Paul Chapman, former guitarist with UFO and Skid Row, has died aged 66.

The news was confirmed by his son in a Facebook post on his father’s page.

“It is with a heavy heart writing this, today is my dad’s 66th birthday. He passed away earlier this afternoon. He was a brilliant, energetic, loving and most carefree person and the first man I ever loved.

“Everyone he came in contact with loved him. no ADORED him. will keep everyone posted on his celebration of life. I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers as his family grieves and processes everything at this time. I love you Dad. So much.”

Wales-born Chapman had the unenviable task of stepping into the shoes of some of rock’s biggest guitarists: he had a brief stint replacing Gary Moore in Skid Row (1971-1972), before joining UFO – first alongside Michael Schenker for the 1974 Phenomenon tour, and then as his fulltime replacement from 1978 onwards.

During Chapman’s tenure with the band, UFO released four albums – No Place to Run, The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent, Mechanix, and Making Contact – before the group disbanded in March 1983.

After relocating to Florida, USA, Chapman formed a number of bands, including DOA, Waysted, Gator Country and Killer Bee.

In recent years, Chapman spent much of his time teaching one-on-one guitar lessons.

“Just woke up to sad news of Paul Chapman passing,” said Motörhead’s Phil Campbell. “He was my main influence on guitar for many years and a brilliant bloke. Thoughts are with his family. RIP Tonka”

“I’ve known Paul Chapman since 1982 when UFO and Ozzy toured during Diary of a Madman tour,” said Rudy Sarzo. “Outstanding musician and friend.”

This content was originally published here.