Ricky Wilson Recalls Bizarre Story of Shane MacGowan Smoking Drugs from an Apple 

While most know him for being the frontman of the rock band Kaiser Chiefs, Ricky Wilson watched as the group went through several changes over the decades. Before they were the Kaiser Chiefs, Wilson, with the help of Nick Hodgson and Andrew White, formed the band Runston Parva. That band would eventually change their name and bring on new members, becoming Kaiser Chiefs. Although enduring growing pains throughout their time in music, Wilson recently recalled some of the interesting stories he had while in the spotlight. And one of his most bizarre surrounded the late Shane MacGowan.

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Taking part in the Flashback Series for The Guardian, Wilson not only helped recreate a vintage photo but also took a trip down memory lane. While understanding the pressures that come with being famous, the singer admitted to being “starstruck” when it came to rubbing shoulders with other stars. He explained, “I was always starstruck, too – we’d get to a festival, lock ourselves in our dressing room, and point and stare at all the other artists as they arrived.” 

One of those stars happened to be MacGowan, the lead singer for the Pogues. With a persona that The New York Times called “a titanically destructive personality”, Wilson learned that the singer enjoyed a good apple. Or at least he thought. “Shane MacGowan once came into our dressing room. He was amazing. He asked for an apple from our rider. I thought: “Good for you, Shane, one of your five a day!” We didn’t realise he was going to smoke cr**k out of it.”

Ricky Wilson Struggled With His Own Vices

Besides sharing a love for music, Wilson, much like MacGowan, struggled when it came to alcohol. Dealing with stage fright, the singer admitted to relying on alcohol to cope. “For a lot of people in bands, it becomes a habit, a pre-show superstition. You end up not being able to perform without it. That can be dangerous. It started off as fun, but a few years ago I realised if you are going on stage drunk and trying to hide that you are drunk, that’s when things have gone bad. It inhibits your performance. It’s a tightrope – people want you to be rock’n’roll, but not too rock’n’roll.”

[RELATED: Shane MacGowan’s Widow Nudged “From the Other Side” To Pick up Guitar for First Time Since Husband’s Death]

No longer relying on alcohol to get him through shows, Wilson shared his new routine, which involved disco. “We do have a disco before we go on stage, though. Twenty five minutes of blasting out songs that have dance routines in the lyrics, like Black Lace’s Superman.” 

As for MacGowan, he sadly passed away in November 2023 at the age of 65 after battling pneumonia. Many singers and even stars like Johnny Depp paid their respects to the singer who embraced Celtic punk. 

(Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images)

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