The pop-punk maestro whose like won’t be seen again
Andy Hill
15:03 7th December 2018

Musicians of all stripes have come out in mourning after yesterday’s loss of Buzzcocks lead singer Pete Shelley, who died following a heart attack at the age of 63.

“Like many I was a fan of the Buzzcocks,” wrote Corgan on Instagram.”But what I wanted to share here is more personal. The Pumpkins opened for The Buzzcocks in our early days; once in Chicago and once in Paris.

“And what I will always hold dear to my heart is how supportive, gracious, and encouraging Pete and his band were. Especially in those Gish dats when many didn’t understand our approach or the sound we were after.”

Unknown Mortal Orchestra credited the fallen punk with teaching them how to write songs in the first place: “Pete Shelley broke a great song down to pure elements. Personally, I first learned how to write songs by immitating buzzcocks songs and their imprint is still in the outlook of every song even to this day. Their catalogue is just banger after banger. Thanks Pete”

Greenday’s Billie Joe Armstrong was similarly effusive, and happily recalled bonding with bandmates over the icon’s biggest radio hit: “You truly are an inspiration to me, mike and Tre. We covered Ever Fallen In Love the best we could. Singles going steady was a huge record for me. 

“Buzzcocks pretty much invented a style that would influence multiple generations of lonesome hears and weirdos. Never shy about writing beautiful melodies into loud fast punk. You are the harmony in my head.”

Writer Neil Gaiman, husband of Dreden Doll Amanda Palmer, wrote simply: “Part of my youth dies with him.”

Peter Hook called him “a true gent!”

Here’s our pick of memorials from Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Pearl Jam, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Neil Gaiman, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, New Order’s Peter Hook, the Cure’s Lol Tolhurst and more.

Photo: Press