Paul Hyde, The Payola$ & Bribing GodSunday, January 06, 2008
On Friday morning I was having coffee with my pal Ian Bateson in one of my favourite places in Vancouver. It happens to be the Starbucks inside the north end of Sears on Georgia and Granville. We were lucky to sit in the plush sofas and from our vantage point we could see the whole world (at least the Vancouver part) pass through. The ceiling thanks to the inspired (perhaps in only this section of his building) design of Argentine architect Cesar Pelli seems to go on forever in the closest attempt we may have in Vancouver to the idea of a Gothic cathedral's dimensions as they (the cathedral's dimensions) soar in search of God. Coming down the ramp was one very healthy and fit man I had photographed several times in my past. That he was still around is ample proof that God exists. That he is not rich and famous is ample proof that God, perhaps, does not exist.
Paul Hyde has to be one of Vancouver's best composers and singers. As lyricist he is up there in my pantheon of Vancouver passionates (as I really like to call them) Art Bergman.
And coincidenally it seems that Paul Hyde and Ian Bateson both went to maternity/paternity classes together. Sadly I did not think to ask the name of Hyde's son (seen here some 25 years ago).
When I first photographed Paul Hyde and his band the Payola$ (yes that's $ and not an s) I was in my "I own this fantastic Pentax rectilinear 15mm wide angle lens. Little of the Payola$ shows in my photo which I took in 1980. At about that time they showed up at CBC variety show called Star Charts which we insiders (I was the stills man) called Star Farts. The producers, staff and, camera men including Mike Varga of the CBC where a bit on the sheltered side (particularly in the cavernous Studio 40)and were not prepared to see or listen to anything that was not mainstream rock and roll. When the Payola$ descended, accompanied by wives, hangers on and even babies (Paul Hyde told me, "They must have been Bob Rock's as he got started before we did,"). When the band left, the CBC crew looked shattered. I will never forget!
Later on, quite a few years later, I photographed a smoking Paul Hyde and this time I got closer and used George Hurrell type lighting including a deep green filter to show up that face.
But this last time, on Friday, Hyde was the very picture of slim health. He does not smoke anymore and the twinkle in his eyes might just tell me that he might soon prove me wrong and get very rich.