What do they get?

The death of Pete Shelley, ex-frontman of The Buzzcocks, has been widely mourned. Particularly among more middle-class commentators. He was described on Radio 4 as a “genius” and one of the greatest songwriters ever. People seemed bemused, almost angry, that The Buzzcocks didn’t enjoy a lot more chart success. I liked The Buzzcocks and bought their early singles when I was at school, but they were hardly works of “genius”. Yet the middle-classes still don’t get it. They may have adored punk, and used it to rebel against mummy and daddy, but relatively few people shared that adoration. When this hit the charts in 1978, the Top Ten that week alone included Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush, Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street, Wishing on a Star by Rose Royce, The Bee Gees’ Staying Alive and Is This Love by Bob Marley. Now perhaps they’ll understand why The Buzzcocks didn’t enjoy more chart success.