Master of Rhythm
Wizard of Drums

1970s and 80s - Glam Rock

Since the late 60's, Pete had been playing with Black Velvet, but in 1970, Agent Jeff Hanlon asked him to work in motown band “Elgins”, supporting UK-touring American bands; however this was relatively short lived as in 1971, now 20 years of age, Pete teamed up with the bass player from Elgins, and together they joined “Heaven”, who were signed to CBS Records, and managed by Ricky Farr.  They supported Jeff Beck on tour in the UK and Germany.  By now, he had bought his first proper Premier drum kit, a label he’s stuck with to the present day, but Pete was looking for more than Heaven could provide. Since the early days, along with The Sweet's Mick Tucker, Pete had been a big fan of Sandy Nelson's "Let There Be Drums" and now he needed to take that next step to develop and expand his repertoire. 

By coincidence, Jeff Hanlon was in the throes of putting together a band with two drummers, to back upcoming solo act Gary Glitter. Gary was shortly due to appear on Top of the Pops, and Pete was told to watch the show and start the next day; there was no time for rehearsal; he was thrown in at the deep end – it was 23rd June 1972. 

In 1973, at the suggestion of Mike Leander who was Gary’s manager/producer at the time, the backing band broke away from Gary to make some of their own music, and so in 1973 The Glitter Band was officially formed in its own right.  They spent some time in the Mayfair Studios, writing and recording songs, and were signed by Bell Records.  They released a number of top-20 singles and albums, appeared regularly on TV programmes Supersonic and Top Of The Pops; made a Film; often appeared as the pin-up in teen mags eg. Look In, Jackie and Mates; and toured extensively both in their own right and with Gary Glitter. And so at 22/23 Pete was living the high life indeed. (For more information about The Glitter Band, see the separate section).

During the next few years Pete continued to record with The Glitter Band but also did independent session work. In 1978 he joined "Ex-Directory" and then subsequently, pseudo-punk band, The Secret, following which, in June 1979, he was headhunted by, and subsequently joined disco-rock band, Random Hold based in South London. The band whilst playing mainly to colleges and universities were up and coming, having found favour with Sun journalist Nina Myskow who rated them as a dynamic band to be watched. The Band signed to Polydor Records, and were in the recording studio a great deal: in actual fact, not just any recording studio, but Startling Studios aka Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, built by Ringo Starr in the house previously owned by John Lennon.


During Pete's time with them, they released a single "Etceteraville" in October 1979, albums "The View From Here" in Feb 1980 (featuring opening eclectic track "Meat") and "Burn The Buildings"; 1980 demo "Passive Camera", and double album "Avalanche" in 1982. Subsequently they started regular appearances at The Marquee in Soho, London (where they were exhaulted by Paul Souter of Sounds), and even found time out of the recording studio to go on tour. One of those tours was the November/December 1979 12+date UK tour with XTC (Making Plans For Nigel) including a headlining appearance at the Camden Palace; and the other supporting Peter Gabriel on his 19 date, 4 week tour of the UK in February 1980, and again on his multi-date USA/Canada tour later in June of the same year, where they played prestigious venues in LA, Chicago, Boston, New York and Toronto.

During this time, Pete continued to record with his Glitter Band colleagues who were also branching out with solo identities, but he was on the road more often than he was at home!

Top of Page