August 14, 2020: Pete Way, UFO Founding Bassist, Dies

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Photo of Pete Way via his Facebook page

Pete Way, the founding bass guitarist for the English rock band UFO died August 14, 2020, from injuries he sustained in an accident. His death at 69 came just two months after the band’s former guitarist, Paul Chapman, passed on June 9. The news of Way’s passing was announced on his official Facebook page.

The musician was also the founder of Waysted (with Chapman, among others) and later, the Pete Way Band.

Way, was born August 7, 1951, in Middlesex, U.K. He, vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist Mick Bolton, and drummer Andy Parker formed UFO in 1969. Originally known as Hocus Pocus, the group, which took their name in honor of a London club, debuted in 1971 with UFO 1. Both the album and its follow-up found success in Japan, France, and Germany, but went barely noticed in the band’s native country.

From the Aug. 14 announcement: Pete Way was a much loved and highly regarded figure among rock fans, critics and fellow musicians alike. Best known for his work with UFO, Pete’s energetic live performances were at the heart of the band’s countless world tours. His melodic bass lines underpinned the catalogue of enduring rock classics upon which UFO’s reputation and legacy were founded.

UFO shared the news of Way’s passing, writing, “The news none of us ever wanted to hear. R.I.P. Pete.”

Way left UFO in 1982, returned briefly in the late ’80s and then once again for a sustained period, from 1992 to 2008.

His work in between included collaborating with “Fast” Eddie Clarke from Motörhead – the two putting together Fastway with Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley and bassist for his long time friend, Ozzy Osbourne. He then put together his own band Waysted. Way served as producer for hard rock acts such as Twisted Sister and the Cockney Rejects.

Listen to Waysted’s cover of a Jefferson Airplane favorite

Osbourne wrote, “Such sad news about Pete Way. Haven’t seen him for years but will always have great memories & such unbelievable stories of what we’d get up to. Rest in Peace. Love & Respect to his Family, Friends and Fans.”

Way had recently finished a solo album, Walking on the Edge, with producer Mike Clink (Guns ‘N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction amongst many more). He had a biography published A Fast Ride Out Of Here in 2017 and an album Amphetamine.

He was survived by his wife, Jenny, two daughters, Zowie and Charlotte and his younger brother, Neill.

Related: Our obituary for UFO’s Paul Chapman

Best Classic Bands Staff

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