REST IN PEACE PAUL
WE THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GREAT MUSIC THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN US!!!
On 13 April 2019, the Rock World was in shock because only eight days after Paul had just been on stage with U.F.O. rocking the second of two splendid nights in a row in London to finish up the U.K. leg of their ‘Last Orders’ – tour, he unexpectedly passed away, suffering a severe heart attack.
They say that “U.F.O. is everyone's favourite band's favourite band” and no doubt, Paul was the backbone of this band. He added that certain je ne sais quoi to the U.F.O. songs and to all the music he played throughout the 55 years that he’d been a professional musician. His amazing skills in switching so quickly between keyboard and guitar, the sound he created with his instruments and not to forget his great composing and arranging talents made him become a hero to so many.
After the news of his sudden passing broke, it was followed by an overwhelming amount of heartfelt reactions from fans, (former) colleagues and rock musicians from all over the world.
Lots of musicians payed their respects to Paul in the social media. Read what some of them said and be welcome to sign our MEMORIAL BOOK FOR PAUL, which you will find at the bottom of this page.
Former U.F.O. bandmates Michael Schenker, Pete Way, Atomic Tommy McClendon, Simon Wright
as well as colleagues from bands like Judas Priest, Saxon, Def Leppard, Metallica, Megadeth
and many more have posted heartfelt statements in the social media to pay their tribute to Paul:
(Click on the particular image to either open the original post in a new tab or to just enlarge the image)
Eddie Trunk, American music historian, radio personality, talk show host, author
and huge U.F.O. fan
published this beautifully written eulogy for Paul on his website:
Such a very nice tribute of Micheal Schenker to both, Ted McKenna and PAUL! He speaks so very highly about the two of them. Just don't miss out on watching this video! At minute 2:25 Michael starts to get a bit more into talking about Paul.
Paul's band mate Andy Parker was one of the first people from the U.F.O. camp who released an official statement regarding Paul's unexpected passing. Read here what he said: http://ufo-music.info/andy/ or click to enlarge the picture.
Check out this quite interesting interview with Simon Wright, which eventually leads into talking about the unexpected and just untimely loss of Paul. Starting at minute 11:25 Simon reflects on his friendship with his ex-U.F.O.-colleague.
Eddie Trunk and U.F.O.'s Andy Parker were talking about Paul in the Eddie Trunk Podcast.
Check it out right here but please note: This was a double episode, so if you only want to
listen to Andy's part you'll have to forward to 31:40 min
Dave Ling, British Rock Journalist
and U.F.O. band friend
was honouring Paul in issue July 2019 of
CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE
Bandmates, former colleagues and fans expressed shock and sadness when the guitarist/keyboard player nicknamed 'Kipper' [Which he hated, btw. ~ Admin] and best known for a variety of roles in bands including UFO, the Michael Schenker Group and Waysted, suffered a fatal heart attack. He passed away a little over a week after UFO wrapped the first leg of their final world tour dubbed Last Orders: 50th Anniversary. Raymond, who had four spells with the UFO (1976-1980, 1984-1986, 1993-1999 and 2003-2019) performed his final show with them at London's Forum on April 5. He was 73 years old.
The news was announced on Raymond's Facebook page by his partner Sandra, who posted: "With a desperate and broken heart, fully in tears and pains that feel like they will kill me, I have to tell you that my most beautiful and beloved Paul has passed away today. The doctors tried to revive him and with success at first but then his system shot down again and there was nothing more they could do, he died of a heart attack."
Before his first band, Plastic Penny, St Albans-born Raymond started out playing jazz piano in the 60's. This led him to joining Chicken Shack in 1969 as the replacement for keyboard player/singer Christine McVie, and he played on their albums 100 Ton Chicken and Accept. By 1971, having added rhythm guitar as another string to his bow, he joined blues-rockers Savoy Brown for the first of two stints that began with the celebrated album Street Corner Talking.
But it was as a member of the hard rockers UFO, who he joined in 1976 as a replacement for Danny Peyronel, that Raymond really found his calling. They toured alongside AC/DC, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult and Rush, and the genius of the two studio albums that followed - Lights Out and Obsession - nudged them into the US charts, while 1979's Strangers In The Night remains one of the genre's quintessential double life albums.
However, as UFO's success grew they began to treat their talismanic guitarist Micheal Schenker with kid gloves. "He was often allowed to fly back to LA after a gig, which cost us a lot of money," Raymond told Classic Rock years later. And with Schenker becoming "quiet and more detached than ever" from the rest of the group by Obsession, it was only a matter of time before they parted ways.
Raymond aligned himself with Schenker when he formed the Michael Schenker Group, although not until Schenker had been replaced by former Lone Star man Paul 'Tonka' Chapman for the No Place To Run album in 1980.
Years later, in a tantalising glimpse of what might have been, Raymond told Classic Rock that Edward Van Halen had toyed with applying for the position. "We were in a Seattle hotel bar with Van Halen, up late and messing around," he confided. "Eddie said he'd wanted to come down and audition with us after Michael left. But he didn't have the bottle. He just didn't think he was good enough. But [had he done so] the entire course of rock history could have been re-written."
Raymond thrived with Schenker, and his ballad Never Trust A Stranger became a highlight of MSG's self-titled second album. By 1983 Raymond had thrown himself from one erratic scenario into another, joining UFO's hard drinking co-founding bass player Pete Way in Waysted for their debut album, Vices.
The arrangement was, predictably, short-lived, and Raymond spent the remainder of the decade either with UFO or making his own records as the Paul Raymond Project. The signs had looked good when Schenker agreed to rejoin UFO, completing a reunion of their best-loved line-up for the Walk on Water album in 1995, although their tour ended prematurely at the second of three sold-out shows on Tokyo when Schenker attacked Raymond backstage with a metal chair, and later walked off stage 40 minutes into the gig at Sun Plaza Hall. There were subsequent reconciliations with Schenker, although they failed to capture the magic of their albums of the 70's.
As with the rest of UFO's latter-day incarnations, Raymond enjoyed being part of a more stable line-up, which included Vinnie Moore on guitar.
Raymond's unexpected death prompted an array of emotions: "I won't say that Paul and I were always the best of friends but I am completely shattered to hear this," commented Pete Way. Michael Schenker added: "[This news] is unbelievable. Paul Raymond was a great musician and loved Rock'n'Roll. Rest in peace my friend." "I have known Paul for many years and over that time we've had our differences," said current drummer Andy Parker. "But even if we didn't see eye to eye, we remained good friends. He was always one to make his opinion known and could be very stubborn at times, but that was only because he was so passionate about his craft. I will miss his acid wit and his wicked sense of humour, his love of Hancock, The Goons and of Jazz, but most of all I will miss his professionalism and dedication to his art."
UFO have announced that Neil Carter, "a member of the family between 1981 ans 1983", will play keyboards and guitar with them for the remainder of their live commitments, which are outside of the UK. "Moving forward with the tour is the right thing to do", they say. "This is what Paul would have wanted." DL
In Loving Memory Of Paul
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