No one did more to make people who were weird, queer, different, or creative welcome in the world of music than Pete Shelley. His death was announced yesterday, and I felt like something had been torn away too soon.
Shelley never stopped making music and he was able to play until the end. That’s what the promise of punk rock really way—never stop doing something new.
There are far too many songs, and far too many albums to count. I loved them when the reformed in the 90s and I thought Do It was one of the greatest comebacks ever, reminding me of how important it is to give people a chance to come back after they've gone away. They were more than the singles; the Buzzcocks were an album band and they were tremendous live. Shelley being out in front of them with Steve Diggle meant that you were going to have your skin peeled off dealing with what was coming at you.
I am sorry I never saw them in person. I have at least nine different live albums by them and they are all classics, all incredible and full of power.