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Paul Arthurs
Also known as Bonehead
Born 23 June 1965 (1965-06-23) (age 44)
Burnage, Manchester, England
Genres Rock
Occupations Musician
Instruments Guitar, Piano, Bass Guitar, Melodica
Years active 1991 - Present
Associated acts Oasis , The Rain, The Vortex
Notable instruments
Epiphone Riviera

Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (born 23 June 1965, Burnage, Manchester, England) is one of the founding members of English rock band Oasis and rhythm guitar player from 1991-1999.

He is almost exclusively known by his nickname Bonehead, a reference to the short back and sides haircut his father made him have when he was young.


Early life

Arthurs was born in Manchester to Irish Catholic emigrants[citation needed]. He left school in 1981 and worked as a plasterer. He started his first band in 1984 - called Pleasure and Pain. Around this time he began a relationship with Kate, whom he would later marry. In the late 1980s, while working as a building contractor, he started a band with his friends, Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan (bass), Tony McCaroll (drums) and Chris Hutton (vocals). They called themselves 'The Rain', after The Beatles' B-side, "Rain".

Oasis and role therein

When Hutton quit, he was replaced by Liam Gallagher. Gallagher and Arthurs teamed up as co-songwriters. However, the band was still unsuccessful until Gallagher encouraged his brother Noel, who had just come back from travelling the world as a roadie for Inspiral Carpets, to join the band. Noel Gallagher changed the bands name to Oasis and brought with him a collection of songs that were to make the band famous. Arthurs remembers the first songs Noel Gallagher played to him being "Live Forever" and "All Around the World". He later broke down and cried when Noel Gallagher first played "Champagne Supernova" to the band on their tour bus.[1] On the Definitely Maybe DVD, he said his favourite Oasis song to play live was "Columbia", as the song only consisted of three chords that create an hypnotic groove.

The Arthurs' front room was used on the cover of Oasis' debut album Definitely Maybe. Arthurs had painted and plastered the room himself.

When Oasis performed the song "Whatever" on Top of the Pops, they mimed and one of the cellists from the symphony orchestra was replaced by Arthurs. Towards the end of the song, he started using the bow to conduct.

Arthurs is a multi-instrumentalist and is credited as having played piano and mellotron on (What's the Story) Morning Glory? and can be seen on piano in the video for "Don't Look Back in Anger". He was supposed to take lead vocals on one Oasis track, "Bonehead's Bank Holiday" - a jocular ode on the double vinyl issue of (What's the Story) Morning Glory. However, in the end Noel Gallagher sang the song as Arthurs had been nervous about his first vocal performance and when Liam Gallagher took him for some drinks to calm his nerves they overdid it - samples of their drunken singing were used on the track. Noel Gallagher claims to enjoy the song for its comedic value "particularly the way he sings it, because he's beyond tone deaf." He highlights it as Oasis' "Ringo track".

Although Noel Gallagher has downplayed his relationship with Arthurs in recent years (claiming to have shared only a few hours of conversation with him in their six years in the same band, a claim he has always made - more convincingly - about Guigsy), he gave rather a different impression in 1995, stating "being in a band with [Bonehead] is not miserable, 'cos that guy is like Peter Sellers and Rigsby combined, with less morals than either of them - he's just outrageous". Noel is also godfather to the Arthurs' first child, Lucy Oasis Arthurs (born January 23 1995) and sometimes claims to have written "Don't Go Away" at Arthurs' request, for Arthurs' mother, Delia, who was dying of cancer at the time. This song is also cited as being about the Gallagher's mother, Peggy who had a cancer scare.

In 1997, Arthurs purchased a personalised car numberplate which read. "S1 SAO" which when viewed in a rear view mirror read 'OASIS'.


Arthurs left the band in 1999, during the recording of Oasis' fourth album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. In his official statement he claimed he wanted to spend more time with his family (his first son, Jude Arthurs - who was not named after the Beatles' song Hey Jude - was born on 12 August 1997).

Arthurs was replaced by Gem Archer, who was thereafter pointedly referred to as a "professional". The rest of the band downplayed the reaction to his departure, Noel Gallagher commenting "it's hardly Paul McCartney leaving the Beatles" though he also said "We've got to respect their (Bonehead and McGuigan) decision as family men." Gallagher has admitted on several occasions holding no malice toward the former rhythm guitarist and admiring him for his effort he put forth.

Arthurs now lives in Manchester where he has built a recording studio under his house and formed Moondog One (named after 'Johnny and the Moondogs', one of the Beatles' former titles before they rose to fame), which also includes The Smiths' Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke.

In 2004 Arthurs teamed up with Sek Loso to play rhythm guitar alongside Loso's new English bandmates. The group toured Asia, Europe, and the US in search of a label deal.

In early 2007 Arthurs had a visible presence in the North West of England for the first time since leaving Oasis 8 years previously. His support for Andy Rourke's Versus Cancer fundraising concert saw the pair busking together in Manchester's Cathedral Gardens to raise cancer awareness and to fund raise for Manchester's Christie Hospital. On 30 March 2007, the Versus Cancer concert was held at Manchester's MEN Arena. Arthurs played bass guitar (rather than the trademark rhythm guitar from his Oasis days) in a two song set. He was in a band billed as 'Electric Milk Band', which also featured former members of Happy Mondays.

He has been playing DJ sets in clubs, most recently in London. His playlist features Oasis songs such as "Live Forever", and collaborations between the Gallagher brothers and Death in Vegas and The Chemical Brothers.

He also presents a radio show on BBC Radio Manchester with Terry Christian, Natalie-eve and Michelle Hussey. The show is Manchester Music and has had fellow Manchester music artists as guests including members of Happy Mondays, The Smiths and The Charlatans.

On 29 January 2009 in York at the Speakeasy, Bonehead performed a DJ set, supported by The Banter.

In January 2009 Arthurs joined Manchester band The Vortex

In 2009 Arthurs starred as himself, along with The Vortex lead guitarist Maz Behdjet, in a scene in the UK film, Freight starring Billy Murray and Craig Fairbrass.

His father worked in the demolition industry.


  • Oasis: What's the Story?; Ian Robertson; Blake Publishing; 1996
  • Definitely Maybe; Big Brother DVD's; 2004

External links

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