Shane MacGowan Tributes: Flea, Nick Cave, Bruce Springsteen Honor Pogues Singer

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Written By Pinang Driod

Shane MacGowan’s passing has led to an outpouring of tributes from fellow musicians.

“Every time I heard him sing I heard the truth, and my heart filled up with humanity,” wrote Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers. He proceeded to share an anecdote about the time he met the Pogues singer: “I once saw him sing with the Pogues at a festival in the late 80’s. It was so beautiful and I was reduced to tears. I approached him, and gushed “Man that was so beautiful, thank you etc…” He looked at me and burst into laughter, accidentally spitting beer in my face, and it was not thoughtless or mean at all, he was just so humble and being a dude singing it seemed absurd to him to be elevated, like I was doing to him. I have never been a church going man or a religious man, but if I ever felt baptised, it was that beer and spit in my face that did it. Im so grateful he sang his songs for us.”

Fellow folk icon Billy Bragg credited MacGowan and The Pogues for “reinvigorat[ing] folk music in the early 80s and his songs put the focus onto lyric writing, opening doors for the likes of myself and others.”

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Nick Cave called MacGowan “a true friend and the greatest songwriter of his generation.”

Bruce Springsteen said, “I truly believe that 100 years from, most of us will be forgotten, but Shane’s music will be remembered and sung. He’s a master for me. I have a deep, deep appreciation for his work.”

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Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, two American bands heavily influenced by The Pogues, posted their own respective tributes. “Thank you for the impact you had on so many of our lives,” wrote Dropkick. “Farewell to a legend,” memorialized Flogging Molly.

Even Ireland’s president, Michael Higgins, paid tribute to MacGowan. “The genius of Shane’s contribution includes the fact that his songs capture within them, as Shane would put it, the measure of our dreams – of so many worlds, and particularly those of love, of the emigrant experience and of facing the challenges of that experience with authenticity and courage, and of living and seeing the sides of life that so many turn away from.

Find these tributes and more to MacGowan below.

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