POGUES legend Shane MacGowan has paid tribute to fellow hellraiser Lou Reed and revealed how the rock star saved him from his drug demons.
The hard-partying Fairytale of New York star decided to clean up his act after he was advised to “knock it on the head” by the Velvet Underground hero, who died on Sunday.
Shane, 55, told the Irish Sun: “I’m very sad at the news, he was a great guy and an amazing man. He helped me through some tough times years ago. It was a privilege to have known him and shared the stage with him.”
Shane, who has openly battled with drugs, was persuaded to turn over a new leaf following an emotional dinner with Reed.
His manager Joey Cashman, who was living with him at the time, said: “Lou was a big fan of Shane’s and the feeling was mutual. They were very close friends.
“When Shane was living in London and messing around with drugs, he had dinner with Reed and he was told, ‘knock all that crap on the head’. Afterwards Shane said to me, ‘you know, he’s one of the only people in the world I would listen to when it comes to all that, because he’s been there and done it himself’.
“That was one of the big factors that led to him straightening out, I would say.”
Shane’s partner Victoria Mary Clarke paid tribute to the Walk On The Wild Side singer yesterday, saying “It is not easy to wish for Lou Reed to rest in peace! I imagine he would want to keep moving and making noise!