Pete Shelley, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for iconic punk band Buzzcocks, has died at 63 of an apparent heart attack. The band’s management informed the BBC that Shelley died on Thursday in Estonia, where he was currently residing.
“It’s with great sadness that we confirm the death of Pete Shelley, one of the U.K.’s most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks,” a band spokesperson told Rolling Stone. “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.”
Buzzcocks were an important touchstone to an entire generation of rock musicians, having notably influenced Kurt Cobain’s work with Nirvana. Shelley formed the band in 1975 with Howard Devoto. The band had recently announced reissues of their first two albums, 1978’s Another Music In A Different Kitchen and Love Bites.
Superchunk, Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake, Gang of Four’s Andy Gill, Neil Gaiman and Tracey Thorn (formerly of Everything But The Girl) are among those who have paid tribute to Shelley’s memory via Twitter. Find their posts below.
superchunk (@superchunk) December 6, 2018
not been on here for a while, but I can’t not mark the passing of Pete Shelley. I love(d) Buzzcocks. His songs were important to me when I was a young man and they still are to me now. Thank you Pete and R.I.P. You will be missed.— Norman Blake (@normanblake) December 6, 2018
Devastated by Pete Shelley’s death. I produced ‘Ever fallen in love’ in 2005 with him, Plant,Elton,Daltrey in memory of John Peel— Andy Gill (@andygangof4) December 6, 2018
Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) December 6, 2018
Oh God but I loved Buzzcocks. And Pete Shelley was an amazing songwriter. “But after all life’s only death’s recompense.” RIP pic.twitter.com/vAAg7Jui52— Tracey Thorn (@tracey_thorn) December 6, 2018