Genius behind soundtrack to being a teenager . . .
THE music world has been paying tribute to ‘huge talent’ Pete Shelley, the frontman of Greater Manchester punk legends Buzzcocks, who has died aged 63.
Shelley, from Leigh, co-founded the band and penned the 1978 punk classic Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).
Band members wrote on Facebook: “It’s with great sadness that we confirm the death of Pete Shelley, one of the UK’s most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks.
“Pete’s music has inspired generations of musicians over a career that spanned five decades and with his band and as a solo artist, he was held in the highest regard by the music industry and by his fans around the world.”
Shelley is reported to have suffered a heart attack at his home in Estonia. Shelley formed Buzzcocks in Bolton in 1975 with Howard Devoto.
Peter Hook, the bassist in Joy Division and New Order, said Shelley was a true gent.
He tweeted: “He helped us so much at the start of our career out of a sheer love for all things punk.
“Without Pete and the Buzzcocks, I would probably still be working at the docks.”
Tim Burgess, the lead singer of the Charlatans, said: “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.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea tweeted that the band’s Why Can’t I Touch It is “one of my favourite rock songs ever. Absolutely stunning. God bless Pete Shelley.”
Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament said that he was ‘hollow inside’.
“Playing shows with the Buzzcocks was one of the highlights of my life,” he said on Twitter.
“I listened to Singles and Tension as much as any records I’ve owned. Thank you, Pete, for all the great words and music.”
The Pixies also paid tribute while Jonathan Ross said a Buzzcocks gig was one of the best nights of his life.
Norman Blake, frontman of Teenage Fanclub, said: “I love(d) Buzzcocks. (Shelley’s) songs were important to me when I was a young man and they still are to me now. Thank you Pete and R.I.P. You will be missed.”
Author Neil Gaiman said that part of his youth had died along with Shelley, while Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright said Shelley was a huge talent.
Tracey Thorn, formerly one half of dance music duo Everything But The Girl, also paid her respects, quoting from Buzzcocks track 16 Again.
She tweeted: “Oh God but I loved Buzzcocks. And Pete Shelley was an amazing songwriter. ‘But after all life’s only death’s recompense’.”