Flags Of The Old Regime

Album: Hamburg Demonstration (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • Peter Doherty wrote this morose tune in the immediate aftermath of his friend Amy Winehouse's death on July 23, 2011. The song started circulating in various formats on the internet soon afterwards.
  • Doherty laid the tune down as the first of ten songs for his second solo album, recruiting Babyshambles' Drew McConnell to play bass and John Metcalfe of Durutti Column to arrange the weeping strings. Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur) produced the track.
  • All proceeds from the song go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent drug and alcohol misuse among young people.
  • Doherty spoke about the song in a video clip. "She was quite a harsh critic," he said of Winehouse. "Sometimes we'd get together to write songs and she'd say 'come on then, play us what you've got' and I'd play a particular chord progression and she'd be like 'nah, it's not really good is it Pete?' So I was determined to use that particular chord progression."

    "I'm clean, but when I wrote the song and the first time I played it, it was very… it was almost impossible actually to get the words out." he continued. "There was a strange contradiction between wanting to bare your soul and to also put it in a catchy melodic form."
  • The song's black-and-white music video was directed by Katia de Vidas, who has worked on a number of music documentaries, including Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Drew's Birthday, Backstage with Gossip and The Burning Bush. The clip was filmed at Karma Sound Studios in Thailand.
  • Peter Doherty did a new recording titled "Flags From The Old Regime" for his 2016 Hamburg Demonstration album.

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