Perusing the web while enjoying a morning bit of coffee, we learned this news from the legendary Phil Mogg, lead singer for the Hard Rock band UFO. Phil will apparently be stepping down after the 2019 50th Anniversary Tour. Read on.
The Official Statement:
Phil Mogg has confirmed that next year’s 50th anniversary tour with UFO will be his last as the frontman of the long-running hard rock band. Consequently, it seems almost certain that at that point they will cease to exist. UFO were formed in London in 1969 and Mogg is their only ever-present member, performing on all of the group’s 22 studio albums.
“This decision has been a long time coming, I’ve considered stepping down at the end of UFO’s previous two tours,” Mogg explains. “I don’t want to call this a farewell tour as I hate that word, but next year’s gigs will represent my final tap-dancing appearances with the band.
“2019 marks UFO’s 50th anniversary, so the timing feels right,” he continues. “There will be a final tour of the UK and we will also play some shows in selected other cities that the band has a strong connection with. But outside of the UK this won’t be a long tour. Being out on the road isn’t always tremendously luxurious and although the playing is as great as it ever was, the stuff that surrounds it becomes very tiresome. I always told myself that when I reached that stage I would step down, and that’s what I’m going to do. This is the right time for me to quit.”
Mogg turned 70 back in April and although his voice remains strong, he admits that age played its part in his conclusion.
“I’m a big reader of obituaries, and my finger always goes down to: ‘I wonder how old they were…’,” he chuckles. “The last few years have been tough, losing Lemmy was awful and I was sad that Jimmy Bain passed on a cruise ship. That distressed me quite a lot.”
While many veteran bands in such a position simply cease playing live and continue to record, UFO will no longer be releasing new music. Last year’s covers collection ‘The Salentino Cuts’ is set to become a signing-off point, though Mogg insists that however unlikely the prospect might seem – the singer is a lone strand of consistency throughout a 50-year history – he would have no problem with UFO continuing with a replacement.
The band’s current line-up – completed by keyboard player/second guitarist Paul Raymond, guitarist Vinnie Moore, drummer Andy Parker and bassist Rob De Luca – have of course been informed of Mogg’s decision.
“I’ve told the guys that this is how it is,” he says. “They know it’s my time to go and they know that they can do whatever they want to do without me but I don’t want to play live or make records anymore, though having said that I might go on and do an album of my own. I’ll have to see how I feel about that.”
Of course UFO have either split up, retired or gone on hiatus several times before but Mogg is keen to make the distinction that next year’s dates don’t just mark the end of his touring commitments with UFO – for Phil, there will be no further concerts of any kind.
“For me, this is the end of my stint with UFO,” he clarifies. “This is a line in the sand. I’m suggesting we call the tour ‘Last Orders’, though I also like ‘The Bar Is Closing’. I’m also tempted to name it ‘The Drinks Are On Parker’,” he chuckles, referring to long-suffering sticksman Andy Parker.
You’ll have gathered that Mogg is not about to slash his wrists anytime soon. Of course he is sad that the finishing line is now within sight but has had sufficient time to live with and process such a massive personal decision.
“Maybe the best word to use is ‘bittersweet’,” he concludes. “But my time has arrived and all that remains is to make sure that we have a good tour.”
*** end of statement ***
PiercingMetal Thoughts: While this is sad news to learn, let’s be honest here…..Phil has given more than his fair share of dedication to the craft and deserves to enjoy some peace and quiet with friends and family as he regails them with stories from the past. Hopefully he has also begun working on some kind of memoir because someone who has been in this as long as Phil Mogg has, must have some amazing stories to tell. What do you readers think about this news? Are you mad? Do you feel cheated by Phil’s wish to retire? You might if you are one of those fans who only finds their music pleasure being with the bands from “back in the day” (even if some of them are still rather active in today’s scene). I’ve had this discussion with friends recently having grown up in the heyday of a number of legendary bands. My thoughts were on how amazing it was to be still listening to and attending concerts of bands that I listened to during my teenage years. I feel a lot of them deserve a break and should call it a career and let the new blood take hold of the reigns. There are scores of worthy contenders to help keep Rock and Metal vibrant already with more showing up year after year. I should share that I was called a “non-fan” for having this mindset by the way. Go figure. Let me know what you think down below and be sure to watch the website for that eventual tour announcement. Having seen UFO a number of times over the last fifteen years, I can say that the 50th Anniversary Tour should be one for the record books. Perhaps Phil will change his mind because we still have a bit of time before this milestone anniversary occurs and that will definitely ease the minds of those music fans who I mentioned are only staying with the past. The Phil Mogg photos I’ve included here were taken during the bands performance at the Stage 48 Venue in NYC back in 2013. It was a solid show for sure.
Official Website: http://www.ufo-music.com