Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Paul Quarrington 1954-2010

My memories of Paul go back to 1993, but they're fuzzy. When I read Nino Ricci's tribute to him in last Saturday's Globe & Mail, I was further muddled: in my mind Nino reminds me of Paul - they're both tall man with swarthy good looks. But, thanks to Wendy Tutt at the Princess Cinema, I was able to piece together my encounter with Paul in 1993. He appeared with the Rheostatics including Dave Bidini for the movie, Whale Music, based on Paul's book.
Wendy wrote:
I think he had done a reading at the bookstore earlier in the day, hadn't he? John picked him up at the store (he was alone in the kid's book section, reading and quietly waiting for John.) Embarrassingly, in the excitement of a completely sold out show, we had forgotten to reserve seats for them, so we had to gather chairs and stools for them at the back, which is where they all sat and watched the movie together. After the movie, Paul and the Rheos did a Q & A with the audience. I think this was in December of 1993. It was a lot of fun. Paul was such an approachable guy. A lot of people hung around after the show, getting autographs and chatting. The Rheos were whisked off to Guelph to do a concert there, and you and Paul probably walked back to the store together! On a side note, John is thinking of screening Whale Music again in March, as a tribute to Paul.
to which I responded: He was a sweet guy. I think we talked about the movie and being a musician on the way back to the bookstore, including reference to his brother Joel, a classical bass player. What a loss.

Here's the Rheostatics playing for Paul last October, and Hockey Night in Canada's tribute. You can read Paul's cancer diary for the National Post here.


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