Peter Campbell McNeish and Howard Trafford were both students at the Bolton Institute of Technology in 1975. They both held one common view - they were unsatisfied with the current music scene, and what it had to offer. As a reaction they started to write their own songs together and then started looking for other musicians via adverts around Manchester.

Peter became Pete Shelley and played guitar, and Howard became Howard Devoto and took charge of the singing. They were joined by Steve Diggle on bass and John Maher who played the drums. Thus THE BUZZCOCKS were born..

Taking their name from a phrase used in the hit TV show, ROCK FOLLIES, (Give us a buzz, cock! e.g. please telephone me any friend!) The band played their first gig on July 20th 1976 at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall as support to SLAUGHTER AND THE DOGS and THE SEX PISTOLS. October 28th 1976, and the BUZZCOCKS demoed their entire set as Stockport's Loft Studio. Twelve tracks are recorded in total - eleven of wich are later released on the legendary "TIME'S UP" bootleg album.

Three days after Christmas 1976, and "SPIRAL SCRATCH" ep is recorded at the Indigo Sound Studios in Manchester. The EP is released on The Buzzcocks' own NEW HORMONES label. Originally, copies were sold for 1. MELODY MAKER advised people to get a copy fast - "as they're running out kickly". Soon after the release of the EP, DEVOTO quit the band. The rest of the band have to decide whether or not they are going to continue without him. Fortunately they decided to carry on. DEVOTO went on to form MAGAZINE. Peter took charge of the singing but continued to play guitar. John MAYER stayed behind the drum kit. Steve DIGGLE changed from bass to guitar and bassist Garth SMITH was recruited.

August 16th 1977, and the Buzzcocks signed a deal, at the Electric Circus with United Artists. Garth lasted only long enough to play on the debut single, "ORGASM ADDICT", released in October 1977. One sided promos were prssed and then sent to radio stations. These promo copies only inclued the B-side "Whatever happened to?" This was done to cover up the controversial A-side , and gain the record airplay.Garth proved to be disruptive at gigs(hear him in full flight on the "RAZOR CUTS" bootleg). Only days before the band's first major head-lining tour they were forced to sack him. MAGAZINE's Barry ADAMSON lent a hand on bass for part of the tour, until more permanent replacement was found in the form of Steve Garvey. With the line up now complete, "WHAT DO I GET?" was released as a single. Packers at EMI's pressing plant refused to handle the single, the reason it's B-side "OH SHIT". The dispute was resolved and the single was soon in the shops. Once again, one sided promos were issued, this time with only the A-side."ANOTHER MUSIC IN A DIFFERENT KITCHEN", the band's debut album, was released in March 1978. Initial copies came in a plastic carrier bag, and some copies didn't include the track "I NEED". A song book was also published to accompagny the album."I DON'T MIND" was taken from the album and released as a single, their third for United Artists. "I DON'T MIND" was followed by the non-album classic "LOVE YOU MORE". To coincide with the single's release, Granada TV produced a documentary on both BUZZCOCKS and MAGAZINE."Another music..." was followed just six months later by the "LOVE BITES" album. The same album also produced the band's hightest charting single "EVER FALLEN IN LOVE". (#12) They entered 1979 with the release of "EVERYBODY'S HAPPY NOWADAYS" in March of that year. 1979 also saw the band's first tour of the States. In July "HARMONY IN MY HEAD" was released, with Steve Diggle on vocals this time. The single was followed by the third album ""A DIFFERENT KIND OF TENSION" in October 1979. The album proves to be a different kind of tension, and isn't very well received by some critics. It does produce the excellent "YOU SAY YOU DON'T LOVE ME" single tough. August 1979 saw the re-issue of "SPIRAL SCRATCH", this time Howard Devoto's name was added to the sleeve, and instead of the original plastic labels, paper ones are used.Until May 1980,The BUZZCOCKS remained relatively quiet. Their first gig of the new decade was at the Manchester Polythecnic on May 22nd. Half hour of the show was broadcast by RADIO 1. The group play "STRANGE THING" and dedicate it to IAN CURTIS "who died at the weekend". At the same gig, SHELLEY announced that the band will be releasing their next batch of singles in "parts". The BUZZCOCKS toured the UK in late 1980 playing their last British gig at the Lyceum on November 2nd. They then toured the States followed by some European gigs. Their finale was played at the Hamburg Markthalle on January 23rd 1981. The gig was filmed, and some of it shown by the German TV show "ROCKPALAST". The complete show has just been released, time codes intact, by Ikon video.On March 6th 1981, The BUZZCOCKS came to an end. Shellet sent solicitor's letters to theother members of the band, explaining that he no longer wished to continue with The Buzzcocks. Press headlines include "Ever fallen out with someone you shouldn't 've?"

....and that was the end of THE BUZZCOCKS for the time....


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