“The Greatest Rock N Roll Story Of Our Generation” – NME In the late 1990s in the East London squat scene Peter Doherty and Carl Barat, two troubadours and dreamers, meet and bond over music and a common romanticism. They resolve to form a band with a name that reflects their attitude: The Libertines are born.
Early line-ups include a variety of drummers (including Mr Razzcocks, a jazz drummer three decades the pair’s senior) and bass players (including Jonny Borrell, later of Razorlight). The line-up settles with Gary Powell on drums and John Hassall on bass. Recognising that there is something missing from British music at the time, Rough Trade sign them just before Christmas 2001 on the strength of just one gig.
The band record new single ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’/’Death On The Stairs’ with producer Bernard Butler. They tour Japan and the US where they appear on the David Letterman Show. Earlier in the day Pete and Carl got their kicks by serenading a bemused but impressed Marilyn Manson. Peter plays a guerrilla solo gig in Gunter Grove west London – the same street where the Pistols’ Johnny Rotten used to squat – the place is packed, hysteria ensues, lives are changed forever and another chapter is written.