Peter Wells (guitarist)

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Peter William "Pete" Wells[1] (31 December 1946 – 27 March 2006) was the founder and slide guitarist in Australian hard rock band Rose Tattoo. Wells was previously bassist with the pioneering Sydney-based heavy metal outfit Buffalo in the 1970s.

In 1976, Wells formed Rose Tattoo with former Buster Brown vocalist Angry Anderson, guitarist Mick Cocks, bassist Ian Rilen and drummer Dallas Royal. The band's hard rock style soon developed a strong following in Sydney leading to Albert Productions offering them a record contract. Their single "Bad Boy for Love" became a hit and their self-titled debut album established their reputation with production by George Young and Harry Vanda formerly of The Easybeats. Rilen left the band to be replaced by former Buster Brown bassist Geordie Leech.[2]

After the release of their second album Assault and Battery, Rose Tattoo embarked on an international tour. They were the loudest band to play at the Marquee Club, London since Led Zeppelin. After the release of their third album Scarred for Life, the band supported Aerosmith and ZZ Top on US tours.[2]

Wells left the band in 1983 with Royal and Robin Riley who had replaced Cocks in 1982. After Wells left Rose Tattoo, he fronted The Pete Wells Band. He also worked on side projects to his credit, such as the Lucy DeSoto Band, Rocks Push with Rob Grosser and Chris Turner, and Hillbilly Moon with Paul Norton and Cletis Carr. Rose Tattoo reformed briefly in 1993 to support Guns N' Roses on an Australian tour.[2]

In 2002, Wells was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Australian musicians played benefit gigs for him in 2005 including Rose Tattoo, Peter Garrett, The Beasts of Bourbon, Tex, Don and Charlie, Paul Kelly and Tim Rogers and the Temperance Union. Wells died aged 59, on 27 March 2006, from the disease which had spread to other parts of his body.[3] His daughter, Katrina spoke at his eulogy at St Brendan's Church in Annandale with his funeral attended by fellow band members and musicians.[3] His band, Rose Tattoo, was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame on 16 August.[4]



Rose Tattoo

Scattered Aces

  • Six Pack (1984)

Hillbilly Moon

  • Volume One (1994)

Romeo Dog

  • Romeo Dog (1996)

Pete Wells/Angry Anderson & the Damn Fine Band

  • Pete Wells/Angry Anderson & the Damn Fine Band (2001)

Rocks Push

  • Three Good Reasons For The Blues (2003)

Blues Hangover

  • Blues Hangover (1995)
  • Roadrunner (1996)
  • Greetings From the Aloha Monkey (2006)

Lucy De Soto

  • Three Girls And A Sailor (1985)
  • Help Me Rhonda, My Boyfriends Back (1986)
  • Take This Veil (1999)
  • Lucy De Soto and The Handsome Devils (2004)
  • Low Down And Traveling (2004)
  • Whiskey Dance (2004)

Peter Wells

  • Everything You Like Tries To Kill You (1990)
  • The Meaning Of Life (1992)
  • No Hard Feelings (1993)
  • Orphans (1994)
  • Solo (2002)
  • Mothers Worry (2005)
  • Bodgie Dada (2008)

Pete Wells Band

  • Go Ahead Call The Cops (1996)
  • Its All Fun & Games 'til Somebody Gets Hurt (1999)
  • Hateball (2000)



  1. ^ "The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)". ASCAP. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Rose Tattoo". All Music. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  3. ^ a b Australian Associated Press (AAP) (31 March 2006). "Pete Wells remembered as loyal mate". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Fantin, Viv (12 August 2006). "Stars Line Up for ARIA Hall of Fame" (Portable Document Format (PDF)). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Death of man with fiery guitar". The Sydney Morning Herald. 29 March 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  6. ^ "Rose Tattoo guitarist dies". The Herald Sun. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  7. ^ "Rose Tattoo guitarist dies". The Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-24.