Phil Mogg Announces Retirement From UFO 

John Bull/Rockrpix

The UFO’s performances we took in last year at Ramblin’ Man and Dorking Halls found a well-honed act with a hatful of great songs, fiery guitar and band interplay AND a splendi curmudgeonly front man in veteran Phil Mogg. Closer to Peter Cook than Dave Lee Roth, this man is English Classic Rock through and through…

The singer, who turned 70 last month, has released a statement confirming that he will leave the group after UFO complete a farewell 50th anniversary tour in 2019.

“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.”

He continues: “2019 marks UFO’s 50th anniversary, so the timing feels rights. 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.

“I’m a big reader of obituaries, and my finger always goes down to: ‘I wonder how old they were…’. 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.”

Alongside guitarist Mick Bolton, bassist Pete Way, and drummer Andy Parker, Mogg formed Hocus Pocus in London in 1968 and they later changed their name to UFO in October 1969.

Last year’s covers collection ‘The Salentino Cuts’ is Mogg’s final release for the band as he has confirmed he will no longer be recording any new material.

Despite the end of his half-Century tenure being imminent, Mogg said that he would have no issues with UFO’s current line-up of Paul Raymond, Vinnie Moore, Rob De Luca and co-founding member Andy Parker continuing without him.

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’.”

Summing up the announcement in one word, Mogg finished: “Maybe the best word to use is ‘bittersweet’. But my time has arrived and all that remains is to make sure that we have a good tour.”

Feature Image Photo Credit: John Bull/Rockrpix

For more information visit the band’s official website here: http://bit.ly/2JE42x3

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