Hard-drinking rocker Shane MacGowan made a longtime drinking friend in reclusive singer Tom Waits after the pair embarked on a booze-fuelled binge nearly 20 years ago.

The Pogues frontman MacGowan has since always tried to get together with gravel-voiced Waits when the Irish band visited America because of a night he spent drinking with him after a gig in 1986.

He says, "I love him, we all love him, and I was incredibly lucky to see him do FRANK'S WILD YEARS in Chicago. We met him in this theatre bar after.

"That was one of the best nights I've ever had. Someone was playing the piano but it was far from refined!"