UPON A time there were the Buzzcocks and
they were my favourite group. In the
heyday of punk ,the Clash had the painted
shirts and radical politics, the Pistols
had beer cans and a self-destruct
nihilism, the Damned had fun but the
Buzzcocks had ridiculous accents and love
songs. Pete Shelley's pen mined a rich
vein of punk/pop brilliance.
Their music was a
wailing wall of buzzsaw guitars while the
pristine emotional lyrics found a man
constantly stalking the twilight zone
between certainty and doubt and
articulating the confusion into classic
combinations of verse and chorus.
Buzzcocks went on Top Of The Pops and had
hits. The cream has been duly collected
for posterity on the 'Singles Going
Steady' compilation of GREATS!
eroded the thrill. The polish became
chipped and dulled. Their last two years
proved frustrating and futile. The
foursome were enmeshed in the trappings
of their own talent, not that they ever
played the STAR but as far as beat groups
go they were reaching the waist spreading
period of middle-age.
into a regular touring (they placed my
old home town every November, following
Doctor Feelgood who appeared every
October, a gruesome comparison) schedule
and recording (an album a year) routine.
The humdrum rock and roll way of growing
more relieved than surprised when Peter
Shelley handed in his notice last March
and, as they used to say in pop circles,
left the Buzzcocks because I found a way
of doing what I wanted which short
circuited all the problems I'd had in the
past. It was hard to get the ides that I
had across. I'm not very good at
communicating ideas, all the ones I have
I tend to put into music."
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