Having sustained life threatening injuries in an accident two months earlier, Pete Way “fought hard until finally succumbing to those injuries at 11.35am BST” on August 14th, 2020, aged 69. His wife, Jenny, was at his side. Way is also survived by his two daughters, Zowie and Charlotte.
Pete Way was a founding member of UFO, playing with them from 1968 to 1982. Having founded Fastway, Pete Way went on with his own band Waysted. Pete Way re-joined UFO in 1988–1989, and as a full-time member from 1991 to 2008.
Wearing striped trousers and playing a Fender Precision bass while in UFO, Pete Way influenced the stage appearance of Steve Harris. His band Iron Maiden have also famously played the UFO song “Doctor Doctor” over their PA as the intro to almost every concert for decades.
Way also toured with Ozzy Osbourne and worked in other band constellations with UFO members Phil Mogg, Michael Schenker, Paul Raymond, and Paul Chapman. With the latter two also recently diseased (with their lives in music chronicled in previous Stargazed articles), founding UFO members Phil Mogg and Andy Parker are now the only surviving members of the line-up that recorded the “No Place to Run” album in 1979.
“Sad to read about the passing of Pete Way”, wrote Rush bassist Geddy Lee, recalling “many fond and hilarious memories of touring with Pete and UFO back in the 70’s. A true rock and roll character, always ‘takin’ the piss’ as they would say in his homeland. I once asked him about his bass sound and he said, ‘Well, Glee.. it’s uh…3/4 good, and 1/4 ..not very nice!’ A funny, energetic, sweet man and a great rock bassist.”
Peter Frederick Way was born in Enfield, Middlesex, England on August 7th, 1951. Having played in bands with friends from high school and working as a studio musician for other artists, Way formed the band Hocus Pocus in 1968 with singer Phil Mogg, drummer Andy Parker and guitarist Mick Bolton. The name was changed to UFO in October 1969, in honour of the London club where they were spotted and signed to Beacon Records.
While not very successful commercially, UFO recorded two studio albums and one live record before Mick Bolton left the band in January 1972. “UFO 1” (October 1970) featured two songs written by Pete Way, “Follow You Home” and “Evil”, in addition to four songs co-credited to all band members: “Unidentified Flying Object”, “Shake It About”, “Timothy” and “Boogie for George”, the latter a minor hit in Germany.
The debut recording also included covers of Eddie Cochran’s “C’mon Everybody” (1959), Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” (1956) and “(Come Away) Melinda” (Fred Hellerman, Fran Minkoff), an anti-war song first released in 1963 by Harry Belafonte. Uriah Heep had released their version of the latter song on their debut, “…Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble”, released in June of 1970. “UFO 1” was recorded in July. The song had also been recorded by Tim Rose in 1967 and featured on the sole album by Velvett Fogg in 1969. Tony Iommi was a member in mid-1968 but left Velvett Fogg to form Black Sabbath, after one gig and before their recording took place.
Influenced by space rock, their second album – “UFO 2: Flying – One Hour Space Rock” (October 1971) – had a 26-minute title track and a 19-minute-long opus called “Star Storm”. All songs were credited to the all four band members, including the single tracks “Prince Kajuku” b/w “The Coming of Prince Kajuku”.
Released in Japan in December 1971, the “Live” record featured a cover of Paul Butterfield’s “Loving Cup”, first recorded by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and released in 1966 on the Elektra Records compilation album “What’s Shakin'”.
Pete Way remained with UFO (along with Mogg and Parker) until 1982, as they added keyboard players Danny Peyronel (1975-1976, ex-Heavy Metal Kids), Paul Raymond (1976-1980, ex-Plastic Penny, Chicken Shack, Savoy Brown and Hungry Fighter with former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan), John Sloman (1980, ex-Lone Star, Uriah Heep) and Neil Carter (1980-1983, ex- Wild Horses), and went through a succession of guitarists.
After brief trial runs with Larry Wallis (February–October 1972) of Shagrat and Blodwyn Pyg (later in the Pink Fairies and a founding member of Motörhead) and future Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden (ex-Skinny Cat), the band recruited 18 year old Michael Schenker from German touring partners Scorpions. Schenker’s initial run with UFO (June 1973-October 1978) would result in five studio albums before he left to briefly re-join Scorpions and found MSG. Schenker was then replaced by former Skid Row and Lone Star guitarist Paul Chapman (1978-1983), having previously toured with UFO in 1974-1975.
Signing with Chrysalis Records, UFO first recorded a non-LP single with Schenker in 1973, “Give Her The Gun” b/w “Sweet Little Thing”. Pete Way co-wrote the B-side with Phil Mogg. Working with producer Leo Lyons (former bass player in Ten Years After, 1966-1974), UFO released “Phenomenon” in 1974. While fan favourites such as “Doctor Doctor” and “Rock Bottom” were written by Schenker and Mogg, Pete Way was co-credited for “Oh My” (with all other band members) and the opening track “Too Young to Know” with Phil Mogg.
A re-issue of “Phenomenon” from 2007 added two demo recordings featuring Bernie Marsden on guitar, an early version of “Oh My” and the previously unreleased band composition “Sixteen”.
Continuing to work with Leo Lyons, his former Ten Years After bandmate Chick Churchill played keyboards on “Force It” (1975). The controversial cover artwork by Hipgnosis featured Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, both later of the band Throbbing Gristle, while Pete Way wrote “Too Much of Nothing” and got co-credited for “Out in the Street” (with Mogg), “Shoot Shoot” and “Mother Mary”, both written with Schenker, Mogg, and Parker.
“No Heavy Petting” (1976) was their only album with Danny Peyronel on keyboards. Pete Way was co-credited with Schenker and Mogg for “Natural Thing”. The album also included a cover of “A Fool in Love”, written by Frankie Miller and former Free bass player Andy Fraser. It was first released by The Frankie Miller Band on their 1975 album “The Rock”. For those not familiar with the Scottish singer, you may still have heard Miller singing with Phil Lynott on the “Nightlife” version of “Still in Love with You”, recorded during Thin Lizzy’s first stint with ex-Skid Row guitarist Gary Moore.
The 2007 re-issue of “No Heavy Petting” added the Small Faces cover “All or Nothing” (recorded in September 1975, originally a #1 UK single hit in 1966) and another Frankie Miller composition, “Have You Seen Me Lately Joan”. The other bonus tracks were “All the Strings” (written by Peyronel) and the band compositions “French Kisses” and “Do It If You Can” from January 1976.
Changing producer from Leo Lyons to Ron Nevison, “Lights Out” (1977) was UFO’s first album to feature string and horn arrangements. Having done engineering work on the first three albums by Bad Company, The Who’s “Quadrophenia” and Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti”, Nevison had also produced Thin Lizzy’s “Nightlife”. Nevison would go on to work with The Babys, Jefferson Starship, Survivor, Europe, Heart, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Quireboys, Bad English, Damn Yankees and MSG.
Paul Raymond was added as rhythm guitarist/keyboard player in UFO and Pete Way was co-credited for three songs: “Too Hot to Handle” (w/ Mogg), “Lights Out” (w/ Schenker, Parker, Mogg) and “Electric Phase” (w/ Mogg, Schenker). The album also featured one cover song, Bryan MacLean’s “Alone Again Or” off the 1967 masterpiece “Forever Changes” by the L.A. band Love.
1978’s “Obsession” was the final studio album to feature Michael Schenker until his return to UFO in 1993. Pete Way and Phil Mogg wrote “Cherry”, “One More for the Rodeo”, “Only You Can Rock Me” and “Pack It Up (And Go)”, the latter two together with Michael Schenker.
Ron Nevison stayed on for the following US tour with Blue Öyster Cult, capturing UFO at the peak of their powers in October 1978. When the resulting double live album “Strangers in the Night” was released in January 1979, Michael Schenker had already left the band. He next recorded the “Lovedrive” album with the Scorpions, featuring his brother Rudolf Schenker and Uli Jon Roth’s successor Matthias Jabs. In April 1979, Michael again quit Scorpions and went on to form MSG.
Way considered “Strangers in the Night” the highlight of his time with UFO. “That was a summary of many years on the road, many albums and it was very successful. And it proved how good we were live.”
Having added former Lone Star guitarist Paul Chapman, UFO went into the studio in August 1979 with legendary Beatles producer George Martin. Pete Way and Phil Mogg wrote a majority of the songs for resulting album, “No Place to Run” (January 1980): “Lettin’ Go”, “Gone in the Night”, “Young Blood”, “No Place to Run”, “Money, Money” and “Anyday”.
Paul Raymond left to join The Michael Schenker Group before the recording of UFO’s next album, being first replaced by Uriah Heep’s John Sloman (formerly with Paul Chapman in Lone Star) and then by Neil Carter from Wild Horses, the band formed in 1978 by Brian Robertson (ex-Thin Lizzy) and former Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain. Carter would remain with the band until 1983, not re-joining UFO until 2019 when Raymond died and Carter was once more asked to replace him.
“The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent” (January 1981) was the first UFO album to be entirely self-produced by the band. Pete Way co-wrote “Chains Chains” and “It’s Killing Me” with Phil Mogg while “Lonely Heart” (a minor UK hit single featuring Neil Carter on saxophone) and “Couldn’t Get It Right” were credited to Way, Mogg and Paul Chapman.
Pete Way first left UFO after the tour for “Mechanix” (February 1982), for which Pete Way co-wrote “Back into My Life”, “Feel It” (both w/ Mogg), “Doing It All for You” (w/ Chapman, Carter, Mogg), “We Belong to the Night” and “Let It Rain”, the last two with Mogg and Carter.
“Mechanix” was produced by Gary Lyons (as opposed to earlier producer Leo Lyons), a man who had a history of working with Paul Chapman’s former band Lone Star in addition to Foreigner, The Outlaws, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, The Grateful Dead, Gamma and Trillion. The latter was a progressive hard rock band from Chicago that featured Dennis “Fergie” Frederiksen (1951-2014), prior to him joining Le Roux for 1983’s excellent “So Fired Up” and singing on Toto’s “Isolation” in 1984. Trillion also featured keyboardist Patrick Leonard, best known for his later longtime collaboration with Madonna. “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall – that’s what I grew up with and that’s what I dreamed of doing one day,” Leonard recalled in 1992. “I was a big Gentle Giant fan. I was a huge Jethro Tull fan. But I had to feed my children and heat my house, so I wrote some songs with a little girl who became extremely popular”. But I digress…
Disliking UFO’s more commercial direction, Pete Way jumped ship to work with former Motörhead (1976-1982) guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke (1950-2018). Deciding on an amalgamation of their names, they formed Fastway and advertised for a drummer and a vocalist. Dave King (who’d later form Flogging Molly) and former Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley soon joined but Pete Way himself announced his departure just as they were about to sign a deal with CBS Records.
Initially called “Bastard” when formed in June 1975, the band was renamed Motörhead after a song that Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister (1945-2015) had written during his time (1971-1975) as a member of Hawkwind. Lemmy was initially joined by former UFO guitarist Larry Wallis (1949-2019) and drummer Lucas Fox. They can be heard on Motörhead’s earliest recordings, first released as “On Parole” in 1979, but in less than a year they’d been replaced by “Fast” Eddie Clarke (ex-Curtis Knight Zeus, Continuous Performance) and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor (1954-2015).
Prior to forming Fastway with Pete Way, Clarke had played on “Motörhead” (1977), “Overkill” (1979), “Bomber” (1979), “Ace of Spades” (1980), “Iron Fist” (1982) and the legendary live album “No Sleep ’til Hammersmith”. Clarke was replaced for one album by former Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson (ex-Wild Horses with UFO’s Neil Carter) after Anvil frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow turned down the offer to play with Motörhead.
Unable to extricate himself from a contract he signed with Chrysalis, Pete Way stepped down from Fastway and went off to play bass for Ozzy Osbourne during his Speak Of The Devil tour in December of 1982. Pete Way stepped in for Rudy Sarzo who had left to re-join Quiet Riot following the death of Randy Rhoads. Don Costa stepped in for the remainder of the tour before the original Blizzard of Ozz bass player Bob Daisley returned in time for the “Bark at the Moon” album in 1983.
Anyway, Pete Way did thus not actually play on the self-titled Fastway album from 1983. While uncredited on the album, the bass guitar parts were actually played by session musician Mickey Feat.
During 1982, Pete Way was also credited as producer of albums by Twisted Sister and Cockney Rejects, an English punk rock band formed in 1977 by brothers Jeff and Micky Geggus. Their 1980 song “Oi, Oi, Oi” led to the “Oi!” music genre but it was their fourth album, “The Wild Ones”, which was produced by Pete Way. It included a cover of The Kinks’ 1965 hit “Til the End of the Day”.
The roots of Twisted Sister go back to December 1972 when Manhattan resident John Segall (a.k.a. “Jay Jay French”) joined the “glitter band” Silver Star in New Jersey. They changed their name to Twisted Sister at a rehearsal in February 1973 and frontman Daniel “Dee” Snider (ex-Peacock, Heathen) joined in February 1976. Having also added Eddie Ojeda (1975) and Mark Mendoza (1978), Twisted Sister self-released their first two singles in 1979 and 1980. The band eventually left New York to find a label in the UK, finally signing with a small British punk outlet, Secret Records, in April 1982. In June 1982, the group released the EP “Ruff Cuts” with drummer Tony Petri. Replacing him with A.J. Pero, Pete Way then produced their first studio album, “Under the Blade”. Despite rather poor sound quality (it was eventually remixed in 1985), the album was an underground hit in the UK. The album included “Tear It Loose”, a fast song featuring a guitar solo by “Fast” Eddie Clarke, Pete Way’s partner in Fastway. Twisted Sister also went on tour with his former band, Motörhead
Paul Raymond had left UFO after 1980’s “No Place To Run”, instead joining The Michael Schenker Group. Having contributed keyboards and rhythm guitar on 1981’s “MSG” and the 1982 live album “One Night at Budokan”, Raymond next (1982-1984) teamed up with Pete Way in the punningly titled Waysted.
Formed with Scottish singer Fin Muir (Ian More, 1982–1985, 2003–2020), the original line-up of Waysted also featured guitarist Ronnie Kayfield (1982-1983) and Frank Noon (1982-1984, ex-The Next Band, Bernie Tormé & The Electric Gypsies) who had previously played drums on Def Leppard’s 1978 debut EP.
This line-up recorded the debut album, “Vices”, released in 1983 through UFO’s label Chrysalis Records. Aside from a cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love”, “Vices” featured mostly material by Pete Way. Way wrote “Night of the Wolf” and co-wrote “Love Loaded”, “Toy with the Passion” (both w/ Kayfield, Muir), “Right from the Start” and “Hot Love” (both w/ Muir).
Waysted went through multiple line-up changes over the years, including stints with former UFO members Andy Parker (1984–1985) and Paul Chapman (1984–1987, 2003–2004).
Chapman and Parker were both around for the 1984 “Waysted” EP, making the line-up consist of three fifths former UFO members. Remaining from the debut were only Pete Way and co-songwriter Fin Muir. UFO’s old collaborator Leo Lyons produced and Neil Shepard (who’d join Tygers of Pan Tang in 1985-87) was briefly their second guitarist.
Motörhead’s “Philthy Animal” briefly joined Waysted in 1985 but it was former Fastway drummer Jerry Shirley (ex-Humble Pie, Magnet, Natural Gas) who played as a session musician on 1985’s “The Good the Bad the Waysted”. Jimmy DiLella (later with Doro and Mariah) added keyboards and extra guitars but Waysted were now officially reduced to a trio. All songs were credited to Way, Muir and Paul Chapman, except the cover of Chuck Berry’s 1958 classic “Around and Around”.
“Save Your Prayers” (1986) didn’t feature Fin Muir but rather the American singer Danny Vaughn. All of the song were credited to Pete Way and Paul Chapman except a re-recording of “Heaven Tonight” (also co-credited to Fin Muir) from the previous album. John DiTeodoro (ex-World War III) played drums on the album. Also known as “Johnny Dee”, he’d go on to join Britny Fox.
After leaving school, Danny Vaughn played in local cover bands when “One day I got a message that Paul Chapman was looking for me. I brushed it aside, but my curiosity got the better of me and I called the number. I was invited to do an audition down in Florida, for Paul’s new project: DOA, and recorded a demo with him that he took to the UK to shop with the record companies there. But that went by the wayside when Pete Way invited Paul to join Waysted instead. Of course they’d already found themselves a talented vocalist in Fin Muir. So that was that! But in 1985, they had a falling out with Fin and I was invited to learn a bunch of Waysted and UFO songs just days before a huge show at Ramat Gan football stadium, in Tel Aviv. I endured. It was my trial-by fire-audition for a band I continued to play with till 1987.”
When Waysted disbanded in 1987, Vaughn went on to form Tyketto. In 1995, after two albums, Danny Vaughn left Tyketto and got replaced for one album by the future Journey vocalist (1998-2006) Steve Augeri, formerly of Tall Stories.
In 1991, Johnny Dee appeared on the second album by glam metal band Mariah, a band also featuring keyboardist Jimmy DiLella. DiLella (ex-Waysted, D.O.A.) had been a session musician for Dee’s band Britny Fox and was also instrumental in hiring Johnny Dee as drummer for Doro Pesch’s touring band, where he was the keyboard player.
During 1987, Waysted concerts included guest performances by Iron Maiden’s bass player Steve Harris and Joey Belladonna, the lead singer of Anthrax from 1984 to 1992. Belladonna eventually returned to Anthrax in 2005–2007, and from 2010 to the present day.
Following the departure of Pete Way, Phil Mogg went on to release two UFO albums with entirely different musicians. “Making Contact” (1983) had retained Andy Parker, Neil Carter and Paul Chapman, with the latter two also playing bass on the album. On tour, the bass was initially played by Billy Sheehan (from the band Talas, who had opened for a UFO concert in the 1970s) who would later go on to play with David Lee Roth, Mr. Big, The Winery Dogs and Sons of Apollo. UFO decided to disband in March 1983, doing a farewell tour with Paul Gray (ex-Eddie and the Hot Rods, The Damned) on bass. It was at that point that Parker and Chapman went on to join Pete Way in Waysted. Paul Raymond had left Waysted, however, and soon joined Phil Mogg in re-building a new UFO with Paul Gray (bass), Jim Simpson (drums, ex-Magnum) and Japanese born American guitarist Tommy McClendon, a.k.a. “Atomik Tommy M”. Formed in late 1984, this new band released “Misdemeanor” in 1985 and the 1988 EP “Ain’t Misbehavin'”, the latter without Paul Raymond.
Paul Raymond had left in 1986 but Pete Way re-joined UFO after Paul Gray had left in 1987. Despite the renewed activity of the band, UFO officially disbanded again in 1989. Before doing so, however, they had tried brining in a bunch new guitarists: Myke Gray of Jagged Edge (late 1987), Rik Sandford (ex-Starfighters), Tony Glidewell (both 1988) and future Cold Sweat guitarist Erik Gamans in 1989.
As a quick side note, it was around this time that Phil Mogg’s nephew, bassist Nigel Mogg of The Quireboys (1984-1993, 1995, 2001-2012) recorded the excellent album “A Bit of What You Fancy”. Pete Way would later form the band Damage Control with “Spike”, the vocalist of The Quireboys.
Pete Way and Phil Mogg decided to resurrect UFO again in 1991, putting together a line-up with drummer Clive Edwards and guitarist Laurence Archer, both former members of Wild Horses. Together they released “High Stakes & Dangerous Men” in 1992, the first UFO release to feature Pete Way since “Mechanix” ten years earlier. All songs were co-credited to Way, Mogg and Archer, with “Ain’t Life Sweet” also co-credited to Edwards. Clive Edwards had been in Wild Horses together with Neil Carter, before he joined UFO in 1980. Edwards had also recorded with Rococo (1973-76), Pat Travers Band (1977), Neil Merryweather (1978), Uli Jon Roth’s Electric Sun (1979), John Cale (1980), Bernie Marsden’s SOS (1982) and Lionheart, a band formed in 1980 by former Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton. Edwards replaced Les Binks (ex-Judas Priest) in Lionheart, who himself replaced future Waysted drummer Frank Noon (ex-Def Leppard) when he left to join Edwards’ former band Wild Horses. Laurence Archer (ex-Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam) had also been a member of the NWOBHM band Stampede (1981-1983), which also featured Frank Noon. It’s all connected, man!
The future Deep Purple member Don Airey (ex-Cozy Powell’s Hammer, Colosseum II, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Jethro Tull, Whitesnake) played keyboards on the album while Terry Reid and Stevie Lange provided backing vocals. Lange had sung a duet with Brian Connolly on the Sweet song “Lettres D’Amour” before becoming lead singer with the group Night, formed in 1978 by Chris Thompson from Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.
In 1993, Pete Way and Phil Mogg re-united the “classic” 1976-78 lineup. Again working with producer Ron Nevison (of UFO’s albums from 1977-79), “Walk on Water” (1995) was the first UFO album since then to feature Michael Schenker, the first since 1983 with Andy Parker and the first since 1985 with Paul Raymond. “Walk On Water” was released on the heels of Michael Schenker’s first solo album, 1993’s “Thank You”, as opposed to releases by Scorpions (1969–1973, 1978–1979), UFO (1973-1978), Michael Schenker Group (1979-1986), McAuley Schenker Group (1986-1993) or Contraband (1991). Also featuring re-recordings of UFO classics, Mogg and Schenker co-wrote 7 of the 8 new compositions. Way was co-credited with Mogg for “Knock, Knock”.
Replacing Parker with AC/DC’s Simon Wright (ex-Dio, A II Z, Tytan) for a world tour, UFO again lost Schenker after only four shows into the tour. Schenker walked off stage mid-set in the very same city where their October 1978 tour had stopped.
Having agreed not to release another album as “UFO” without Michael Schenker, Pete Way and Phil Mogg instead went on and made two studio albums as “Mogg/Way”: “Edge of the World” (1997) and “Chocolate Box” (1999).
Bringing in guitarist George Bellas (who also released his solo debut in 1997), drummer Aynsley Dunbar, and keyboard player Matt Guillory (who also played with Bellas solo and on an album by John West the same year), the first Mogg/Way album featured four songs that Way co-wrote with Mogg: “Fortune Town”, “House Of Pain”, “It’s A Game” and “History Of Flames”. It also featured a re-recording of UFO classic “Mother Mary”.
A session musician since the 1960s, Aynsley Dunbar had played with Peter Green in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers before joining the Jeff Beck Group and forming the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, whose “Warning” was covered by Black Sabbath in 1970. Dunbar had since played with everyone from Frank Zappa and Journey to Jefferson Starship, David Bowie, Lou Reed and Whitesnake.
Featuring a different lineup, “Chocolate Box” included three songs co-credited to Pete Way: “Death In The Family” (w/ Mogg), “Too Close To The Sun” and “Sparkling Wine”. The two latter were co-written with Mogg and guitarist Jeff Kollman of the progressive rock trio Cosmosquad.
Best known for his work with Glenn Hughes and Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats, Kollman co-produced and co-wrote the rest of the album with Mogg. “Chocolate Box” also featured UFO’s Paul Raymond and Simon Wright.
Pete Way released his first solo album in the year 2000, “Amphetamine”, through Zoom Club Records. Zoom Club had also released archival live material by UFO and issued releases by the Paul Raymond Project. They’d soon release the previously unissued recordings by Paul Chapman’s Ghost and the year 2000 also saw them release two archival albums with Waysted. “You Won’t Get Out Alive” was recorded live in 1984 (when Pete Way and Finn Muir were joined by UFO’s Andy Parker and Paul Chapman) while “Wilderness Of Mirrors (The Save Your Prayers Sessions)” featured further recordings by the late 1980s line-up of Way, Chapman, DiTeodoro and Danny Vaughn.
Paul Chapman recorded new lead guitar parts for these latter demo recordings in 1999, including a cover of John Fogerty’s “Fortunate Son”, first released by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969.
Pete Way co-produced the eight songs he wrote for “Amphetamine”, on which he sang and played bass guitar. He was joined for the recordings in 1999 by guitarist Walt James (who’d release an album with The Walt James Band in 2003) and Scott Phillips, possibly another drummer than the musician in Creed and Alter Bridge? “Amphetamine” was later re-issued with three demo recordings added.
“Amphetamine” would be followed by two further solo albums on the Majestic Rock label: “Alive In Cleveland” (2003) and “Acoustic Animal” (2004). The former featured the “Amphetamine” line-up recorded live in 2002 while “Acoustic Animal” included ten songs recorded with guitarist Michael Christian. Pete Way himself sang and played guitar on “Acoustic Animal”, an album featuring several acoustic re-recordings of songs off “Amphetamine” (“American Kid”, “Fooled Again”, “Hand To Hold”, “That’s Tuff”, “Hangin’ Out”) and a cover of John Lennon’s 1970 classic “Working Class Hero”.
Michael Schenker had re-joined UFO (Way, Mogg, Raymond and Simon Wright, all also on the second Mogg/Way album) for a tour in 1998, as captured on “Werewolves of London” (1998) and “Live on Earth” (2003). Schenker returned to UFO in the year 2000 and went on to record two studio albums during his final stint with the band, having previously released two albums with a new “Michael Schenker Group” that initially featured Leif Sundin (ex-Great King Rat), Barry Sparks and Shane Gaalaas, the latter two having also played on Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Magnum Opus”.
“Covenant” (2000) and “Sharks” (2002) were both recorded by Way, Mogg, Schenker and Aynsley Dunbar, the drummer from the first Mogg/Way album. “Unraveled” and “Rise Again” off “Covenant” were credited to Way and Mogg, with Schenker/Mogg writing the remaining nine studio tracks. It also featured a second disc, “Live USA”, with Simon Wright (drums) and Paul Raymond on keyboards and additional guitar. “Sharks”, the final UFO album with Schenker, included three songs co-written by Mogg and Way: “Outlaw Man”, “Someone’s Gonna Have to Pay” and “Fighting Man”.
Before again resurrecting a “Michael Schenker Group”, Schenker (guitar) and Pete Way (bass, vocals) recorded a self-titled album as The Plot. Released in 2003 by Majestic Rock (the label who also issued Pete Way’s last two solo albums), “The Plot” also featured Jeff Martin (ex-Racer X, Badlands) who had played drums on a MSG album in 2001. Phil Mogg and Andy Parker had been asked to participate but tension was still fiery between the former UFO bandmates.
Schenker, Way and Jeff Martin also recorded the 2006 album “Tales of Rock’n’Roll” as Michael Schenker Group. Pete Way wasn’t credited for any of the songs but the music was supposedly composed for an intended UFO concept album. During the recording of the album, lyrics and vocals were contributed by every lead singer from MSG’s past incarnations: Jari Tiura, Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley, Kelly Keeling, Leif Sundin, and Chris Logan.
In late 2003, having regained the rights to the UFO name from Schenker, Paul Raymond was brought back by Way and Mogg. UFO also added the American guitarist Vinnie Moore. Emerging from the virtuoso boom in the eighties, Vinnie Moore had released his solo debut in 1986, “Mind’s Eye”, also featuring Tony MacAlpine (keyboards, later with Planet X and Steve Vai), Andy West (bass, ex-Dixie Dregs) and Tommy Aldridge (ex-Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers Band, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Ted Nugent) on drums. Vinnie Moore had also played on albums by Vicious Rumors (1985) and Alice Cooper (1991) before joining UFO.
Pete Way released two more albums with UFO before being replaced by Rob DeLuca (ex-Spread Eagle) in 2008, when Way was unable to get a U.S. work visa. “You Are Here” (2004) was recorded with Jason Bonham (ex-Airrace, Virginia Wolf, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, Little Steven, Bonham, Jason Bonham Band and Motherland, a band featuring Aerosmith collaborator Marti Frederiksen as lead vocalist), the son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, before founding UFO member Andy Parker returned (for the first time since “Walk On Water” in 1995) in 2005, playing drums on the last UFO album to feature Pete Way, “The Monkey Puzzle” from 2006.
“Give It Up” off “You Are Here” and the “Monkey Puzzle” tracks “Hard Being Me” and “Who’s Fooling Who?” had Pete Way co-credited with Vinnie Moore and Phil Mogg.
While still a member of UFO, Pete Way decided to also re-unite Waysted in 2003. Pete Way first got in contact with Paul Chapman, who by then worked as a guitar techer in Florida. Fin Muir was asked to join them in Chapman’s studio and Waysted were thus “Back From The Dead”. Released in 2004, the album supposedly doesn’t feature any recordings from the sessions with Chapman, however. Two UFO covers (“The Wild The Willing And The Innocent” and “No Place To Run”) released as bonus tracks in Japan do feature Chapman but the eight new compositions were recorded by Way and Muir along with guitarist Chris George and drummer Paul Haslin.
The album was co-produced and mixed by Robin George, a guitarist who has also collaborated with Uriah Heep’s David Byron, Magnum, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. Robin George and Pete Way would later form the band Damage Control.
“Back From The Dead” was followed by two Waysted live albums, “Boot From The Dead” (2005) and “Organized Chaos Live” (2006) before “The Harsh Reality” proved to be the final Waysted album in 2007. “The Harsh Reality” was recorded by the same line-up as “Back From The Dead” and included a cover of “Handbags And Gladrags”, a song written in 1967 by Manfred Mann vocalist Mike d’Abo. Rod Stewart recorded the song in 1969 for his album “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down”.
Following his final albums with UFO and Waysted, Pete Way formed a band called Damage Control.
“Damage Control” (2007) was recorded with guitarist Robin George (who’d co-produced the Waysted reunion album), AC/DC drummer Chris Slade (ex-Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Asia, The Firm, David Gilmour, Gary Moore, Uriah Heep) and Spike, The Quireboys’ vocalist Jonathan Gray.
The second and final Damage Control album, “Raw”, was released in 2009 and didn’t feature Spike. It was recorded as a trio with Pete Way and Robin George sharing lead vocals. “Raw” featured different versions of all songs off the first “Damage Control” album, except “C’mon Down”. It also contained three “new” songs, “Pray For You And Me”, “Spy” and “Slaughtered”.
Michael Schenker has kept coming up with new names for his projects. In 2011 he released “Temple of Rock”, the first in a series of albums credited to “Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock”. Pete Way played bass guitar along with his former UFO bandmate and keyboard player Wayne Findlay, who also appeared with Way on the Michael Schenker Group’s “Tales of Rock’n’Roll” in 2006.
“Temple of Rock” featured Mad Max vocalist Michael Voss (ex-Casanova, Demon Drive, Silver, Beggar’s Bride), former Scorpions (1977-1995) drummer Herman Rarebell and guests such as Doogie White (ex-Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force), Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions), Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars, ex-Carnage, Carcass), Leslie West (Mountain), Don Airey (Deep Purple), Paul Raymond (UFO), Chris Glen (The Sensational Alex Harvey Band), Neil Murray (ex-Colosseum II, Gilgamesh, National Health, Bruford, Gary Moore, Cozy Powell’s Hammer, Whitesnake, Phenomena, Forcefield, Black Sabbath, The Brian May Band, etc.), Carmine Appice (ex-Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Rod Stewart, King Kobra, Blue Murder, Ozzy Osbourne, Paul Stanley, Ted Nugent, etc.), Simon Phillips (ex-Toto, 801, Judas Priest, Asia, Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani, Jon Anderson, Jon Lord, Mike Oldfield, Gary Moore, Mike Rutherford, Tears for Fears, 10cc, The Who, etc.) and Chris Slade, Pete Way’s bandmate in Damage Control. Many of the guests had also previously played in MSG or some of Michael Schenker’s other bands.
Pete Way appeared on the tracks “Hanging On”, “Without You” (both also featuring Paul Raymond and Rudolf Schenker), “Fallen Angel”, “Miss Claustrophobia”, “Scene Of Crime”, “Saturday Night”, and “Lover’s Sinfony”, the latter with Robin McAuley rather than Michael Voss on vocals.
Wraith was a was a British hard rock band formed in 1987. Pete Way co-produced their 1992 album “Danger Calling” with Laurence Archer, the guitarist on UFO’s “High Stakes & Dangerous Men” from the same year. Wraith’s last album, “Revelation”, was released in 2017 and featured Pete Way playing bass guitar on the track “Under The Hammer”, a composition previously included on Wraith’s 1989 debut, “Naked Aggression”. Way also added “bass fills” to “Leaving Me Again”, a track featuring backing vocals by Tony Mills (1962-2019) of Shy and TNT.
Jenny Darren and The Ladykillers released an album called “Ladykiller” in 2017. Pete Way played bass on “Selfish”, a song written by Robin George and previously included on both Damage Control albums. George also played guitar (on “Selfish” and a cover of Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode To Billy Joe”) on the album which featured further appearances by Damage Control drummer Chris Slade (also on “Selfish”), Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain and former Saxon guitarist Graham Oliver.
The recordings also featured guitarist Clive Poole, younger brother of drummer Mac Poole who played in Warhorse, the band founded in 1970 by former Deep Purple bass player Nick Simper. “Ladykiller” was Jenny Darren’s comeback album, having previously released four albums in 1977-1980. Her initial claim to fame was that the Pat Benatar hit “Heartbreaker” was written for her.
While it appears the “Ladykiller” version of “Selfish” with Pete Way is not available for streaming, Robin George and Jenny Darren later re-recorded it for an album called “SavageSongS” in 2019.
Way formed the Pete Way Band in 2018, featuring guitarist Kamil Woj (replaced by Tym Scopes in 2019), Jason Poole (also a member of Waysted since 2007) and Clive Edwards (ex-UFO, 1991-1993). Laurence Archer (ex-UFO, 1991-1993) guested at some live shows during a UK tour last year. Sadly, there were no recordings of this band released before Pete Way’s death.
“Nikki Sixx [of Mötley Crüe] told me that I was his hero and how he used to watch me do this and that, and would copy me,” Way wrote in his autobiography, 2017’s “A Fast Ride Out of Here: Confessions of Rock’s Most Dangerous Man”. “It was an odd feeling for me, being viewed as a kind of elder statesman and also to see Nikki get up to pretty much all of the things that I had done what seemed almost a lifetime earlier with UFO. I really am talking about as much excess, women, booze and drugs as one can possibly imagine.”
“On tour, we wrote drugs off as medical expenses,” Way has been quoted as saying. “No one questioned it, until one month when we tried to claim 28,000 dollars in medical expenses. That’s when someone said: ‘Hang on, what’s all this?’”. “I remember one night a guy turned up with a suitcase full of coke. We didn’t think: ‘Right, we’ll have a bit of that now, save some for tomorrow and the rest of the week’, we just had it all. But we did it because we felt we deserved it. We made records that I was proud of, but what I’m most proud of are the shows we did.” “What you have to remember with the drugs and the booze is that it all started very gradually, very innocently. I didn’t start off as a heroin addict. I used to drink shandy when I was first in UFO.”
Recently prior to his death, Pete Way had worked on finishing a solo album, “Walking On The Edge”, together with producer Mike Clink. Clink produced “Appetite For Destruction” for Guns N’ Roses in 1987 but had begun his career as an engineer at Record Plant Studios, recording bands like UFO, Whitesnake, Triumph, Mötley Crüe, Heart, Megadeth, Metallica, and Sea Hags.
“I know that Pete would like everyone to know what he had been up to lately”, wrote Mike Clink. “Pete’s body of work has influenced musicians across the world, and I’ve spoken to many over the years including Nikki Sixx and Todd Kerns from Slash’s band. It’s no coincidence that both of them played a Gibson Thunderbird.”, “I didn’t know much about UFO, but as an assistant engineer I heard Lights Out being mixed from outside the door of Studio C at the Record Plant on 3rd Street. The melody and energy were undeniable, it Rocked! I met Pete and UFO on the album, Obsession. Before we started, Ron Nevison, the producer of the album gave me a heads up on everyone’s personality, so I would be aware of the band dynamics. Pete and Phil were constantly getting under the skin of Andy and Paul when they had the chance, but they kept their distance and jokes from Michael who didn’t seem to care much for their antics. Occasionally, I did see him crack a smile when the pranks were undeniably funny. Pete had an amazing sense of humor. He was constantly “winding you up,” and I was the recipient of his mischief on an ongoing basis. In those days I was working non-stop and before I knew it, Ron and I were in Chicago recording what would be the start of the Strangers in the Night album. That project has often been linked [with] me being chosen as the producer for the first Guns N’ Roses album. Megadeth, as well. Through the years Pete stayed in touch. I would be getting ready for dinner and the phone would ring with him on the other line telling me about a new song he’d written and how he wanted to start recording something with me. He never followed up, so I didn’t give it much thought.
In 2013 the phone calls became more frequent and more focused, so I had him send some of the demos he’d written and recorded. From the start, he wanted to mix them, but I didn’t feel they were ready or good enough. After the decision was made to work together, we’ve been re-recording almost everything. During that time, he wrote a few more great songs to boot. The record is comprised of songs that tell Pete’s story, warts and all. His humor and sarcasm is evident throughout and he doesn’t hold back on telling you how difficult it is to be a Rock Star. It’s HIS story, a story of excess and love. The lyrics are extremely personal, and he asked me many times if he should change them. He didn’t want his fans to perceive him as an addict or as a degenerate. On the song Narcotics, he talks about how hard it was to be in rehab, while his friends are enticing him with cocaine. I told him that it was important to let people understand who he was.”
“You may ask, what’s taking so long to record this record? Well, just as we started, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The treatments took a lot out of him and he was weak for a long time. I flew over to the UK to record the vocals and did as much as he was able to do. A few more trips to Europe and a few weeks after a stint recording in Germany, another setback, a heart attack. Lately, we’d been recording remotely with his writing partner Jason. I’m not sure what will happen with the recordings. The record will not be what you would expect from Pete, but I love it. He’s not a singer by trade but it’s Pete, and we did our best to make it great.
While the focus is usually on Pete’s excesses, he was a true gentleman, English proper as I would explain it. He was smart and well read. We would have many conversations about world history, politics and English football. Pete could have a conversation about almost anything. If you were in the same room with Pete, he would make sure you were comfortable and had everything you needed. He was special!”, “As bad as his recent injuries were, I held on to hope that he would pull through like he always did, but it wasn’t to be. I miss him with all my being, not as the amazing musician and performer he was, but as one of my best friends.”
Regarding an eventual release of “Walking On The Edge”, Mike Clink wrote that he “want to recognize Pete’s wife Jenny. She’s been by his side through it all, the good, and the bad, since we started the project. When the time is right, we’ll figure out how best to honor Pete’s legacy with integrity and release the recordings.”
Pete Way had also recorded bass guitar for “Misanthropy”, a Warfare song also featuring Fastway’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke. Warfare was a metal band from Newcastle active between 1982 and 1993. Founding member Paul “Evo” Evans (ex-Angelic Upstarts, Major Accident, The Blood) made a return to music in 2017 and the track is set to be released on a new Warfare album in February of 2021.
When asked what he hoped his legacy would be, Pete Way answered: “Well, I just love to play rock music, you know. I’m old now. I pretend I’m not old but you look back and you go, you can’t, sort of not count the years. I don’t know. I’ve had a unique opportunity to play with some very good people.”
Pete Way discography:
1970: UFO – UFO 1
1971: UFO – UFO 2: Flying
1972: UFO – UFO Live (live)
1974: UFO – Phenomenon
1975: UFO – Force It
1976: UFO – No Heavy Petting
1977: UFO – Lights Out
1978: UFO – Obsession
1979: UFO – Strangers In The Night (live)
1980: UFO – No Place to Run
1981: UFO – The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent
1982: UFO – Mechanix
1982: Cockney Rejects – The Wild Ones (producer)
1982: Twisted Sister – Under the Blade (producer)
1983: Waysted – Vices
1984: Waysted – Waysted (EP)
1985: Waysted – The Good The Bad The Waysted
1986: Waysted – Save Your Prayers
1992: Wraith – Danger Calling (co-producer)
1992: UFO – High Stakes & Dangerous Men
1992: UFO – Lights Out in Tokyo: Live (live)
1992: UFO – BBC Radio 1 – Live in Concert (live 1974-1980)
1995: UFO – Walk On Water
1996: UFO – On with the Action (live 1976)
1997: Mogg/Way – Edge of the World
1998: UFO – Werewolves of London (live)
1999: UFO – In Session and Live in Concert (live 1974-1977)
1999: Mogg/Way – Chocolate Box
2000: UFO – Live in Texas (live)
2000: Waysted – You Won’t Get Out Alive (live 1984)
2000: Waysted – Wilderness of Mirrors (The Save Your Prayers Sessions) (archival release)
2000: Pete Way – Amphetamine
2000: UFO – Covenant
2001: UFO – Regenerator – Live 1982 (live)
2002: UFO – Sharks
2002: Pete Way – Alive In Cleveland (live)
2003: UFO – Live on Earth (live 1998)
2003: The Plot – The Plot
2004: UFO – You Are Here
2004: Pete Way – Acoustic Animal
2004: Waysted – Back From The Dead
2005: Waysted – Boot From The Dead (live)
2005: UFO – Showtime (live)
2006: UFO – The Monkey Puzzle
2006: Michael Schenker Group – Tales of Rock’n’Roll
2006: Waysted – Organised Chaos (live)
2007: Waysted – The Harsh Reality
2007: Damage Control – Damage Control
2009: Damage Control – Raw
2011: Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock – Temple of Rock
2016: UFO – Live Sightings (live box set of early 80’s performances)
20??: Pete Way – Walking On The Edge (not yet released)