“The Original Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw”
The 27th March this year saw one of the biggest afternoons in Sando history, with Lucy Desoto and the Handsome Devils playing a gig as a tribute for Pete Wells, celebrating his life and music. With the downstairs bar packed from front to back by 4pm, and staying that way well into the evening, the memories- and the beer- were definitely flowing. Following the show, I spoke to Lucy to get a wrap up of the afternoon/evening and the coming together of music legends to celebrate the man who is Pete Wells.
“The band just came together after a few phone calls one afternoon at the end of January 2011. We all wanted to play, and I knew some of the repertoire we did regularly with the Pete Wells Band was due to be heard again – stuff that we hadn’t played since Pete died 5 years ago”. Following this afternoon of phonecalls, Mick Arnold -who in to play Pete’s slide parts-and Dean Bakota –who came in to replace Steve “Auby” Auburn (who lives in Darwin, but still managed to make it down to the Sando!)- joined ex Pete Wells band members Steve “Kingy” King,- on bass- Pete “Snaggy” Massi,- on Guitar- and of course, Lucy on Vocals and Keys to get something together in remembrance of Pete on the 5 year anniversary of his passing.
Lucy describes this combination as a “spooky meant-to-be thing”; something that felt great even as it was just coming together. Continuing, she explains “We did a few gigs before the show at the Sando, and it was rockin’ from the moment we started to play. Just one of those lucky coincidences – the right people in the right place at the right time.”
The invites went far and wide, and practically everyone who has ever met anyone who ever met Pete was invited. And by the looks of the room on the Sunday, at least half of them showed up. Even Lucy’s 83 year old mother showed up to celebrate. Clearly Pete had a massive influence in the lives of many people- both personally and musically- you only needed to have one conversation, with one person in the room, to feel his influence.
The set began wit Aiz Lynch from Candy Harlots singing a few songs from the Pete Wells Bands, with Aubrey on Drums. Then the venerable Steve Mulry stepped up for a couple of Rose Tattoo tunes, with Anthony Atlas playing guitar on Rock ‘ n Roll Outlaw. Magic Mick Arnold was there playing slide guitar with the band all afternoon and his “flame-haired partner” Rene stepped up to the microphone to belt out a few tunes. Pete’s old mate & partner in crime Chris Turner turned up and played guitar on Bad Boy for Love with us and then, the closed the show with “my [Lucy’s] favourite song Between the Saddle and the Ground”, which Lucy wrote with Pete in 1990. Lucy then invited Chris turner back up to encore with a song he wrote called Have a Nice Day, Get Fucked to satisfy the unruly mob of a crowd!
Lucy finishes by saying “It was a fantastic, joyful and unforgettable afternoon! As far as I could tell, everyone was there to Rock n Roll – which we did – and all because Pete Wells was there in our hearts. May He Rest in Peace!!”