Buzzcocks vocalist and co-founder Pete Shelley died earlier today of what’s believed to be a heart attack. In the wake of his passed, the entire music world mourned the loss of one of punk’s biggest heroes, with artists like Billy Corgan, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, The Cure’s Lol Tolhurst, New Order’s Peter Hook, and more paying tribute to the legendary vocalist on social media.
In an anecdote about a couple Smashing Pumpkins shows he played with The Buzzcocks in Chicago and Paris, Billy Corgan wrote that while he’s a longtime fan of the Buzzcocks and Shelley’s “one-of-a-kind voice,” it was his support for Corgan’s early years as a musician that really stuck with him through all these years. “What I will always hold dear to my heart is how supportive, gracious, and encouraging Pete and his band were,” he wrote on Instagram. “Especially in those Gish days, when many didn’t understand our approach or the sound we were after. It’s that kind of encouragement that means so much to a young musician. And Pete gave it in spades.”
In a similar post, the Green Day frontman called Shelley an “inspiration” of the trio, noting that they’ve covered the band’s song “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” in the past. “Buzzcocks pretty much invented a style that would influence multiple generations of lonesome hearts and weirdos,” he wrote on Instagram. “Never shy about writing beautiful melodies into loud fast punk. You are the harmony in my head.”
Check out the tribute posts below.
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Saddened to hear of the passing of Pete Shelley. Like many, I was a fan of the Buzzcocks, and Pete’s one-of-a-kind voice. But what I want 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 days when many didn’t understand our approach or the sound we were after. It’s that kind of encouragement that means so much to a young musician. And Pete gave it in spades. God speed to a true punk. -WPC
View this post on Instagram
Rest In Peace Pete Shelley . 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 hearts and weirdos. Never shy about writing beautiful melodies into loud fast punk. You are the harmony in my head – Billie Joe
Pete Shelley – a true gent!
He helped us so much at the start of our career out of a sheer love for all things punk. Without Pete & the Buzzcocks I would probably still be working at the Docks. RIP mate. X
— Peter Hook (@peterhook) December 6, 2018
I am very sad to hear about Pete Shelley’s passing. He was part of the soundtrack of my youth. Cindy and I were lucky enough to see Buzzcocks in Los Angeles a while back. It was excellent, the fire and beauty of those songs was still there. RIP a true poet of punk.
— Lol Tolhurst (@LolTolhurst) December 7, 2018
Ah, christ. He wrote some of my favorites, and was a constant musical presence for most of my life. https://t.co/ultJZHtaLz
— Ted Leo (@tedleo) December 6, 2018
So sad to lose Pete Shelley. What an inspiration! #RIP #peteshelley https://t.co/3MGnLR19pX
— superchunk (@superchunk) December 6, 2018