Kiefer Sutherland anecdote about fight with Shane MacGowan resurfaces among tributes | Ents & Arts News


A clip of Hollywood star Kiefer Sutherland is being shared among the tributes to The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan – with the actor revealing how they got into a physical fight on the night they met.

MacGowan died in the early hours of Thursday morning, aged 65, after suffering from health problems for several years.

Sutherland made the comments during an interview on Ireland’s The Late Late Show in 2019, which resurfaced on social media as tributes were paid to the Irish musician.

The “cardinal mistake” of discussing politics came up on the night they met and they did not agree on the history of Scotland, the 56-year-old told host Ryan Tubridy, before going on to detail how they ended up having an actual physical fight, “rolling around on the floor”.

When it ended, Sutherland said he apologised and told MacGowan he was embarrassed.

“Shane MacGowan at that time had a cast on his right arm that looked as well lived in as anything I’ve ever seen and he did not have a lot of teeth at the time either, so fighting just seemed unfair,” he said.

The pair went their separate ways but three hours later, at the end of the night, MacGowan apparently tapped Sutherland on the shoulder, asking if he could stay with him as his friends had all left.

“I was so impressed with his directness that I said, ‘well do you want a drink?'”

‘I’ve still got the letter to this day’

Afterwards, Sutherland said MacGowan went back to his hotel room and the star gave him some blankets to sleep on the sofa.

When Sutherland got up early the next day, “all the blankets were perfectly folded… [and] there was a note that he had written on hotel stationery and it was the most beautiful letter I’d ever read”, he said.

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Shane McGowan’s life in music

“It was like poetry. It was just a thank you note but it was so generous, the things he had to say about me and our night and humanity, and it was quite long.

“And I’ve still got this letter to this day, because it changed my perspective – don’t judge a book by its cover and very rarely trust first encounters.”

Read more:
Shane MacGowan obituary: A wild life and a raw talent
Tributes pour in after Pogues star dies

Clips of rock star Bruce Springsteen talking about his admiration for MacGowan have also been shared on social media.

“He’s the man,” he told Tubridy, also during an appearance on The Late Late Show, from 2020.

“I truly believe that 100 years from now, most of us will be forgotten, but I do believe that Shane’s music is going to be remembered and some. It’s just deep, in the nature of it, you know.

“So he’s a master for me and [I have] a deep, deep appreciation of his work and the work he did with The Pogues.”


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