As any Pogues fan could've told you, The Shane MacGowan Story was destined to be funny, sad, uplifting, depressing, and utterly irresistible. By the time this engaging documentary was produced in 2000, MacGowan--former Pogues frontman, notorious drinker, and one of the greatest songwriters of his generation--was still the unrepentant alcoholic who caused his former bandmates so much worry. They loved him then and love him still (bandmate Philip Chevron speaks most eloquently of their history), and for all his toothless cackling and constant stupor, MacGowan is seen here as an amiable Irish pub-crawler, coherent in thought if not always in speech, still making music (with his latter-day band, the Popes), and obviously devoted to his wife, Victoria Clarke, an enabling saint whose love for MacGowan is joyfully unconditional. Archival clips, video excerpts, and interviews with MacGowan's friends and family complete this comprehensive chronicle, making it an essential addition to any punk-'n-Pogues library. --Jeff Shannon
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