Shane MacGowan's excesses destroyed his potential, and the music industry watched.

UB40 frontman Ali Campbell gave Shane MacGowan a tough love speech in May 1989 as the band from Birmingham was on a stadium tour in Europe with The Pogues as special guests.

In an article that summer for 20/20 magazine, bassist Daryl Hunt of the Pogues recalled, "Ali... really lit into him." 

"[He said] 'You realize that you're pathetic? Why do you always have to be such a c___? You never engage in conversation! You never interact with others. You just f_____' yourself up by sitting in the rear of the [tour] bus.

Hunt wasn't sure if Campbell's reprimand would have any impact on his singer's voracious desire for self-destruction. 

He said, "It registers sometimes and doesn't register other times."

Certainly, six weeks prior, after The Pogues were made to read the riot act after MacGowan, on a distant planet, at least, due to a strong dose of LSD, had stumbled around the stage, missing vocal cues in favor. 

Of tucking into what one writer famously described as "his portable off-license," there was undoubtedly no difference to be made. 

It seemed that things were getting out of hand. I believe that this was the time in the singer's life when intemperance finally triumphed over art.

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