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Autonomy. Steve Diggle's Portrait of a Buzzcock Guitarist and Singer Steve Diggle opens up about an iconic career

Autonomy. Steve Diggle's Portrait of a Buzzcock

Guitarist and Singer Steve Diggle opens up about an iconic career

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: June, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

"I'm not trying to recreate the past, I'm trying to create the future." Steve Diggle

Diggle coverSTEVE DIGGLE
Autonomy: Portrait of a Buzzcock

(Omnibus)
Published 22nd August
ISBN 9781915841087

The Buzzcocks were the first band I ever saw as a kid. If we assume that Des O’Connor, Val Doonican and Purple Porridge - the band with the purple flashing light in their bass drum, in the ballroom of the local Sports and Social club–oh my god, it so reminds me now of Slade in Flame, don’t count as musicians.

As exciting adolescent faux young thug nights go that one, was one. Taking our mopeds to Coventry and once in the foyer of the Coventry theatre waiting 'til other kids stormed one of the auditorium doors, drawing the security while we waltzed in.  

That moment of frisson, of fear, that surge of hedonism felt, like the music of the Buzzcocks felt to me. It was so urgent and so unlike anything else I had ever heard.

There was trouble at the show, from whom? I don't know. I can still remember Pete Shelley offering to give someone their money back after one of the seats landed onstage.

The BuzzcocksBy the early 80s the Buzzcocks had released a string of possibly unmatched pop singles.  

The last time I saw them play was about ten years ago at the House of Blues at Disneyland in Anaheim. They were still fantastically great.

Later this summer, Omnibus publishes Autonomy – Portrait of a Buzzcock, by Steve Diggle. The singer and guitarist is the last remaining member from the Buzzcocks’ pop heyday, and the book is a deeply personal memoir from one of the founders of the UK punk scene who helped change the music - and outlook - of a generation for good. 

When a music career encompasses the premature death of your band’s lead singer, Pete Shelley, in 2018, it would be expected that a portion of the books would deal with Diggle and Shelley’s complex friendship and professional relationship over 40 years.  ‘Autonomy’ is a first-hand account of a life in a band that inspired so many, from The Smiths to Nirvana. It’s a book of working-class dreams and lost escape routes. As a working band, recording for a string of indie labels, perhaps the Buzzcocks now are a little less sainted than so many of the aspic framed music icons of the past fifty years swaggering around so exhaustingly are.  Diggle maintains the band, touring and recording and he remains one of the most influential guitar players of all time, still looking up the road ahead.

Diggle says, “I’m not trying to recreate the past, I’m trying to create the future.”


Essential Info
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LamontPaul
Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV


about LamontPaul »»

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