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Rose Tattoo's Pete Wells Dies

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Christie Eliezer of Billboard.com reports: Pete Wells, slide guitarist and one of the founders of Australian power blues band Rose Tattoo, died in a Sydney hospital early yesterday morning (March 27). He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002 and had spent the last five weeks in the hospital. According to friends, he was due to turn 60 this year.

Wells emerged in 1966 playing bass in the Brisbane blues band Head. He moved to Sydney and joined heavy metal band Buffalo. The band's "Volcanic Rock" was the first Australian metal album to go gold; the act also scored an overseas deal with Vertigo.

In 1976 he switched to slide guitar, formed the seminal Rose Tattoo and went on to hire lead singer Angry Anderson. They became one of Australian's main street outlaw bands and found a loyal following in the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Wells' original concept for the band was for all the members to sport bright orange hair, tattoos, shaved eyebrows and black T-shirts and jeans.

Rose Tattoo's influence later became apparent on U.S. rock combos like Guns N' Roses, who covered its track "Nice Boys (Don't Play Rock'n'Roll)," Motley Crue and L.A. Guns.

Australian acts such as the Beasts of Bourbon, Paul Kelly and Tim Rogers staged benefit concerts for Wells in Sydney and Melbourne last September. A memorial service will be held Friday (March 31) in Sydney.

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5 Comments on "Rose Tattoo's Pete Wells Dies"

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Anonymous Reader
1. Rulin Kmadd writes:

that's pretty sad cancer is a biitch. My thoughts go out to him and his family.

# Mar 29, 2006 @ 5:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Jim Campbell writes:

A sad sad loss, Wells' use of the slide was awesome, his music lives on!!!!

# Mar 29, 2006 @ 9:12 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. Philip(Sydney,Australia) writes:

Australia's biker community long respected him as the rock'n'roll outlaw and local music fans worshipped him for producing some of the most blistering rock anthems made here.

But yesterday the gentle giant of rock was also celebrated as a loving husband and father and loyal and generous friend, reports Kathy McCabe.

The who's who of Australian rock joined Wells' wife Diane, family and dozens of fans to pay tribute to the guitarist who lost his battle with prostate cancer last Monday night.

Angry Anderson, Billy Thorpe, Jimmy Barnes and wife Jane, Diesel, Jon Stevens, Doc Neeson, members of the Choir Boys and the Radiators and many others who played beside Wells in Buffalo, Rose Tattoo or his myriad solo outfits, packed St Brendan's Church in Annandale for the quietly joyful celebration of a rich life.

Jazz tunes rather than the searing blues-based rock songs Wells played punctuated the moving eulogies delivered by his brother-in-law Greg Young, daughter Katrina Kennedy and former Buffalo bandmate and lifelong friend Dave Tice.

Tice, a stalwart of Sydney's blues scene, spoke of Wells' enormous generosity and sharp, dry wit.

"When I turned 50, a taxi driver appeared at my door and handed me a guitar case," Tice recalled yesterday.

"There was a shiny new red guitar. When I rang to thank him, he said, 'No worries, mate. It's about time you sharpened up your image.' "

# Apr 2, 2006 @ 4:20 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BLACKDOG's avatar


4. BLACKDOG writes:

This is really sad.Even more so because I never realized how influential they were to some of my favorite band's.I think I'll be giveing them a second look.

# Apr 2, 2006 @ 8:54 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. connie writes:

i liked it and i hope that you all can sent me some picture of some tattoo so i can think about what i want to get my e mail adderss is babygurltroxell@aol.com

# Apr 4, 2006 @ 11:44 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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