cult artist Paul K, rest in peace
Paul K, the DIY/cult musician that Trouser Press Record Guide called "one of the post-punk generation's first bona fide bluesmen," died on March 16 at his home in Lexington, KY after a battle with throat cancer. Between 1981 and 2019, Paul K (real name: Paul Kopasz) put out over 100 records and tape-only releases, including many as Paul K & The Weathermen. During the '90s he also released three albums for Alias Records, including 1997's Love is a Gas which was produced by The Velvet Underground's Mo Tucker. Lexington's ACE Weekly wrote a nice tribute:
Paul K. (nee Paul Kopasz) was born and raised in Detroit and moved to Kentucky in the 1980s on a full scholarship to be part of UK’s champion debate team. In 1985, he started an art-damaged punk outfit. His band has most consistently been called “Paul K. and The Weathermen,” but has had other names too. The group has more than 50 releases, including albums on Homestead, Alias and SilenZ. He spent time living in a Canal Street squat in New York in the 80s, playing with Jaco Pastorius and others. He spent stints in California, Amsterdam and again New York, playing and writing music. He has toured the U.S., Canada and Europe, to great acclaim for his songwriting, guitar and vocal skills. The music, from early days featuring an acoustic guitar with an electric pickup and effects, draws on influences ranging from The Who, The Velvet Underground, Big Star, Gram Parsons, The Kinks and Townes Van Zandt.
As ACE Weekly notes, from his in-home hospice care last week, Paul K wrote to fans, “you are all very lovely people, but it’s check-out time and i can’t be late. The last 3 anthologies should give you a good representation of what i tried to do while i was here: ‘RES IPSA LOQUITUR’, ‘CURRICULUM VITAE’, ‘SOTTO VOCE’. I hope it will provide some degree of lasting pleasure. It has certainly been my pleasure to play for you.” You can listen to the Res Ipsa Loquitur and Curriculum Vitae anthologies, and Love's a Gas, below.
Rest in peace, Paul.