UFO to Complete Final Tour Despite Paul Raymond’s Death
The British band also announced that former member Neil Carter would replace Raymond for the remaining dates of the Last Orders road trip, set to end on Nov. 2 in Uncasville, Conn.
“On April 13, 2019, the UFO family got the tragic news that our bandmate Paul Raymond had died of a heart attack,” the band said in a statement. “It had been just a week since we finished the first leg of our Last Orders Tour in the U.K. While mourning his loss, sadly, we also had to face the reality of what to do with the band. We feel moving forward with the tour is the right thing to do. We all know this is what Paul would have wanted us to do.
“We are therefore very pleased to announce that our friend and former bandmate Neil Carter has agreed to join us again and take over the keyboards/guitar and vocals slot for the remainder of the tour. Neil was already part of the family between 1981 and 1983, playing on the albums The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent, Mechanix and Making Contact. Before he joined UFO he was in Wild Horses; later he continued his career with Gary Moore.”
UFO concluded that "together with Neil, we will bring our 2019 Last Orders Tour to a close. We want to make sure that all our amazing fans get a fantastic experience out of it one more time.”
Writing a week after Raymond’s death, drummer Andy Parker said he’d been “totally shocked and stunned.”
“I have known Paul for a good many years and it would be fair to say that over that time we have had our differences," he noted. "But even if we didn’t see eye to eye, we still remained good friends. He was always one to make his opinions known and could be very stubborn at times, but that was only because he was so passionate about his craft. Even in recent years, while suffering from the ailments that come to us all with age, he never let them compromise his performance.”
Referring to Raymond’s constant lateness, he recalled that he "often joked with my other bandmates, ‘If I had all the time I have spent waiting for Paul, I could add 10 years on my life.’ Truth is, knowing what I know now, I would gladly have given them back to him. … I will miss his professionalism and dedication to his art, and knowing that every night when he stepped out on that stage he gave 110 percent. Rest in peace, my friend, you have earned it.”