Pete Way was one of those rockers who seemed to be indestructible, if not immortal, but the survivor of substance abuse, cancer and heart attack – a regular roll call for any rock veteran – died on August 14th at the age of 69 as a result of a recent accident. A fantastic bass player, he found fame and fortune as part of UFO, co-penning many of the British group’s classics – such as “Only You Can Rock Me” – with singer Phil Mogg and other band members and more often than not being a focal point of their stage action.
There also were FASTWAY and WAYSTED, two heavier projects whose names partially bore Pete’s, and MOGG/WAY; there were stints with Ozzy and Michael Schenker, and more hooliganism with DAMAGE CONTROL where Way had fun in the company of Robin George and Chris Slade. For all their variety, it was Pete Way’s bass that anchored all those entertaining enterprises, and his music, of course.
As Mogg told me once, “Pete’s stuff is a cut between American rock ‘n’ roll and the English music. The stuff that he comes up with and stuff that I come up with: put them together, and we have UFO. We’ve tried, we had other combinations, with different players, but it’s never quite been the same.” And it never will now that Way won’t be able to return to the group one more time, having followed former colleagues Paul Raymond and Paul Chapman into eternity.
We promised each other we’d have an interview one day, and that won’t happen either. Sleep well, dear friend.