Paul lived in north east London and like most of us, started playing Shadows stuff in the early 60's in local bands, but he wanted it to be more than just a part time affair. He eventually joined Johnny Milton and The Condors, from the same London postcode, as a professional musician. While he was playing with The Condors, he met The Cherokees. This must have been about 1962. Both bands shared the same agency, " The Roy Tempest Organisation" The Cherokees had moved from Leeds to Golders Green and at that time, the two bands shared a lot of time with each other. John, David and Tez became good friends of Paul and the two bands even went on holiday together. Paul left The Condors but not much is known about this period.
Paul joined the NYPL in early 1967 for a approximately 12 months. When Paul left in early 1968, he enrolled at The London College of Music and acquired a place as a mature student, attaining a degree. He started teaching music in schools, where he lived in Loughton north London, which is where he met his wife to be Cynthia. Eventually he became Head of Music at Loughton 6th Form College. He returned to play the occasional gig with NYPL in the 80's and 90's and played on the Take Some Music album. Paul's love for jazz lead him to play string bass in a contemporary jazz outfit. It was while he was playing with this band that his untimely death occurred. While driving down the M1, travelling home from a gig, the car crashed and we lost Paul. The members of NYPL were devastated. It was John who always recognised Paul as the "Perfect Musician". John, Paul, Topper and Pete went to see Steely Dan together in September 1996. We never saw Paul again. Paul left behind his wife Cynthia, his son Dominic and daughter Ursula. Another day another rain.
Paul and his son Dominic
The precision player with a Precision Bass
NYPL would like to thank Paul's wife Cynthia for providing these wonderful pictures
Here are his pictures incuding some by the great Dezo Hoffman who also took pictures of The Knack and The Cherokees
We first encountered Paul because his band, Johnny Milton and the Condors, was with the same agency as ours. He was then seventeen years old, when we met at the California Ballroom, Dunstable. The band was excellent and we easily struck up a friendship. The highlight of their set was "Baby Blue", a Gene Vincent number which they played with superb stagecraft. Johnny Milton was the front vocal, Paul, the youngest band member was on bass, Clive on drums, Ricky lead guitar and I can't now accurately recall the name of the rhythm guitarist. The band went on to play as the Symbols but Paul left at this time and I didn't see him again until he joined NYPL in 1967.
The California Ballroom web site contains some misinformation about the bands origins. Micky Clarke joined the band after Paul left and was not a founder member
Bob Powis writes
Re: The pictures of Paul in his early days as a bass player.
The picture of us showing off our Hofner instruments was taken before we got down to rehearsals in the local church hall. Some of the other shots showing the band, who's names were Mick Simmons on drums, Mike Higgs on rhythm guitar, Paul on bass, myself on lead and the singer was a chap called Pete Watson.
The band was never a real success and it split up a couple of weeks after those pics were taken. The Condors were looking for a bass player and so I introduced Paul to the lads, who were great mates of mine and he was quickly accepted. Even at that early time, he was brilliant on the bass. Micky Simmons and myself went on to join a band working for one of the London agent's Ron King, arch enemy of Roy Tempest. We messed about all over the country (before Motorways), then we shipped out to France, playing the American bases out there. At the same time, Paul went off to the Star Club and Top Ten in Hamburg.
When we all eventually got back from our different locations, we had another shuffle around. I left for a while to nurse my ailing father and although my band continued on, mostly as Johnny Burnetts backing band (The Rebounds), there were more changes to come. Rick Smith was leaving the Condors, because of illness and his job was offered to our lead guitarist, Shaun Corrigan. By this time Paul had left He went on to Sussex Uni at Brighton to study music and his place was taken by Mick Clarke. The band was renamed and became The Symbols. Danny O' Donavan was also our manager along with Henry Sellers and I came back into the fold, but this time as road manager. I stayed with them until they split up after about ten years I think. Mick Clarke went on to play with The Rubettes, and still does. Clive the drummer still plays in the Southend area mainly jazz now, Shaun the lead guitarist is still playing most nights in a very accomplished duo and Johnny Milton remains a great friend of mine and is now retired and living in Spain,
Best Regards, Bob Powis.
This is a little gem, sent to me by Bob Powis who received it from Mervyn of The Condors. It's The Condors playing behind Ray Anton