Tributes pour in for Happy Mondays star Paul Ryder, 58, who died hours before gig

Tributes have poured in for Shaun Ryder’s brother and Happy Mondays bassist Paul who died suddenly aged 58.

The musician was found dead on Friday just hours before the band were due to play at Kubix Festival in Sunderland.

Shaun, 59, and Paul were the original founders of The Happy Mondays that first formed in Salford in 1980.

The group were a key part of the ‘Madchester’ scene and were hugely popular in the 1980s and 90s.

Paul Ryder dead: Happy Mondays star and Shaun’s brother has passed away suddenly aged 58 - hours before he was due to play show (stock image)

Paul Ryder dead: Happy Mondays star and Shaun’s brother has passed away suddenly aged 58 – hours before he was due to play show (stock image) 

Many of Happy Mondays’ contemporaries and fans paid tribute to the ‘legend’ bassist Paul.

Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown tweeted to his 177,000 followers:  ‘REST IN PEACE PAUL 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 X’

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh replied to brother Shaun online saying: ‘Terrible news Shaun. All the best wishes to your family.’

Fellow bassist and co-founder of Joy Division and New Order Peter Hook said: ‘What a shock… 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.’

Happy Mondays and the Ryder family announced Paul’s sudden death on a Facebook post which said: ‘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.’

Condolences: Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown paid tribute to Paul Ryder on Friday

Condolences: Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown paid tribute to Paul Ryder on Friday 

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh sent his sympathies to Happy Mondays frontman and brother Shaun Ryder

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh sent his sympathies to Happy Mondays frontman and brother Shaun Ryder

Fellow bass guitar player and New Order member Peter Hook also showed his appreciation for the late Paul Ryder

Fellow bass guitar player and New Order member Peter Hook also showed his appreciation for the late Paul Ryder 

Sad loss: The band paid tribute with a Facebook post on Friday where they shared the news with fans

Sad loss: The band paid tribute with a Facebook post on Friday where they shared the news with fans

Tributes continued to be sent out from across the music industry in reaction to Paul’s death.  

The band Fat Cops wrote on Twitter: ‘RIP Paul Ryder, who was a good friend to us when we toured with Happy Mondays. Hell of a bass player.’

Founding member of Oasis Paul Arthurs shared: ‘Thoughts with you all Shaun, sad news xxxxx.’ 

While musician Rob Smith shared: ‘RIP Paul Ryder.’

DJ Grahame Park added: ‘No! Very sad news. Sorry for your loss. Sending love.’ 

UB40’s Ali Campbell offered his sympathy adding: ‘Condolences to you and yours Shaun! Stay strong, Big Love.’ 

Founding members: Paul, (left), pictured with brother Shaun Ryder while performing with The Happy Mondays  in July 2012

Founding members: Paul, (left), pictured with brother Shaun Ryder while performing with The Happy Mondays  in July 2012

A rock star from a young age, Paul struggled with drug addiction throughout his life.  

He once said his shy nature was part of the reason he started to take drugs.

Paul said: ‘I am embarrassingly shy – that’s why I used to take copious amount of drugs before I went on stage … with Shaun being a Leo and older he was so much more the extrovert, and from what I know he always loved the attention.’

After their heyday in the late 80s and early 90s, Paul struggled with heroin addictions. 

He told The Mirror in 2019: ‘We couldn’t have Calpol for the kids. I’d drink the lot.’ 

In a candid interview in 2007, he said of the drug use: ‘It was wild. I was 18 and recording an album. I’d learnt how to read and write at school but my real education began with the Mondays.

RIP: The circumstances of Paul's death are not known (pictured performing in Rio)

RIP: The circumstances of Paul’s death are not known (pictured performing in Rio)

‘I’d been using drugs since I was 17. If you have the money and the lifestyle it’s part and parcel of the job, especially when people in the industry are giving it to you for free.

‘That was especially the case in America. They learned pretty quickly that if there were no drugs, then there was no show.’ 

His brother Shaun has also opened up about his 20-year drug addiction in the past.  

In 2014, Paul told MailOnline how he treated his now 16-year-old son’s cancer with cannabis.

He had said that as a recovering addict he would never have encouraged Chico to take drugs.

Honest: Paul has previously been very open about his addiction battles in the early days of the band and used heroin (pictured with Shaun)

Honest: Paul has previously been very open about his addiction battles in the early days of the band and used heroin (pictured with Shaun)

But when faced with his son’s diagnosis – a rare form of soft tissue cancer – the musician said he and his wife took the decision to use cannabis oil.

Chico fell ill in November 2012, complaining of a sore throat.

But just weeks after that Christmas his family received the devastating diagnosis – he was suffering the cancer rhabdomyosarcoma.

Doctors in Los Angeles where the family lived prescribed a synthetic form of cannabis to ease the side effects of the chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting.

But Chico’s parents took the treatment one step further, giving their then 11-year-old son cannabis oil, through his stomach tube – with the full support of his medical team.

Paul, originally from Salford, told MailOnline: ‘I found myself coaching him on how to inhale cannabis vapour from a vapourising machine.

‘It was surreal – but it worked brilliantly, and gave him instant relief. My drug problems have been well documented. I nearly lost my life. But now they are being used instead to help Chico.’

Chico’s illness came as a huge shock to his parents and older brother Sonny, who was aged 12 at the time.

His mother Angela, 50, said: ‘Before he became ill, he was a normal, energetic little boy. He loved skate-boarding, dirt-biking and football.

Tributes: Following the news of Paul's death, fans and showbiz stars rushed to offer their condolences on social media

Tributes: Following the news of Paul’s death, fans and showbiz stars rushed to offer their condolences on social media

‘Everything was going well until we were hit with an almighty bombshell.’

A sore throat didn’t clear up and a swelling appeared on the side of Chico’s neck. Initial tests for lymphoma were clear – and the family breathed a sigh of relief.

But five days before Christmas 2012, he became very ill.

With Paul away on tour with the newly reformed band, Angela kept him updated with texts.

Tough: In 2014, Paul told MailOnline how he treated his now 16-year-old son's cancer with cannabis

Tough: In 2014, Paul told MailOnline how he treated his now 16-year-old son’s cancer with cannabis

And one night, as he was about to take to the stage in London, his phone bleeped with news which was to change his life.

‘They are admitting him into hospital for more tests. 50-50 chance it’s cancer,’ the message read.

Paul said: ‘I was in a daze throughout the gig, I can’t remember playing at all.

‘It was so surreal to know that the rest of the world was oblivious, enjoying the festivities, tucking into turkey and having happy family times, while we were stuck in a hospital, dealing with our worst nightmare.’

Terrible: But just weeks after that Christmas his family received the devastating diagnosis - he was suffering the cancer rhabdomyosarcoma

Terrible: But just weeks after that Christmas his family received the devastating diagnosis – he was suffering the cancer rhabdomyosarcoma

Three days after Christmas, Chico was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma.

Paul told MailOnline: ‘I walked in there, to his hospital room and I just lost it, he looked so sick and frail. I went straight into the bathroom and threw up.’

It was the start of a battle which would see Chico cheat death more than once – while his father and uncle, Happy Mondays front man Shaun, hid their secret heartache from fans.

His wife said: ‘Shaun was shell-shocked; he sent text messages to Paul saying he couldn’t believe it and how he wished we weren’t so far away. Like most people, he just didn’t know what to say.’

In January 2020, it was revealed that Chico, now 16, had been in remission for over two and a half years.

Family: In the past Paul has spoken openly about his brotherly rivalry with Shaun (pictured) – who he started The Happy Mondays with in 1980s

Family: In the past Paul has spoken openly about his brotherly rivalry with Shaun (pictured) – who he started The Happy Mondays with in 1980s

According to Herb, the teen still takes cannabis oil daily as well as ‘nine other supplements.’ He also grows his own cannabis.

In the past Paul has spoken openly about his brotherly rivalry with Shaun – who he started The Happy Mondays with in 1980s.

He said: ‘Yes, Shaun is a lyrical genius but sometimes I look across at him on stage and think, ‘What a knob.

 

‘The wild tales of what we got up to recording our fourth album in Barbados were all myths and spoofs.’

Paul went on to say the pair had enjoyed a healthy sibling rivalry since their youth.

The guitarist, who lived in France, said of Shaun: ‘When I was three he pushed me off my bike and I needed hospital treatment.

‘I still have the scars on my hands and it still makes me mad when I look at them. It was always going off between us.

Trio: Happy Mondays were formed in Salford in 1980. The original line-up was Shaun (right), Paul (centre) Gary Whelan on drums, Paul Davis on keyboard and Mark Day (left) on guitar

Trio: Happy Mondays were formed in Salford in 1980. The original line-up was Shaun (right), Paul (centre) Gary Whelan on drums, Paul Davis on keyboard and Mark Day (left) on guitar

‘I was around nine when he took a psycho-swing at me with his new golf club and split my head open.’

As well as starring The Happy Mondays, Paul had a brief foray into film – including Losing It.

He also appeared in a film about the band. Called 24 Hour Party People, where he played a gangster.

As well as Chico and Sonny Paul has two other children Amelia and Jacob. It is not known whether he was married or not. 

Happy Mondays were formed in Salford in 1980. The original line-up was Shaun, Paul, Gary Whelan on drums, Paul Davis on keyboard and Mark Day on guitar.

They disbanded in 1993 after experiencing a commercial peak with Bummed (1988), Madchester Rave On (1989) and Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches (1990).

After leaving the Mondays he went on to live in America where he also pursued an acting career, as well as founding the band Big Arm.

But he returned to The Mondays reuniting with his brother in its original line-up for a hugely welcomed comeback tour in 2012.

The band had been back out on tour at festivals across the UK this year, and had been due to play at the Kubik Festival in the North East on Friday night.

Personal life: As well as Chico and Sonny Paul has two other children Amelia and Jacob. It is not known whether he was married or not (Paul pictured in 2012)

Personal life: As well as Chico and Sonny Paul has two other children Amelia and Jacob. It is not known whether he was married or not (Paul pictured in 2012)

In May last year Paul’s brother Shaun spoke candidly about his past drug addictions, insisting that his hedonistic past has nothing to do with his current health woes.

The former Happy Mondays and Black Grape star, 58, admitted his heath ‘is not what it used to be’, but said that although ‘crack and meth’ eroded his teeth, his drug use has had no other effects on his health. 

Shaun – who suffers from alopecia and was diagnosed with ADHD last year – explained to The Guardian : ‘I was a heroin addict for 20-odd years, but there’s been no damage off that. I’ve never had anything wrong with me until I was 53.’

Speaking about his hair loss, Shaun revealed he turned to skin micropigmentation – a cosmetic technique used to replicate the natural look of features such as hair.

Candid: In May last year Paul's brother Shaun spoke about his past drug addictions, insisting that his hedonistic past has nothing to do with his current health woes

Candid: In May last year Paul’s brother Shaun spoke about his past drug addictions, insisting that his hedonistic past has nothing to do with his current health woes

Discussing how he had been advised by a doctor to stop using a testosterone gel that he had been prescribed due to an under-active thyroid, Shaun said he started to lose his hair weeks later.

He said: ‘Within a week I had no beard, no hair, no hair on my body.’

In 2020, Shaun was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) after two of his daughters were given the same diagnosis.

He told the outlet that this helped him to make sense of the reckless behaviours he displayed in his earlier years.

‘This ADHD thing explains a lot: the impulsive behaviour, the drugs from a young age, not learning the alphabet until I was 28…

‘Education is about remembering stuff and I could never remember anything, so I didn’t get an education.’

The star was famed for his hedonistic lifestyle in the 90s at the peak of the Happy Mondays’ career, but cleaned up his act after meeting his second wife Joanne Ryder.

The musician – who shares two daughters with Joanne and has four other children from previous relationships – kicked his drugs habit during his forties.

Shaun famously lost his teeth after excessive use of crack, cocaine, ecstasy and heroin, leading him to spend £25,000 on rebuilding his smile.

He has now been off drugs and alcohol for 12 years and has not had a cigarette in five, after smoking his first aged just 10.

Best friends: Shaun was most recently seen on Celebrity Gogglebox alongside former Happy Mondays bandmate and best friend Bez in 2020

Best friends: Shaun was most recently seen on Celebrity Gogglebox alongside former Happy Mondays bandmate and best friend Bez in 2020

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