ sounded to Australian psych-heads The Masters Apprentices 1967 track ‘War Or Hands Of Time’. Making a mental note I promised to myself I’d listen to both records back to back before writing a bit about them.

The Masters Apprentices

I’d forgotten all about this shallow promise until the other day when The Masters Apprentices track shuffled up on my iPod. And I didn’t recognise it at first. “I don’t remember putting those Libertines demos on here,” I thought. Then it clicked. It wasn’t the Libertines. It was ‘War Or Hands Of Time’. And it sounded an awful lot like ‘Last Post On The Bugle‘. It really does. 

Johnny Thunders Pete Doherty

A check on the sleevenotes of the self-titled Libertines second album reveals a wee clue – Last Post On The Bugle is jointly published by EMI and MCA/Universal Music Publishing. A further bit of internet digging reveals that the track is written by Doherty/Barat/Bower. Doherty and Barat you’ll know…..but you may not know that Bower is (presumably) Michael Bower, guitarist with The Masters Apprentices. Voila! Not quite an admission of theft from Pete ‘n Carl (there’s no writing credit on the album sleeve), but nonetheless, they’ve given half the publishing over to a long forgotten hippy living on the other side of the world.

War Or Hands Of Time

When I turn cold, I will be thinking of you
When I’m far away, try to remember what I said
The day I live, I’ll still be dreaming of your love
Wait for the clouds to pass your way
Wait for me I’ll be back some day

Whereas the original track was written about a soldier embracing his sweetheart before heading off to war, Doherty keeps the melody and rewrites the song’s original lyrics to address the break up of his friendship with Carl Barat and The Libertines.

Last Post On The Bugle

If I have to go
I will be thinking of your love
Oh somehow you’ll know
You will know
Thinking of your love
Slyly they whispered away
As I played the last post on the bugle

Go Compare! As I said, proof that everything in music has been done before. Proof, also, that junkies will steal just about anything. Even the melody from an old long-forgotten slice of Antipodean psychedelic rock.

It’s a fair cop, guv etc etc


Cover Versions, Hard-to-find

Peter Painter Painted Pete In Pastels

Acclaimed artist and Ayrshireman Peter Howson’s very stylised work sells for tens of thousands of pounds at a time. Many of his paintings are centered around what he has observed in life – hard working men down the mines of Ayrshire, hard drinking men in the rough-round-the-edges pubs we’ve all seen wherever we live. If you look closely enough you might also see a bit of religious imagery in there. At least, I think I can. He’s also painted The Queen, Henrik Larsson and Madonna in the nude (just Madonna, not the other two.) This weekend he has been in the headlines of most of the big papers.  He’s just unveiled 6 new works which depict Pete Doherty as dead.

It would appear that the Last of the Great Romantic Poets has a bit of a death wish. Some of you may think this is a good thing. Certainly, many would argue that his best years as a writer are behind him. Howson is no stranger to this sort of criricism himself. After a battle with drink and drugs he found God, then found himself on the frontline in Bosnia as the Governent’s Official War Artist. He says his paintings are a warning to Doherty, that he’s lived the scuzzy lifestyle himself and he fears Doherty will end up dead.

“I’ve painted Pete dead before he ends up that way. This is my warning to him. I don’t want him to die but he surely will soon unless he changes. Pete can influence a whole generation by kicking this evil habit. He could become the right kind of hero. I know what it is like to live the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. I would love to meet Pete and shake some sense into him.”

In one drawing, Doherty is wearing a Dante hat instead of his usual trilby. It’s a reference to Dante‘s poem Divine Comedy, about his trip to hell.

Pete’s people said: “I don’t believe Howson knows Peter so I don’t know where he got his inspiration from. We have not seen the drawings.”

The pictures went on show yesterday (Sunday) at ArtDeCaf, Glasgow.

Anyway, all this gives us a good excuse to get out the Libertines bootlegs and give you some stuff you may never have heard before. First up, Pete plays The La’s. This is a 28 minute studio outtake of him messing around playing ‘Son Of A Gun’, ‘Callin’ All’, ‘Timeless Melody’ and some Smiths stuff amongst a whole rake of familiar and unheard Doherty originals. Sponatneous? Certainly. Rough? Definitely. Essential? Of course! Next up, ‘Hooligans On E’, from another studio session (date unknown, sorry). I bloody love this half-baked, half-finished song. Some of the lyrics are great. Also, you can have this beauty. ‘Road To Ruin’ is different to the album version. It features a great spooky keyboard part. Mostly sung by Carl, it’s just about my favourite Libertines outtake. Finally, if you fancy a lazy Sunday hanging around art galleries looking at paintings of dead people who aren’t dead yet, this is for you. The Libertines do the Small Faces ‘Lazy Sunday’. Originally on the soundtrack to the film ‘Blackball‘, it sounds just as you’d expect. Which is half arsed and out of tune. Of course.