By DJ Monk
Guitarist Paul ‘Tonka’ Chapman has died. He passed away at his home in Florida yesterday (Tuesday 9 June) on what was his 66th birthday.
Born in Cardiff, Chapman is perhaps best known for his two tenures in UFO, first joining the band as a touring guitarist in 1974, and then as a permanent member between 1978 and the band’s initial split in 1983. In between his two stints in UFO, he was a founder member of Lone Star, recording two albums with the band.
Following UFO’s break-up in 1983, he hooked up with the band’s former bassist, Pete Way, and his Waysted project, with whom he recorded the ‘The Good The Bad The Waysted’ and ‘Save Your Prayers’ albums.
Continuing to release albums and record albums with various projects, including Jack Starr’s Guardians Of The Flame and Swedish hard rockers Killer Bee, he spent the last 15 years giving guitar lessons in his adopted hometown of Melbourne, Florida.