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So it looks like The Libertines have finally knocked it on the head (again) this week. The only surprise about it is that it took so long; they managed to keep it together long enough to milk the big money festival appearances but the new film was obviously too much, not to mention their lead singer starting another extended break at Her Majesty’s pleasure. So, really, what was the big appeal of The Libertines? It was the Pete Doherty soap opera; but what’s so interesting about Pete Doherty?

Easy, he’s a bad boy and, even better, a middle-class bad boy. “Killed a man for his giro today”; I don’t think so Pete. Maybe you gave him a nasty pout. But this routine isn’t new; I’m sure Pete would want to trace it back to the English Romantic poets but we haven’t got time for that (sorry Byron, Keats and Shelley, maybe next time).

If you idolise musicians, then I really recommend that you read some musical biographies, and you should start with “No One Here Gets Out Alive”. The authors’ aim is to deify Jim Morrison, but you can’t read it without wanting to slap the spoilt brat. Turns out the Lizard King is just a slug with good PR. And if you’re looking for a link to Pete Doherty, it’s really simple; bad fourth form poetry.

Who’s next? Kurt (or Kurdt) Cobain, that’s who. The grunge soap opera finally ended in April 1994, when Cobain was found dead at his Seattle home at the age of 27, ensuring his membership of “that stupid club” (just google it, you don’t want me to do everything, do you?). The Charles Cross biography “Higher than Heaven” tries really hard to portray a tortured, kitty-petting artist but only shows us a selfish, whining prima donna who pulled the plug on the equal royalty shares for the band at the first sign of commercial success (not unlike a certain W Axl Rose). Talking of Mr Rose, you might wonder why he’s not featured. Easy; I like a challenge, and that would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

The first big gig I saw was Humble Pie at Sheffield City Hall and I was a huge fan of their leader, ex-Small Faces singer Steve Marriott. The band walked on, Marriott picked up a half bottle of brandy, took a big gulp and spat all over the stage. No invite to the Royal Variety Performance, then. If you read the Marriott biography “All Too Beautiful”, you see all the classic symptoms; an early-blossoming talent, sycophantic advisers and adulation at a very impressionable age. It still doesn’t excuse the brattish behaviour.

So it looks like it’s a great career move to be a bad boy; biographers love it and the music press love it. When Pete Doherty was released from the Scrubs in 2008, the NME was waiting in a taxi to get that all-important first interview. While he was being idolised for his burglary and substance abuse in the middle of the last decade, another performer had similar difficulties. Unlike the indie golden boy, Amy Winehouse was vilified in the tabloids and the music press because she was unreliable and obviously struggling to deal with various addictions. Were there any stories about how cool and rock’n’ roll it was to sing out of tune and turn up late for gigs? No; and what makes the situations different? Just the usual music biz institutionalised sexism.

However badly the lads behave, misguided teens will worship their bad behaviour and someone will write a cash-in biography which doubles as a manifesto for sanctification. As for the bad girls, don’t expect to get the same treatment as the guys; after all it’s only the twenty-first century.