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Soundtrack to Paul's Life

Last year Paul was a guest on the show 'Soundtrack To My Life', shown on the Play UK digital channel. Mary Anne Hobbs presented the show and asked her guest the question - "If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?". Previous guests on the show include Reece Shearsmith from the brilliant 'League of Gentlemen' and James Redmond (aka Finn from Hollyoaks).
Paul chose some sehr gut songs!

To go to the Play UK website, click here

During the show Paul talked about his past in general and significant parts of it which he accompanied with songs, six in all.

One of the first things Paul mentioned was how accident prone he was. He was born with a broken arm, this is common in the birth of twins (Paul has a a twin sister),  and he continued to break limbs up until the age of 20 (quite a safe childhood then). However not all injuries were caused by accident, Paul had practically self-inflicted broken limbs upon himself on two occasions (see jumping out of a window in a bin a few paragraphs below). He also once stuck his thumb into a vat of boiling tar because he liked the smell!?

The first song chosen by Paul was Lamplight by David Essex. Paul saw him as a child in 'That'll Be The Day' and thought he was the most handsome man he'd seen in his life. He also saw him in 1973 singing the song Lamplight on 'Top Of The Pops', and then thought "I wanna be David Essex". He was a hero to him for about ten days when Paul thankfully outgrew it. At the time Paul says he thought David had "A nice voice, but in retrospect it was fucking annoying". David influenced him because he had an earring, messy hair and looked like a gypsy, Paul could relate to this because his father's fashion shop was always two years out of fashion, making him and his twin sister the "Most unfashionable kids in Wembley".

 This is David Essex, he looks pretty much the same as he did in the 70s apart from the fact that he had a lot more hair back then.

One memory about Paul's childhood in particular has remained with him until this day -  the first time he saw psychological horror British 1974 movie - 'Don't Look Now'. It's a very intense and thrilling film, about a married couple, Laura and John Baxter, who retreat to Venice after their young daughter's accidental drowning, when she died she was wearing a red mac, this is a crucial part of the film. While in Venice they meet two middle aged English spinster sisters, one of whom is blind and claims she has psychic powers and is making contact with their dead daughter. Laura, already in a very fragile emotional state, embraces the chance to make contact with her lost child, while John dismisses the sister's talk as gobbledygook. Before long, however, John begins to experience strange visions and is apparently haunted by the red-raincoated figure of his dead daughter. It turns out to be a murdering dwarf wearing a red mac who kills him. It's a very good film but not recommended to the young! Paul saw the film at a young age and it frightened the life out of him, especially the horrible little dwarf. Understandable.

see what I mean?

Whilst at school, Paul began listening to Ian Dury, infact he changed his life. Even though he used to scare him because he walked with a stick and reminded him of Bill Sykes, Paul still loved him. This led Paul to choose Ian Dury's song Blackmail Man as his next musical choice. His Geography teacher at the time advised the class to buy 'Brand New Boots and Panties' by Ian, which Paul thought was amazing for a Geography teacher. His teacher was called Paul and was also an ex-mod with part of his ear bitten off by a rocker.

Ian Dury picture from late 70s/early 80s. R.I.P.

As a teenager Paul was in Nottingham taking his theatre design course. His video director flatmate, John Glazer, dared him to jump out of a high-up window in a bin. For some reason Paul took on the challenge, and completed it, resulting in him having a broken arm. Two weeks later at a party, Paul with his arm in plaster, was dared to jump out of a high-up window in a bin again. Amazingly he did it and this time gained a broken leg.

Paul was asked who he would have to play himself in the movie of his life, the reply was a cross between Charlton Heston and Jeff Bridges - Jeff Heston. He mentions how people used to tell him he looked like a young Jeff Bridges. His leading woman would be Julie Christie (the female lead from 'Don't Look Now'), because he thought she was incredible in that.

The next song of Paul's choice was Blondie's Touched By Your Presence. When Paul went to buy it up Wembley Highroad they only had the 12-inch version, it was the first 12-inch Paul had seen or bought, but it was the same price as a 7-inch. As it was the first, Paul expected his mum would presume the vinyl was more expensive and get angry at him for buying it! He got the man selling it to write a note to his mum saying "Dear Mrs.Kaye, this might look like it's more expensive but it does infact cost the same as a 7".

The song accompanies Paul's almost first kiss. He says he was close to it with a girl called Shelly in a cinema. Problem was, Paul had tracks on the top and bottom rows of his teeth, which convinced him he'd shred her tongue. Instead of kissing her he politely said he was off to the toilet and didn't come back!

 Quite a recent picture of Blondie, Debbie Harry still looking good.

The next part of Paul's past mentioned is the move to Israel, a cinematic relation with this, is the film 'Midnight Express', because Paul felt "very trapped". At this time in his life he was 29, and sick of being a theatre designer, he didn't even know why he was one because he'd always hated it, but was quite good at painting scenery.
While in Israel drunk one night, depressed and utterly fed up, Paul noticed a fat rat in the road he was walking down (Israel is known for it's plague of rats). He had his steel cherry red docs on and took a run up to the rat and kicked it (awww), ending up with rat guts all over his right boot, he just wanted to go home, and he did.

When Paul returned home he listened to his next chosen song The Old Main Drag by The Pogues, because it reminded him of being home in London, not Israel. The Pogues filled the gaping hole left in Paul after The Clash split up. They almost replaced the gap left by them because they were London based and wrote the same sort of songs.

 Here's the Pogues, with front man Shane Mcgowan.

Paul's marriage is mentioned next, the big day took place on 9th November 1989. Whilst drunk at the wedding party in a wine bar in Kilburn, Paul ran back to the house which was about 200 yards away to pick up some more champagne. On the way he saw his Auntie Valerie who was staying, she informed him the Berlin Wall was being pulled down at that very moment. Paul then decided he'd run back to the party, turn off the music, and make an historical announcement. When he got back he was so drunk he forgot, and will have to live with it for the rest of his life. The song chosen to accompany this scene, is the Public Enemy song Welcome To The Terror Dome, which was the song playing at his wedding.

Public Enemy in the 80s

The closing song for Paul's soundtrack was Public Image by P.I.L. (good choice!) Paul says he got into the Pistols a little too late, around 1978, when it was all finishing. The line up and front men kept changing (it was all over when John left I say), and it was all too confusing, but then when John (Lydon), came out of it all with a new band - Public Image Limited, it cleared a lot of things up. Paul says he can relate to the confusion that Lydon came out of, because he felt depressed and confused at 30. That was when Dennis was created and Paul took out all his bitterness on the horrible famous people.

 Here's John and the rest of the band from what looks like late 80s.

And that was the end of the show! Some good songs there for the exception of David Essex. So well done Paul, he's got good taste that man.

The Paul edition of the show was repeated on Thursday 14th June 2001 on Play UK at 13.30 - 14.00 and was repeated again in August.

Top Paul picture copyright of www.corbis.com