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Pete Willis
Birth namePeter Andrew Willis
Born (1960-02-16) 16 February 1960 (age 64)
Sheffield, England
Origin London, England
Genres Heavy metal, hard rock
Formerly of Def Leppard, Gogmagog, Roadhouse

Peter Andrew Willis (born 16 February 1960) is an English guitarist, best known as a founder member of the hard rock band Def Leppard. He was with Def Leppard from 1977 to 1982, when he was fired from the band and replaced by Phil Collen due to drinking problems. [1]


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. [2]

He was dismissed from the band on 11 July 1982, during the recording of Pyromania, due to excessive drinking that hampered his guitar playing, [3] and was replaced by guitarist Phil Collen the next day. Willis later recorded with the bands Gogmagog (with former and current members of Iron Maiden) and Roadhouse. Willis played Hamer Standard guitars almost exclusively during his tenure with Def Leppard. [4]

In 2019, Willis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Def Leppard. [5] He did not attend the induction ceremony, however. [6]

Personal life

Willis married Lindsay Smith in 1985, and had two sons: Luke and Andrew. The family resides in Crookes, Sheffield. [7] [8] Willis left the music business. He now runs his own property management company in Sheffield. [9]


With Def Leppard

With Gogmagog

With Roadhouse


  1. ^ Matera, Joe (25 June 2020). "Def Leppard: "Steve Clark was a very unique player - he didn't get enough credit for the stuff he was doing"". guitarworld. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  2. ^ "This Day in Music Spotlight: The Death of Def Leppard's Steamin' Steve Clark". Archived from the original on 12 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Def Leppard News - 32 Years Ago - Pete Willis Gets Fired From Def Leppard".
  4. ^ "Def Leppard – Steve Clark, Pete Willis and Rick Savage – Hamer Fan Club".
  5. ^ "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - 2019 Inductees". 15 December 2018. Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  6. ^ Grow, Kory (30 March 2019). "Read Def Leppard's Celebratory Rock Hall Induction Speech". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  7. ^ "Def Leppard News - Original DEF LEPPARD Guitarist PETE WILLIS Celebrates 60th Birthday". Def Leppard Tour History. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  8. ^ Kielty, Martin (12 July 2017). "35 Years Ago: Def Leppard Replace Pete Willis With Phil Collen". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  9. ^ Walllast, Mick (25 May 2011). "In At The Deep End: Def Leppard's Journey From Sheffield To The United States". louder. Retrieved 4 September 2023.

External links

Preceded by
Def Leppard lead guitarist
Succeeded by