Pete shel­ley, 63, buz­zcocks band leader

The Republican Herald - - OBITUARIES -

Pete Shel­ley, who su­per­charged pop melodies with punk en­ergy as the leader of the Bri­tish band Buz­zcocks, died Thurs­day at his home in Talinn, Es­to­nia. He was 63.

His la­bel, Domino Records, said the cause was a heart at­tack. Shel­ley had moved to Es­to­nia, the home coun­try of his wife, Greta, an artist, in 2012.

Shel­ley’s break­neck gui­tar strum­ming pro­pelled songs that of­ten pro­claimed lovelorn vul­ner­a­bil­ity along­side acute self- con­scious­ness. “I’m in dis- tress, I need a ca­ress,” he sang on one of the first Buz­zcocks sin­gles, “What Do I Get?”

Buz­zcocks, formed in 1976, were in Lon­don’s punk- rock van­guard. For its ini­tial EP, “Spi­ral Scratch” ( 1977), the band was led by its founders and song­writ­ers, Shel­ley and Howard Devoto, of­ten with Devoto as lead singer. Devoto left be­fore “Spi­ral Scratch” was re­leased, and Shel­ley took over lead vo­cals and most of the song­writ­ing, trad­ing the band’s early sneers for songs about ro­mance — of­ten ro­mance gone wrong.

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