Frontman Phil Mogg is one of two remaining original members of hard rock/proto-metal greats UFO (along with drummer Andy Parker), but sadly he's stepping down from the band after one last tour this year, which also celebrates their 50th anniversary as a band. Mogg says:

This decision has been a long time coming. I’ve considered stepping down at the end of UFO’s previous tours in 2016. I don’t want to call this a farewell tour as I hate that word, but this year’s gigs 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 U.K. and we will also play some shows in selected other cities that the band has a strong connection with. But outside of the U.K. 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.

Maybe the best word to use is "bittersweet." But my time has arrived to be leaving UFO, and all that remains is to make sure that we have a great tour.

The band's announcement also mentions that Mogg "would have no problem with UFO continuing with a replacement."

The just-announced US leg of the tour goes down this fall, and there's a Manhattan show on October 30 at Sony Hall and a Staten Island show with fellow hard rock/proto-metal vets Blue Oyster Cult on Halloween at St. George Theater. Tickets for those shows are on sale now. All dates are listed below.

Watch a video of UFO playing the classic "Rock Bottom" back in the day, below:

UFO -- 2019 Tour Dates
UK/IRELAND DATES
MARCH
Thu 07 - Bristol - O2 Academy
Fri 08 - Leamington Spa - The Assembly
Sat 09 - Oxford - 02 Academy
Sun 10 - Bournemouth - 02 Academy
Tue 12 - Cardiff - Tramshed
Thu 14 - Birmingham - Town Hall
Fri 15 - Pwllheli - Hard Rock Hell AOR Fest
Sat 16 - Manchester - 02 Ritz
Sun 17 - Leeds - 02 Academy
Tue 19 - Dublin - Academy
Wed 20 - Belfast - The Limelight 1
Fri 22 - Cambridge - The Junction
Sat 23 - Northampton - Roadmender
Sun 24 - Norwich - The Waterfront
Tue 26 - Nottingham - Rock City
Thu 28 - Newcastle - 02 Academy
Fri 29 - Edinburgh - Queen’s Hall
Sat 30 - Inverness - Ironworks
Sun 31 - Glasgow - 02 Academy

APRIL
Tue 02 - Hull - City Hall
Wed 03 - Southampton - The Brook
Thu 04 - London - Shepherd’s Bush Empire

GERMANY DATES
JULY
26 - Germany - Burg Herzberg - Festival
27 - Germany - Nuremberg - Pyraser Classic Rock Night
28 - Germany - Bensheim - Musiktheater Rex
30 - Germany - Dortmund - Musiktheater Piano
31 - Germany - Wacken - Open Air

AUGUST
02 - Germany - Neuruppin - Kulturhaus
03 - Germany - Leipzig - Parkbühne

US DATES
Oct. 10 - Anaheim, Calif. @ The Grove#
Oct. 11 - Las Vegas, Nev. @ House of Blues#
Oct. 24 - Wabash, Ind. @ Honeywell Center
Oct. 25 - St. Charles, Ill. @ Arcada Theater
Oct. 26 - St. Charles, Ill. @ Arcada Theater
Oct. 27 - Chesterfield, Mich. @ Diesel
Oct. 30 - New York, N.Y. @ Sony Hall
Oct. 31 - Staten Island, N.Y. @ St George Theater*
Nov. 1 - Jim Thorpe, Pa. @ Penn’s Peak*
Nov. 2 - Uncasville, Ct. @ Wolf’s Den @ Mohegan Sun

# With Armored Saint
*With Blue Oyster Cult