Paul Richards

Paul Richards

(GB) Guitar/Mandolin/Banjo/Melodeon/Vocals.

Stranger on the shore

Paul is a proud Cornishman, born and raised in the proud little town of Penryn near Cornwalls’ picturesque seaside ‘metropolis’ Falmouth. He is the multi-instrumentalist in the band and songwriter, and many of his songs are based around experiences and places in his home county.

Paul was born in 1965, the height of Beatlemania, and he’s still a Beatle faHow did such a nice boy ...natic after all these years. He claims Rolf Harris as one of his earliest musical influences, (but rumour has it that his first LP was Pinky & Perky!). The late sixties and early seventies kiddies TV shows, Oliver Postgates’ smallfilms, HR Pufnstuf and the above mentioned porky duo also made a lasting impression, and his first musical instrument was a ‘Blow organ’ (?) upon which he would play the theme tunes. At the age of 9 he joined the junior school brass band firstly on flugel horn and then trumpet. His father then bought him a clarinet in the hope of producing another Acker Bilk. Paul progressed to the level of ‘Tune a Day book 2’ and then gave it all up in pursuit of…… fishing! (Why does the tune Stranger on the Shore spring to mind?).

In his mid teens, like many before him, Paul decided he wanted a guitar end up looking like this.– an electric guitar to make all those ‘Kerraaaangwoowoowaaaah’ noises popular (or not!) throughout the seventies. With the help of his father (watchmaker and DIY genius) and ‘Everyday electronics’ magazine, he built his first electric guitar, a ‘Delta’ ‘V’ shaped instrument that did the job. Mum & Dad were to have little peace from that moment on.

It was the early 1980’s and punk rock had exploded in mainland Britain and now even the quaint and quiet streets of Penryn were awakened to a ‘Horrible din’. Paul, his brother Steve on drums, and chum Alex Willey on rhythm guitar, formed a band, ‘Barry Bitter and the Dobheads’, later to rename themselves ‘The Dregs’, ‘Unshaven Whale’ and ‘Deadly Eggnog’. The core members of Paul, Steve and Alex remained together for the duration, while singers and hangers on came and went. The music however remained a horrible din (tapes exist to prove it!)

After leaving school, Paul went to nearby Camborne Technical College on a four year course in Technical Illustration, and it certainly wasn’t all nuts and bolts! College life expanded Pauls’ musical horizons (as well as other things!). Cornwall at this time was still a haven of hippydom with the NAnother bad hair dayew-age/punk ‘edge’, and the Cornish ‘scene’ in the 80s’ was in its heyday. Music, Art, Festivals, and all of the zany events, characters and substances that go with it, only helped prolong Pauls’ ‘idyllic’ childhood.

In 1985 it was time to grow up and get a job, the latter of these proved no problem as Paul was now a competent Technical Illustrator (& Space cadet!). He moved to Hitchin in Hertfordshire and worked for Industrial Artists for 2 years, still dabbling in music, including a short lived stint with the punk band ‘Scum of Toytown’. Also during this time a good friend introduced him to Horslips, Fairport-Convention and……Folk music! Something connected, Paul was now a ‘folk-rocker’ and after hearing Hearts’ ‘Sylvian song’ “Had to get a mandolin man!”. The hippy/anarchist lifestyle came to a head in 87 when Paul jacked in the job & bought a van to become a ‘Traveller’, only he hadn’t travelled very far when the van broke down and was impounded by the police. They say that money isn’t everything, but Pauls’ problem was that he didn’t have any.

Luckily he’d always had very patient, loving and understanding parents to bail him out, and he was welcomed back home like the prodigal son. PaulRock and Roll !! was homesick for Cornwall anyway and found that the place was still “buzzin”, however, fate springs its surprises and a job opportunity came up… in Munich Germany, Paul wasn’t that keen on the idea of leaving Cornwall once again, but it would have been folly to refuse, and in November 87 ‘Ein neues leben’ beckoned.

Paul has since come down to Earth (if not quite on ground level), has recently turned 40! A vegetarian for the love of animals (no more fishing! But he knows his Pollack from his Piranha!!), loves the great outdoors, non-conformity, draws cartoon strips for fun, is an expert on biscuits, and a music addict, with tastes ranging from Abba to Zydeco, trying out any instrument he can lay his hands on. He has played with the Munich based folk rock bands Paddy Whack, Six Hand Reel and bluegrass band The Huckleberry 5. Pauls current projects outside the BBB include The Bottles – yet another Beatles revival band featuring Paul on lead guitar & vocals together with Liverpudlian Phil Newton on guitars and vocals, the BBBs’ own Jim Klopfenstein on bass and Pauls brother Steve on drums. Find out what they’re up to at Phils site: He also sings and plays his Mandolin, Melodeon & Guitar with The Paul Daly Band – They have a CD coming out on 27th September. Info, photos and even video files at: Paul also features on the new CD project from Puzzlepie studio “Sink or Swim” info at:   Music aside, he continues to keep his day job as a freelance Technical Illustrator.