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Peter Doherty (born 12 March 1979) is an Englishmarker musician, writer, artist and poet. He is currently a singer and songwriter in the band Babyshambles, but first came to fame with indie band The Libertines, alongside Carl Barât. In 2005, Doherty became prominent in tabloids, the news media, and pop culture blogs because of his romantic relationship with model Kate Moss and his well-publicised drug use.

Early life

Peter Doherty was born in Hexhammarker, Northumberlandmarker, England, the son of Jacqueline (née Michels), who was of paternal Jewish descent, and Peter John Doherty, who was of Irish descent. He had a Catholic upbringing and grew up at a number of army garrisons, due to his father's work as an officer in the British Army, living at various times at garrisons in Catterickmarker, Belfastmarker, Germany, Bedworthmarker, Dorsetmarker and Larnacamarker, along with his mother, a nurse, and two sisters, Amy Jo and Emily. Doherty was the second of the three children. He was academically successful, achieving 11 top GCSEs, 5 of which were A* grades, at Nicholas Chamberlaine Comprehensive Schoolmarker in Bedworthmarker and four passes at A Level, two at grade A. At the age of 16, he won a poetry competition and embarked on a tour of Russia organised by the British Council.

After his A-levels, he moved to his grandmother's flat in London—where he said he felt 'destined' to be—and got a job filling graves in Willesden Cemetery, although most of his time was spent reading and writing while sitting on gravestones. In a clip later made famous by YouTube, a seventeen-year old Doherty can be seen in an interview with MTV, on the day of the release of Oasis' Be Here Now album. He attended Queen Marymarker, part of the University of London, to study English literature, but left the course after his first year. After leaving university, he moved into a London flat with friend and fellow musician Carl Barât, who had been a classmate of Doherty's older sister at Brunel Universitymarker.


The Libertines

Pete Doherty, 2007

Doherty and Barât formed a band called The Libertines in the late '90s, although it was not until 2002, with the release of their debut album Up the Bracket, that they began to achieve widespread mainstream success.

The group achieved critical and commercial success and gained a dedicated cult following, with Doherty in particular being praised by fans and critics alike as one of the most promising songwriters to emerge on the British music scene for some time. However, Doherty's increasing drug problems led to his estrangement from the band. In 2003, he was jailed for burgling Barât's flat.

The two initially fell out over this incident, but made amends whilst Doherty was in prison. He was originally sentenced to 6 months, but his sentence was cut to 2 months. Upon his release, Doherty immediately reunited with Barât and the rest of the band to play a gig in the Tap 'n' Tin pub in Chatham, Kent.

Following his rejoining of the band, Doherty sought treatment for his drug addiction. He attended the alternative detox centre Wat Tham Krabokmarker, a temple in Thailand, famous for its rehabilitation program for crack and heroin users, where he was beaten with a bamboo cane and forced to drink foul herbal concoctions to induce vomiting. He left after three days and returned to England.As a consequence of this, The Libertines cancelled appearances that they were due to make at the Isle of Wight and Glastonburymarker festivals.

However, while post-production work was taking place on the second Libertines album (also called The Libertines) in June 2004, Doherty was again asked to leave the band. The band cited Doherty's continuing drug addiction as the reason for his dismissal, but emphasised their willingness to take him back once he had addressed his addiction. Although Barât had previously stated that the Libertines were merely on hiatus, pending Doherty's recovery, the group effectively disbanded with Doherty's departure at the end of 2004. All members are now involved in other projects (see Yeti and Dirty Pretty Things).

On 12 April 2007, Pete Doherty and Carl Barât played 13 songs together at the second of Doherty's "An Evening with Pete Doherty" gigs at the Hackney Empiremarker, London. The reunited Libertines played "What a Waster", "Death on the Stairs", "The Good Old Days", "What Katie Did", "Dilly Boys", "Seven Deadly Sins", "France", "Tell the King", "Don't Look Back into the Sun", "Dream a Little Dream of Me", "Time for Heroes", "Albion" and "The Delaney".


Prior to the disbanding of The Libertines, Doherty collaborated with local poet Wolfman. Together they recorded the single "For Lovers", which entered the top 10, charting at number 7, in April of the same year. Despite the success of the single, which was nominated for a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for songwriting, Doherty and Wolfman received relatively little money, having already sold the publishing rights for a small sum in a pub.

Later in 2004, Doherty provided guest vocals to the song "Down to the Underground" by the British group Client. The song was released in June 2004 as a B-side to the group's single "In It for the Money" and appears on their second album City.

In 2005 Doherty collaborated with the British rock band Littl'ans on the single "Their Way".

In 2006, Doherty was featured on the charity single "Janie Jones", which was released to raise funds for Strummerville. A number of artists and bands, such as Dirty Pretty Things, We Are Scientists, The Kooks and The Holloways, also featured on the track.

In August 2006 it was announced that Doherty was recording with The Streets frontman Mike Skinner on a new version of "Prangin' Out", from Skinner's album The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living.


FIB festival, Madrid 2008

Doherty founded Babyshambles towards the end of his time with The Libertines. The group has released two studio albums, Down in Albion, in November 2005 and Shotter's Nation in October 2007. The band's touring schedule and releases have occasionally been disrupted by Doherty's ongoing legal problems.

The line-up of the band has changed several times: drummer Gemma Clarke left the band due to Doherty's drug problems and was replaced by Adam Ficek, and guitarist and co-songwriter Patrick Walden has also left the band and was replaced by Mick Whitnall.

In August 2006, Babyshambles signed up with major record label Parlophone, on which they released The Blinding EP on 9 December 2006 to good critical acclaim. In January 2007, they have signed a long term record deal with Parlophone.

In November 2007 Babyshambles played their first arena tour, taking in dates at the MEN Arenamarker in Manchester, the Nottingham Arenamarker, Bournemouth International Centremarker, London's Wembley Arenamarker and Birmingham's National Indoor Arenamarker.

Solo work and Guerrilla gigs

Doherty has been working on new acoustic material, similar to the wealth of his unreleased songs that can already be downloaded on the internet. On his own, and often with his band, he has continued The Libertines' tradition of performing on short notice guerrilla gigs in small venues. On New Year's Eve 2005, Doherty held a guerrilla gig in his North Londonmarker flat where he showcased some of his solo works, many of which later leaked onto the internet. 31 March and 1 April 2006 Doherty was performing two surprising solo gigs, his first in mainland Europe, at the NonStop Kino pornographic cinema and venue in Grazmarker, Austria, after he failed to turn up for an earlier arrangement in January. For this occasion he produced, at the suggestion of Bettina Aichbauer, friend of Doherty and owner of the NonStop Kino, a film with the title Spew It Out Your Soul which he showed on screen during his performance.
On 12 July 2008, Doherty played a solo gig at the Royal Albert Hallmarker. It was his biggest solo show so far. The concert was originally scheduled for 26 April, but had to be rescheduled to a later date due to Doherty being sentenced to 14 weeks in prison for breaching probation on 8 April. The solo show did not get the best ratings but was all in all still well received. According to the critics "whole chunks of the set passed by as listless noodling, with neither Doherty nor the audience appearing to know quite how to behave". The consensus was that - without a full band - Doherty seemed out of place at such a big venue. Friend and collaborater Peter Wolfe had a guest appearance on stage when Doherty performed "For Lovers". Wolfe's performance however did not meet critical acclaim. The Daily Telegraph stated Wolfe would have ruined the song with "some especially tuneless backing vocals". The gig was forced to an abrupt end during the encore due to a stage invasion by the fans.

On 13 January 2009, NME.COM announced that Doherty's solo album, entitled Grace/Wastelands would be released on March 16, preceded by a single, "Last of the English Roses", on March 9. The website also revealed the tracklisting of the album and credits.

Painting and writing

In June 2006, Doherty announced that he had signed a deal with Orion Books to publish his journals, in which he had recorded poetry, drawings, and photos over the course of his career. Most of Doherty's journals are freely available on the internet. The book, titled The Books Of Albion: The Collected Writings of Peter Doherty, was released on 21 June 2007.

On 15 May 2007, Doherty exhibited his paintings for the first time. The art exhibition took place at the London's Bankrobber Gallery, and was on show for one month. The collection featured 14 paintings.

For a whole month, from the 25th of April to the 25th of May 2008, an exhibition of Doherty's paintings, titled "Art Of The Albion", took place at the Chappe Gallery in Paris. The art exhibition caused controversy because of the art works being made with Doherty's own blood. According to newspapers, anti-drug campaigners were enraged and accused Doherty of glamorising illegal substance abuse. Art experts were similarly unimpressed - David West, the owner of London's Decima gallerymarker, slammed Doherty's work: "It's not got any artistic merit. He's using his blood to make them interesting, but when you look at them they're what any four-year-old can do."


Following in the footsteps of model and ex-fiancée Kate Moss, Doherty has become the current face of Roberto Cavalli's Fall 2007/2008 fashion advertising campaign. The photos have gained praise for depicting a much cleaner and more handsome Doherty. The '50s-style photographs are also being compared to images of the late Marlon Brando.


In interviews, Doherty has listed his favourite books as George Orwell's 1984, Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet, Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire and the complete works of Oscar Wilde. He has also mentioned Emily Dickinson and Tony Hancock as influences; Doherty and his father were once members of the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society. Doherty mentions Hancock, and makes an allusion to his famous phrase 'Stone me!', in an early song entitled "You're My Waterloo". However, numerous literary and musical allusions occur throughout Doherty's ongoing Books of Albion. He places particular importance on the Romantic poets and on existential philosophers such as Albert Camus and Miguel de Unamuno. Doherty has also alluded to work by the Marquis de Sade and Thomas de Quincey. On the Babyshambles album Down in Albion, there is a track entitled "A'rebours", which is significantly influenced by the novel of the same name by Joris-Karl Huysmans.His favourite films include British films of the 1960s and seventies such as Billy Liar, Poor Cow, O Lucky Man! and the film versions of Steptoe and Son. He cites Lee Mavers of The La's as a musical influence, as well as The Only Ones, New York Dolls, The Stooges, Buzzcocks and Chas & Dave. He is particularly fond of The Smiths and The Clash.

Doherty has also supported up-and-coming British bands, such as indie bands The Paddingtons and The View.

Doherty is also known to be a devoted follower of Queens Park Rangers football club. As a youth he wrote a fanzine, entitled "All Quiet on the Western Avenue". He sold copies of the fanzine on the club's grounds, but its mixture of literary references, quotes, poetry and football stories proved unsuccessful with the other fans.

A frequent lyrical theme for Doherty is Albion, the ancient name for Great Britain. Doherty also uses 'Albion' as the name of a ship sailing to a utopia called Arcadia, a place without rules or authority. Doherty and Barât shared a flat in London, at 112a Teesdale Street, Bethnal Greenmarker, affectionately known as 'The Albion Rooms', despite being rather run down. Doherty named his diaries, in which he writes poems and other thoughts, the Books of Albion.

Drug abuse and legal problems

Doherty has been repeatedly arrested for drug offences and those arising from drug misuse, such as driving under the influence, car theft, and driving with a suspended licence. He has plead guilty to possession of crack cocaine, heroin, cannabis and ketamine. His addictions have resulted in jail time and multiple trips to rehabilitation facilities. The influence of drugs on his life had already reached such an intensity at times, that in his younger days, Doherty worked as a drug dealer to pay for his drug habit, as he stated to author Peter Welsh in his biography.

In 2003, while Doherty's first band The Libertines were performing in Japan, he broke into Carl Barât's flat and stole various items, including an old guitar and a laptop computer. On 7 September Doherty was sentenced by Judge Roger Davies to 6 months in prison, however the sentence was eventually shortened to two months on appeal with the judge commenting, "We feel that a custodial sentence was justified in this case but sufficient credit was not given for his timely plea of guilty which it should have been. We have reduced his sentence to two months which will allow for his almost immediate release." Doherty was released from jail on 8 October.

On 2 February 2005, Doherty was arrested after an altercation with documentary filmaker Max Carlish, who was making a rockumentary about the singer and sold photos of a heroin smoking Doherty to the tabloids. Doherty and his friend Alan Wass had been charged with robbery and blackmail. On 7 February Doherty was released on bail after his record company Rough Trade put up £150,000 in bonds. All charges against him were later dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service due to a lack of evidence.

On 8 April 2008, Doherty was jailed for 14 weeks by a court for breaching a probation order after a string of brushes with the law for drugs and driving offenses. On the 18 April 2008, he was moved to a private area of Wormwood Scrubs prisonmarker after learning that fellow inmates were planning to attack him, therefore making it safer for the singer. On 6 May 2008, he was released after his sentence was cut in half and further 18 days were remitted due to a government plan to reduce overcrowding. He also had another 2 days off for being in police custody (after serving just over 4 weeks of a 14-week sentence). He described prison life as "a lot of gangsters and Radio 4" and showed a certificate confirming he had passed a drugs test while inside.

Doherty made another attempt to fight his drug addiction in September 2007, when he underwent rehab for six weeks at Clouds Housemarker. However, Doherty relapsed in November 2007 following his appearance at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007 in Munichmarker. In September 2008 Andy Boyd, Doherty's manager, claimed in aninterview with the Daily Mail that Doherty did not get off heroin. Boyd stated: "The only time I can be sure he’s not doing heroin or crack is when he’sin rehab or prison or asleep." and implied that when Doherty had an implant fitted, which blocks the body’s opiate receptors, he replaced heroin withanother drug.

Family and personal life

Doherty has an older sister and a younger sister, named Amy-Jo and Emily, respectively. His mother Jacqueline Doherty is a nurse, who recently published a book about family life with Doherty and his drug problems, called Pete Doherty: My Prodigal Son (ISBN 978-0755316083). Doherty's father, Peter Doherty Sr., is an Army officer.

After numerous attempts to convince him to start a serious rehab, in early 2005 Doherty's father decided that he was tired of broken promises and vowed never to see his son until he was clean of drugs. The sensitivity surrounding the issue became apparent in the BBC Two Arena documentary about Doherty, on 12 November 2006, which included footage of him talking about this aspect of his personal life. He was visibly upset and had to politely ask the interviewer at one point to stop filming. In October 2007, Doherty said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 show, Front Row, that he briefly reconciled with his father after 3 years of no contact when his father came to visit him in rehab, but they are currently estranged due to his on-going difficulties with drugs. In a radio interview in France on July 6 2009, Doherty stated that 'I'm clean – the last 11 days I've been clean for the first time in quite a long time.' Doherty also stated that 'as we speak' work has begun on the third Babyshambles album, stating that he was keen to begin writing while he was clean, however he displayed some anxiety at writing music while clean due to the fact many of his songs have been written under the influence.

Doherty has had a tumultuous relationship with Kate Moss, frequently covered by the press. They met in January 2005 at Moss' 31st birthday party and have had an on-off relationship since. Moss has also taken to singing at some of Doherty's shows. On 11 April 2007 Doherty announced Moss as his fiancée during the first of his solo gigs at the Hackney Empiremarker, London, at which Moss also performed. Doherty planned to marry Moss during the summer 2007. Since July 2007 Moss and Doherty have broken up.

In October 2007 Doherty was briefly engaged to fashion model Irina Lazareanu.

Doherty has a son named Astile Louis Doherty (born Camden, London, 2003) with singer Lisa Moorish. Doherty did not have much contact with his son until 2008. In an interview with the Daily Mail Doherty said, that he intentionally kept away from Astile because of the state Doherty was in. However, their relationship has become a closer one since then.

Doherty currently lives in a nine-bedroomed red-brick Georgian house on the outskirts of Marlboroughmarker, Wiltshiremarker - the house is leased from Lord Cardigan. Doherty chose Wiltshiremarker to seek 'peace and quiet', and also because his probation order doesn't allow him to live in a residence with a London postcode.. Doherty was rumoured to be facing eviction, due to the squalid conditions in which he lives, but his spokesperson dismissed these tabloid claims as false.

There was speculation that he was dating a girl who lived in Readingmarker, but Doherty has since said he is single.

Doherty has developed an interest in the Church of Scientology, after being introduced to the religion by an ex-girlfriend.

Musical equipment

Doherty prefers vintage equipment. Unfortunately, many of his vintage guitars and amplifers have been destroyed in various domestic incidents.




Solo Album


non-album singles:
from Grace/Wastelands:

Other appearances

  • Down To The Underground (Client, featuring Pete Doherty). Taken from the City album.


Awards and honours

  • 2004: Doherty was voted to be joint #1 in NME's 2004 Cool List, along with fellow Libertine Carl Barât. The following year he was placed at #6, and on 10 May 2006 was voted #2 in their poll depicting 50 of rock's greatest heroes.
  • 2008: On 28 February 2008, Doherty won the "Hero of the Year" award at the 2008 Shockwave NME Awards.
  • 2009: On 25 February 2009, Doherty won the "Best Solo Artist" award at the 2009 Shockwave NME Awards.


External links

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