Friday, May 06, 2011

RIP - Hume Paton (The Poets)

On Saturday April 30th in Grenada, Hume Paton, original lead guitarist of The Poets, died from a heart attack. Born October 6th 1945, Paton, alongside vocalist George Gallacher and rhythm guitarist Tony Myles, formed part of the Glasgow group’s songwriting team. As their sound began to coalesce through the early dawning of the beat boom, their originality soon became apparent. Shimmering acoustic twelve-string and short inventive runs became the guitarist’s speciality, heavily informing a brace of exceptional discs made between 1964-66. The best of these, including the breathtaking "That’s The Way It’s Got To Be", from February ’65, involved producer / manager Andrew ‘Loog’ Oldham. Signing them first to Decca in 1964, Oldham then asked them to be part of his Immediate label the following year.

That distinctive twelve-string approach lent The Poets records a disquieting edge, sufficiently different from many other groups operating on the beat scene. Some of Paton’s most effective fingerwork was displayed on "I’ll Cry With The Moon", "I Love Her Still" and "Some Things I Can’t Forget", imaginative B sides that themselves should’ve been realised as potential hits. Yet apart from a late ‘64 Top Thirty placing with the baroque-beat, atmospheric debut Now We’re Thru’, chart success eluded them. However, with the passing of time they have become revered.
Hume Paton, the last original Poet to leave, during 1967, swapped gigs for the retail business his father owned, then launched the successful Bespoke Kitchen design and supply company.

“Whilst I was sad when John died (Dawson – bass player) and more so when I lost Alan (Weir – original drummer who died last year) who was a close personal friend, it’s a deeper loss I feel due to Hume dying,” reveals Tony Myles.

“Hume was a true one off indeed”, adds George Gallacher, “a highly intelligent and creative individual, always full of energy and always with a smile on his face. He will be greatly missed.”

Lenny Helsing

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