From Stage to Solemnity: Shane MacGowan and Johnny Depp’s Friendship Through Life’s Ups and Downs.

4 minutes, 56 seconds Read

The actor recited one of the prayers of the faithful during MacGowan’s funeral mass and was one of the pallbearers who carried his friend’s coffin from the church in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

The Parting Glass – Friends, family and fans bid farewell to Shane MacGowan

Depp and MacGowan shared a friendship spanning over 30 years, first meeting in a bar and going on to work together on a documentary about the musician’s career.

“When I met Shane he was negotiating a pool table. There was a drink in this hand, a pint, and in this hand there was a guitar,” Depp said, speaking at a premiere of that film in 2020.

“And he was teetering, balancing back and forth trying to negotiate which way to fall. I watched him do that for about 15 minutes.

“Then I was introduced to him, before he fell, and from that moment on you just knew… there are moments in life when you know this will happen one time and one time only, when you get the opportunity to spend time with greatness.”

He said he “fell in love” with MacGowan the second he met him, adding: “I’m still in love with him to this day.”

The actor joined MacGowan on guitar for a 1994 appearance on Top of the Pops, playing ‘That Woman’s Got Me Drinking’.

He also directed the music video for the song in which Victoria Mary Clarke starred.

Depp received a credit on MacGowan’s first solo album The Snake in 1994 for his “guitar weird noises” in ‘That Woman’s Got Me Drinking’.

Just three years ago, Depp produced Crock of Gold – A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan.

It was a documentary that told the story of MacGowan’s career and rise to fame and later won the special Jury Prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Julien Temple, who directed the film, said the friendship between MacGowan and Depp made “sense”.

“They are both very interested in reading, they share an incredible love of music and they like a drink, obviously,” he told The Guardian.

They’ve got a good piss-taking sense of humour about each other that is engaging to watch. That session [in the film] with Johnny, I think was eight hours, but we only use about five minutes from it. We all went to bed at 5am and they were still there at midday the next day. Incredible stamina.”

He credited Depp as the one who “got (MacGowan) talking”, adding: “And those conversations were interesting because, rather than a sit-down interview, you got to see other versions of Shane.

“He’s one thing with Johnny – a buddy in a bar, drinking on equal terms – and he’s another thing altogether with Bobby Gillespie.

“Good old Bobby, he let us keep it in the film, but it wasn’t a comfortable experience. Then again, he’s almost like a schoolboy with Gerry Adams, it seems to me.”

The former Sinn Féin leader recited a reading at MacGowan’s funeral mass, telling how he was “grateful for The Pogues and all our music makers and dreamers of dreams”.

Depp attended MacGowan’s wedding to his wife Victoria Mary Clarke in Copenhagen in 2018 and played the guitar after the intimate ceremony of close friends and family.

The pair were also open in their support for Depp during his high-profile legal battle with his ex-wife Amber Heard, penning an open letter that told him not to “bother with people slagging you or lying about you”.

The actress was sued by Depp over a 2018 article she wrote for The Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, which his lawyers said falsely accused him of abuse.

Heard was ordered to pay Depp more than $10m in damages in 2022. Heard had initially sought to appeal the verdict, but the case was eventually settled.

Shane described Depp as “the brother me and Vic never had”.

During that time, when the trial was televised and a daily trending topic on social media, MacGowan had a “long conversation” with Depp about Heard.

Actor Johnny Depp pictured as he arrived at the funeral in Nenagh. Photo: Frank McGrath

Ms Clarke told his funeral mass that her husband had “urged” his friend to “forgive” the actress.

“I hope you don’t mind me saying this Johnny but when Johnny had a court case involving his ex-wife, Shane had a long conversation with you and urged you to forgive Amber,” Ms Clarke said.

“Yeah, he thought it was the best thing to do because he just believed genuinely in forgiveness – and I’m sure you have by now, haven’t you? Of course you have,” she said, gesturing towards the movie star.

“He wouldn’t hold a grudge against anyone, he just wouldn’t see the bad in anyone and particularly towards the end.”

The couple paid a public tribute to Depp on his birthday last year.

“It’s a beautiful thing to get to know someone who can always make you smile and feel good about life, someone who always supports your creative endeavours and encourages you and inspires you and makes you feel that life is beautiful and fun and exciting and helps you to believe in the greatness and kindness and goodness of humanity,” Clarke wrote.

Johnny Depp (left) helps carry Shane MacGowan’s coffin from the church in Nenagh. Photo: Frank McGrath

“For me and Shane this guy is a wonderful friend and a constant inspiration and a whole lot of fun.”

In the foreword to MacGowan’s limited edition book ‘The Eternal Buzz and The Crock of Gold’, released last November, Depp wrote that there was “another side to my great friend, Shane”.

He described MacGowan as a “creative genius” and “an incendiary talent” whose work “will always be full of poetry – a bit like the great man, and my great friend himself; the great artist, Shane MacGowan.”

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *