Pete Doherty, Spin's February cover subject and the drug-addled frontman of raucous rockers Babyshambles, will begin co-writing up to 20 songs next week with former Libertines bandmate Carl Barat for inclusion in a forthcoming musical play, NME.com reports via Brit tabloid The Mirror. Reportedly commissioned by London's Donmar Warehouse theatre, the musical work, and accompanying play -- set for release in early 2009 -- will chronicle a topic familiar to both: the life, times, and hurdles of an up-and-coming band.
"A producer from the theatre approached me through my record label," Barat said. "So I went down there to see a play and we met up for a chat. He asked me if I was still in contact with Pete... I asked Pete and he loves the idea. He has invited me to Wiltshire [where he lives] this week to start writing it."
The project sounds promising, particularly if it gets the bombastic, searing garage rock duo of Barat and Doherty to work once again. But should the news be taken with a grain of salt?
Possibly. Much like his debauchery-ridden, poet laureate façade, news of Doherty's musical collaborations are often a product of rampant rumors and their end-of-the-line display on the front page of Britain's red tops.
Here, a quick look at Doherty's collaborations, some of which end in product, and others lost to the annals of rumor:
- Alleged LP with onetime lover Kate Moss: Miss. Despite co-songwriting credits on a handful of Babyshambles tracks, Moss never released a proper album with Doherty. What they might have done off the cover of an album -- who can say?
- Collaborations on his much-mooted solo record: Hit, so far.Doherty reportedly working with London-based rapper Klashnekoff, among many others, on his forthcoming debut solo set.
- Working alongside fellow toxin lover Mike Skinner, a.k.a. the Streets: Hit. Doherty's spoken word bit on the ode to drugs titled "Pragin' Out," arrived on the Streets' album The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living.
- Collaboration with Amy Winehouse: Miss. Doherty mentions the possibility of working with Winehouse in Spin's February issue, but any musical product has yet-to-be released.
- The speculated Libertines reunion: Miss, sort of. The two rockers have reunited onstage a handful of times, but have yet to tour properly as the Libertines, or record a new album.
- Doherty's clothing line with Goi-Goi:Hit. He may be disheveled, but at least he's well dressed; Doherty has maintained a constant presence in the fashion world despite his split from model Kate Moss, and given new life to many a ratty old porkpie hat, the world over.
- Working with animators and publishers for a children's book: Hit. What better way to put the kids to sleep than with tales of Mr. Doherty's depraved behavior?
For more on Doherty, read Nick Duerden's cover story in our February issue.