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Music

Oasis guitarist Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs announces cancer diagnosis

Oasis guitarist and keyboardist Paul Arthurs has revealed some news fans may find troubling. In a statement uploaded on social media, the guitarist – commonly known to fans as ‘Bonehead’ – has announced that he has had to pull out of the upcoming Liam Gallagher concerts due to ill health. He mentioned “tonsil cancer” in his post, but highlighted that it is treatable and hopes to be back on the stage with the former Oasis frontman in a short period of time.

“Just to let you all know I’m going to be taking a break from playing for a while,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’ve been diagnosed with tonsil cancer, but the good news is it’s treatable and I’ll be starting a course of treatment soon.

“I’ll keep you posted how it’s going, I’m gutted I’m missing the gigs with Liam and the band. Have the best summer and enjoy the gigs if you’re going, I’ll see you soon.”

Arthurs played on the first three Oasis albums, from Definitely Maybe to Be Here Now, before quitting during the recording of Standing On The Shoulder of Giants. Guitarist Noel Gallagher reportedly commented that his departure was “hardly Paul McCartney leaving The Beatles”, but later complimented the man’s musical expertise in interviews. Gallagher admitted that Arthurs tended to be the one who called out the musical structures for his compositions, giving musical gravitas to the band at a more primitive point in their career.

Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll remembered him fondly in 2019: “I got on really well with Bonehead. I wouldn’t say we keep in that much touch, but we shared bedrooms, so we got to know each other. Great lad. He can get sounds out of guitars, keyboards, radiators. He was the oldest, most down to earth member, I guess. I was in Drogheda where they said he passed through. He was in a band with Vinny Peculiar, I couldn’t really get into them if I’m honest.”

Since then, Arthurs has regularly performed with vocalist Liam Gallagher, and the two appeared in the 2016 documentary Supersonic. Arthurs offered a positive overview of his time in Oasis, suggesting that he felt the band peaked at Knebworth in 1996. The guitarist has published his news statement on Twitter, which can be read below.

The guitarist said that he needs to take a break for a period as he recuperates from the cancer. The musician will likely give an update when he can.