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Here Comes Everybody

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  479 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Here Comes Everybody: The Story of the Pogues, by James Fearnley, contains all the highs, lows, successes and excesses, in a definitive and honest account of the Pogues and their exuberant frontman Shane MacGowan.

'One of the best books I've read so far this year . . . Naturally, Shane MacGowan is the book's focus and fascination, a mixture of personal awfulness and great
Paperback, 406 pages
Published May 3rd 2012 by Faber & Faber (first published April 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
And he wrote us a book of times long gone...

Well written, astute, honest, and full of great anecdotes and insightful day-to-day details. For a book that is essentially a chronological document of the history of The Pogues, the book was engrossing and always interesting.

As with most memoirs, an interest in the subject matter is pretty much essential, however, if you’re reading this, then chances are you feel some affinity to The Pogues. If that’s the case then I confidently assert you should love
May 27, 2015 rated it liked it
A great read if you are a Pogues fan like me. Great inside stories about the dynamics and friendship between the band members, how it all started, some stories and opinions about other musicians and bands in their orbit. Although I was disappointed there were no stories about meeting Bob Dylan and what he was like even though Dylan asked them to be his opening band on several tour dates. And I must say that even though Fearnley apparently had ambitions to be a great writer before the Pogues got ...more
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a fan, you will hear every song as Fearnley chronicles the writing, performing, and recording of each. Oh, lamentations -- all my Pogues albums are on cassette. Thank goodness for you tube, but it's not the same as listening to a whole album all the way through.

I love that they were from England and not Ireland (though some had Irish roots) and they were, at first, rejected by traditional Irish singers, and later embraced. Their punkish edge made all those songs more enjoyable for me.
Simon Bendle
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
An entertaining book about an entertaining band. James Fearnley, it turns out, is as good a writer as he is accordionist. He’s got plenty of mad anecdotes, as you’d expect. And plenty to say about his talented but troubled frontman, Shane MacGowan (not all of it complimentary, which was appreciated). Just one quibble: as well as downing gallons of booze during his time with the Pogues, Fearnley also appears to have swallowed a dictionary. Words like etiolate, contumely and crepitation pepper his ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love the Pogues and this is a real insight into life in that band and bands in general. Written by accordion player Fearnley, it makes you realise how little of most band's stories you get to hear. THe Pogues were 6-8 different people battling with addictions and illness and fidelity and creativity and Feanley captures the feeling of being one of the cogs in the wheel - not necessarily the most important or glamorous, but a vital cog nonetheless.

He's frank and not afraid to reveal his own
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well written story of the Pogues by a man who was there from the beginning!
Rebecca Dobrinski
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It’s the end of August 1991, The Pogues are on tour and have checked into the Pan Pacific Hotel in Yokohama. Shane has gone to his room, everyone is jet lagged. A meeting is called, and it will be about Shane. A long discussion ensues and a decision is reached. Darryl starts by saying, “We’ve been having a talk.” Shane replies, “You’ve all been very patient with me. What took you so long?”

In Here Comes Everybody, James Fearnley starts at the end. The rest of The Pogues have decided to kick Shane
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fearnley was the accordionist for the Pogues. Twenty some years later, he has written a book about their heyday. He has done an excellent job, coveying the urgent and the ridiculous and the sublime. I love the Pogues. They are a touchstone for me. And perhaps that makes me a bit biased, as I was eager to embrace the story of their rise and to cringe at some of the awful moments on their way down. Shane MacGowan is one of the true characters of my generation, and Fearnley has the perfect vantage ...more
Sally Ewan
Jun 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
Interesting read about the history of the Pogues, written by the accordion player. He veers between a nice use of words and overly-ornate prose. He did a good job of telling his story without trashing anyone in a vicious manner, always a plus. Reading this made me determined to avoid live concerts: while the fans are out there having a good time, who knows what is going on within the band and in each member's life? The misery of life on the road and interpersonal struggles was quite depressing.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is an autobiography pitched to the reader as a biography of the Pogues. There is no doubt that the Pogues had a lively and interesting story to tell but this book feels like it is always inches away from it. It spares no barbs for many of the members of the band and collaborators but is largely tied up in the over written anecdotes of James life in the band. What was really maddening about the writing is the many many many self indulgent pages wasted talking about the authors minor personal ...more
Pete Kavanagh
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tore through this on holiday, ticked a lot of boxes for me and would do for anyone who enjoys an insider take on the bands that we love.
For a band with such a mythos about them, there's been little heard from or about the non-Shane members of The Pogues, this book redresses the balance.
From the origins and early local London success of the band, to the world straddling reknown and accompanying notoriety - with notable cameos from punk luminaries Costello and Strummer and some terrific writing
Rory Costello
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a major fan of The Pogues, I knew I wanted to read this, and I wasn't disappointed. Fearnley goes overboard at times with his use of flashy words where the simple would have sufficed, but his portrait of all the band members -- not just Shane MacGowan -- is valuable for anyone who loves the band. His insight into MacGowan's creative process and self-destruction is also incisive. Another plus is the portrait of notable figures such as Elvis Costello and Joe Strummer. In addition, it's also fun ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warts and all does not begin to describe the contents of accordionist James Fearnley's memoir of 12 years of playing in The Pogues. This is an exuberant and sodden, devil-may-care and cautionary account of the origins and initial dissipation of one of the most electric and traditionally original bands of its time, and the love and frustration that Fearnley feels for his bandmates sings the tunes straight even as time and betrayal and addictions pull them to a whimpering end. His description of ...more
BeezR Good
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Candid & compelling account by a multi-talented person. The author makes no promises to make a clinical account of all events, nor does he overly focus on empathising and presuming the thoughts and motivations of all his band mates. What he does do is drive a narrative forward based upon clear highlights of his own opinions and observations - including at times to his own detriment.

Any general music fan will be left wanting more anecdotes on Strummer and Costello - peripheral characters in
Nate Woodard
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, funny and heartbreaking. The Pogues have been an utterly unique musical presence over the last 30 years, and their story deserves treatment in keeping with this fact. Fearnley, who lived the story as the band’s multi-instrumentalist, lays it out with bluntness, charm and gorgeously remembered detail.
Mossy Kennedy
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
As someone who identified so much with the Pogues as they were happening it was a privilege to witness the origins and backgrounds of the songs that have meant so much to me. Aware of Shane's flaws, I shuddered at the revelations of the depth of his torment.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully-written and never dull, this is my new favourite music memoir (sorry Viv Albertine!).
Eric Mintz
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book but their needs to be an addendum or another edition since much has happened since.
Chris Simerly
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book! Having been a fan of The Pogues for years, it was great to get some insight from a person that was there to experience it all! If you're a fan then it's a must read!
Heather G

This wasn't a bad book but it was pompous in some distinct ways, and read at times like the author had a thesaurus propped up beside him.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting look at the band. Someone should take away James' thesaurus, though.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Witty, funny, and surprisingly poetic. Full of amusing anecdotes and pathos, with Shane McGowan as a tragic, sad, distant figure.
Thomas Lennon
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written and intensely detailed account of the rise and fall of The Pogues, by Fearnley, the accordion player. A must read for fans.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think this has to be my favorite rock-n-roll memoir ever.
Camilla Lombard
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really good music memoir, intelligent, insightful, enjoyable. Let's hear it for the accordion player!
Jake Goretzki
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
James Fearnley's book is an earnest, personal and at points rather literary account of his decade or more with the Pogues.

I really enjoyed it - and I'm not even a huge Pogues fan (I'm probably most indebted to the Pogues for 'White City', which introduced me to its source 'The Curragh of Kildare' - the second song I'll have played at my funeral). As reviewers have said, this is a book about being in a touring band, with all of the dislocation and rootlessness that that involves. It sounds,
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps I am being slightly generous with the stars, but it is an easy and entertaining read.

It gives a good description of being in a band, a gang. It is perhaps better at describing the early days, the dirt and the squalor than it is at covering the success. As most of the band, including Fearnley seem to spend much of the time drunk, particularly on tour, it might be because he can't remember the good days that well.

For many, including me, the heart of the Pogues was always Shane MacGowan.
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Catholic means here comes everybody", according to James Joyce in Finnegans Wake. And that's the best that I can do with the title of this tome as otherwise it's a bit of a mystery misnomer to me.

And since I'm here I will give you a bit of trivia:

In Rodney Dangerfield's 1986 comedy film Back to School about a wealthy but uneducated father who goes to college to show solidarity with his discouraged son only to learn that he cannot buy an education or happiness I need to tell you that I was
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, biog-autobiog
I am overdue saying something on this book as I read it a couple of weeks back added it to my read pile but time limited me commented does however deserve commentary.
This book is so enjoyable as unlike many autobiography or biographical works this does feel to be based very much in fact...James Fearnley uses his vantage point as accordion player from the Pogues to plot their rise and subsequent falling out(in commercial terms the Pogues were still doing O.K. at the end of Macgowans
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It took me almost two months to read this book, so a word of advice to readers who are fans of The Pogues (or of what's left of them) and who want to read this biography to see how they became what they were: don't read it without the internet, and don't expect to read it fast. Unless you are an incredibly knowledgeable person in the field of music, there is a 90% chance that you won't know people James Fearnley is talking about in his book (it's no coincidence the book is called "Here Comes ...more
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James Fearnley was born in 1954 in Worsley, Manchester. He played guitar in various bands including the Nips with Shane MacGowan, before becoming the accordion player in the Pogues. James continues to tour with the band and lives in Los Angeles.