Pete Willis’ birthday
Originally shared by Mario Solis
Peter Andrew „Pete” Willis (born 16 February 1960 in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England) is a retired British musician, best known as an original member of the band Def Leppard. He co-wrote many tracks and played guitar on the band’s first three albums: On Through the Night, High ‘n’ Dry, and Pyromania, which was being recorded at the time of his departure. He was fired from Def Leppard in 1982 and replaced by Phil Collen.
Willis attended Tapton School and was a guitar enthusiast since his youth. He was a fan of Jimi Hendrix.
In his early adult life, he formed a band called Atomic Mass with Nicholas Mackley, Rick Savage, Paul Hampshire, and Tony Kenning. He met Joe Elliott in 1977 and invited him to audition for the band, which later became Def Leppard. Willis was one of the main songwriters of the band during their first three albums.
He was dismissed from the band during the recording of Pyromania and was replaced by guitarist Phil Collen. He later recorded with the bands Gogmagog (with former and current members of Iron Maiden) and Roadhouse.
In February 2003, Willis was one of several past members who joined Def Leppard on-stage for a photograph during a concert at the Hallam FM Arena.
As of 2003, Willis left the music business. He now runs his own property management company in Sheffield.