Former UFO guitarist Paul Chapman passed away yesterday (June 9), on his 66th birthday.
Chapman’s son (also named Paul), shared the news of his father’s death on Facebook, which was then relayed through UFO’s official social media pages as they lamented the lost of their erstwhile guitarist.
“He was a brilliant, energetic, loving and most carefree person and the first man I ever loved. Everyone he came in contact with loved him. No ADORED him. I will keep everyone posted on his celebration of life. I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers as his family greaves and processes everything at this time, I love you Dad. So much,” wrote son Paul.
UFO sent out a message, expressing, “We send our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Paul Tonka Chapman [edit: “Tonka” was Chapman’s nickname], who died yesterday, on his 66th birthday.”
Chapman, who was born on June 9, 1954 in Cardiff, Wales, first joined English rockers UFO in 1974 as a live guitarist. He auditioned after responding to the band’s ad in the Melody Maker magazine, but left at the beginning of 1975 to form his own band, Lone Star. He released two albums with this group — Lone Star and Firing on All Six — in 1976 and ’77, respectively.
Upon Michael Schenker‘s exit from UFO in ’78, Chapman signed on once more, this time as a full-time member. The rocker left the group again in ’83, having contributed to four albums — No Place to Run (1980), The Wild, The Willing and The Innocent (1981), Mechanix (1982) and Making Contact (1983).
Following his departure from UFO, Chapman linked up with his UFO bandmate Pete Way, who had recently left the group as well. Way’s new band, Waysted, had released their debut album and a follow-up EP before Chapman was on board for the next two records — The Good The Bad and The Waysted (1985) and Save Your Prayers (1985).
Although Chapman never joined a high-profile group again after this, he enjoyed infrequent, brief stints in other groups and taught music one-on-one later in life.
Our condolences to the Chapman family and all of Paul’s friends and bandmates. Below, he is remembered by some of his peers and fans in the rock community.
Rockers React to Paul Chapman’s Death
Phil Campbell (Motorhead)
Rudy Sarzo (ex-Quiet Riot, ex-Ozzy Osbourne, ex-Whitesnake)
Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, ex-Carcass)
Eddie Trunk (DJ)
Ross Halfin (Photographer)
John Corabi (ex-Motley Crue, ex-The Dead Daisies)
Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns)
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