LONDON – Pete Shelley, singer-songwriter and co-founder of the punk band Buzzcocks, died at the age of 63.
On Thursday, the band confirmed "with great sadness" its death and called it "one of the UK's most influential and prolific songwriters," announced The Buzzcocks in a tweet on his website. He did not explain the details of Shelley's death but said more information would be published later.
The Buzzcocks were part of the punk revolution that began in England in the mid-1970s and also included bands such as Sex Pistols and Clash. Like their contemporaries, the Buzzcocks scorned what they saw as the pretense and puffy style of traditional bands and produced short, spare songs performed at breakneck speed.
Among their singles, we find "Ever Fallen in Love (with someone you should not have had)", the explicit "Orgasm Addict" and "What Get I Get?". Their energy and intensity were worthy of punk, but they also had a melodic tendency. , with the song "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" sometimes sounding like a punk version of the Beach Boys.
Thursday, Mike Mills of R.E.M tweeted: "Damn. Pete Shelley is gone. The Buzzcocks were and are my favorites, and I was lucky enough to spend time with Pete and tell him. "
Shelley, whose real name is Peter Campbell McNeish, was born in the English city of Leigh in 1955. He founded Buzzcocks with Howard Devoto after their meeting at the present University of Bolton. The group made its debut in 1976 in Manchester, starting with the Sex Pistols. Devoto left in 1977 and Shelley took over as lead singer.
The Buzzcocks broke in the early 1980s, but met in the late 1980s and have continued to perform and record over the last three decades.
Tributes flowed from the world of music.
Guns N 'Roses bassist Duff McKagan tweeted, "As a fan of @Buzzcocks for a long time … I really appreciate Pete's musical influence. Condolences to your family … "
Peter Hook, bassist and co-founder of Joy Division and New Order, tweeted: "Pete Shelley – a true gentleman! He helped us so much at the beginning of our career for love of punk. Without Pete and the Buzzcocks, I would probably still work at the Docks. RIP companion. "
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