Pete Way, who co-founded the influential hard/prog rock band UFO in 1968 and also formed Fastway with Motorhead's "Fast" Eddie Clarke and toured as Ozzy Osbourne's bassist in the '80s, has passed away on Friday (8/14) at age 69. The news broke on his official Facebook page, which reads, "He sustained life threatening injuries in an accident two months ago but fought hard until finally succumbing to those injuries at 11.35am BST today. His wife, Jenny, was at his side." He is survived by two daughters, Zowie and Charlotte, and his younger brother, Neill.
Way also worked as a producer for Twisted Sister, Cockney Rejects, and others, and he led the band Waysted, which included former UFO member Paul "Tonka" Chapman, who passed away earlier this year.
In 2017, Way published the autobiography A Fast Ride Out Of Here, and you can read an excerpt from the book of him reflecting on his time with Ozzy Osbourne at Classic Rock.
Ozzy was among the many musicians to pay tribute. He 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."
UFO also posted, "The news none of us ever wanted to hear. R.I.P. Pete."
In more recent years, Pete played bass for former Scorpions and UFO member Michael Schenker, who wrote, "Oh my Dear Pete. I am so sad. Your sweet existence has left us. I am in tears. You were more than you maybe knew. You were loved by everyone I know. I love you Pete. God Bless You Forever. My condolences to your loved ones. From the depth of my heart. Fly away and enjoy Heaven."
Iron Maiden, who have opened their shows with UFO's "Doctor Doctor" playing over the PA for years, wrote, "A terribly sad week has just been made worse by the news about Pete Way. As all Maiden fans know, Pete was a massive influence on Steve and also a great friend to the whole band. We’re all deeply saddened by his passing."
Metallica's Kirk Hammett wrote, "Pete Way was a huge influence on me, he was uncompromising musically, and he was a great performer. He had a unique feel and wrote some of my all time fave songs. My heart goes out to all his friends and family. PETE WAY R.I.P.!"
Rush's Geddy Lee wrote in part, "Sad to read today about the passing of Pete Way... I have so many fond and hilarious memories of touring with Pete and UFO back in the late '70s... A true rock and roll character... always "takin' the piss" as they would say in his homeland."
Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler wrote, "This year keeps getting worse. Pete Way, one of the “characters” of metal and fellow @AVFCOfficial supporter has passed. He supported Deadland Ritual on the show in London. Very funny man. RIP Pete."
Glenn Hughes (of Deep Purple, Trapeze, Black Sabbath, and more) wrote, "Deeply saddened that my friend Pete Way has passed. A kind, sensitive & beautiful soul. Rest easy brother."
Tom Morello wrote, "Rest In Peace Pete Way. Great bassist and great rocker from the great band UFO."
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, who also has a UFO tribute band called Flight to Mars, said, "Sad to hear one of my favorite bass players, Pete Way from UFO died today. UFOs live album “Strangers in The Night” is one of the best and I’m grateful that record helped me grow up in music and as a guitar player. Flight to Mars, my UFO tribute band, has played over 17 years raising money and awareness for Camp Oasis for kids with #CrohnsAndColitis. Stone and I have had many conversations over the years of our love for UFO. Pete was essential and will be missed."
Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx wrote, "RIP Rockstar. One of my main influences. [...] It is with the greatest of sadness I post this. Of all the people I’ve known and toured with, in his day Pete was the most fun and he remained a good friend. ‘Light’s Out In London’ really says it all."
See below for more tributes from Slash, David Ellefson (Megadeth), Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Frank Bello (Anthrax), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Saxon, Cheap Trick, Raven, Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs), Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction), Mike Portnoy, Zakk Wylde, and more...