I first met Paul when he walked into my guitar repair shop in Surrey. He was there to have me look at his beloved Les Paul which he wanted to be put back to stock... But he also wanted it to look as close to Mic Ronson’s Les Paul. He was kind of a quiet guy and had a gentle humour and over a few visits got to like the atmosphere in the shop and with the customers that hung out there. When the guitar was finished and he came to pick it up, I finally got to hear his prowess on the guitar! This boy could rawk! All the guys in the shop were impressed and naturally we asked him if he would join us in our regular weekend jams.
His sound was amazing! He was channeling his hero Mic Ronson....and so much more. He had tone for days and to me , it was like he could sneak up on a note and then strangle it...add vibrato and it would sing so sweet... His love for all things Bowie and Ronson was quite clear...but he would give you killer Stones and Zeppelin and all the classic rock biggies. He could out play all of us and yet was so humble and fit in to any of the jams and not hog the leads...although we all wanted him to. He enjoyed hanging out in my shop and mentioned he wouldn’t mind working there so I said welcome aboard and started to have him doing setups on guitars from the suppliers.
Paul was very good at setting guitars up and adjusting the action , spending a lot of time to make sure that they were ready to play professionally. When he started to record his originals and would let me hear the studio takes before mastering, It occurred to me that he would have been huge in the 70s glam scene. He absolutely had it down pat and not only that..he played all the instruments...blew my mind, so talented.
I feel so lucky to have met such a great humble guy and awesome musician and good friend. I’m glad to have his music to remember the low slung, Les Paul guitar slinger with the killer touch and tone.
Love ya Paul
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Don Vito Donatiello
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