The life and death of Pete Shelley – a personal reflection

The life and death of Pete Shelley - a personal reflection

I’m trying to think of how to say what I want to say about Pete Shelley.

I was kinda speechless when I heard so just posted up a link to a song that plays almost daily on my internal jukebox. I knew immediately that this was a huge loss to the Tribe, that it wasn’t only me who’d be feeling like the floor had tilted a little further. Pete (and Buzzcocks) is part of our material world. *Is* not *was*, not yet…

Bowie made manifest what was inside us, made music of our ineffable private worlds and thus initiated us as a Tribe who recognised each other in the dreary streets and boring playgrounds of our childhood and youth. He made us feel less alone and weird.

Pete Shelley then wrote songs about our tribe, perfect three minute pop songs about the stuff that happened to us and how we felt about it all. Buzzcocks…

What a perfect name for a pop band! So cheeky and so ballsy!

Pete wrote neat elegant pop songs filled with angst and edginess that were somehow also celebratory and expansive. Genius.

I was awake a long time last night, remembering every snippet of memory related to Buzzcocks and Pete Shelley.

Some of those memories are very personal: my own growing pains and clumsy attempts to negotiate my youth; some memories are related to friends and lovers who also love Pete Shelley, and the delightful stories they shared with me; and plenty of memories of the music and the band.

When I finally fell asleep my dreams were full of Buzzcocks refrains and choruses, riffs and hooks.

He wasn’t a tall man, but he filled a room with his puckish energy. He was sprightly and expansive, he was funny and often acerbic, he was vain, he was kind. He was Pete Shelley, and I’ll miss having him alive in the world.

[This article by Cristina Cromer]