It was a year of great and unpleasant change in my life, when I turned to music, to see me through. I had decided to attend performances by Artists I had missed out on, and Paul Leahy was on the short list with his "Polly" project. We were very peripherally connected, through common friends, the Vancouver Indie scene of the 1980s and 90s and, of course, Facebook.
There were dim recollections of "No Fun" opening for "The Violent Femmes" and Robyn Hitchcock, but nothing at in in my current memories. Paul's band "The Transvestimentals" had broken up before I could see them, and the tune "Cosmic Planet Rock" had given me hope that Glam Rock was alive and well. I was going to don my gold boots, apply liberal glitter, get on the ferry and see for myself. It was a sweet time, that anticipation.
In a beautiful heritage theatre in New Westminster, I saw "Polly" for the first time. Up on a stage that could never contain him, came the man who played like Mick Ronson, while singing like David Bowie, with a splash of "Mott the Hoople". He was in his 50s, I kept reminding myself, with the persona of those twenty something wunderkinds of the 1970s. The pose, the clothes, the hat, but above all, the music! The Set showcased his songwriting & performance skills, and contained songs from his (then) new CD "All Messed Up", on which he played every instrument. When he sang "Ready to go-oh-oh" I knew that in a lifetime of attending gigs, great & small, I was now seeing THE glammest of the glam. We met after the show, and Paul the person was a thoughtful, humble compassionate man. He gave me his CD, and wished me well on my journey. That we shared a common foe, was not yet known to me, but his support while I was battling hard, filled my heart.
This same heart is hurting a bit writing this, as that awful enemy has returned in his life, but the joy and the love remain stronger. Paul Leahy, you have rocked my world in the best of ways. For the pleasure of your music, the gift of your presence, and the positive difference you have made to me, I thank you.
I think Paul expresses his emotions through those blistering solos. I have always known that he is the most underrated guitarist out there. He could have played on any stage with any band and done them proud, and other guitarists know that all too well
Underrated is the wrong word
Wrong. He is known to too few.
Don Vito Donatiello