Phipps was a member of The Glitter Band after the band was formed by John Rossall.Originally known as The Boston Showband . Gary Glitter needed a backing band and so the Boston Show became the Glittermen and then the Glitterband who went on to success in their own right, having six top ten singles in the UK in the mid-1970s. He was later a member of the band Random Hold, who toured with XTC in 1979, leading to him playing drums on the XTC album Mummer after Terry Chambers left the band, and he returned for the recording of their next album The Big Express. He also played drums for Eurythmics, playing on their UK number one album Touch, joining the band for their MTV-broadcast performance at the Heaven nightclub in London, and playing live with the band into 1984. He was also a member of Laurence Hayward's post-Felt band Denim, which has been described as "self-consciously ironic glitter-pop revivalist project", playing on the 1992 album Back in Denim and the 1996 album Denim on Ice. Phipps was also the drummer on Liquid Gold's hits which included "Dance Yourself Dizzy".
After learning to play drums, piano and guitar, his musical career took off at the age of 18, he has worked continuously since that time for a wide range of bands and artists. After leaving school in 1969 he joined Black Velvet, a soul/funk band – tours, recording and radio shows. A year later, he toured with the Elgins. Then in 1971, he joined CBS band Heaven and supported Jeff Beck on tour in the UK and Germany.
In June 1972, he began working for Gary Glitter's backing band The Glittermen after being invited to join by founder member John Rossall who co wrote some of the biggest hits including 'Angel Face'.In the same month, they made their first appearance on Top of the Pops with "Rock and Roll Part 2". The Glittermen were renamed The Glitter Band and established a separate identity consisting of a six-member lineup Gerry Shephard (lead guitar/lead vocals), John Springate (bass/lead vocals ), Pete Phipps (drums and keyboards), Tony Leonard (drums), John Rossall (trombone) Harvey Ellison (saxophone). Tours with Gary Glitter continued.
In December 1975, their third album Listen to the Band, saw Phipps for the first time on lead vocals on the self-penned "My First Mistake". In 1977, their fourth album, Paris Match was recorded in France, plus an EP featuring "She was Alright" (written by Phipps) as the A side.
Changing direction, Phipps first joined Ex-Directory, this was then followed by a short period with a band called The Secret. Phipps then joined Random Hold, a band he had already worked with a year or two before. Random Hold composed of David Rhodes, Bill MacCormick, David Ferguson, and Pete Phipps were described by a music journalist as "disco orientated rock", and by Nina Myskow in The Sun as a band to watch for as "Their music shows talent, menace, originality and brains. A dynamic combination". The band produced several singles in this period including "Montgomery Clift" and albums The View From Here (1980) and Burn the Buildings (1981). Phipps also continued to record with Glitter Band colleagues pursuing solo identities, such as with John Springate on the album Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, by Gerry Shephard and Peter Oxendale.
In 1982, Phipps was invited by Mike Rutherford to record the album Acting Very Strange, and later in the same year was invited by XTC to record with them on their Mummer album.
Through 1983 and 1984 he was a member of The Eurythmics. His first outing with the Eurythmics was recorded at Heaven for MTV and later released as the video Sweet Dreams (1985). He toured in the US and in the UK. Also in 1984, Phipps returned to work with XTC in the studio to record the album Big Express.
In 1985, Phipps recorded with Hugh Cornwell playing on the single "One in a Million". He then rejoined Gary Glitter for UK, Middle East and US tours. He also restarted Glitter Band gigs, joining with some of the other original members, and has remained part of the Glitter Band with a number of different line-ups to present day.
In 1986, Phipps performed on Zipper an album written by Roger Chapman. In 1987 he toured as a replacement in Culture Club in France and Iceland. The next year, Phipps played with the Legendary Purple Helmets a Stranglers offshoot. Between 1992 and 1996, whilst remaining in the Glitter Band, Phipps joined Denim, a band formed by Lawrence Heywood. He recorded Back in Denim (1992 and Denim on Ice (1996). Through 1998 and 1999, Phipps had further shows with The Glitter Band and appearances with The King Penguins, a spin-off from the Glitter Band.
The year 2000 saw the founding of Santanarama, a six-piece tribute to Carlos Santana, and Glitz Blitz, a three-piece tribute to the 1970s. Early in 2001, along with shows with the Glitter Band, Santanarama and Glitz Blitz at a range of venues nationwide, Phipps made a return to playing some R&B with a South East-based band Desperate Measures. Later in the year, he recorded an album of material with Alan Merrill of the Arrows which was released the following year.
Phipps currently performs as part of the 'Jukebox Heroes. The Glitter Band have not performed for at least two years with concerts being cancelled often at the last minute. An ongoing battle instigated by Phipps has raged against founder member John Rossall,who performs as John Rossall founder of The Glitter band. Phipps has unsuccessfully tried to prevent this ,including recently attempting to get a memorial concert for Harvey Ellison stopped unless Phipps Glitter band are performing and not John Rossall. Despite an offer from John Rossall to Phipps to perform at the memorial concert it was sadly declined. He has further tried to get the concert cancelled despite it also being a chance to raise money for cancer research. (Harvey Ellison having died earlier this year from cancer. Phipps did not go to the funeral)Fans have stressed they would love to see surviving members reunited but sadly it looks unlikely, especially with attempts to get further concerts cancelled in which John Rossall is booked to appear.Gary Glitter
The Glitter Band
He has also toured withBoy George
Eric Faulkner's Bay City Rollers
Andy Scott's Sweet