Friday, 7 December 2018

And the worlds built of age are a stage where we act out our lives









Very sad news today. The iconic Pete Shelley, co-founder of The Buzzcocks - the seminal Punk band who were contemporaries of the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie but whose approach to the genre took a far less antagonistic and more sexually ambiguous tone than their peers, and posed a challenge to the aggro of Punk's pogo-ing, beer-swilling, spitting fans - is dead, far too young, at 63.

As was "revealed" in a tribute article on the BBC today (as if anyone didn't already guess), Mr Shelley wrote all his lyrics in a gender-neutral fashion for a very good reason. Many Buzzcocks songs - including Orgasm Addict, What Do I Get?, and of course, their magnum opus Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've) - were, in fact written from Mr Shelley's own perspective, based upon his relationships with men (his fellow band-mate Steve Diggle included).

Here is their most enduring (and beloved) standard, by way of illustration:


Mr Shelley had in reality, of course, never hidden his true feelings. Back in the 90s, in an interview for the US fanzine Outpunk, he was very candid indeed. Here are two pages from that tome, courtesy of that sadly-missed encyclopaedia of all things homo Queer Music Heritage, that tell the story in his own words:



But, although the fey-punk legacy of the Buzzcocks is dear to our hearts here at Dolores Delargo Towers, it was a song from Mr Shelley's short-lived solo career that was the real gay anthem - a song that alone justifies Mr Shelley's place here in the Museum of Camp:


I'm the shy boy, you're the coy boy
And you know we're Homosapien too
I'm the cruiser, you're the loser
Me and you sir, Homosapien too

Homosuperior in my interior
But from the skin out
I'm Homosapien too
And you're Homosapien too

And I'm Homosapien like you
And we're Homosapien too

And I think of your eyes in the dark
And I see the star
And I look to the light
And I might wonder right where you are

All the Gods in the sky, way up high
See the world spinning 'round
But the sun and the moon
And the stars are so far from the ground

I'm the shy boy, you're the coy boy
And you know we're Homosapien too
I'm the cruiser, you're the loser
Me and you sir, Homosapien too

Homosuperior in my interior
But from the skin out
I'm Homosapien too
And you're Homosapien too

And I'm Homosapien like you
And we're Homosapien too

And the worlds built of age are a stage
Where we act out our lives
And the words in the script seem to fit
'Cept we have some surprise

I just want this to last
Or my future is past and all gone
And if this is the case
Then I'll lose in life's race from now on

Homosuperior in my interior
But from the skin out
I'm Homosapien too
And you're Homosapien too

And I'm Homosapien like you
And we're Homosapien too

And I just hope and pray
That the day of our love is at hand
You and I, me and you
We will be one from two, understand?

And the world is so wrong
That I hope that we'll be strong enough
For we are on our own
And the only thing known is our love

I don't wanna classify you
Like an animal in the zoo
But it seems good to me to know
That you're Homosapien too

I'm the shy boy, you're the coy boy

I don't wanna classify you
Like an animal in the zoo
But it seems good to me to know
That you're Homosapien too


RIP, Pete Shelley (born Peter Campbell McNeish, 17th April 1955 – 6th December 2018)

4 comments:

  1. O god, how I loved his music, even more so because it was a love that dared to speak its name.

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  2. Such a sad loss and so young too. RIP Pete Shelley.

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    Replies
    1. Judgling by the vast number of tributes we've heard so far to him, he is sadly missed by many, many people. RIP, indeed. Jx

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