Sixteen Again: RIP Pete Shelley

Pete Shelley, opens a new window, lead singer of the '70s British punk band, the Buzzcocks has passed away. And it makes me feel sixteen again.

Okay, so emotions are a sensitive thing when you're a teen...but also when you're 21, 32, 39, and so on. But that feeling when a childhood idol dies is more crushing than most celebrity deaths. So last Thursday, December 6th--on a day already teeming with an undercurrent of sadness--the news of Pete Shelley's death really bummed me out.

Founded in Manchester in the 1970s, the Buzzcocks created extremely fast, very short punk songs about a very important topic: bad love relationships (or lack of). "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)," "What Do I Get?," and "You Say You Don't Love Me," are just a few maudlin songs that reflected the frustrations of generations of young people (and even notorious depressives like Morrissey). They weren't super political like the Sex Pistols or the Clash, but Shelley's often bitter lyrics were cathartic for anyone going through a break-up. Shelley, one of the first openly gay punk musicians, also had a comprehensive solo career; his most notable solo song was called "Homosapien."

Though I appreciate Pete Shelley's depressing lyrics, he also happened to write one of my favorite (happy-ish!) love songs ever: "Love You More."

It's the manic, total epitome of happiness when you fall in love with someone. It's about trying to forget all the bad experiences of the past and taking a huge leap with someone new. 'Til death do you part (it ends with the cryptic, "Until the razor cuts." Like I said, it's happy-ish!)

There are many albums from the Buzzcocks available on our streaming services Freegal, opens a new window and Hoopla, opens a new window. Go check them out!

Do you have any favorites from the Buzzcocks? Share in the comments below!