Shane MacGowan has been remembered as a “poet and trailblazer” - but in his own lifetime, along with other Irish musicians, he was “literally thrown under the bus”.
That’s according to Newstalk presenter and singer Tom Dunne following the funeral of the iconic Irish singer.
MacGowan died on November 30th, the third Irish music legend to die this year following the deaths of Sinéad O’Connor on July 26th and Christy Dignam on June 13th.
The Pogues frontman was laid to rest yesterday in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, with a host of well-known names from music and film in attendance.
He was remembered as a “poet, lyricist and trailblazer” during the mass – but Tom noted MacGowan, along with O’Connor and Dignam, were in many cases only given this respect in hindsight.
“[Fame] chews you up,” he told The Anton Savage Show. “It is the most extraordinary business for that.
“I think very often people get to a little bit of success – and probably have a bit of fraility to begin with in their personality – and when they get to the early loom of fame, they are literally thrown under the bus.
“It seems to me businesses in the UK and America seem to think, ‘We have this person, they have the attention of the world for a limited amount of time, and we have to work them half to death during that time’.
“There is zero concern for their mental health and how they’re going to cope with all of that.”
Tom said the three Irish musicians who died this year were all taken advantage of in extremely vulnerable moments.
“When there was a problem with Christie Dignam he was sensationally sacked,” he said. “He was on the front cover of The Star with a photograph of Christie and ‘SACKED’ under it – you can imagine what that was doing to him.
“With Sinéad, when she ripped the photo [of Pope John Paul II], there were people like Frank Sinatra saying he wanted to punch her.
“She was discarded with zero support once again.
He said Shane MacGowan had “the perfect storm” to create issues in his career.
“He was being taken off on a tour [in the 1990s]; his sister Sinéad was saying there’s no way he can go on that tour,” he said.
“He was in an institution a psychiatric institution of his 18th birthday. He had issues from day one.
“But he went on that tour for three years, and [Sinéad] said he came back a different man.”
Tom said if MacGowan’s mental health had been prioritised, there “could have been other Rum Sodomoies and Lashes”.
Listen back here: