UFO Bassist Pete Way Reminisces About FASTWAY, OZZY OSBOURNE
March 28, 2007, 15 years ago
Marko Syrjälä from Metal-Rules.com spoke to UFO bass legend Pete Way recently about a number of topics including his short stint with FASTWAY and OZZY OSBOURNE. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal-Rules.com: You started Fastway together with Fast Eddie Clarke (ex-MOTÖRHEAD), how did that come about?
Pete Way: "UFO toured so much and nobody was really getting on, it was... I wouldn't really say going downhill, but it was just one of those things, another hotel, another tour and there was a lot people talking about one another behind their back, so I decided I wasn't gonna do it. Actually it was the photographer Ross Halfin, he knew Twisted Sister and that they were playing clubs in New York and they liked UFO very much and he asked if I would produce their album ["Under the Blade" (1982)]. To say that I produced the album would be the wrong thing to say, because I was more like having a drink while watching them play. I had known [Fast] Eddie for a long time, obviously through Lemmy, and he got in touch and said if I'm not doing anything we should get a band together. So we searched for a singer and a drummer, we got Jerry Shirley because we liked early HUMBLE PIE and we got Dave King, he'd sent in a tape. It was just Eddie and I for about three or four months working to put the band together. At the same time I was working with TWISTED SISTER."
Metal-Rules.com: Fastway is actually playing a one off show at the Sweden Rock Festival, which you have also played at with UFO, next summer.
Pete Way: "Oh, is Dave King singing?"
Metal-Rules.com: No, it's a totally new lineup it seems.
Pete Way: "I don't think Dave would want to work with Eddie again plus he has his own band (FLOGGING MOLLY) that does well. I see him on and off, I like Dave. We were in fact planning to do a new Fastway album, myself and Dave and possibly Jerry. I did call Dave and ask him and he said he's doing a tour with Flogging Molly, so that makes it difficult. Then one thing leaded to another and I ended up doing more UFO. The funny thing with UFO is that for many years we'd work and then suddenly you've got a lot of time and you're not working."
Metal-Rules.com: Motörhead are playing at the SRF on the same day as Fastway as well...
Pete Way: "Oh wow, let me tell this... I've known Lemmy since Motörhead were playing for ten people and he told me 'I fucking hate you Pete.' and I said 'Why's that?' 'Because you made that cunt a star with Fastway!' he said. Seriously, Eddie walked out in New York [back in 1982] and that's why Lemmy won't have anything to do with him. Of course I'd left UFO, so we did that band [FASTWAY]. I get along fine with Eddie."
Metal-Rules.com: After the Fastway thing fell through, you then joined up with Ozzy Osbourne for a tour in Europe?
Pete Way: "I just did the English shows. But what happened when I started doing Fastway was that Chrysalis Records wanted to sign us, but CBS Records came out with a bigger offer and I said yes straight away. Chrysalis wanted it, but they didn't come out with a deal. I didn't know that on my contract with Chrysalis I was a key member to the band, so they were gonna sue CBS and me, so I couldn't play with Fastway unless Fastway had signed with Chrysalis. So Chrysalis said they'd give me my own record deal if I stayed with them and I said to Eddie and the management that I'm not going to hold everything up because of the legal things. I worked on all the songs, I was actually a co-writer of all those songs, I did all the rehearsals, but it was easier for them to bring a bass player in so that they can tour. Of course the album was successful. Then Ozzy called me, I'm friends with Ozzy but haven't seen him for a while, he called up and said "Look, we need a bass player, you're not doing anything, what about coming on tour with me, I'll pay you very well?". It was Sharon of course who organized the deal and I did about ten shows with them. I can't say they were my best performances, because I find his music... I wouldn't say difficult to play, but I didn't have much rehearsal time and I have a way of playing and it wasn't really suited to my style. But that's why WAYSTED played with Ozzy in America and I think in a few other places too. Sharon said 'You helped us out, so Waysted can do the Ozzy tour in America.' And of course he was really big there and I was a friend of his, so I was actually traveling with Ozzy on my own, you know, me and Ozzy just having a drink together."
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