Spider Stacy

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Spider Stacy in 2011

Peter Richard “Spider” Stacy (born December 14, 1958, Eastbourne) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and actor. He is best known for playing tin whistle and sometimes singing for The Pogues.[1]

Early life[edit]

Stacy left school at 16 after failing to attend regularly, and had a few jobs, including working at a carwash and as a used car salesman for nearly two years.[2] One of Stacy's early bands was The Millwall Chainsaws, which Spider describes as more of an idea than an actual band, although they performed seven gigs within two years. The band featured Stacy on vocals and Shane MacGowan on guitar.[3] Stacy and MacGowan had met at The Roundhouse at a Ramones concert that also featured The Saints and The Talking Heads. They played some Irish rebel songs, later renaming themselves the New Republicans. This band would later form the genesis of The Pogues. Stacy had heard a good deal of Irish music growing up in London, but became increasingly interested in it after meeting MacGowan.[4]

The Pogues[edit]

Stacy co-founded The Pogues, along with MacGowan, Jem Finer, and James Fearnley, and appeared on all of their recordings.[5] He is credited with suggesting the band’s original name, Pogue Mahone, which is Gaelic for “kiss my arse.” The band’s original intent was for MacGowan and Stacy to share vocal duties, but decided to leave them to Shane after the first performance, with Stacy opting to learn the tin whistle.[6] Stacy still frequently contributed backing vocals and occasional lead vocals throughout his long tenure with the band. In addition, he is known for sometimes banging a pub tray against his head for percussive effect.[7] After Shane MacGowan was fired from the The Pogues in 1991, Joe Strummer filled in for him for a short period after which Stacy assumed the role of lead vocalist. The Pogues recorded two albums with Stacy on lead vocals: Waiting for Herb, and Pogue Mahone.[8] Stacy resumed his original role in the band since they began performing reunion shows in 2001.[9]

Other appearances[edit]

Stacy has appeared in both live performances and on recordings with many fellow musicians, including Astral Social Club, Filthy Thievin' Bastards, and long-time friend Steve Earle. In 2005, Stacy performed two songs, including “Joe Hill,” with Patti Smith at the Meltdown festival. In 2007, he appeared on The Dropkick Murphys’ version of “Flannigan’s Ball” with Ronnie Drew of The Dubliners. [10]

Acting[edit]

Stacy has appeared in several movies and television productions over his career, including the Alex Cox films Straight to Hell (1986) and Walker (1986), as well as Eat the Rich (1987).[11][12] Most recently, he appeared as “Slim Jim” Lynch in two seasons of the HBO series, Treme. The series, which is set in New Orleans, was co-created by The Wire creator David Simon.[13] Several Pogues songs had been featured on The Wire, and Stacy was introduced to both Simon and The Wire/Treme writer and novelist George Pelecanos backstage after a Pogues performance in D.C. Stacy’s friendship with Pelecanos later led to a 2009 performance featuring him and The Pogues at The Boogaloo, a London pub. Pelecanos read excerpts from his new novel, The Way Home, followed by The Pogues’ first pub performance since 1983.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

In 2010, Stacy and his wife purchased a home in New Orleans, where they currently live.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strong, Martin (2004). The Great Rock Discography. New York: Canongate. p. 1186. 
  2. ^ Fearnley, James (2012). Here Comes Everybody: The Story of The Pogues. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 67. 
  3. ^ Fearnley, James (2012). Here Comes Everybody: The Story of The Pogues. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. pp. 53–57. 
  4. ^ Simpson, Dave (25 November 2004). "Old Habits Die Hard". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Strong, Martin (2004). The Great Rock Discography. New York: Canongate. pp. 1186–1187. 
  6. ^ Fearnley, James (2012). Here Comes Everybody: The Story of The Pogues. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. pp. 53–57. 
  7. ^ Simpson, Dave (25 November 2004). "Old Habits Die Hard". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Pogues at AllMusic
  9. ^ Simpson, Dave (25 November 2004). "Old Habits Die Hard". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Spider Stacy at AllMusic
  11. ^ Spider Stacy at AllMovie
  12. ^ Watt, Mike (2013). Fervid Filmmaking: 66 cult pictures of vision, verve and no self-restraint. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co. p. 194. 
  13. ^ Walker, Dave (29 June 2011). "A new New Orleans resident, Spider Stacy of The Pogues gets his moment in 'Treme'". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  14. ^ Pelecanos, George (28 July 2009). "Streams of Whiskey: The Pogues and Me at Boogaloo". George Pelecanos. 
  15. ^ Video on YouTube
  16. ^ Walker, Dave (29 June 2011). "A new New Orleans resident, Spider Stacy of The Pogues gets his moment in 'Treme'". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 24 May 2015.