“Don’t judge a book by its cover and really rarely trust first encounters.”
That’s what Kiefer Sutherland learned after meeting the late Shane MacGowan for the primary time at a bar within the ’90s.
A 2019 anecdote shared by the “24” star is making its resurgence Thursday amid news that the Pogues frontman has died at age 65.
During an appearance on Ireland’s “The Late Late Show,” Sutherland, 56, told host Ryan Tubridy in regards to the time he bumped into Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, Ronnie Wood and MacGowan at a Dublin club.
“That’s something you’re never going to see,” he said of the star-studded table.
“I knew Ronnie so he invited me as much as say hello and I introduced myself, and I couldn’t help but noticing that Sinead O’Connor was drinking milk and everybody else was not.”
Sutherland continued that he quickly made the “cardinal mistake” of bringing up politics only to search out that he and MacGowan had conflicting opinions in regards to the history of Scotland.
“And before you already know it, the 2 of us were fighting,” he claimed. “We were rolling around on the ground and I remember Van Morrison laughing.”
“I won’t get into the fight, but it surely ended. And I got up and I said, ‘I’m embarrassed, I’m very sorry’ and I walked away,” he remembered.
The “Designated Survivor” star remembered MacGowan to be in a raggedy arm forged and never having loads of teeth on the time, “so fighting just seemed unfair,” he admitted.
But “hours later,” while Sutherland was treating himself to a drink on the bar, MacGowan approached him again.
“I get a faucet on my shoulder, and it’s Shane MacGowan. He says, ‘I would like a spot to remain.’”
“I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me? Three hours ago we were fighting on the ground.’”
But an unfazed MacGowan replied, ‘That was three hours ago, now I would like a spot to remain,’” Sutherland recalled, adding that MacGowan claimed his famous friends had already left the establishment.
“I used to be so impressed together with his directness so I asked him to have a final drink, we walked back to my hotel, I got out a bunch of blankets and made a bed for him on the couch and he went to sleep and I went to sleep,” Sutherland marveled.
Sutherland said the “Fairytale of Latest York” singer was gone by the point he woke up, but had “perfectly folded” the used blankets and left him a handwritten note.
The subsequent morning, the actor woke to find MacGowan had gone — but left a phenomenal note depicting how grateful he was to Sutherland.
“And it was probably the most beautiful letter I’d ever read, it was like poetry. It was only a thanks note, but it surely was so generous, and the things he needed to say about me and our night and humanity. It was quite long.”
Sutherland concluded: “I’ve still got the letter to this present day, and it modified my perspective, don’t judge a book by its cover and really rarely trust first encounters.”
The Post has contacted reps for Sutherland for comment.
The Pogues announced MacGowan’s death on Thursday but didn’t reveal his official reason for death.