On April 20th, 2014, I lost my dear friend, fellow musician and one of the best guys I know, to a long battle with cancer. He leaves behind a loving wife, a young son and many friends. Paul & I met through our mutual friend & my art director, Molly Tuttle. Eric Shea, Paul’s close friend, was driving them to a show in SF and Paul mentioned that he was looking for a great studio to work in; a recording studio that appreciated music in it’s truest, most honest form…real musicians playing real instruments…singers who could sing without auto-tune, people who appreciated musicians like Gram Parsons. Joni Mitchell, CSN & Y and other musicians of the 70’s. And most importantly, a studio that understood that young musicians don’t have the resources it takes to make a record, a place for them to get a chance. Molly told him about me. She thought we had the same outlook on music and would become fast friends and we did. We lived in the same city, liked the same music and when we first sang the duet Love Hurts magic happened. We were meant to work together and be close friends. Both of us, being private people, felt an immediate connection and trust in each other. I respected the way Paul dealt with his illness so much. His honesty and courage was so honorable to me. He wanted me to know, upfront, that he had cancer and might not be able to commit to a long-term business and music relationship. I told him that I’d take my chances. That was about 6 years ago I think. I never regretted that choice.
We had great fun recording Covering Life with one of his idols and my friend & band mate Ricky Fataar. Paul and I became close confidants and I think we helped each other through some serious challenges in both of our lives. (You can read more about that on the description page of Covering Life). In the back of my mind, when I asked him to play guitar & sing with me on Covering Life, I had the idea that in the event of his death, the CD could be used at a concert benefitting his young son Noah’s college education. Over many cups of coffee we had in our local town, Paul expressed his concern about his family and not being around to watch Noah grow up to become a man and to miss growing old with the love of his life, Lisa. Though I assured him, with deep conviction and confidence, that he would beat this illness, it was not to be. It really never occurred to me that I would need to have a CD to sell for Noah’s future. It was just something that I did. I trusted my intuition without questioning it or giving it much thought. I also did not tell Paul that he was working on a record that might end up being a legacy for his son. I wanted him to just relax and have fun. And he did. It was an experience of a lifetime for him.
It was with deep sorrow that dear Paul lost his battle with cancer on Easter Sunday 2014. 100% of the proceeds from the record we did together, Covering Life, will go to The Noah Tyler College Fund, in his memory. Paul did not know that he was recording a project that would be eventually be a legacy for his wife and son, or that I had planned to set up this fund if ever needed. But the band knew and we made the whole recording experience a wonderful one for Paul. He did some amazing work and played his ass off and had a great time doing it. He also got to work with people who he loved and respected who felt the same about him. The entire band showed up with deep love and intent in their hearts…to make music that would last forever and honor Paul. Months later, many of his friends gathered and we sent him off with an incredible day of live music. We sang and played for Paul with all the love we had in our hearts. RIP Paul Tyler. You will never be forgotten.
Thank you for helping me keep a promise to watch over his loved ones. It is with deep love, respect and gratitude for knowing Paul that I sign off, Michelle.