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Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley, dead at 63

Riot Fest 2017 - Friday
Pete Shelley with The Buzzcocks @ Riot Fest 2017 (more by James Richards IV)

Pete Shelley of groundbreaking UK punk band Buzzcocks has died, reports the BBC. The sad news was shared today via his brother, Gary McNeish, who wrote on Facebook, “This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, is tell you my brother Pete Shelley had a heart attack this morning and passed away.” He was 63. Here’s Buzzcock’s official statement:

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.

Formed in Manchester, England in 1976, The Buzzcocks’ 1977 self-released debut EP, Spiral Scratch, is regarded to be the first DIY punk record, and their ultra-hooky sound, and teen angst lyrics, have been influential ever since.

Rest in peace, Pete. You will be missed, but your music lives on. Read tributes from fellow musicians here and listen to the classic Singles Going Steady below.

It’s been a tough year for Manchester punk: we lost Mark E Smith in January.

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