When I formed a band called Transvestimentals from my core group of friends and favourite musician-songwriters, my agenda was simple: Showcase for Paul, alternate platform for Nicole (Steen of Coal). Sure we were in music terms a bit long in the fangs but no matter: we were conscious, mobile (bad backs aside), upright and had all our faculties and there was Rock to Roll, man. The focus shifted more and more Paul's way for the prolific rate of riotous joyful sexy rollicking songs was unstoppable and irresistible. As good as any of the best of Bowie, Roxy Music and Mott the Hoople but with a more knowing self-mockery, albeit gentle rather than vicious.
I was not the first one to harness the raging talent and mysteriously provocative presentation of the best frontman I've ever seen, especially once Paul was seen to be free as a hired guitar-slinger and fantastic song-writer. After our 2nd show no less than 3 local "legends" had told me they intended to head-hunt Paul. Good luck!
Paul and I shared a few things in common. Both of us hated windy weather, promoting ourselves, rude careless disrespectful mean racist sexist idiots, leaving our homes, windy and rainy combo weather, demanding people, going outside, touring, rainy weather on its own, asking for anything, depending on anyone for anything, racist sexist weather, gender-unbending, age-ist people, any type of weather, and windy people
Headhunters of Paul: Sure! Legion!!! And to watch that play out was fun and funny. Those who hitched themselves to the Star of Paul found out that the orbit of the Star revolved around a small apartment, a treasured son, a beautiful smart wife, and a sprinkling of family and community. He was not going to be your ticket to rock-n-roll glammerfame, not your ticket at all. He's not ambitious but he is stunningly talented and thank fuck, he liked to share it with us. To know Paul is to know how to let him be and keep him close in one's heart, like a wolf that likes being near you and sharing food by the fire but not if you never shut the fuck up! Paul thinks a lot of things are funny and he is remarkably funny, but if you weren't listening carefully and letting things unfold, ha you missed it! Too bad, asshole. Learn from your mistakes: its the quiet smart ones not the show-ponies that count, although for a band both can be needed. Not mine. Show-ponies not shown. Paul stayed with the Transvestimentals until I was diagnosed with Parkinsons and folded up our tent.
Thank you Paul, for all the years. All the laughing at rehearsals, the mad lyrics, the truth within them, the melodic elegant raunchiness of your guitar sound and the dress sense! Looking good and sounding good? That is great. Looking bloody fantastic and sounding like everyone's very favourite songwriter and everyone's most giddily thrilling guitarist, well, that is Paul.
Don Vito Donatiello