Musicians hail Happy Mondays’ Paul Ryder as a ‘pioneer and inspiration’

The Manchester band’s bass player died on Friday morning.
The Manchester band’s bass player died on Friday morning. The Manchester band’s bass player died on Friday morning.

Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess has led tributes to Happy Mondays star Paul Ryder after his death aged 58.

The Salford-raised bass player and Happy Mondays founding member died on Friday morning, a statement from the band confirmed.

The group said on their official Facebook page: “The Ryder family and Happy Mondays band members are deeply saddened and shocked to say that Paul Ryder passed away this morning.

“A true pioneer and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time. Long live his funk.”

Burgess shared a video of Happy Mondays singing their track Hallelujah on Twitter.

He wrote: “Sending much love to the Happy Mondays family – Paul Ryder was a pioneer and an inspiration to all of us that followed.

“He played on so many era-defining tracks. Listening to Bummed right now. Safe travels.”

Stone Roses singer Ian Brown paid tribute to the bassist who he nicknamed Pabs.

“Rest in peace Ryder. A great friend, a great musician, a great fella, big love to Amelia, Jacob, Sonny, Chico and the family and band. Love ya longtime Pabs,” he said on Twitter.

In another tweet, pioneering electronic band New Order said: “So sorry to hear about the passing of Paul. Our thoughts are with his family and of course the rest of the band members.”

Peter Hook, co-founder of electronic bands Joy Division and New Order, said Ryder’s death was a “shock.”

He tweeted: “Paul Ryder was the archetypal solid, quiet, strong, dependable bass player.

“A lovely man – respectful & charming. When they got back together I remember seeing them play & he looked so happy. And they needed him back so much, he gave them soul & passion. RIP mate.”

Oasis and Ride guitarist Andy Bell wrote: “Really sad news about Paul Ryder, RIP.”

Manchester guitar band James’ frontman Tim Booth said: “The inspirational bass player Paul Ryder has died. I knew him through the Mondays @officials and later his talented sons went to my son’s school. Love to all his families and loved ones. Nothing but love.”

British post-punk duo Sleaford Mods sent their condolences, writing “RIP mate”.

Glasgow singer Pete MacLeod tweeted: “Paul was a gent & we had good talks when I supported & toured with The Happy Mondays.”

Alongside his frontman brother Shaun, Paul founded the Happy Mondays in 1980 and was credited with giving the band their signature rolling groove on hits such as Step On and Kinky Afro.

The original line-up also included drummer Gary Whelan and guitarist Mark Day, and they were later joined by maraca-wielding dancer Bez.

The band had been scheduled to perform at Kubix festival in Sunderland on Friday evening but festival organisers said: “Following the tragic news of Paul Ryder passing away this morning, the Happy Mondays will no longer be playing tonight’s show and our thoughts remain with the band and Paul’s family at this difficult time.”

Synonymous with the “Madchester” music scene, the Happy Mondays’ blend of psychedelia and alternative rock continues to influence other acts.

The band crossed over into the mainstream with hits from albums such as Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches and also earned a reputation as hellraisers.

Paul Ryder death
Paul Ryder death Mark Day, Paul Ryder and Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays (Ian West/PA)

Ryder remained an active member as the Happy Mondays broke up and reformed multiple times across the last 40 years.

He also acted in several films including The Ghosts Of Oxford Street and Losing It, and made a cameo as a gangster in the film 24 Hour Party People, about the Madchester music scene.

He also formed the band Big Arm and released a 2008 album titled Radiator, and played DJ sets around the world.