Dan Hedger – Vocals / Guitar

danprofileAuditioning for the role of vocalist, in Paragon’s earlier incarnation of the band, Tetragrammaton back in 1991, Dan Hedger, aware of a genuine lack of vocal ability, distracted the audience with the visual content to his performances – bringing a somewhat circus approach to the band’s live shows with gymnastics and colourful costumes, including on occasion an alarming amount of lycra, silk pyjamas, leather chaps, and even coming on stage wearing a pair of deer antlers.
This flamboyance and disregard for his own shame, led to other stage antics such as fire-breathing, riding on stage on a silver scooter for Hawkwind’s Silver Machine and wheeled onto the stage on sack trucks…in a strait-jacket…complete with Hannibal Lecter face mask. Inflatable animals were also widely used and he even built a motorised robot (called Joe) to mosh on stage with him.
When Paragon parted ways in the mid ’90’s Dan mellowed – he began experimenting with mixing folk-rock with industrial and electronica. Picking up the acoustic guitar and the cello and playing duets in bars and hotels.
In Paragon’s reformation in 2008, Dan stepped up to the mic once again, although this time also wielding the rhythm guitar (and no lycra – or hair).
And with a somewhat penitent attitude to his previous stage presence, has actually learnt to sing this time around. Influences would be Talking Heads, Van Halen, Daft Punk, Flaming Lips, Frank Zappa and Kate Bush.

Steve ‘The Greek’ Smith – Guitar

greekyprofileAfter several conversations with Pete (drums) and following the demise of tetragrammaton, Steve was invited to join a so far unnamed band comprising Dan on vocals, Garry on guitar, Buzz on bass and Pete. Eventually the band became Paragon. Along with Dan Steve was responsible for writing some of the bands own songs.
After Paragon Steve went on to form a new band ‘Lethal Blow’ with his friend Julie, this band having a newer and heavier edge than Paragon. Steve and Julie were joined by a selection of drummers, bass players and guitarists until eventually ex Paragon members Pete Slade, Garry Hedger and Steve Hill completed the line up.
Steve then took several years off, not only from bands, but also from the guitar itself, preferring to concentrate on his family and his work.
It wasn’t until 2008 that he was persuaded, once again by Pete, to start playing again.
His influences are early Genesis, Pink Floyd, Robin Trower, The Beatles and Black Sabbath. Steve is a qualified football coach and in his spare time coaches a girls football team (!!). He also has a love for motorbikes and as well as riding his own Yamaha he takes his son motorbike trialling most weekends. Watching live music is another passion, also traveling, having hitched to the South of France in his teenage years, and occasionally finds the time to play on his extensive collection of guitars.

Steve Hill – Bass

steveprofileSteve had played the guitar for many years but had recently developed an interest in the bass guitar when he first met Pete Slade in 1993. He was jamming with a local blues guitarist in Minehead when Pete turned up to play the drums and shortly after this meeting was asked to join one of Pete’s bands, Aftermath, playing thrash metal, but this fell through when their bass player decided to stay with the band. A couple of weeks later Pete managed to slot Steve into his other band project, an unnamed band playing Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and other classic rock, slightly more to Steve’s liking, and so it was that he joined what came to be Paragon in 1993 but left in 1995 when the band self destructed. After that he went on to join several local bands such as The Prime, a band writing and performing their own material, and was with them from 1995 until 2000. From 1996 to 1997 he was also with a band called Lethal Blow, joining ex Paragon member Steve Smith to perform more self-written music, this time on a much heavier scale. Then from 1998 came a band with local guitarist Gary Pearson, playing Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Dio, Queen etc but due to a lack of reliable vocalists they eventually settled on doing a tribute to super- guitarist Joe Satriani under the name Ice9. Tired from gigging, that band unofficially disbanded around 2007 forcing a “holiday” on Steve until the reformation of Paragon in 2008.

Influenced by – Geddy Lee (Rush), Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) Stu Hamm (Joe Satriani) Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai / Whitesnake) Jean Jaques Burnel (The Stranglers), Paul McCartney (The Beatles) & Sting!

Favourite bands – Rush, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Be-Bop Deluxe, (early) Status Quo, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, UFO, The Who, Ozzy Osbourne, Joe Satriani / Chickenfoot, Vinnie Moore, Steve Lukather, Steve Vai, Def Leppard, Mr Big, Pink Floyd etc.

Interests are :

Music – never happy just listening to music, he has to be part of it and loves the feeling of creating something special, something other people want to listen to (sometimes).

Motorbikes – has ridden since he was a teenager, learning to ride dirt bikes on the local hills and has a love of both road and dirt bikes and is always happiest touring round Europe on his Triumph Tiger with his wife Yvonne, or blasting round the hills on his XT600.
Favourite places : St Tropez in the South of France, Lake Como in Italy, and anywhere in the Alps or the Pyrenees.

Other interests include Cricket and motoGP / Superbike racing, computers / technology, films & Sci-Fi.

Pete Slade – Drums

Pete was a founding member of Paragon. He had played in several bands previously, including “3’s a crowd” a band playing Beatles covers and some original music, “Tetragrammaton” playing rock and punk covers. Then came “Paragon” playing a mixture of rock covers and original music. Since then he has been in “The Prime” an original rock band, “The Jackdaws” doing punk covers and originals, “No Insurance” Indie covers, “Moonmoth” Heavy metal originals and covers, “Garden state cruiser” original rock. His favourite and most influential drummers, as if you can’t tell by his all action style, are Keith Moon ( The Who ), Neil Peart ( Rush ), Jon Bonham ( Led Zep ), Charlie Watts ( Rolling Stones ), Ringo Starr ( The Beatles ), Bill Ward ( Black Sabbath ), Lars Ulrich ( Metallica ), Billy Cobham ( Jazz / Funk drummer ), Alan White ( Yes ), Vinnie Coliauta ( Frank Zappa,Joni Mitchell, Sting). The bands that influenced him as a youngster are Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Rush, Steve Hillage, Slade, The Who and Pink Floyd. Interests, apart from driving the rest of us nuts, are Motorsport, especially Formula 1, playing the guitar ( should really stick to drumming ), Football – Chelsea…enough said!, Sci-Fi films and television series, Driving, a real love of technology, women!!, swimming, mountain biking, learning anything new and bringing up his young children, Georgia and Rico.

Garry Hedger – occasional guest appearance

garryprofileAlong with his brother Dan, Garry started his musical career in a band called Tetragrammaton, which after a few personnel changes became Paragon. Garry always looked the ‘typical’ rock guitarist and, along with Dan, his energy on stage gave the band much of their excitable image. He now lives in Cornwall, unfortunately meaning he only gets to play with Paragon on special occasions. Playing in a number of bands he has now switched from the guitar to the bass, but still keeps his hand in on six strings occasionally, most noteably at Paragon reunion gigs! Apart from the two bands already mentioned he has been in bands with some amazing names, such as…Magic Mushrooms, Turn it down the neighbours are complaining, The Wreckers, Shelling Snails and he’s still with…Ed and the blind boys, Stoned Zucchini and the adrenaline and Quantum Quest. Garry is a great fan of all kinds of music but his favourite bands would be Fleetwood Mac from the Peter Green era, The Foo Fighters, Motorhead, Supergrass, Pink Floyd and Metallica. Musical influences are Dave Groll and Nate Mendel from The Foo Fighters, Paul Johnson and Gaz Coombs. When he isn’t playing in his many bands he enjoys drinking, Kayaking, listening to music, drinking, making things out of wood, being in bed, drinking, relaxing on the beach, playing cards with his mates, dark rum (neat), big fish fishing, spending time with his daughter Tegan…and did we mention drinking?
He was an important member of the original Paragon and is missed at every gig.