Tonight I was at a gig up at the Prince Albert in Brighton and as I was taking a photo of Hotel Lux on my phone, a message popped up from a friend informing me of the awful news that Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks had died from a suspected heart attack in Estonia where he was living.
I was truly stunned as the Buzzcocks have always been my favourite British punk band and in fact my very first concert was the famous Buzzcocks riot gig at the Top Rank in Brighton on Wednesday 8th November 1978 – talk about a baptism of fire!
I was very fortunate to have met Shelley in Brighton in 1988 at a special questions and answers session I believe that was held at the Pavilion Theatre, if my memory is correct. It was something to do with an event and it was during his Zip ‘Your Love’ period.
At the special event, there were only about a ten to a dozen fans sitting in a row on chairs facing Shelley and we were allowed to ask him some questions. All I can remember was that everyone was really shy and that I was the first person to ask him a question, although I can’t remember anything else from that session, other than I had very cheekily brought along my entire Buzzcocks/Pete Shelley record collection for him to sign. He graciously signed the lot without complaint. I still treasure them to this very day and in fact, here are all of the 7” records that he autographed for me. The 12” ones are currently not easily accessible. But I would like to share these with you as a memento of the great man.
It was an honour meeting him and reviewing the last Buzzcocks Brighton gig at the Concorde 2 on Thursday 20th October 2016.
Rest in peace Peter Campbell McNeish (17.4.1955 – 6.12.2018) xx