Memories Of UFO / Waysted Bassist Pete Way
Now that the tears have dried and I've processed the loss, it's time to give my thoughts on UFO/Waysted bassist Pete Way who passed away on August 14, 2020.
I first met Pete Way in 1982 when I was an intern at WBAB on Long Island, and he was a guest on Ralph Tortora's midday show. UFO was supporting Ozzy Osbourne at the Nassau Coliseum that night. Pete immediately recognized I was a big fan, signed my "Mechanix" album, and invited me to see him after the show so I can meet the rest of the band. Needless to say, I was gobsmacked! UFO was one of the first hard rock/metal bands I seriously followed. I loved the way they were able to combine heavy guitars, sweeping keyboards, and melody into memorable songs.
After their set, I wandered around backstage and ran into Bob Catley of Magnum who took me to a room where Pete was chatting with Lemmy from Motorhead. Pete excused himself and brought me into their dressing room to meet the rest of the band. Imagine, you are a massive UFO fan, and Pete Way is introducing you to frontman Phil Mogg. The guys whose poster was on my bedroom wall were standing right in front of me and I had their complete attention. One of my first experiences backstage was with a favorite band, and they were all incredibly nice.
Over the years, I interviewed Pete - as well as the other band members - many times and became a familiar face at their shows. In 2000, I was hired to handle their publicity for a few months, solely on the intent that I would be enthusiastic about the band to get them the most exposure possible. Pete already knew I was that short girl who came to many of his shows in the past, and I spoke to him several times a day. I must add that UFO was the easiest, most accommodating band I've ever worked for. They never complained about doing interviews or participating in online chats, and were dependable and personable with everyone they spoke to.
I was incredibly sad when fellow UFO members Paul Raymond and Paul Chapman passed away recently, but with Pete, it's a uncommon mourning. While a great musician with a unique personality has left the building, he took part of my heart and the passion of first discovering metal music with him. While his music will always be with me, it may take a while to listen to it without tearing up again.