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Arthurs in October 2016
|Birth name||Paul Benjamin Arthurs|
|Also known as||Bonehead|
|Born||23 June 1965|
|Instruments||Guitar, keyboards, piano|
|Associated acts||Oasis, The Vortex, Parlour Flames, Beady Eye, Liam Gallagher|
Paul Benjamin Arthurs was born at Saint Mary's Hospital in Manchester, the son of Irish Catholic immigrants. He went to St. Peter's Roman Catholic Grammar School in the nearby town of Prestwich. He earned the lifelong nickname of "Bonehead" at the age of eight after his parents insisted he get very short haircuts. "It was only my mum and dad throughout my life, really, that called me Paul," Arthurs said. Arthurs left school in 1981 and worked as a plasterer. He started his first band, Pleasure and Pain, in 1984. Around this time, he began a relationship with his future wife Kate. In the late 1980s, while working as a building contractor, he started a band, the Rain, with his friends Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan, Tony McCarroll, and Chris Hutton.
When Hutton was sacked, he was replaced by Liam Gallagher, who suggested the band change their name to Oasis. Gallagher and Arthurs teamed up as co-songwriters. However, the band were still unsuccessful until Gallagher encouraged his brother Noel, who had just come back from travelling the world as a roadie for Inspiral Carpets, to join the band. Noel brought with him a collection of songs that were to make the band famous. Arthurs remembers the first songs Noel Gallagher played to him, "Live Forever" and "All Around the World". Arthurs broke down and cried when Noel played "Champagne Supernova" to the band on their tour bus. On the Definitely Maybe DVD, he said his favourite Oasis song to play live was "Columbia", as the song only consisted of three chords that create a hypnotic groove.
When Oasis performed the song "Whatever" on Top of the Pops, they mimed and one of the cellists from the symphony orchestra was replaced by Arthurs. Towards the end of the song, he started using the bow to conduct.
Arthurs is a multi-instrumentalist, credited as having played piano and mellotron on (What's the Story) Morning Glory? and can be seen on piano in the video for "Don't Look Back in Anger", as well as pictures featured in the Definitely Maybe album booklet.
Arthurs left the band in 1999, during the recording of Oasis' fourth album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. His official statement said he wanted to spend more time with his family (his first child, Lucy was born 23 January 1995 and his son, Jude Arthurs was born on 12 August 1997).
Arthurs was replaced by Gem Archer, who was thereafter pointedly referred to as a "professional". The rest of the band downplayed the reaction to his departure, Noel Gallagher commenting "it's hardly Paul McCartney leaving the Beatles" though he also said "We've got to respect their (Bonehead and Guigs) decision as family men." Gallagher has admitted on several occasions to holding no malice toward the former rhythm guitarist and admiring him for the effort he put forth.
Arthurs now lives in Manchester where he has built a recording studio under his house and formed Moondog One (named after Johnny and the Moondogs, one of the Beatles' former titles before they rose to fame), which also includes The Smiths' Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke.
In 2004, Arthurs teamed up with Sek Loso to play rhythm guitar alongside Loso's new English bandmates. The group toured Asia, Europe, and the US in search of a label deal.
In early 2007, Arthurs had a visible presence in the North West of England for the first time since leaving Oasis eight years previously. His support for Andy Rourke's Versus Cancer fundraising concert saw the pair busking together in Manchester's Cathedral Gardens to raise cancer awareness and to fund raise for Manchester's Christie Hospital. On 30 March 2007, the Versus Cancer concert was held at Manchester's MEN Arena. Arthurs played bass guitar (rather than the trademark rhythm guitar from his Oasis days) in a two-song set. He was in a band billed as 'Electric Milk Band', which also featured former members of Happy Mondays.
He has been playing DJ sets in clubs, most recently in London. His playlist features Oasis songs such as "Live Forever", and collaborations between the Gallagher brothers and Death in Vegas and The Chemical Brothers.
He also presented a radio show on BBC Radio Manchester with Terry Christian, Natalie-eve and Michelle Hussey. The show is Manchester Music and has had fellow Manchester music artists as guests including members of Happy Mondays, The Smiths and The Charlatans.
Arthurs started this project in early 2013 with Vinny Peculiar (aka Alan Wilkes). Their 'group' Parlour Flames released an eponymous album in May 2013, Arthurs' first since leaving Oasis. Guest musicians on the project included percussionist Che Beresford and brass-player Bob Marsh from Badly Drawn Boy and Anna Zweck from Samson & Delilah on flute and backing vocals.
Arthurs' latest project was started in 2014 with singer/songwriter Alex Lipinski. Their EP was released in May 2014 under Cherry Red Records. The EP includes four tracks and is available on vinyl and digital download.
Paul also joined Liam Gallagher to play rhythm guitar on the song "Bold" and keyboard on "For What It's Worth" on Liam's solo album As You Were. He joined the band on their debut performance at the O2 Ritz in Manchester, playing rhythm guitar on the Oasis track "Be Here Now".
Arthurs joined Liam Gallagher's band for the UK As You Were tour at the end of 2017 for a couple of gigs.
During November 2019, Arthurs joined Gallagher on stage to perform Oasis songs during Gallagher's UK 'Why Me, Why Not' shows, usually amounting to 10 or 11 songs in a set. As of 2020, Arthurs continues to tour with the Liam Gallagher band.
Arthurs used the same 1982 Japanese-made Matsumoku Epiphone Riviera throughout his time as Oasis' rhythm guitarist. He still uses this guitar today. He has also been known to play piano as heard in the songs “Don’t Look Back In Anger” and “The Masterplan”, mellotron on "Wonderwall" along with playing electric piano at the 1994 MTV Most Wanted for the songs “Live Forever” and “Whatever”.
- McCarroll, Tony (2010). Oasis: The Truth - My Life as Oasis's Drummer. London: John Blake Publishing Ltd. p. 276. ISBN 978-1-84358-499-5.
- Clint Boon (13 November 2018). "Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs" (Podcast). Humans of XS Manchester. Event occurs at 0:46. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- Clint Boon (13 November 2018). "Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs" (Podcast). Humans of XS Manchester. Event occurs at 6:14. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- "The ones that got away - The Guardian". London: Guardian.co.uk. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- "Cherry Red Records - Parlour Flames, cherry red records, indie, ALTERNATIVE". Cherryred.co.uk. 20 May 2013. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- "Liam Gallagher joined by Bonehead during Rolling Stones support slot". Nme.com. 22 May 2018.
- Wilson, Lois (12 August 2013). "Bonehead: "Leaving Oasis Was The Right Thing For Me To Do"". Mojo. Bauer Media Group. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
My most treasured possession... after my family, is my guitar. It's an Epiphone Riviera from the '80s and I played it on every Oasis record and played it at every Oasis gig.
- Oasis: What's the Story?; Ian Robertson; Blake Publishing; 1996
- Definitely Maybe; Big Brother DVDs; 2004