Former Libertines and current Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty was arrested yet again this past weekend on suspicion of, you guessed it, drug possession.
According to Billboard, Doherty was released on bail the morning of Sunday the 19th. He had been spotted driving his car erratically near his east London home; Pete and the car’s other two occupants were arrested on the spot.
The drug in question: crack cocaine, of course—one of Pete’s favorites. All three men were released from the police station pending analysis of the substances recovered. They must report back to police in December.
By now, this is all a sad, disgusting joke. To paraphrase one of his songs: Petey, put the pipe down! For the sake of the good Lord and all your fans, enough is enough!
The saddest part is that no one who knows a thing about the man or his music really expects him to make any kind of recovery. Just this past month, in fact, Doherty was released from London’s rehab clinic the Priory, where he rubbed elbows and supposedly wrote songs with Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins and Keane’s Tom Chaplin. A recent article came out in which Doherty pleaded for the public’s forgiveness and declared his only wish was to get clean and make things up to his fans. Well, he’s off to a good start.
He’s no longer “musician Pete Doherty,” or “bandleader Pete Doherty.” He’s now the “troubled former Libertines frontman” or “on-again/off-again boyfriend of Kate Moss.” No one aside from fans cares about his music anymore, and by this point, why would they? The man’s become a beautiful disaster, a junkie hell-bent on some kind of stunning self-destruction.
None of this would matter if he weren’t such a ridiculously talented songwriter. He’s not the first huge talent to also be a misguided junkie: we like our rock stars young and doomed to stay that way forever (see: Cobain, Kurt; Hendrix, Jimi; Morrison, Jim). Doherty, however, is setting a new precedent. There was a time when Pete stole guitars from Libertines' Carl Barat to buy drugs. That kind of behavior almost seems like the innocent mischief of a capricious youth.
All we as fans want is more songs with the ramshackle energy, cacophonous melody, and soulful bared-fang poetry that made his name, long before the gossip pages got a hold of him. When he decides to stop messing around and finally gets clean or checks out once and for all, we’ll always have the brilliant Libertines and, to a lesser degree (his personal descent probably affecting things), Babyshambles albums to remember this insane period of his life and art.
If present trends continue, he’ll be checking out in due time. A zeitgeist-defining artist so intent on burning out, he seems cursed to follow a path traveled by too many others before him. Those that love his music expect this much to be true: this will all end very badly, and when it finally does, what a colossal waste of talent it will be.