Pete Way

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Pete Way
Way in 1982
Way in 1982
Background information
Birth namePeter Frederick Way
Born(1950-08-07)7 August 1950
Enfield, Middlesex, England
Died14 August 2020(2020-08-14) (aged 70)
GenresHard rock, heavy metal
Years active1969–2020
Formerly of

Peter Frederick Way (7 August 1950 – 14 August 2020)[1][2][3] was an English bassist. He was the co-founder and original bassist of the rock band UFO from 1968 to 1982; he briefly rejoined the band in 1988–1989 and full-time from 1991 to 2008.[4][5] He was also a founding member of Waysted and Fastway and notably played with Michael Schenker Group and Ozzy Osbourne.


Pete Way grew up in Enfield, London. He started playing bass guitar in bands with friends from high school. He and guitarist Mick Bolton became friends and they and a drummer formed their first serious band, The Boyfriends. After high school, Way left home at 17 and worked at a maritime insurance company and as a civil servant in the Ministry of Defence.[6]

The band eventually added singer Phil Mogg to the line-up and changed the band's name to Hocus Pocus. After the drummer had a nervous breakdown resulting from drug abuse, he was replaced by Andy Parker. They subsequently changed the band's name again, becoming UFO.[7] After two studio albums with original guitarist Bolton, the band recruited the guitar wunderkind Michael Schenker from Scorpions. Later the band signed on guitarist/keyboardist and long-time friend Paul Raymond. Paul 'Tonka' Chapman replaced Schenker in the early 1980s. The group released many albums and singles and had two UK top 40 hits.[8]

Disliking the more commercially accessible direction UFO were taking in the early 1980s, Way jumped ship to form Fastway with former Motörhead guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke. Pete was unable to extricate himself from a contract he signed with Chrysalis and stepped down to play bass for Ozzy Osbourne during the Diary of a Madman tour.[9]

In 1982, Way formed the punningly titled Waysted with Fin Muir, Paul Raymond, Frank Noon and Ronnie Kayfield. Their debut album Vices was released in 1982 and reached #78 in the UK chart. The band's third album, Save your Prayers, where Muir was replaced by Tyketto vocalist Danny Vaughn (Daniel T. Himler) was their most successful in America where it reached #185.[10]

After briefly rejoining the band during the 1988–1989 period, Way joined Phil Mogg in the reformed UFO in 1991 and recorded six more albums with the band within the next seventeen years: High Stakes & Dangerous Men (1992), Walk on Water (1995), Covenant (2000), Sharks (2002), You Are Here (2004) and The Monkey Puzzle (2006). Health issues forced him to leave the band once again in 2008.[4][5]


Way in 2007

Way released two albums under the Damage Control banner, the first album Damage Control was recorded with Robin George, Spike and Chris Slade; the second was recorded as a trio with Robin and Pete sharing lead vocals.[11]

More recently in 2018 Pete formed the Pete Way Band along with guitarist Kamil Woj ( in 2019 replaced by Tym Scopes),Jason Poole (Waysted), Clive Edwards (UFO) and with Laurence Archer (UFO) guesting on some live shows when they toured the UK last year.

Pete also recorded a guest bass on a Warfare song along with Evo and Fast Eddie Clarke titled "Misanthropy", which will be released in 2021 on Cherry Red Records (this will be the very 1st time Eddie and Pete will have played together commercially)


During UFO's 1970s heyday, he used a Fender Precision bass, which along with his trademark striped trousers largely influenced the stage appearance of Steve Harris.[citation needed]

Way switched to Gibson Thunderbird basses, which are renowned for the hard edged rock tone; however, he recently commented that he has been using an Epiphone Thunderbird as he found it seemed to have a fatter tone.[citation needed] He has also been known to use basses by Ibanez, most notably a pink Ibanez Iceman bass, and the Washburn B-20 for which he was pictured in an advertising campaign. His image was also used in an ad campaign by Artex basses.[12]


In 2017, he released his autobiography, with the aid of professional writer Paul Rees, called A Fast Ride Out of Here: Confessions of Rock's Most Dangerous Man. In 2020, rock photographer Ross Halfin released a 320 page hardback book of his work with Pete Way called: Pete Way: by Ross Halfin.[2]


Way died on 14 August 2020, one week after his 70th birthday,[13] following life-threatening injuries he had sustained in an accident two months earlier.[4][5][13] Before that, Way had been undergoing treatment for prostate cancer in 2013 and suffering a heart attack in 2016.

He is survived by his wife Jenny, eldest son David, two daughters Zowie and Charlotte and younger brother Neill.[14] Way had been married six times during his life, with four ending in divorces.[15] Wife number four, Dr. Joanna Demas-Way, the first doctor to pose for Playboy magazine, died of a multiple drug overdose while he was on tour in December of 2000.[16]

Way died just ten weeks after his former UFO bandmate and guitarist Paul Chapman,[17] and one year after keyboardist Paul Raymond,[18] leaving vocalist Phil Mogg and drummer Andy Parker as the only surviving members of the No Place to Run lineup.



  1. ^ Lewry, Fraser (15 August 2020). "Former UFO bassist Pete Way dead at 69". loudersound. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Home". Petewayofficial. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Farewell to Pete Way, the debauched bassist with a frontman's swagger". The Guardian. 17 August 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Ozzy Osbourne leads tributes to UFO bassist Pete Way who has died". NME. 15 August 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "R.I.P. Pete Way, Founding UFO Bassist Dies at 70". Consequence of Sound. 14 August 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  6. ^ Way, Pete; Rees, Paul (11 May 2017). A Fast Ride Out of Here: Confessions of Rock's Most Dangerous Man (Illustrated ed.). Constable.
  7. ^ Way, Pete; Rees, Paul (2017). A Fast Ride Out of Here: Confessions of Rock's Most Dangerous Man.
  8. ^ "Official Charts Company – UFO". Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  10. ^ "WAYSTED – SAVE YOUR PRAYERS (RELEASE YEAR – 1986)". Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  11. ^ "PROGRESSOR". Retrieved 1 June 2008.
  12. ^ "Pete Way profile". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Legendary UFO Bassist PETE WAY Dead At 70". 14 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  14. ^ "UFO Bassist Pete Way Dead at 70". Ultimate Classic Rock. 14 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  15. ^ "A Fast Ride Out of Here – Pete Way • Paul Rees – Bok | Akademibokhandeln". Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  16. ^ Lingpublished, Dave (29 October 2020). "Pete Way: the life and times of the ultimate badass bassist". loudersound. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Former UFO Guitarist PAUL CHAPMAN Dead At 66". 9 June 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  18. ^ "UFO Keyboardist/Guitarist PAUL RAYMOND Dead At 73". 13 April 2019. Retrieved 14 August 2020.

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