Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Fast ride out of Here by Pete Way and Paul Reis (Constable Books)

UFO is one of my favorite 70s bands and I have seen them quite a few times, the first time in 1981 when Iron Maiden opened for them (last US show with Paul Dianno) at the Long Beach Arena. UFO was all living in LA at this time and was quite a big band in the USA. This was about their peak actually.  I learned quite a lot. I had no idea that UFO was such alcoholic and drug abusers. Wow..  IT seems that they were very controlled though and until the early 80s, never played bad shows as they were able to do most of their drugs after the shows and not drink too much but Phil spiralled out of control in the early 80s and was drunk on stage and it all went downhill from there.  By 1986 they were playing small clubs. I did an interview with Phil in 1986 and he was in bad shape the show was even cancelled that night. Anyway, I never really knew why Michael left but it seemed mostly to do with that the band had become to big. He and Pete had a great chemistry and he loved playing in UFO but it all just got to big for him and he was quite alone in the group, and still did not speak a lot of English it seems even by the late 70s, isolating him further.  He and Pete have stayed friends, it was mostly the riff between Michael and Phil that destroyed UFO.

            This is a pretty interesting book starting at the very beginning of UFO and running up through 1982, when Pete left to start Fastway with Fast Eddie Clarke (only to leave without saying anything). The fact that this band did not materialize with him is a big regret he has.  He also speaks about touring with Ozzy. He and Ozzy got into quite some trouble at times. He goes into his time with Waysted as well, which was his last chance to create a big band with backing from a major label, before it all went really down hill. He talks about all his music projects up until the present with his new album, Walking on the Edge.  I was not aware of his first solo album Amphetamine. I also did not know he made an LP with Michael Schenker under the name, the Plot! 

Pete is pretty open about all of his wives and relationships. I had no idea he had lived on and off in Copenhagen for 12 years when he had a Danish wife (who later died of a broken heart, drug and alcohol abuse).  Then lived in Columbus Ohio for many years until his wife died of a drug overdose.  At the end of the book he is on his 6th wife, beaten prostate cancer and made a new record and really wants to get back on the road after beating herion and cancer and not drinking until he is drunk anymore. What a tough and crazy life. You can hear a sampler of one track from the new record below, which features Slash. 

If I wanted one more thing about the book, it would have been more details about the making of the UFO records, but I guess he did not remember more details. Fun book to read.


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