Peter Doherty (born March 12, 1979, in Hexham, Northumberland, England) is the frontman and songwriter for the band Babyshambles, and formerly co-frontman and songwriter (along with Carl Barât) of Britrock band, The Libertines. He is also a poet. Since 2005, he has become well known to the tabloid-reading public as a result of his on/off relationship with supermodel Kate Moss and his struggles with his drug addiction.
- Basically there’s a gulf between truth and untruth, I don’t want to be too mathematical about it, because I’m not very good at maths. But it’s a divide between, I dunno, a film and a cartoon. I’ve just become this cartoon character. I try not to follow it, but when you see pictures of yourself that have been photo-shopped to show you doing something you didn’t…. that’s wrong. It’s my worst nightmare – and being misquoted, too, especially as I’m so precious about words.
- Speaking out on the media's caricature of him
- I'm not going to be hardened by these people, to these things, I'm not going to let them destroy my feelings or my emotions.
- From the BBC documentry Who The Fuck is Pete Doherty, on the media's hounding of him
- We have played at venues up and down the country on this tour, some of which had no security, and have encountered no problems or witnessed any aggression. I simply asked the bouncer last night to apologise for his behaviour, three times in fact, and he refused. I was very upset at his attitude and although I'm very sorry for letting everyone down last night, I refuse to play at venues where pumped up, 16 stone men feel the need to be aggressively rude and to bully teenage kids around.
- After cancelling a gig at the Barfly, August 2004
- I made this big statement saying, "I've left The Libertines." A couple of people said, "You can't do that! You're such a great band! What are you gonna do about Brixton?" And some people said, "Well, I'd rather be here than Brixton." There's no reason you can't do both. If I was 16 or 17 and Morrissey opened his front door to me and let me go and listen to him and chat to him it would be a joy. Why not? It's possible. I don't really have that much else going on in my life.
- On removing the barriers between performers and audiences, NME (New Musical Express), March 13, 2004.
- "We've had death threats", Pete says, "saying, 'You're evil and your days are numbered." What was it, "Don't panic but be scared". Someone shat on our doorstep once and nailed a sparrow to our basement door. I don't mind, me. I'll out-weird any stalker.
- On the downside of fame, NME (New Musical Express), March 13, 2004
- I can't buy her diamonds, my dick's too small. I never know where I stand with her. It's either a black eye or a love bite.
- On his relationship with Kate Moss
- Nooooooah. No, that was a big joke in the family. When I was 16, 17, I started drifting away from everything else and picking up a guitar, and it was like, "What are you doing? You can't sing and you can't play a guitar", right up to the day we got signed by Rough Trade. And then it was like, "Go on play us a song", whereas before it was, "Shut up, fucking racket."
- On growing up as a dreamer, The Guardian, November 2005
- You've got to understand... these days I just can't afford to get involved [with the press]. People - they turn on you... on me. They write horrible things, deliberately twisting my words.
- On his growing wariness in talking to the media, Spin Magazine, Autumn 2007.
- ‘You can only be so thick-skinned. You can only pretend not to care for so long before you have to admit that you hate being made to look like an idiot. I hate seeing myself misquoted. I hate being linked romantically with girls I’ve been close to for years but never slept with. It’s just upsetting, isn’t it? My nan reads and believes these things. I say, “Hiya Nan, how are you getting on?” and she’ll say, “Are you all right? What about that cat you injected with crack?”’
- Mail On Sunday, September 2008
Definitions and objects 
- The more you read and the more you teach yourself, the less you rely on something like drugs to take you to a better place.
- I have a very bad relationship with the future. We don't get on. We just ignore each other.
- Broken glass. It's just like glitter, isn't it?
- NME (New Musical Express), November 2005
- It's that mysterious thing called hype. I've looked under every rock, and I couldn't find out what it means. Certain people hear a certain melody, and they're attracted to it. I'm in love with that feeling. We're looking for fun and adventure and a bit of redemption and somewhere to live. Everything else is a blind venture into the unknown.
- I don't really know what "intellectual" means, but if it means you've got a desire to learn, you've got a desire to look for things that haven't been presented to you, then, maybe. I think that "intellectual" is quite an exclusive word. I think it's just for anyone that has a thirst or a hunger to improve themselves, or a yearning to escape from somewhere to get to a better place.
- When asked whether he considered himself (and Carl) to be "intellectual", 2002
- The main instinct a lot of the time is to masquerade and hide the truth at all times. Whereas in reality what happens in songs is laying bare the truth. So a lot of time it's fighting that instinct, and the songs become almost confessional. They can also be quite condescending to myself, almost like I'm putting myself down.
- I do have utopian fantasies. A lot of them are more - I wouldn't say spiritual, but they relate more to the imagination and the individual. But for me socialism is a way of trying to put far-fetched ideas into everyday use, trying to find a way to bridge the gap between that fantasy and reality, and reaching out across that gap to the people who can actually do something to make the change.
- I know the basic facts cause they’ve been repeated again and again across various duty desk counters at police stations over the past months and years: I’m 6ft 2in, green-brown eyes. Distinguishing features: moles. Tattoos: loads. Got a wolf, a mermaid, a heart with a K in it. They don’t go through your personality traits.
- When asked how he sees himself, The Sunday Times, May 14, 2006
- Something good has happened to us. We are, dare I say it, a professional unit these days. When people get us in a room together now, they actually treat us like musicians. Before, they would treat us as anything but: pigeon fanciers, candles, dry humpers...
- Talking about Babyshambles to Spin Magazine, Autumn 2007
- There are three things that I know a bit about in my life and that's QPR, my guitar and drugs. I know QPR are the best football team in the world, my guitar is the most beautiful thing I own and that I don't take enough drugs to kill me. It isnt drugs that I need to get rid of; it's the demons that fill my head. Once I have come to terms with my demons, maybe I'll be able to get clean.
- Until I was nine years old I thought 'cunt' was a term of endearment
- The story of The Libertines starts for me when it was me, Carl Barât and Steve Bedlow sat on the side of a canal, throwing stones at a bottle and we had a game where whoever hit the bottle first with the stone got to choose the name of the band - I can't even remember who it was that hit the bottle but, yeah, from that night onwards we became The Libertines. We ended up throwing ourselves into eternity, as we called it at the time
- On how The Libertines got their name
- Arcadia? The realm of the infinite? It's a poet's corner... It's not a cult or a religion – it's an awareness of your surroundings; you're not going to force yourself on anyone and, equally, no one's going to force themselves on you. And it's about community and pleasure. It came from a whisper through the trees. It came from a crack in the pavement. It can also come when you open a bag of crisps, or when you kick a football against a goalpost. Even if I was winding you up, it would still be true, because Arcadia and the Arcadian Dream is so deep, is so true to our hearts... It can be as powerful as your imagination can allow it to be. But, it can also be as dark and twisted as your soul... Arcadia encompasses the infinite, and that's why it comforts me.
- Just when you get really wound up, you turn a corner and you're somewhere else completely. You find an Arcadian glade - a glimpse of paradise in the middle of it all. And that's why you persevere. That's why you don't chuck yourself off a building or shoot yourself at the same time as someone else, like he [Carl] wanted us to.
- The Guardian, January 10, 2003.
- I still do. It's changed a lot. It started off as something ancient and forgotten; and became something modern and real. I just couldn't swim. The tunnels get narrower and narrower.
- NME (New Musical Express), December 15, 2006, when asked if he still believes in Arcadia.
Music and politics 
- Has there ever been a musician of cultural significance who's been aware they're significant? Maybe it's a generation whose parents came from a working class environment and because they were rootless in a way, like me and him, they latched onto that as an identity. Maybe we romanticise what our parents wanted to escape from. We're, like, fantasising out a living.
- NME (New Musical Express), March 13, 2004
- There's a point you reach before you're perverted and tainted by all the things that drag you into the music business, like avarice or a lust for fame. The original reason why I started was some feeling of community, equality, wanting to fight for things you believe in. Any kid who's gone to a state school knows what it's all about - bullying, racism. And you've just got to make a stand.
- 2004, The Socialist Review; on why it was important to do the Love Music, Hate Racism gig
- You can't get that feeling anywhere else. It's communion. It's like being washed away in the ocean, carried aloft on a wave.
- On performing, interview by Neil McCormick, March 2003
- I think it's woken me up to a few things, and you do become complacent. As well as being anti something, you've got to be pro something. So you're anti racism, so what are you pro? You're pro community. I would put my hand on my heart and I'd attach myself to socialist ideas. Because I believe in society. And it's bollocks that black people have any less worth in society than white people, which is basically what people like the BNP say.
- 2004, The Socialist Review; on what the Love Music, Hate Racism campaign could achieve today
- They left me, by the side of the road, with a plastic bag and all kinds of bitterness Well, in my mind, and I can say this forever I suppose, and people might laugh at it, but I don't think I ever really left The Libertines, nor can I ever leave The Libertines, you know, having been a founder of the band with Carl, but that sounds silly, doesn't it, seeing as they played all the festivals without me and made it difficult, no - impossible, for me to play live with them.
- December 2004, Newsnight; when asked whether he left The Libertines or The Libertines left him
- I’ve got a fierce passion for politics but I can’t stand the smarmy, hypocritical upper-middle-class dictator nation that prevails and has always prevailed in this country. I’m up for petrol bombers, mate, and fighting in the streets.
- I think I only needed something to hold on to. It has never been about depravity. It's always been about melody. But melody and I met in many depraved situations. Meeting melody is the victory of the empty spiralling nightmare.
- Extract from Prison Diaries, published in The Guardian, 2006
Oasis (band) 
- “Yeah, well, I subscribe to the Umberto Eco view that Noel is a Poet and Liam is a town crier.”
- "With Oasis stepping up a gear and proving they've still got it, they need to be shown there are people out there who can surpass them. Can we match them? The quality is good (in Oasis), but there really is no competition because my band is the greatest in the world and we're going to prove it."
I'd like to see Noel play in his livin'n room, but apparently he's a bit moody. (or something like that) Pete on Oasis, BBC Seven Ages of Rock
- It's not people in bands, is it? Why do people who take drugs, why are they in bands? 'Cos they're trying to prove themselves. To make themselves blank and numb and not able to communicate with other people.
- October 2002, NME (New Musical Express); when asked why people in bands take drugs
- If I want drugs, I don't have to do a gig to get them. I do a gig when I feel shit, because I need to be playing. There's no drug in the world that can compare with playing music
- July 2004, the Guardian; when asked about the perception that he staged gigs to get drug money
- With drugs, I think the sort of person that would die from an overdose is gonna die soon enough anyway, because they’ve got that will to destroy what’s left of their life.
- I'd say exercising self-control is very important for a dissolute life. You don't need to control your drug intake to lead a free life. Whether you take no drugs at all or everything you can get your hands on, a free life is separated from that.
- NME (New Musical Express), December 15, 2006
- Sometimes I feel really guilty complaining about it because there are some amazing things happening around me but the darkness has prevailed, to be honest, in extremis. Yesterday, man, I went to buy a pint of milk and I got stopped in the street and searched. They found a crumb of rock in the lining of my coat that I didn’t even know was there and I spent all day in fucking Charing Cross [police] station. They’re taking the piss, mate.
- That’s right, but I’m not sure it’s my place to talk about drugs. I’d rather take them or not take them - but not talk about them.
- Metro, August 25, 2006 (When asked if he was trying to stop taking drugs)
- I was so, so lost and unhappy. If you listen to the songs on the first album, you can hear it. They’re really sad songs and they come from a lonely place. The relationship broke up, and I went into free fall. I saw drugs as a way of avoiding…the darkness.
- The Sunday Times, May 14, 2006
- I realise it’s proved to people that I don’t love them. It’s dawning on me now that if I say I love someone… it’s like lying, really. As long as I’m taking it, the lie continues. I’ve got a lot of proving myself to do.
- The Sunday Times, May 14, 2006
- Drugs don’t work. They don’t even make you forget – only momentarily, because if something’s that painful, nothing’s going to make you forget it. You think they’ll fill the hole, but the hole just gets deeper… It’s like trying to fill in a hole without a spade.
- The Sunday Times, May 14, 2006
- After years of entrenched drug abuse, you have a mourning period. I know it’s a bit sad, but I’m in mourning. I’m in mourning for an armful.
- NME (New Music Express), Novemeber 5, 2007 (days before heroin relapse)
- They've been around me since day one, but so has corduroy. Know what I mean? Drugs don't create the sound - they might just change the pitch slightly. Or make you spell a word wrong.
- Loaded Magazine, August 2008
Carl Barat 
- Yes, it was riveting. Despite everything, you knew there was goodness there. Something to believe in. Something which is good, pure and untainted by anything.
- On meeting Carl Barat, The Guardian, January 2003.
- Carl's all right. It's just like EastEnders really. He's still my kid.
- NME (New Musical Express), December 15, 2006, when asked if the Libertines were a perfect vehicle for his early dreams.
- I got headbutted in Wolverhampton. You [Carl] get snogged in Northampton, head butted in Wolverhampton and I won't even tell you what happened in Southampton. Basically Carlos gets the love and I get all the head butts, it seems to be the way of things.
- Probably Carlos
- When asked what his best feature was, 2002
- Basically, too many other people made important decisions for us and we just wrote songs and worried about clothes and girls. In the early days he came round once with this girl who had convinced him that I was just a weirdo and that we had an unhealthy relationship. He sat me down and said, “Maybe we shouldn’t see so much of each other? Maybe we should knock the band on the head? It’s not really going anywhere, is it?" I was desperate for us to stick together and see it through because I never stopped believing. When we got signed, Carl was shocked. I had prepared myself and had been reading the NME since I was 16. Carl wasn’t like that.
- Mail On Sunday, September 2008
- I fall in love with Britain every day, with bridges, buses, blue skies... but it’s a brutal world, man.
- I knew I was destined for London, so I came to live with my nan in her council flat. It was the summer after my A-levels. Got a job in Willesden cemetery. I was getting a man’s wage, filling in graves. Stood around while they did the last rites. Cut the grass. A lot of the time I’d just sit on the gravestones and read and write. Scribbling away.
- The Sunday Times, May 16, 2006
- I mean you look in the paper and you see the bodies of mutilated people, and that's controversy. Controversy isn't saying something like 'Oh I've fucked Noel Gallagher' or something. Which I have.
- October 2002, Interview by Flashers Inc.
- No, because it's not like they're the only songs we have. They're like children; you shouldn't really have a favourite. Unless one of your kids develops into a pervert.
- February 2005, Guitar and Bass, on whether publishing Babyshambles songs online would cause legal problems when they were released on an album.
- Mental-stability, I would say. I’d like to achieve a fluidity, where everything stays consistent – always doing shows, always with the chance to release records, meeting new people.
- Rockfeedback.com (around 2002), when asked about his goals for the future.
- I’m vain because I’m imperfect.
- The Sunday Times, May 14, 2006
- I got bitten last night actually. Just some bloke bit me. I wasn't doing anything and he just bit me. I was in a public telephone box in the centre of London and some fella came up and started biting me. Nah, I didn't bite him back. I hit him with a telephone, right on the hooter and it exploded like a ripe tomato
- My idea of paradise is that period just before the sun rises and I’m at home painting or writing songs and everything is flowing. I pray that the sun won’t rise so I can paint and write for ever. That’s my ideal time.
- Mail On Sunday, September 2008
- I may be a fool, but I'm not a f**ker.
- From the BBC Documentary, Who the F is Pete Doherty? on what his thoughts of his ex-band mates opinions of him were at the time of their break up
Lyrics and poetry 
- I knew she wasn't English
Because she spoke it far too well
The grammar was goodly, the verbs as they should be
And the slang was bang on the bell
So as the language barrier clanged and banged
I couldn't hear--hear or see
England, London, and Bow
Crumbled into the sea.
- Recited on Newsnight with Kirsty Wark, December 22, 2004
- The Thames and the Mersey, the Tyne and the Wear and the Clyde
They spew slums like gravy on the banks of the poisonous tide
They washed up a pale thin girl
Alone in her ivory tower
Scratching her skin with the thorns that grow
On the stems of the wild flowers
What became of the love we knew?
We beat the swine black and blue
You and I
Me and you
What became of the love we knew?
What became of the working class?
Nike, Reebok, Adidas
Scratchcards, pitbulls, ecstasy
Hooray for the 21st Century
- "Hooray for the 21st Century"
- If you've lost your faith in love and music
The end won't be long
But if it's gone for you I too may lose it
And that would be wrong...
- "The Good Old Days" (with Carl Barat)
- The red-faced president took afternoon tea
With her majesty The Queen
And they watched old films flicker
Across the old palace movie screen
Crying, "What a shame!"
As she slipped in the rain
Poor dancing girl
Well, she won't dance again...
- "Radio America"(with Carl Barat)
- There are fewer more distressing sights
than that of an Englishman in a baseball cap
Yeah, we'll die in the class we were born
That's a class of our own, my love
- "Time for Heroes"(with Carl Barat)
- Don't let the tide of your sorrow
Drown your nights and flood your days
- "Don't Be Shy"(with Carl Barat)
- Her old man, he don't like blacks or queers
Yet he's proud we beat the Nazis
- "Arbeit Macht Frei"(with Carl Barat)
- Music when the lights go out
Love goes cold in shades of doubt
The strange face in my mind is all too clear
Music when the lights come on
The girl I thought I knew has gone
And with her my heart has disappeared
- "Music When the Lights Go Out" (with Carl Barat)
- When she wakes up in the morning
She writes down all her dreams
Reads like the Book of Revelations
Or the Beano or the unabridged Ulysses
Oh, I really wanna know
So tell me, Where does all the money go?
Where does all the money go?
Straight, straight up her nose
- "What a Waster"(with Carl Barat)
- I was a troubled teen
Who put an advert in a magazine
To the annoyance of my imaginary lover
She doubted my integrity
And this is what she said to me:
She said, "Oh, you, you're green
You don't know what love means
Well, let me tell you
- "I Love You (But You're Green)"
- If you get tired of just hanging around
Pick up a guitar, spin a web of sound
And then you could be strung out all day
With lovers and clowns
Now I find myself still hanging around
- "Ha Ha Wall"(with Carl Barat)
- New York City's very pretty in the night-time
But oh, don't you miss Soho?
- "The Boy Looked at Johnny"(with Carl Barat)
- She said, "I'll show you a picture,
A picture of tomorrow,
There's nothing changing, it's all sorrow."
"Oh, no, please don't show me
I'm a swine, you don't wanna know me!"
- "Horrorshow" (with Carl Barat)
- If you're looking for a cheap sort
Glint with perspiration
There's a five mile queue
Outside the disused powerstation
- I defy you all
To know twice as much as nothing at all
It's still nothing at all.
- I can't believe you've listed everything
I stole since we met
But I stole no kisses
Just some books
And the odd cigarette
- In the morning theres a buzz of flies
Between the pillows and the skies that beg into your eyes
Through the looking glass in between your thighs
It's really no small surprise
How it goes straight down the rabbit hole
There it goes
- "Through the Looking Glass"
- And if lust and depair
Are two bullets in the same gun
Well we've been playing Russian Roulette for far too long
- Well, I'll tell you a story but you won't listen
It's about a nightmare steeped in tradition
It's the story of a coked-up pansy
Who spends his nights in flights of fancy
Met two fellas over gin and mixers
They talked for a while, he soon got the picture
One was a souped up Soho mincer
And the other was a pikey with a knowledge of scripture
- She was getting pally with a scally in the alley
Giving head for gear
She called a spade a spade
Got slit from ear to ear
I showed no decorum
Spilled my heart out on the forum
Like a snapshot of the most tragic day
Carl is kept sedated,for the frontman elevated
While McGee does all he can to ruin my band and keep me out the way
In this industry of fools, musclemen and ghouls
If you're not a puppet or a muppet then you might as well call it a day
The truth gets so distorted
The wall scrapings get snorted
I'm welcome back if I give up crack
But you gave me my first pipe anyway
- "Gang of Gin" (never released owing to threats of legal action by pop mogul Alan McGee)
- You should get some sun on your face
We've been sitting like a lord in the bath for days
It's getting like I don't even know you
- "Merrygoround (That Bowery Song)"
- It's one and the same, one and the same
What's the use between death and glory?
Hard to choose between death and glory
Happy endings they never bored me
Happy endings, they still don't bore me
They have a way, a way to make you pay
And to make you toe the line
Now I'm severing the ties because
I'm so clever but clever ain't wise
- Make no mistake
She sheds her skin like a snake
On the dirty road to fame.
- "There She Goes (A Little Heartache)"
- Now I can deal with all the blood on my shoes,
The holes in my sole,
My spirit is tainted and,
Oh, all my tears are painted
- What did I dream? Oh, what did I dream?
No one can keep me from my...
No one could keep me from my...
No fucker gonna keep me from my...
Oh, what did I dream?
- Doff your cap and raise your glasses,
Make a toast to the boring classes
I'm burning your secrets to keep me warm.
- And he's crossing the road,
He's picking up his Daily...Star
- "Begging" (with Carl Barat)
- Once upon a time...
When the cold wind that blows,
when the cold wind that blows in my heart,
it was a summer breeze and she would meet me in Chinatown,
for opium and tea
and she always brought me flowers
but I spared you those old ballads
All those songs I couldn’t play
But every giro day she’d dress me like a lady boy
And take me high out of the way
Don’t let the horse chase the new deal away, no
If we make love in the morning
I see your eyes look like two marbles in your head
- "Lady Don't Fall Backwards"
- Oh promises, promises
I know you've heard them all before
Love is, love is, love is, love is, love is...
Oh well, it's just around the corner
- Why should I wait until tomorrow?
I've already been
I've already seen
All the sorrow that's in store
- There's a slow train rumbling east of a place called Eden
Feeling wind-blown and proud as the trees upon the plain
And a stranger's voice talked to me of liberty and freedom
Yeah, it seems like he done gone wrong again
And he wears that hat like shame
Well he tasted the fruit of another
And when his Margie, when she discovered
Said she's gonna love him ten times more
Ain't nobody's business if she do
- There's a man who came to stay
The boy he replaced, disappeared without a trace.
Stole all my songs and my style away
No-one would say what they wanted to say
So he was king for a day.
If you sail into the sun
Beware the eyes of green
And if the whole world tells you 'you are the one'
I defy you not to believe them, my son...
- "The Man Who Came to Stay"
Quotes about Doherty 
- He's a sweet kid, I've met him a few times. He'll go down in history as a Morrissey and Marr or Lennon and McCartney type character. Him and Carl were great for each other. Apart they'll probably be shocking. There's a lot of hypocrisy in the British press about drugs. The people who write the stories are usually off their heads on cocaine anyway.
- What are you thinking when you see Pete Doherty self-destruct? - He's such an intelligent man. I completely understand, I just understand.
- A Guardian interview asked Pete Townshend of The Who in 2006
- "I think two years ago, if you thought Pete Doherty, he was kind of untouchable. Now when you think of Pete Doherty you think of that guy who's always in the background of that picture with Kate Moss. And if he wants to go out like that, then each to their own, and I'm sure he's having a great time but, y'know, are you gonna be remembered as Kate Moss's boyfriend or a f**king artist? In six months, if he's not put a record out, it's gonna smack of the emperor's new clothes, all of it. My opinion of him hasn't changed. His heart's in the right place but the people he's around are not that good for him,"
- I think I felt a bit trapped before I met Pete. Have you seen The Lavender Hill Mob? Alec Guinness plays this wonderful, colourful person who locks it all up and goes through the motions. I always felt a bit like that. But then I met the Pigman and he said, 'You can actually knock that on the head and get out.' So we threw ourselves into eternity. And it worked.
- Carl Barât, The Guardian, January 2003.
- Pete is incredibly frustrating, yet you can't help but like him. The trouble is, he knows it.
- Stephen Street, Spin Magazine, Autumn 2007.
- I immediately fell for him; not only as a musician and poet - he has a rare grace, as well.
- Peter is a gifted poet, writer and thinker. Please be considerate with him; I feel he's very vulnerable. He has a sensitive soul and he has many good points. He has helped so many people, in spite of, perhaps, your first impression of him he is actually trying to address his problems.
- Jaqueline Doherty, Letter recited on BBC4 in 2004.
- "I just wanted to give him a big hug. He'd come out from rehab and he was extremely charismatic. He's a lovely genuine guy. I hope he can fight his demons and come back to music."
- Singer Amy MacDonald, 2008
- "I actually like Pete as a person a lot. He is very funny, warm and charming. He has rough press and not surprisingly so. He is also very impressionable, quite vulnerable, rather too trusting and needlessly gets himself into some difficulties - basically and unfortunately for him, he is a scumbag magnet.
- Graham Coxon, January 2009
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