Whatever happened to Mirror Universe Shane MacGowan’s teeth?

24Jun09

I dabbled in the genre of alternate history (or, more properly, alternative history) in a post a couple of years ago called Whatever happened to the Mirror Universe Beach Boys?

In their timeline, Mirror Universe Al Jardine never rejoined the Beach Boys after quitting the band to attend dentistry school. In fact, his not being in the band to push an agenda of dental hygiene may be why the chanted refrain of “Mama Says” — in our own timeline, “Eat a lot, sleep a lot, brush ’em like crazy” — became  “Eat a lot, sleep a lot, never go crazy,” advice that the mentally stable Mirror Universe Brian Wilson himself took to heart.

This is, however,  speculation. What is recorded as fact is this: Mirror Universe Jardine was cited with “… an additional footnote in pop music history when he repaired Shane MacGowan’s famous pearly whites after the Irish musician chipped a tooth while drinking a bottle of root beer during the Pogues’ 1993 US tour.”

But truth is, as they say, stranger than alternate history. It turns out that there really is a real-world connection between Shane MacGowan and the Beach Boys, as I learned today while reading an interview with MacGowan’s long-time girlfriend, Victoria Clarke:

Being a rock wife is a little like being an arctic explorer, in that it’s not necessarily something you do for the good of your health. It’s not a sensible thing to be. I first realised the enormity of the gulf between what is considered normal in a relationship and what I had always taken for granted in mine when I was called from my bed, one night many years ago, by the landlady of my boyfriend, Shane MacGowan. She had heard strange noises coming from his flat at the top floor of her respectable town house. On attempting to gain entry, she was forced to retreat by Shane, who stood at the top of the stairs — blood gushing from his mouth, teeth akimbo — and hurled an acoustic guitar at her.

Shane is a well-known musician with a reputation for drug and alcohol-fuelled impropriety, so his landlady was, in fact, prepared for a certain amount of unsociable disturbance when she took him on as a tenant. The blood, however, alarmed her, along with the fact that in one hand he had been holding a half-eaten Beach Boys record, their Greatest Hits, Volume Three.

When I arrived, in my capacity as the girlfriend, to sort things out, Shane calmed down enough to explain to me that he had taken 15 or 20 tabs of acid earlier in the evening, and had become convinced that the third world war was taking place and that he, as the leader of the Irish republic, was holding a summit meeting in his kitchen between the heads of state of the world superpowers, Russia, China, America and Ireland. In order to demonstrate the cultural inferiority of the United States, he was eating a Beach Boys album.



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