Band History

Paragon bannerThese days the long hair has gone… along with the attitude. Now Paragon has a more laid back outlook on life and music, no longer wanting or expecting multimillion pound record deals, they are now in it for the friendship and shared love of music. Always approaching things very tongue in cheek and with a good sense of humour, something that was needed in the early days as you could have been forgiven for thinking Spinal Tap was a biography of Paragon.

The band came to be back in the dark days of the early 90’s, first there was Tetragrammaton, featuring Pete on drums, Dan on vocals and Garry on bass with Robbie Turner on guitar, as that band ended Garry switched to guitar and Buzz was brought in on bass, that just left Steve ‘The Greek’ Smith to come in and complete the line up, originally as rhythm guitarist but then as lead guitarist. With nothing much happening, not even a name, Buzz left to be replaced by Steve Hill and before long the band was in place….but still without a name. There were lots of bad suggestions, most noteably Dans suggestion of “Stoaty Stoat and the performing Beavers” ! That was met with some wry smiles and a few knowing looks between the other members. Eventually someone found the word ‘Paradox’ in a dictionary which then became ‘Paragon’ and the name stuck.

Short on skill but high in enthusiasm we were soon gigging and building a strong following, with many gigs around the west country and a couple, which we still refer to as the bands highpoint, at the Ruskin arms in East Ham, London…the very same stage that Iron Maiden had played on some years ago, tragically though, Paragon never got to follow in their footsteps! The closest we ever got to fame again was a gig in Fulham where record company talent scouts were waiting, unfortunately an accident on the motorway put paid to those ambitions. Traveling in a hired Transit van with all our gear and a good number of fans rattling around in the back…(completely illegal, by the way)…the van ploughed into the back of a car on a wet carriageway, the gear, the band and the fans ended up in a very undignified heap at the front of the van. Luckily nobody was hurt and what followed was a bit of a bonding session while we waited for a tow truck to take us back to Taunton. Obviously, if we’d made the gig we would have been signed and history would have been made…at least in our minds!

It all ended in 1995 when personal differences made it impossible to carry on, and although the band threatened to reform many times over the years, it wasn’t until 2008 that we decided to give it another go, all that is except Garry, who had moved to Cornwall a few years previously. He still plays with us at the occasional private party, so anyone wishing to see the classic and original Paragon line up will need to gatecrash one of those!

The newest addition to the band is our old mate Jon Richards on Keyboards, a very accomplished musician with several album releases to his name, his skill has expanded the kind of music we’re able to put in our set, suddenly we can include songs by bands like Genesis and The Who, even the songs that originally weren’t intended to include keyboards now have a richer, fuller sound.

The gear and the skill levels have improved over the years, as has the relationship between the members, so if you’ve never seen us come and check us out, and if you have seen us…thanks for the support and welcome back!