Oh Shit – Pete Shelley R.I.P.


It doesn’t seem possible that Pete Shelley could be gone. Punks aren’t supposed to die this soon, even if he was the same age as me.

I remember hearing ‘What do I get?’ late one John Peel night, just before moving to Nottingham and away from Punk’s other great centre. I remember it’s b-side when I bought it, one of the most honest break-up songs ever, ‘Oh Shit’. I remember seeing them of Top of the Pops with ‘I Don’t Mind’, which should have been fucking mega. I remember arguing about whether ‘Love You More’ worked or not, and singing along to ‘Ever Fallen in Love (with someone you shouldn’t’ve?)’ the very first time I heard it. I remember the years when it was like a personal theme song, the answer to which was too fucking many times.

I remember playing ‘Love Bites’ and ‘A Different Kind of Tension’ obsessively as soon as each came out. I remember seeing them at the Appollo, the second and last time I saw Joy Division, the night I heard ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ for the first time. I rememeber them finishing with ‘ESP’ as one by one the band laid down their instruments and left until only Steve Diggle was left, playing that incredible spiral riff.

I remember ‘Homo-Sapien’ and ‘XL1’ too.

I remember the Buzzcocks and I remember Pete Shelley and I ain’t never gonna forget and this is why, because you don’t forget perfection.

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4 thoughts on “Oh Shit – Pete Shelley R.I.P.

    1. I have an Infinite Jukebox piece on Ever Fallen in Love waiting to post. There’s one on another Manchester band on tomorrow, and I’m scheduling the Buzzcocks now.

  1. I saw Buzzcocks and Joy Division on that same tour. Both bands were wonderful.

    Not only did Buzzcocks achieve perfection, they made it look effortless.

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