Paul Chapman, guitarist for UFO and Skid Row, has died aged 66

The news was shared by his son on social media.

The former guitarist for rock bands UFO, Lone Star and Skid Row, Paul “Tonka” Chapman, has died aged 66.

Chapman’s son shared the news in a post on his father’s Facebook page, writing: “It is with a heavy heart writing this, today is my dad’s 66th birthday. He passed away earlier this afternoon. 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. will keep everyone posted on his celebration of life. I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers as his family grieves and processes everything at this time. I love you Dad. So much.”

It is with a heavy heart writing this, today is my dads 66th birthday. He passed away earlier this afternoon. He was a…

Posted by Paul Chapman on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

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Chapman began his career in the band Universe, before fulfilling the rather daunting task of replacing Gary Moore in Skid Row between 1971 and 1972. After this, he joined UFO twice, first in 1974, joining guitarist Michael Schenker, and then again in 1977 as his replacement. Around this time he was also in the band Lone Star, which he left in 1978 to play in UFO full time.

During Chapman’s time in UFO, the band released four records: No Place to Run, The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent, Mechanix, and Making Contact. They disbanded in March 1983.

Phil Campbell of Motorhead paid tribute to Chapman on social media, writing: “Just woke up to sad news of Paul Chapman passing. He was my main influence on guitar for many years and a brilliant bloke. Thoughts are with his family. RIP Tonka.”

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