RIP: Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks

Last week, we lost Pete Shelley, lead vocalist, guitarist and chief songwriter of Buzzcocks, one of the most significant and beloved of the original British punk bands. According to the reports, he died of a heart attack on December 6, 2018, in Estonia, where he lived.

I really enjoyed this band, who had a lot of really catchy songs. I saw the band at least three times when they visited the Bay Area.

I did a quick little online search to see if there were obvious connections between Buzzcocks and LOUIE LOUIE, and found this fun Twitter tidbit by John Maher, original drummer of Buzzcocks, who remembered an iconic moment when Jon the Postman followed up a Buzzcocks set with an inspired performance of LOUIE…

While it’s not a Buzzocks performance of LOUIE per se, it certainly falls well within the “Five Degrees of LOUIE LOUIE” principle, and thus gets the proverbial nod in these LouieLouie.net pages.

Certainly, if anyone has any recordings of Pete solo or with Buzzcocks doing that SONG, please send ’em my way, OK?

Meanwhile here’s a clip of Pete with his mighty Buzzcocks doing one of their most popular songs in San Jose, CA during their 2010 tour, captured for posterity by yours truly…


https://youtu.be/23b4UVaVYY8

Rest in peace, Pete. You shall not be forgotten!

– E.P. of LouieLouie.net

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Sidenote: For years, I referred to the band as “The Buzzcocks” and with the passing of Pete, I discovered that the band preferred to be known as simply “Buzzocks,” due in part to a certain TV show that incorporated their name. The Wikipedia page on Buzzcocks provided more information on this matter:

Buzzcocks’ name was combined with the title of the Sex Pistols album Never Mind the Bollocks to create the title of the long-running UK comedy TV panel game show Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Diggle claimed in his autobiography that he and Shelley had only granted the BBC use of their name under the impression that it would be a one-off, probably unsuccessful pilot, and that they are now mildly disgruntled that the name is more readily associated in Britain with the TV series than with their band. Shelley himself appeared on the programme in 2000, where host Mark Lamarr introduced Shelley by saying that without the Buzzcocks ‘there’d be no Smiths or Radiohead, and this show would be called Never Mind Joan Armatrading!

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