Pete Shelley – A Recollection And Thank You

Music lovers collective hearts- all over the world, are aching right now. Earlier this week we lost Pete Shelley, Buzzcocks main man, and prolific songwriter. It’s few who can equal the bursts of joy, and also the flow and ebb of emotion that were consistently woven into his compositions.

Luckily I got to see them in the 80s, and many times afterwards. They were one of the most energetic live bands I’ve ever witnessed, and although my exchanges with him during his WFMU visit were brief, he made an impression on me of being a lovely human being with regard for everyone as well as being very focused & fun loving.

They played live on WFMU in July 1996 and I engineered the set –  before I had much tech training. It was not the greatest audio experience (I remember attaching a headphone cable to drummer Phil Barker’s belt loops and telling him he wasn’t allowed to move – and bringing him water!) , and I’m not sure any recording of it even exists, but I remember parts of the day vividly.

Buzzcocks were touring in a winnebago, and our driveway in East Orange, NJ was curvy, narrow, and had a little wall /high curb, so it was difficult for larger vehicles to navigate. They may have gotten stuck when they drove in, they definitely got stuck when driving out.

When Shelley specifically walked in the door, I was like a dog straining on a leash… “I LOVE YOU!! — I’m Diane” giggling, like a fool. He gave me a big grin and said “well, hello, I”m Pete”, and I countered with a loud “I KNOW”, and we both cracked up.

Steve Diggle must have been occupied somewhere in the station until air time, as I didn’t speak with him much. They were as gracious as could be considering that WFMU was hosting a live band with someone at the helm that was still learning to get around on the gear. They played on DJ Leila’s show, and although I don’t remember how long their set was, I DO remember them playing “What Am I Supposed To Do” a Steve Diggle composition from All Set, and “Harmony In My Head,” for sure. The rest is as they say, all a blur.

That was also the day their label -IRS records went under, and they were told they would have to give up the winnebago. After the session, they were trying to figure out what to do about the tour (this was the All Set record) and their vehicle.

Here are links to a couple of WFMU programs that played recent sets honoring Buzzcocks/Shelley  Joe Belock’s 3 Chord Monte and Todd-O-Phonic Todd 

This is a link to my WFMU show when I interviewed Steve Diggle -and it contains about 10 Buzzcocks songs throughout and is time stamped so you can pop around. It was edited to be a solo  podcast, and there are no direct podcast links, so my podcast page is  linked, and then you’ll need to browse! The iTunes listing number changes every time an episode is added, so look for the release date of 9/4/2017, as they are chronologically sorted.

It’s always sad when we lose an artist – too young or not. And with any creative person with an output, at least we have their legacy. There is a campaign to make “Ever Fallen In Love” to be #1 this week (it did not originate with the band, but they endorse it), it’s got the same Buzzcocks link, and I suppose if everyone does download the identical link, that could actually happen. There are lots of other remembrances and live shows being posted, follow the band’s twitter feed.

And, his work is done, and done SO WELL! Shelley’s solo records are wonderful and he is one of those people who I think was made to express himself through music. For that we are all very lucky, lucky that however his life meandered, that he got in front of people, made records and blew us all away. Pete Shelley’s works – with Buzzcocks and solo – were a force, an inspiration and will always put a smile on my face. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Gimme Radio – Episode 7 and The Vault Is Open, Join The Brigade!

Argh! I love doing radio and I am currently doing a program called LIFER on Gimme is a great station that’s primarily metal oriented, or at least focuses on music that is generally heavy. There are lots of great shows by great DJs, musicians and other notable people in the heavy music community on the station, and it’s great fun. My current time slot is every other Friday at 7pm ET, and I just aired my 7th program Friday!

Gimme Radio is making all it’s past archives available to listeners who join the The Gimme Brigade and thereby having access to The (Gimme) Vault. It’s a great opportunity for people to check out any of the shows at will, on their own schedule, binge listen, and also hear great programs that are off the schedule currently. Go here to check out the special offers on it at the moment, and in case you didn’t get a chance to listen to LIFER #7, here is the playlist:


Hellhammer – Messiah

Emperor – Beyond the Great Vast Forest

Hellchild – Long and Stable Bridge

Warfare – Electric Mayhem

Mirror – Heavy King

Spiritual Beggars – Fools Gold

Cattle Press – The Hole Is Home

Continue reading “Gimme Radio – Episode 7 and The Vault Is Open, Join The Brigade!”

Gimme Radio – LIFER – Playlist #1

I’ll be chronicling my experiences on GIMMEradio, a streaming station – a dotcom, as well as an app. They are a metal/extreme station, and I’m really enjoying doing a show there. It’s radically different from doing a program on FM, and a ton of fun! My program is called LIFER! Check it out, it’s all me, and easy to do because I suppose I’m just a metal gal at heart. LIFER airs every other Friday night from 7-9pm ET. Here are some recollections from my first program…

I opened the show with WE ROCK by Dio, yay! This was refreshing and freeing to play. I have played Dio in the past, but those moments are rare. He is one of my favorite vocalists, I love his imagery and the booming voice that came out of the man that stood around 5′ tall.

I have a great memory of seeing him open for Maiden at MSG, with Motorhead in the opening 30 minute slot. It was such a surreal night. It was as if everyone I knew was there, it was like CBGBs had turned into the size of Madison Square Garden, everywhere I turned another face, whether a recent friend or a long lost acquaintance was there! Motorhead were good, and although Mickey Dee is/was a great and legendary drummer it always pissed me off that no matter where they played or how long their set was, that he needed a solo every show. This was no exception – they played for 30 minutes and it felt like 10 of them were his solo. He’s as flashy as they come – and competent for sure, I just don’t ever feel that Motorhead needs solos!   So I was annoyed because his solo could have been another Motorhead song. When Dio came out, he opened with The Last in Line, and I swear to you, you could hear the garden hold it’s breath right as he went into the word HOME… you gotta know the song, but I would guess it’s a strain for a singer, and he chose it as his first song, what balls.  For me there’s a ton of conviction in his voice, if we’re evil, or divine, his voice just rules. He, of course, pulled it off – to thunderous applause, I felt a sigh of relief go through MSG. THIS is why I opened my first program with We Rock (I felt it was a better song to open my show to), he’s made such an impact on the metal world and was so incredibly talented!

Also in my first show was Mastodon , I know I’m not surprising people with this choice BUT- I got to play AUNT LISA by them, my favorite song off Once More ‘Round The Sun! It’s got a chorus that’s got enough profanity to get an FCC regulated station shut down, so I never aired it on FM, it was wonderful to be able to finally play it for an audience! Other bands, Hail of Bullets, Witchery, Kylesa, UDO, Anaal Nathrakh, Obituary, Saviours, God Dethroned, and of course, Voivod!

On LIFER, my Voivod pledge (to play them on every show) stands! I’ll continue that tradition forever! I could rant forever, but will save ya’ll for now. Here’s the GimmeRadio info: The station itself, and the link to LIFER!