Threepenny Memoir: The Lives of a Libertine

Carl Barat

‘Looking back at The Libertines is like catching flashes of sunlight between buildings as you race by on a train. An old film reel where the spools are weathered and worn, leaving empty frames on the screen…’

In the final years of the last millennium, Carl Barat and Pete Doherty forged a deep musical bond, formed The Libertines and set sail for Arcadia in the good ship Albion; a decade later, Carl would emerge from his second band, the Dirty Pretty Things, after one of the most significant – and turbulent – rock ‘n’ roll trajectories of recent times. Threepenny Memoir navigates the choppy waters of memory, and gives an inside look at life in the eye of the storm, chronicling how a pair of romantics armed with little more than poetry and a punk attitude inspired adoration in millions worldwide – and proceeded to tear apart everything they had.

With unflinching honesty but real warmth, Carl – who has recently performed with The Libertines for the first time since 2004, and released a solo album – looks back at the creative highs and the drug-addled lows of life with both bands, as well as giving an intimate account of the people and places that have informed his songwriting. From Camden bedsits, impromptu gigs and minesweeping drinks in the Dublin Castle to Japanese groupies, benders in Moscow and chatting to Slash, Threepenny Memoir charts a fantastic course through recent musical history. And, in the aftermath, Carl reflects on the pressures – both external and self-inflicted – that led to each band’s demise, and on the challenges and rewards that life as a solo artist now holds.

Reviews of Threepenny Memoir: The Lives of a Libertine

    • ‘Unputdownable’ Q Magazine
    • ‘Very honest, likeable…an appealing roughness’ Metro