10th September 2020
Last Friday at 8.00 a.m. I sat in the office of my home in Texas with a cup of tea and watched a live stream of a funeral. This would have been a surreal experience in any event, but it was even more so because it was the funeral of my dear friend and rhythm section partner Pete Way. It was hard enough to come to terms with the stark reality that Pete was gone, but it was compounded by the fact that due to COVID-19 travel restrictions I could not be there to say goodbye in person.
I, like I am sure so many others who knew him, never imagined a world without Pete. I thought, and often said that Pete would outlive us all, but sadly it was not to be. It is a cruel fact that we don’t always stay in contact with people as much as we should, and then suddenly it’s too late. I must admit that this was the case with Pete and myself, we had lost touch over the last couple of years, but I was very fortunate that I got to see him last year at the Sweden Rock Festival where he was performing with ‘The Pete Way Band’. Although he had now swapped his bass for a microphone, it was obvious to all that saw him, that he was still doing what he loved most in life, ROCKING!
Pete was a huge factor in the success of UFO and leaves a monumental legacy. I will forever remember his energy, his incredible stage presence, his unbounded sense of humor and his love of all things rock. His passing has robbed us of a true music legend and I for one doubt we will ever see his like again. Rest in peace, my friend!
10th June 2020
Some of you may have noticed that I haven't posted anything in quite a while. This is because it seemed like every time I did, it was to remember someone who was no longer with us. I felt somewhat guilty at not paying tribute to Neil Peart, but after he died I just couldn't bring myself to pen another obituary. Neil was a fine person and an excellent player, a real gentleman and a scholar, but I just couldn't face the fact that I had lost another peer.
Now, just when you think things couldn't get much worse in the world, I get the news that my long time friend and colleague Paul Chapman has died at the age of 66 and on his birthday! To say that I was shocked and saddened by this news would be an understatement. Paul was a great guy, generous and funny, with a true zest for life. He was also a great guitarist. I had the pleasure of working with him in both UFO and Waysted, and I have very fond memories of those times. Paul will be sadly missed by all that knew him, my heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends. RIP Tonka.
News from 2019
News from 2018