The Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign has raised over £6,000 in 2019 towards the creation of a permanent memorial to Pete Shelley in his hometown of Leigh.
Pretty good eh?
Part of our ongoing push to celebrate Pete and his creativity has resulted in a blue plaque that will be going on the outside wall of the house he used to live in.
I pick up countless magazines and read article after article about bands who site Pete as their inspiration, the reason they put pen to paper or tried making different types of music. His band sits at the heart of any decent Manchester bands map. He brought punk out of London and created a wave that bands still ride on today.
In life he was celebrated by his crazy crowds, still packing out venues after all those years and was awarded his honorary doctorate from Bolton University…. but in death, what is he/we left with?
After Pete’s death Twitter exploded with an outpouring of heartfelt messages for a man who had inspired people as a songwriter, musician, LGBTQ+ ambassador, human rights activist and all round lovely person. He was the top trend for days, bands from all over the world shared memories and sadness at his loss.
But almost a year since he’s been gone and what do we have? What of his roots, his hometown? Where can he be found?….. nowhere. We have nothing other than the rumble of our campaign pushing to keep his memory alive. As a family, there is no place to remember Pete as such, nothing physical to pay respects, no grave, no bench. Nothing. He’s a ghost in the machine.
It’s truly heartbreaking, a man who did so much to put the north west on the map; over the years how much revenue has he generated for the area? Be that from his packed gigs bringing people out, to people who invested in their own careers/ music courses/ local music businesses etc because of him. A man who was part of arguably the biggest music revolution in British music history- nothing.
It’s sad to think that without the efforts of our small but mighty campaign, Pete would be confined to the history books, his roots left to fade away. Is this how Leigh treats its sons?
What about the next generation who need to remember that there is always room for someone willing to buck the trend? Youngsters who need to see that with a bit of determination and hard work you can go out there and change the entire landscape of your generation; be that in music, art, politics or just society in general. Why aren’t you biting our hands off to share this message with the town through this iconic symbol who called this place home for so many years?
Do we just leave him lost in the pages of Google? Confined to YouTube? Forgotten by the very place where it all began?
What does Pete get? Let’s hope it’s not “Nothing at all at all at all…”
Rebecca Hamilton – cousin of Pete Shelley
JOIN US !
We are organising events and fundraising with the aim of creating a lasting memorial to the truly great homosapien…
How can YOU help?
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“Pete Shelley’s songwriting has proven to play a major influence on the music of the last quarter of the twentieth century and beyond. He was a unique and humble human, and I am proud to have worked beside him. It is a no-brainer that his hometown of Leigh would work quickly and diligently to construct an appropriate memorial to him.”
Steve Garvey (The Buzzcocks)
“And if I start a commotion, I’ll only end up losing you, And that’s worse…”