Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
In 2018, rock legend Phil Mogg confirmed that this year’s 50th-anniversary tour with UFO will be his last as the frontman of the iconic, long-running hard rock band.
UFO formed in London in 1969, and since then, Mogg has been their only ever-present member, performing on each of the group’s 22 studio albums. He has been the constant presence amid line up shifts and sometimes fleeting changes in rock music itself, events making today’s announcement even more significant. While European dates have already been announced for the band, UFO is now unveiling their initial North American dates for this final run.
The confirmed dates include two shows in UFO’s adopted hometown of Chicago, two special co-headline shows with fellow classic rock icons Blue Öyster Cult, and two shows with Armored Saint supporting. A current list of confirmed dates can be found below with more shows expected to soon be added.
Mogg shared the following insight into his decision saying:
“This decision has been a long time coming, I considered stepping down at the end of UFO’s previous tour in 2016. I don’t want to call this a farewell tour as I hate that word, but this year’s gigs (2019) will represent my final tap-dancing appearances with the band.
2019 marks UFO’s 50th anniversary, so the timing feels right. 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, who will turn 71 this April, admits that UFO will no longer be releasing new music and that the band’s 2017 covers collection, ‘The Salentino Cuts’, is set to become their signing-off point.
“Maybe the best word to use is ‘bittersweet’,” he concludes. “But my time has arrived to be leaving UFO. And all that remains is to make sure that we have a great tour.”
– UFO “Last Orders” North American Tour 2019 –
* w/ Blue Öyster Cult