Family pays tribute to Chichester born rock and roll ‘genius’

1960s Barry practicing in the cellar of 33 East Street
1960s Barry practicing in the cellar of 33 East Street

The family of a Chichester-born rock and roll ‘genius’ have paid tribute to an ‘amazing man’ with a ‘wicked sense of humour’.

Barry Paul, 71, died on March 13 from complications after going into hospital for a routine operation.

His sister, Linda Horabin, said: “It was such a shock. He just decided he would take the stage door. He was very quiet but he had a wicked sense of humour and very English to the end. He led such an amazing life and his mind was so brilliant.”

Born in 1948, Barry was raised in Chichester and went to Lancastrian School for Boys. Linda said: “He did his A’s but music was his life.

“Before he was even in his teens he got together with other lads in a skiffle band. First he had guitar lessons when he was a kid and it was an informed choice from a young age.

“He was an amazing guitarist. He built his own when he was fourteen then there was no stopping him.”

First named band was Machine which he joined in 1969 with Ron Hellyer on vocals, John Gordon on bass, Doug Murphy on drums, and Barry played lead guitar. The band used to play in the cellar of a premises in East Street.

The band eventually dissolved and he joined Paper, then Coconut Mushroom, and then Heavy Metal Kids who went on to support international rock artists like Frank Zappa, Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper, and Manfred Mann.

“Barry had always said he would never settle down or marry but while he was in the US there was a small incident with a visa violation when he played in Mexico — he was picked up and thrown in jail, so the record label quickly organised a marriage.

“It was only on paper, they got divorced as soon as it was legal to do so. Then in the 80’s he met Debbie Moore so he gave up trying and got a desk job, but being my brother, the desk job was a radio show in LA for Japan called Radio 1 Japan, the slogan was ‘The Voice of America in Japan’.

“When the Japanese pulled the plug on it he got disillusioned and he felt the draw back to being a part of music.”

Barry went on to set up his own recording studio in North Hollywood and where Linda’s son went to work after training as a sound engineer

After a bit more moving around, he met Caryn Shuken in 2000. The pair then married in 2011. 

A memorial was held for Barry on Saturday 23. Linda said: “We had a gathering in a park — all the music he recorded for people was playing and musicians came from all over America, people we just so moved.”