Buzzcocks co-founder Pete Shelley dies at 63

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Pete Shelley, of the British punk band Buzzcocks, performs in this May 19, 2018, file photo. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Pete Shelley, of the British punk band Buzzcocks, performs in this May 19, 2018, file photo. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

London (AP) — Pete Shelley, the singer-songwriter and co-founder of the punk band the Buzzcocks, died December 6 of a suspected heart attack at age 63, his brother announced recently.

The Buzzcocks were part of the punk revolution which began in England in the mid-1970s and also featured such groups as the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Like their contemporaries, the Buzzcocks scorned what they considered the pretensions and bloated style of mainstream groups and turned out brief, stripped down songs, performed at manic speed.

Their singles included “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve),” the explicit “Orgasm Addict” and “What Do I Get?” Their energy and intensity were worthy of punk, but they also had a melodic streak, with the song “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays” sounding at times like a punk version of the Beach Boys.

The Buzzcocks broke up in the early 1980s, but reunited in the late ’80s and continued to perform and record over the past three decades.

Tributes poured in from around the music world and Peter Hook, the bassist and co-founder of Joy Division and New Order, tweeted: “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.”