Iconic bass player Pete Way, founder of UFO, WAYSTED and, more recently, THE PETE WAY BAND, has died at the age of 69. He sustained life-threatening injuries in an accident two months ago but fought hard until finally succumbing to those injuries at 11.35 a.m. BST today (Friday, August 14). His wife, Jenny, was at his side.
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 catalog of enduring rock classics upon which UFO's reputation and legacy were founded. Pete's post-UFO work included collaborating with "Fast" Eddie Clarke from MOTÖRHEAD — the two putting together FASTWAY with HUMBLE PIE drummer Jerry Shirley — and playing bass for his longtime friend Ozzy Osbourne. He then put together his own band WAYSTED. Pete's keen ear for song arrangements have also seen him serve as producer for popular hard rock acts such as TWISTED SISTER and the COCKNEY REJECTS.
Pete had recently finished a solo album, "Walking On The Edge", with producer Mike Clink (GUNS N' ROSES' "Appetite For Destruction", among many more). He had a biography published, "A Fast Ride Out Of Here", in 2017, and an album, "Amphetamine", which is currently out on Cargo Records.
Way had dealt with a number of health issues in recent years. In 2016, he suffered a heart attack, two years after he was given the all-clear following a battle with prostate cancer with which he was diagnosed in 2013. Way was diagnosed during a routine check on his liver, which had been damaged over the years through hepatitis. The abdominal scan picked up the tumor on his prostate.
In a 2016 interview with Classic Rock, Way admitted that he "shoved half of South America" up his nose for the best part of three decades.
"I only have myself to blame," he said. "I put my heart under a lot of strain. I know that."
Still, Way said that he wouldn't go back and alter anything about his experiences.
"Look, I have no regrets," he said. "I can't have any regrets. I've had a brilliant life. I wouldn't want to change a thing."
Pete is survived by two daughters, Zowie and Charlotte, and his younger brother, Neill.