Peter Wolfe (musician)

Peter Wolfe (born Peter Randall, 3 August 1968)[1] also known as Wolfman, is an English poet, musician and songwriter, best known for his collaborations with Libertines and Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty.

Peter Wolfe
Background information
Birth namePeter Randall
Also known asWolfman
Born (1968-08-03) 3 August 1968
Tonbridge, Kent
England, United Kingdom
GenresIndie rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, poet
Years active1990–present
LabelsBeyond Bedlam
Associated actsPete Doherty


Early years

Wolfe was born in Maidstone in 1968, of Irish Gypsy stock. His mother left when he was four and his father, a carpenter, subscribed to the tough-love school of parenting. Wolfe intended to be a professional footballer and spent two months with Gillingham FC. Leaving school with no O-levels, he became a plumber.[2] At 18 he moved to London, and for a short while shared a flat with Shane MacGowan.[3] In the early 1990s, he moved to a flat in the Blackstock Road and worked on his career as a musician. However, Wolfe was "relentlessly unsuccessful".[3] Throughout the 1990s Wolfe was regularly in and out of the major recording studios (Island, EMI, and Sony), but failed to secure a recording contract.


In February 2001, Wolfe was the subject of a film documentary commissioned for The Other Side on Channel Four in the UK. The half-hour film titled, The Greatest Unknown Rock 'n' Roll Star,[4] was directed by filmmaker Andy Lee, who later worked for a year as Wolfe's manager (2006–2007). Later in 2001, Wolfe met Pete Doherty in Islington.[5] They formed a relationship based on songwriting. Wolfe about their relationship: "He turned up at my flat and started hanging around saying he was in a band. He's a great fucking person. Sometimes really awful but sometimes very kind. Maybe he was the first person to look at me through eyes which didn't say, 'This guy's a cunt'."[3]

In 2003, Wolfe recorded "For Lovers" together with Doherty. Wolfe had written the song in the mid 1990s and recorded a demo with his old school friend and musical collaborator, Julian Taylor.[6] Doherty altered the words to one verse, and musicians in Wolfe's band, "The Side Effects", along with record producer Jake Fior made other changes to the arrangement for the single recording. The single was Wolfe's biggest success as musician, reaching #7 in the UK Singles Chart.[7] Despite the success of the single, which was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for songwriting,[8] the pair received relatively little money. Rumours that the publishing rights were sold for "a small amount in a pub"[9] are unfounded, as the rights were shared amongst the musicians who worked without pay on the recording.

On 12 July 2008, Wolfe joined Doherty on stage during his solo show at the Royal Albert Hall and they performed "For Lovers" together. Wolfe's appearance on stage however did not meet critical acclaim. According to one critic the song was "sabotaged" by Wolfe's out-of-tune vocals and lack of charisma.[10] On 16 March 2009, Doherty's solo album, Grace/Wastelands was released. It featured "Broken Love Song", a song co-written with Wolfe. A picture of Wolfe talking to Doherty and a painting of Wolfe appeared in the album art.

Wolfe is listed as a co-writer of various songs for Doherty's band Babyshambles, including "Back from the Dead" and "Sticks and Stones" from Down in Albion, "UnBiloTitled" from Shotter's Nation, and "Stranger in My Own Skin", which appears as a bonus track on Babyshambles' 2013 album Sequel to the Prequel. Wolfe is credited as co-writer of Gunga Din which appeared on the Libertines' 2015 album Anthems for Doomed Youth.

Personal life

Like Doherty, Wolfe has had a long-standing addiction to heroin. On 28 September 2010, Wolfe was charged with possessing and supplying cocaine, whilst Doherty was charged with possession, in a police investigation into the death of documentary filmmaker Robyn Whitehead (also spelled Robin Whitehead), a member of the wealthy Goldsmith family, who overdosed and died in Wolfe's flat.[11] On 20 May 2011 he was sentenced to one year imprisonment in Pentonville Prison, which was later reduced to eight months on appeal for two counts of possession of cocaine and one count of supplying cocaine linked to this episode.[12]




  1. Boffey, Daniel (31 January 2010). "Wolfman gives account of heiress death". Daily Mail. London.
  3. Lynskey, Dorian (19 November 2004). "Big bad wolf". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
  4. Andy Lee (11 October 2007), The Greatest Unknown Rock n Roll Star, retrieved 9 January 2017
  5. Fox, Killian (22 April 2007). "Friends united". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  6. ilovejosemourinho (6 September 2010), Wolfman - For Lovers (Original 1998 version), retrieved 9 January 2017
  7. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 608. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. Gibson, Owen (27 May 2005). "Geldof to follow up Live Aid and 'turn the world'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 May 2007.
  9. Binelli, Mary (24 March 2006). "Over the Edge with Pete Doherty". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 May 2007.
  10. Clarke, Betty (14 July 2008). "Pete Doherty". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  11. "Singer Pete Doherty charged with cocaine possession". BBC News. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  12. "Singer Pete Doherty jailed for cocaine possession". BBC News. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.

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