" Be it resolved that Peter Doherty is an artist worthy of more than tabloid headlines and American ignorance. This is the proposition put forth on the cover of the February issue of Spin, and these are the arguments advanced by Nick Duerden in his lengthy, entertaining and ultimately sad profile:
1. He's a gifted songwriter. Duerden argues that he's "capable of penning the kind of songs whose firework momentum can spawn entire movements, romanticizing working-class England in a way that inspired like-minded, hyper-verbal young bands."
2. He's an aspiring novelist. The manuscript in question is a "sizzling Gypsy tale, a rambling, shambling melody of a novel that came about when I was still on the old fighting juice."
3. He's charming, if slightly disingenuous. "My tabloid caricature is nothing more than a horrible, cartoonlike f---ing monster that bears no resemblance to the quiet, shy and retiring, teetotal, police-loving, clean-nosed poet you see before you now," he says. We learn immediately after that The Sun is about to go to press with a three-day-old picture of Doherty injecting heroin.
4. He's chivalrous. "I'm helping Amy with rehab? Is that supposed to be sarcastic? Anyway, look, I can't talk about her; it wouldn't be fair."
5. He may be his own worst enemy, but there are plenty of runners-up. "Pete fatigue" in the U.K. is such that radio stations won't play his records. (Why doesn't this happen to Britney?) As well, 18 arrests in five years mean he'll never get to tour in the States. And finally, it was reported that local drug dealers beat him up because he refused to buy their wares.
6. He's a cliche, but he knows it. When asked about a feud with a former record label, he deftly mocks his own response. " 'How do I feel about it?' he repeats. 'I feel nothing, because (a) um, and (b) well, know what I mean?' " "