Happy Birthday, Pete Doherty! - watch "Last Of The English Roses" video

Pete Doherty - Grace/Wastelands

Think you know Peter Doherty? Vilified by the world's press and written off at every turn, Peter Doherty finds himself constantly at the centre of a media maelstrom, a frenzy that bombards his private life with allegations, accusations, invasions and intrusions. They say that it's calmest in the eye of the hurricane, and that's where you'll find Peter; coolly strumming his guitar while the storm around him carries him ever closer to Arcadia.

Pete Doherty - Grace/Wastelands review

That quest for utopia still propels Peter in everything he does.

With the Libertines - Peter 'n' Carl Barat sailed devotedly through a life with no restrictions, where "if you've lost your faith in love and music then the end won't be long". Peter Doherty was the people's poet.

Watch "Last Of The English Roses" video:

Pete Doherty on amazon.com

Pete Doherty on amazon.co.uk

Then, Peter found himself canonized by other artists who saw in him the heart of a bohemian with the face of a cherub. He became the muse for fashion designers and became a fashion icon in his own right, effortlessly mixing vintage chic with high-end couture.

With Babyshambles, Peter Doherty is free to test the limits of his creativity. Babyshambles have defied their critics to become everything that rock and roll in the 21st Century should be: dangerous, provocative, edgy and unpredictable. With Doherty at the helm, what else could they be?

Today, 12th March 2009, Peter Doherty turns thirty years old. He capped the last year of his twenties by exhibiting his artwork in Paris, and selling out his solo show at London's renowned Royal Albert Hall. And on March 24, Peter will see the release of his first solo album, Grace/Wastelands. Putting out an album with only his name on the cover, says Peter, is one of the most frightening things he has ever done.

Dot Allison co-wrote and sings on "Sheepskin Tearaway," and his Babyshambles bandmates play throughout, but the biggest impact on the album was the inimitable presence of another unique English artist. "Graham Coxon ended up playing on most tracks," Peter beams. "He was probably in the studio more than I was, to be honest," he notes with a wink.

So, having laid himself bare, Peter has left himself open for critical analysis, but, for once, he is ready for it. "I'm really curious to find out what people honestly think of [the songs] , particularly critics, because in a way you can kind of bank on certain people's opinions, you know? You know that if someone's into you then they're into you, whereas critics are gonna look at it less subjectively and pick holes if you like. That's what I'm waiting for really."

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