Pete Shelley, lead singer of the Buzzcocks, has died


Sad day for punk fans, Pete Shelley has died at the age of 63. I never saw these guys live and only really picked up on their music once I got to college and was introduced by much hipper friends, but these guys were the real deal.





Damn, now I feel old. RIP.

I remember in December 1978 turning down a chance to see a double bill of cult acts (in the US) in a club that sat about 350 people. There was some holiday-related party I wanted to go to instead.

The two acts on the bill were Elvis Costello and the Buzzcocks. One of my great music-related regrets …


What a show that would have been! I just saw Elvis Costello Monday night, by the way. I make it a point to catch him whenever he’s in town.


I don’t listen to a lot of punk rock, but this stuff sounds a lot more interesting than the newer thrashy stuff.


Aw, fuck. Death is such a bastard.


I mean…


Don’t forget this classic

Singles Going Steady is a pure punk pop masterpiece.


I was going to congratulate him on getting “Homosapien” by the censors in the early '80s, but apparently the BBC banned it. I understand it was an early hit on MTV though, who presumably left in all the thinly-veiled references to gay sex specifically and queer culture more generally. What a ballsy move to write and then release that song as a single, on his solo debut if I’m not mistaken.

My favorite Buzzcocks song, other than the obvious one:


At the forefront of punk and maybe the best songwriter of any punk, this is really a big loss. And at 63, Jesus. RIP Pete.


As a friend of mine put it: There is no love in this world anymore.


Damn it, Pete. That’s too soon.

I never realized how great Homosapien is.

I came to The Buzzcocks by way of the cover version of Ever Fallen in Love by Fine Young Cannibals. First on Jonathan Demme’s soundtrack for Something Wild (I played the hell out of that cassette in my car circa 10th grade '86) and later on FYC’s The Raw and the Cooked LP. Still have that on vinyl – dusted off and now spinning in Pete’s honor.

Didn’t get to hear Buzzcocks until college when I had more hair on my chest and could handle them.


This might be one of the most lyrically and melodically complex punk rock songs ever written. I mean, it sounds like it’s gonna be straightforward, but then at the end of every verse he pulls off that incredible run-on meter and then on every chorus they jump the key.

So, so great. I mean, I’m not sure you can even learn to do this.


That’s nuts.


Fuckin’ song has two middle-eight bridges in it, too. In a two minute punk song.


I don’t know my middle-eights from my holes in the ground, but that rocks.


63 is way too young.

I always thought that the creators of punk were a generation, or at least half a generation, after mine. I was shocked when I discovered that guys like Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone were my age.