Master of Rhythm
Wizard of Drums

Quotes n Stuff

In Pete's Own Words:

"The colour came into my world when I heard “She Loves You” – the voices, the harmonies, the atmosphere – it was amazing; still is.  Everything changed at that point."

"I don’t do lead singing when I’m on stage; I love singing harmonies; I wouldn’t be a singing drummer – that wouldn’t appeal to me at all."

"I love setting my drum kit up, because I know what’s coming – I still don’t like breaking them down."

"I’ve always been able to tune drums easily, you just use your ear, and listen to the other players and to the song; the weaving between players and interlocking with the other instruments."

" When the red recording light goes on, I put every ounce of focus into it, and I cut out every other thought - I get a dose of adrenaline and I feel like I’m flying.  It’s amazing – it’s the best feeling in the world.  But it’s pretty crappy afterwards – coming down.  After recording I’m one of those people that hates to hear what they’ve just done, because I beat myself up – “Oh, no, I shouldn’t have done THAT!  That should be different”.  I can’t be objective, so it’s painful for me to listen to it.  When it’s finished I don’t want to hear it until quite some time has passed. And you just want your next hit.  Once I’ve done an album, I’m exhausted as I’ve used up all my adrenaline."

"I’m a bit of a perfectionist – when a project is finished, I then get better ideas."

"Your intuition and imagination when you’re playing – I use that a lot.  It’s almost like acting – taking on a role and putting that into your performance."

"In a live situation, you’re externalising – there’s an audience; there are the other band members, the atmosphere and your interactions.  You can’t internalise when you’re on stage, otherwise no-one would be interested in it.  But in the studio all you have is what’s in your head – it’s not even what you’re playing; you're hearing it; it’s what’s happening as you’re doing it – it’s all mixed in your brain; so it’s an amazing internal experience."

"I just love tom rolls – I think it’s the most exciting and interesting part of drumming – making up drum rolls.  You can make a regular drum roll sound different just through the emotion you put into it – it’s making the usual look unusual – you can’t write it down, you can’t teach it, you can’t learn it  – you’re just born with it and it just pops out – and it’s great when they do."

"Sometimes when you hit a groove you just want to keep playing."

Pete in drum warm-up mode

Pete and John in the Studio

In the Words of Others:


Jeff Hanlon: "Pete Phipps is a monster drummer."


Jeff Hanlon on offering Pete the post of primary drummer with the newly formed Glitter Band: "Watch Top of the Pops tomorrow; you start the day after ..... there's no time for rehearsal, you've just got to do it."

Fan feedback:

1. "At the back,Pete looked tanned and fit and nowhere near 50! (how does he do that!?), in the perfect drummers T-shirt bearing the appropriate legend "Hammered"!!"

2. "A drumsolo from Pete in Rock On had the crowd whooping and calling for more".

3. "During a break in Touch Me, Pete was encouraged to venture out from his sanctuary behind his drum kit to the bright lights at the front of the stage - and the crowd went WILD, much to the amusement (and evident satisfaction - does he know how much respect he has?) of the rest of the Band".

4. "A cracking drum solo from Pete in the 3rd number had the audience cheering fit to burst


Chris Welch (Musicians Only) in 1979: “Pete Phipps, with pop star looks ..... his muscular drive and metronomic beat is perfect (for the Band). The unswerving drum-machine beat produces a maniacial, almost teutonic thunder ..... a solid slog flesh and blood machine."

By the Band: "Pete gave the band thunderous impetus.  A precise yet constantly imaginative drummer, he relentlessly drove the music forward to an awesome climax".

Crit of the Album "The View From Here" by Graham Lock (NME) on 15th March 1980: "Pete Phipps - flaying the drums like a manic carpet beater."


Chris Twomey: "One name immediately suggested (to join the Band) was Pete Phipps, a session drummer of some note ..... they thought Phipps was a good drummer - besides he was a member of The Glitter Band, so he had to be alright!"

Andy Partridge: “Pete Phipps was a very different sort of drummer .. he was light and deft of touch; he brought a jazzy edge to the music which was very exciting and suited a lot of material”.

Dave Gregory in an interview with Limelight Magzine in 1984: “... it was a case of bringing somone in who could play the drum parts we wanted for the songs. Pete took to them like a duck to water ..... we wanted more precise "pin pricks" of drums, and it was great when Pete came up with a jazzy 12/8 feel with the brushes ..... something that just wouldn't have occurred to try before".

Andy Partridge in an interview with Limelight Magazine: "he's not adverse to trying out strange suggestions or rattling bits of chain or playing along with a drum box, something many other drummers would baulk at. One track involved a variety of metal objects, including a biscuit tin gaffer taped to the drum kit to achieve a special sound".

Dave Gregory in an interview with International Musician and Recording World sums up Pete at his best: "Pete is a musician, and as such he approaches his drums in a musical way rather than a mechanical one”.

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