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Phil Chevron

Posted by purplemary54 on October 10, 2013

It was announced a couple of days ago that the Pogues’ guitarist Phil Chevron died after a long battle with cancer.

I’m not sure I could classify myself as a “fan,” but I’ve grown fond of the Pogues over the years.  When I was younger, I think I had a knee-jerk reaction against their hardcore Irishness and the fact that none of them were very “cute.”  I’m not a teenager who thinks musicians should be “cute” anymore, and I like Irish music a lot more, even the drinking songs.  (My father had a deep fondness for Irish drinking songs–whether that was because he was mostly Irish or a drinker is entirely up for debate.)

The Pogues were actually pretty groundbreaking outside of Ireland.  They were kind of the forefront of music that featured traditional Irish stylings with Punk and rabble rousing.  (Okay, maybe the rabble rousing was already part of “traditional” Irish stylings; the Irish have a long history of disregarding pretty much all social and moral authority for another drink and a good fight.)  Their Punk backgrounds (Chevron had been a member of one of Ireland’s first Punk bands, The Radiators) lent their music a political edge, although I half suspect it would’ve been impossible to play music in Ireland in the late 70s-early 80s without a political edge.  They were a roots music band before anyone started using terms like “roots music.”  Mostly, I think they just played what sounded good to them.  That’s probably what made them so much fun.

Chevron wrote for the Pogues, and produced music outside of the band.  He’s survived by his mother and sister.

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