Pete Shelley

Happy Birthday

Peter Campbell McNeish
17 April 1955
Leigh, Lancashire, England

Pete Shelley was an English singer, songwriter and guitarist. He formed the early punk band Buzzcocks with Howard Devoto in 1976, and was the lead singer and guitarist from 1977 when Devoto left, releasing "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" in 1978. The band broke up in 1981, reforming in 1989. Shelley also had a solo career; his song "Homosapien" charted in the US in 1981.

Shelley was born to Margaret and John McNeish at 48 Milton Street, in Leigh, Lancashire. His mother was an ex-mill worker in the town and his father was a fitter at Astley Green Colliery. He had a younger brother, Gary. Shelley's stage name is inspired by Percy Bysshe Shelley, his favorite Romantic poet.
Shelley formed The Buzzcocks with Howard Devoto  after they met at the Bolton Institute of Technology (now the University of Bolton) in 1975 and subsequently travelled to High Wycombe, near London, to see the Sex Pistols. The band included bass guitarist Steve Diggle and drummer John Maher; they made their first appearance in 1976 in Manchester, opening for the Sex Pistols.

In 1977 Buzzcocks released their first EP, Spiral Scratch, on their independent label, New Hormones. When Devoto left the band in February 1977, Shelley took over as the lead vocalist and chief songwriter. Working with the producer Martin Rushent, the band created the punk/new wave singles "Orgasm Addict", "What Do I Get?" and "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)", along with three LPs: Another Music in a Different Kitchen (1978), Love Bites (1978) and A Different Kind of Tension (1979). Difficulties with their record company and a dispute with Virgin Publishing over the UK release of their greatest hits record, Singles Going Steady, brought the band to a halt in 1981.

In 1981 Shelley released his first solo single, the song "Homosapien". On this recording he returned to his original interests in electronic music and shifted emphasis from guitar to synthesiser; Rushent's elaborate drum machine and synthesiser programming laid the groundwork for his next production, the chart-topping album Dare by the Human League. "Homosapien" was banned by the BBC for "explicit reference to gay sex". In the US dance chart, "Homosapien" peaked at number fourteen. It was at this time that Shelley talked about his bisexuality, which had been implicit in many of the songs he had written, but now came to wider attention due to "Homosapien" and the BBC ban. The single was followed by an LP of the same title

The Buzzcocks reunited in 1989 and released a new full-length album, Trade Test Transmissions, in 1993. They continued to tour and record and released the album The Way in 2014. Shelley died December 6, 2018. 

We take this time to Remember Pete Shelley on his Birthday!  Thank You for the music Pete! You are missed!
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