UFO guitarist Vinnie Moore has told Michael’s Record Collection that he was very sad to hear about the passing of the band’s guitarist/keyboard player Paul Raymond in April 2019.
“We were already out in the middle of [UFO‘s] big farewell tour,” he said. “And right after we did England — like, one week later, man — we got the message that Paul had passed.
“Man, he was so happy,” Vinnie continued. “We were really having some successful shows — good crowds; everything was going really well. I know he was very, very happy. It’s kind of a shame that he had to kick off when things were going really well.
“When I first heard it, I thought, ‘Okay, this is probably the end of the band,’ but then there started to be some talk pretty quickly about Neil Carter, who had played in the band before, stepping in, which actually happened. I think he was with us for, like, a year — we did a year’s worth of shows — and then COVID hit. So we had all these gigs lined up that had to be pushed back a year, and then they were pushed back a year agin. And so now we don’t go out [until] June in Europe in 2022.”
Raymond was recruited by UFO in 1976 to replace the band’s first keyboardist, Danny Peyronel. When Michael Schenker left UFO, Raymond joined Schenker‘s MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and later hooked up with Pete Way in WAYSTED.
Raymond appeared on more than a dozen of UFO‘s albums, including “Lights Out” and the live classic “Strangers In The Night”.
UFO‘s current lineup includes original members Mogg and Parker, as well as Vinnie Moore (lead guitar), who joined in 2003, and Rob De Luca (bass), a member since 2012.
UFO recently announced that it will embark on its final tour featuring a series of exclusive concerts in summer 2022 to bid farewell to its fans in style. At the grand finale of an unprecedented success story, which began in 1969 and has spanned more than five decades, the band has announced a number of real highlights: The first one is scheduled to take place on Monday, June 20, 2022 at the Beatbox in Hannover, where UFO is planning a public rehearsal, with a strictly limited number of only 80 tickets available. One day later, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, the band will perform a private open-air concert in front of an audience of 300, presenting the full set-list of the subsequent tour, and coming into exceptionally close contact with their fans. UFO will then play the very last concert of its long career on October 29, 2022 in Athens, Greece, where the band performed its first show featuring Moore in February 2004.
UFO is considered one of the classic hard rock acts, and was ranked No. 84 on VH1‘s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.”
UFO‘s latest release was the 2017 covers collection “The Salentino Cuts”.