Welsh fretboard wizard Paul ‘Tonka’ Chapman, best known for his work with UFO, Lone Star and Waysted, has tragically died on his 66th birthday (9th June). The musician’s family confirmed the sad news on his Facebook page.
The statement read: “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.”
“I 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”
Chapman first joined UFO in 1974 as a second guitarist to tour for the Phenomenon album and can be heard on several BBC session retrospectives from that time.
He left UFO the following year to form Lone Star, only to rejoin UFO in 1978 as Michael Schenker’s replacement.
UFO split in 1983, which led ‘Tonka’ to team up with bassist Pete Way in Waysted to record albums ‘The Good the Bad the Waysted’ and ‘Save your Prayers’.
Paul William “Tonka” Chapman (9 June 1954 – 9 June 2020). RIP.