December 07, 2018

Pete Shelley: 1955-2018

Pete Shelley (néé Peter Campbell McNeish), former singer of the Buzzcocks is dead at 63. The writer of some the finest punk singles ("Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've. Everybody’s Happy Nowadays) is survived by his second wife second wife Greta.

From The Guardian: "(..) he specialised in compact, perfectly constructed pop songs. And his specialist subject was love, almost invariably unrequited. Perhaps understandably, given the atmosphere of violence and machismo that quickly surrounded the punk scene, Shelley never came out as gay or bisexual, but something about his songs – always genderless, so his audience had no idea whether the subject was a man or a woman – and the way he sang them, let the sharper listener know about his sexuality. Behind I Don’t Mind, What Do I Get? or Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) lurked the distinct implication that he’d been spurned because the object of his affections was a straight man: “I always wanted something I never could get,” he protested on Everybody’s Happy Nowadays."

O, and let's not forget that thanks to him and college friend Howard Trafford (later Devoto) the Sex Pistols’ June 1976 gig at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall happened. with only handful people in attendance it was the launch pad for the career of Buzzcocks and Joy Division, band that were formed almost overnight after the Pistols had played.

» Pete Shelley on Wikipedia

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