The indestructible Shane MacGowan, the hard-drinking, substance-abusing, poetic genius at the heart of the Irish rock band The Pogues, celebrated his 60th birthday on Christmas Day and was thrown a celebrity-packed birthday party this past week.
I always, kind of, had an idea that he - like fellow punk legend Sid Vicious and, as I recently discovered, Gunnar from Nashville - had a local connection, but a bit of Google-investigation this week turned up some surprising nuggets.
Shane was born at Pembury Hospital in 1957, while his parents, I believe the paperwork suggests, lived in Tonbridge.
In later years he attended Holmewood House Prep School in Langton Green, which is the school my old buddy Gublin attended while I went to Yardley Court on our Tonbridge School Scholarships.
So, where's the blue plaque to Shane MacGowan?
Come to think of it, where's the plaque celebrating Sid's early years in Tunbridge Wells?
- As a geeky aside, Shane was the role model for Tyke, the lead singer of The Bondage Girls, the foremost punk band of Knight City (home to my aborted superhero campaign).