It’s the inevitable fate of a multi-faceted artist as ridiculously talented as Paul Quarrington that one creative field should overshadow the others. In Paul’s case, his musical career was rudely hijacked by his literary success. Long before the awards for fiction, humour and screenplays, Paul was a musician—and an extremely good one. He played bass and sang in the eccentric cult-rock band Joe Hall & the Continental Drift, a band his guitarist brother Tony once described as “an acquired taste that no one acquired.” He wrote songs, played guitar and sang with lifelong friend Martin Worthy in the underrated folk duo Quarrington Worthy—even scoring a number one hit in 1980 with “Baby and the Blues.” Most recently, he fronted Porkbelly Futures, a thinking-person’s bar band that plays a rootsy mix of country-blues, or what Paul liked to call “red-eyed soul.”
Paul wrote some memorable material with the Porkbellies, songs like “Gladstone Hotel,” “Sweet Daddy,” “You Gotta Love a Train” and “Sad Old Love Affair,” all literate, hilarious and touching tales about life, boyhood heroes and the workings of the human heart. Music gave Paul a forum that was direct, succinct and visceral, and he loved the rush of performing and the immediate connection with his audience.