Pete Shelly late of the Buzzcocks died last week from a heart attack aged 63 – bit of a shock to that, he was a great bloke and someone I admired. I saw the Buzzcocks about 15yrs ago, then again about 2 yrs ago, a couple of old friends and I were to meet up for a sort of reunion, I suggested the Buzzcocks, cos I knew they were good live, as it turned out my old friend was over the moon, cos the Buzzcocks was the first album he ever bought, and he still loved it – it was indeed a great night out for the 3 of us.
The Buzzcocks filled a unique spot in the punk scene of the late 70’s, while most successful groups were portraying themselves as hard nuts, the Buzzcocks were all about a different kind of teen angst, the sensitive kind – the lovers! But not really the kind of love most would shout from the rooftops at that time, you never heard the term gay back then, just “poof”, and “pervert” – no one on the punk scene wanted to talk like that because of – the Buzzcocks – they were right in there, right at the epicentre, everyone who was remotely cool, said “so What?” And that was because the Buzzcocks were so good!
I think when I was a young punk rocker, the Buzzcocks had already been and gone, they split up before the 80s, but I was a big fan from the first day I heard songs like “I don’t Mind” and “What do I get?” The earlier Spiral Scratch single really was a great fun arty bit of genius too.
I don’t even know whether Pete was gay or not, its irrelevant, what is central is his lyrics were just so sweet and disarming – he was a guy you wanted to listen to -goodbye Pete, and thanks!