Buzzcocks lead singer Pete Shelley, has died aged just 63 years old in Estonia of a suspected heart attack.
The Buzzcocks managed to blend punk with pop and for many were the real Godfathers of indie music.
With no industry backing, they managed to produce and distribute their first EP independently and kickstarted their revolution decades before the IT world made it possible to record in your bedsit.
The Spiral Scratch EP was funded from friends and family and touted around the music stores of Manchester, their only goal was to sell 1000 records in order to pay off those that had invested, they managed to sell 16,000 crucially with at least one making it’s way to the legendary John Peel and indie music in its truest sense was born.
“It just shows what can happen if you’re stupid enough to believe that you can do something, history is made by those who turn up.” Pete Shelley.
The Buzzcocks hosted and supported The Sex Pistols in Manchester when Malcolm McLaren was struggling to get them gigs. The music journalists reviews managed to rocket the Buzzcocks into the stratosphere. Thus began the British phenomenon that was to be The Buzzcocks – their style transcended pidgeon-holing and confused music journalists but not the fans.
Pete Shelley wrote perfect three minute pop songs. The soundtrack to being a teenager. You’ll be missed Pete but you’ll be remembered for a long long time for your brilliant music https://t.co/bt03fGbcgd
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) 6 December 2018
Danny Baker former NME feature writer and broadcaster.
Just heard about Pete Shelley. A great man. He tried to write pure punk, he really did, but out came perfect pop. Recall dim punks saying Buzzcocks were ‘too good sounding’ which was meant to be a bad thing. They were so, so good. A brilliant talent, a brilliant noise. Forever.
— Danny Baker (@prodnose) 7 December 2018
With thousands of condolences left online the one thread running through is that Pete Shelley was a genuinely humble guy and hugely influential artist, a rare thing in the music industry.
As Glen Matlock from The Sex Pistols testifies;
I am totally shocked and saddened to just hear of the untimely death of Pete Shelley.
A superb songwriter, artist and a totally sweet hearted guy who was one of the very few originals of punk and even a one off within that.
My deepest condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/vqYRtYyf1C
— Glen Matlock (@GlenMatlock) 6 December 2018
Jonathan Ross goes on to thank The Buzzcocks for one of the best nights of his life.
I’ve seen a lot of great bands live. But the Buzzcocks at the Marquee in 1977 was one of the best nights of my life. RIP Pete Shelley. You were amazing.
— Jonathan Ross (@wossy) 7 December 2018
The history of popular music will show Pete Shelley’s Buzzcocks to be much more than just another punk band, for all his efforts he was so much, much more despite himself.
Music critics and fans have poured out their emotions and many have likened his songwriting and innate ear for melody with the likes of Lennon & McCartney, he managed to bring love and understanding to the punk scene and some attitude, which was no mean feat.
……..”But after all life’s only death’s recompense.” (16 Again – The Buzzcocks)
Top 5 Buzzcocks songs – Let us know your Top 5 in the comments below.
1. Ever Fallen In Love.
2. 16 Again.
4. What Do I Get.
What are your top 5 Buzzcocks songs? Let us know in the comments below.