Paul Raymond, longtime guitarist and keyboardist of the influential classic rock band UFO, died of a heart attack Saturday, April 13th. He was 73 years old.
Raymond was still an active member of UFO, playing a show as recently as April 5th at London’s O2 Forum as part of the band’s 50th anniversary tour. He joined UFO in 1976, and played on their studio albums Lights Out (1977), Obsession (1978), and No Place to Run (1980), as well as the live album Strangers in the Night (1979), before leaving to join the Michael Schenker Group. Raymond rejoined UFO from 1983 to 1984, and again from 1993 through 1999, and then finally from 2003 until his death.
UFO formed in 1969, and their brand of hard rock is cited as a major influence by countless heavy metal acts who followed them. Among their best-known songs are “Doctor Doctor”, “Lights Out”, and “Too Hot to Handle”.
Raymond’s death was reported by his longtime partner, Sandra, who wrote the following on Facebook:
Hi to all the fans and people who knew Paul! This is Sandra, Paul’s life partner speaking: With a desperate and broken heart, fully in tears and pains that feel like they will kill me I have to tell you that my most beautiful and beloved darling Paul Raymond has passed away today. The doctors were trying to reanimate him and with success at first but then his system shot down again and there was nothing more they could do for him, he died of a heart attack.
He absolutely enjoyed the last couple of weeks touring with UFO in the UK & Ireland and he was looking forward to the rest of this year’s tour.
This photo was taken last Wednesday when we checked out of our last hotel before coming back to Germany!
I will always love him and I hope he will rest in peace until I’ll see him again on the other side!!!
I love you so much Paul
UFO subsequently shared Sandra’s post, adding, “Today we are too shell-shocked to write anything other than to share Sandra’s post … Here is a photo of Paul at his last ever show, at the O2 Forum in London on 5th April. R.I.P. Paul. Thank you to everyone for your very kind and supportive messages.”
As stated, UFO were in the midst of their 50th anniversary tour. Singer Phil Mogg has stated that the trek would be his last, which also may mean its the band’s last tour ever, as well. As of now, UFO are slated to return to the road in June for a number of European summer shows lasting through August, followed by US gigs in the fall.
Our thoughts go out to Paul Raymond’s family, friends, and bandmates during this difficult time. Tributes from Judas Priest, Megadeth’s David Ellefson, and more can be seen below.
Judas Priest send their love to Paul Raymond, his family and fans. We played many shows with UFO and remember Paul as a brilliant musician and friend – may he rest in peace….
— Judas Priest (@judaspriest) April 14, 2019
So sad to hear of the passing of UFO keyboardist/guitarist/writer Paul Raymond. We only met once when Megadeth played a festival together in summer 2017 and he was such a kind and… https://t.co/pki9hnj2eU
— David Ellefson (@ellefsondavid) April 13, 2019
Shocked and saddened to wake up to the news just now that Paul Raymond of @UFO_rockband has passed away. Paul was a great guy, great musician, and part of the bands current & classic era. RIP Paul. UFO’s final shows will not be the same without him..
— Eddie Trunk (@EddieTrunk) April 13, 2019
Absolutely gutted. #PaulRaymond performed and wrote on some favourite albums ever with UFO and MSG (Michael Schenker Group). A truly brilliant musician. Really underrated. Sad day for rock’n’roll. We are losing all the original heroes one by one. 😥
R.I.P. Paul Raymond. 🎼 pic.twitter.com/JKFp51KILU
— 𝕸𝖎𝖈𝖍𝖆𝖊𝖑 𝕬𝖒𝖔𝖙𝖙 (@Michael_Amott) April 13, 2019