This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2020)
|Birth name||Paul William Chapman|
|Also known as||Tonka|
|Born||9 June 1954|
|Died||9 June 2020(aged 66)|
|Genres||Hard rock, blues-rock, progressive rock, heavy metal|
Paul William Chapman (9 June 1954 – 9 June 2020) was a Welsh rock guitarist best known for his work in bands such as UFO and Lone Star. He was well known by his nickname "Tonka", allegedly acquired because of his indestructible qualities.
Chapman's first notable band was the Welsh outfit Universe. Chapman then joined Skid Row in December 1971 replacing Gary Moore as guitarist. His tenure was fairly short and only lasted until July 1972. His next band was Kimla Taz, with whom he was guitarist from December 1972 to May 1974.
Chapman first joined UFO in 1974 as a second guitarist to augment their live sound having answered an advert in UK's music paper, Melody Maker. He auditioned at the Unity Theatre in London. Although Chapman did not record an album during this period, he did join in time to tour and promote the Phenomenon album. However, he can be heard with the band on several tracks on the BBC live sessions album that was released retrospectively. He left UFO in January 1975 due to personal differences with the band, and went on to form Lone Star, where he remained until June 1978.
After resuming with Lone Star following the tour, Chapman later rejoined UFO in December 1978 on a full-time basis after Schenker parted company with the band. By this time, UFO was an international success and about to release their live album, Strangers in the Night, which raised their profile further. Chapman is acknowledged on the album but did not play on it. "You'd be able to hear it," Schenker observed. Producer Ron Nevison agreed, "I've never even met Paul Chapman."
Chapman recorded his first album with UFO – No Place to Run – with ex-Beatles producer George Martin. It was released in January 1980. UFO undertook a tour to promote it, culminating in a five-night sell-out at London's Hammersmith Odeon.
Chapman remained in UFO until 1983 and played on another three albums: The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent (1981), Mechanix (1982), and Making Contact. In 1983, after numerous line-up changes, UFO decided to call it a day and undertook a farewell tour (although they reformed in 1985). The posthumous compilation album Headstone incorporated songs by the members' other bands. Chapman was represented by a Lone Star song. The album was completed by several songs from the farewell tour.
After the tour, Chapman went to Florida, United States, to form a new band DOA fronted by lead singer Dave Edwards, Bass player Steve Chikitus, guitarist Robert Journey and Drummer Paul Baron. Paul's Florida band DOA was later renamed Madman who toured with Ted Nugent in the United States. He later hooked up with former UFO band member Pete Way in Waysted and recorded the albums The Good the Bad the Waysted and Save your Prayers. After this Chapman founded Ghost in 1993, fronted by another Welshman, Carl Sentance.
In 1993, Chapman was lined-up as the guitarist for a reformed UFO, but Michael Schenker was employed instead.
Chapman released an album, Anthology Volume One, on his own Paul Chapman Enterprises label, which covered his career from Lone Star through to Ghost. A solo instrumental track, "The Bells of Berlin" appeared as part of the December 2000 archive Waysted collection Your Prayers Are Saved.
He played on a Nazareth tribute album released in 2001, Another Hair of the Dog, on two tracks "This Flight Tonight" and "Let Me Be Your Dog".
His next appearance was in late 2002, when he guested with former Virgin Steele guitarist Jack Starr's new band project, Jack Starr and the Guardians of the Flame, for the February 2003 album, Under A Savage Sky. Following this Chapman and Pete Way reformed Waysted along with original singer Fin. After completing a new album Chapman resigned from the band in November 2004.
Chapman also went on to form a new band PCP (Paul Chapman Project) which still has a mystery album underway, along with a book he has been writing titled "Tonka Tales".
Chapman gave music lessons from his own studio in Palm Bay, Florida. In May 2006, he announced he was planning to re-record classic UFO songs. He enlisted the help of Robin McAuley who sang on versions of "No Place To Run", "Wild, Willing & Innocent" and "The Writer" cut at Garudio Studios in Palm Bay.
In 2015, Chapman went out for a 10-week US tour with the Swedish/Canadian band Killer Bee and he also recorded on their album Eye in the Sky.
Prior to his death, Chapman taught music one-on-one at his studio in downtown Melbourne, Florida.
Personal life and death
- "Former UFO Guitarist Paul Chapman Dead at 66". blabbermouth.net. 9 June 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
- "UFO Family Tree". Archived from the original on 11 August 2013.
- "UFO History". Archived from the original on 3 August 2012.
- "Achtung baby!". Classic Rock supplement: The Live Albums That Changed The World. December 2011. p. 20.
- "MusicMight :: Artists :: PAUL CHAPMAN". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- "UFO – Family Tree – 1990 to 2002". Archived from the original on 5 October 2013.
- Divita, Joe (10 June 2020). "Ex-UFO Guitarist Paul Chapman Dies on 66th Birthday". loudwire.com. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- "Paul William Chapman 1954–2020 Obituary". afcfcare.com. Retrieved 12 August 2020.