It is with great sadness we report that Pete Shelley, lead singer and co-founder of the legendary English punk band the Buzzcocks, has passed away at age 63. His cause of death is being reported as a “suspected heart attack.”
The band confirmed the news of his death with the following statement on their Twitter and website:
“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.”
Pete Shelley was one of the original pioneers of punk music in the United Kingdom. Standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow bands from the area such as The Clash and The Sex Pistols, he helped pave the way for a genre that started a revolution.
In 1976, Shelley wrote the band’s most famous song, “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).” He would, over the next 42 years, help the Buzzcocks write nine albums, and go on to put out four albums as a solo artist.
Pete was an advocate for punk rock until the day he died. Always encouraging youth, he would make statements like, “It was like, you’re not pretending to be something you are not. You are just what you are. Punk is an art of action. It’s about deciding to do something and then going out and doing it.”
He wanted the next generation of musicians to rise up. “Don’t worry about the fact that nobody’s making good music,” he said. “You only have yourselves to blame. You can go out and make it.”
While we haven’t seen another grand scale punk-level revolution yet, we have seen generations of musicians inspired by Pete. His memory will never be forgotten.
As we remember Pete, enjoy this playlist of songs from the duration of his career.