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PARAGON (band)

Paragon (band)

Formed in Adelaide in the latter half of 1971.

The original line-up consisted of: Paul Cowie vocal, Doug (Nobby) Clarke sax, Bill O’Grady guitar vocals, Billy Ross drums Geoff Kluke bass. Paul was working in another band (can’t remember the name) working for Ivan Dayman (remember him?).

Bill O’Grady was working with the band called “James Wright” I’m going to check the name out to be sure. Dave Taylor was the lead vocalist in that band. Any way Bill O’Grady left James Wright and Paul Cowie left the band that he was working in t join.

Billy Ross was just doing casual little gigs around town (some jazz gigs, commercial gigs). Nobby was the same. I was doing commercial reception gigs at the “Colonial” little jazz gigs etc. Anyway I’m not too sure who the initial instigator was. We got a residency at “Swinger” in late 71. 3 or 4 nights a week.

Had some rehearsals. We had to back some of the acts too, eg. Dawn Dixon, Terry Holden etc. In late 71 Paul Cowie developed throat problems. He had difficulty singing and left the band. Bill O’Grady took over the lead vocals. The band finished up at “Swinger” in Dec. 71 and in early 72 Ivan Dayman got us a residency in Brisbane a rather violent pub called the “Lands Office”.

They lived in the suburb of Aspley all together in a house. after a couple of months in Feb or so we shifted down to the Gold Coast. Had a residency in the Chevron In Cavill Ave. Afternoon show and a night show. Eventually came back to Adelaide a couple of months later. Drove across Australia in on old clapped out Commer van which broke down in Peak Hill. Billy Ross had left the band by now. Arrived back in Adelaide a bunch of young long haired hippie lookin’ guys. About this time Dean Birbeck had arrived back in Adelaide. He joined the band. We continued on for most of that year as a quartet.

Billy, Nobby, Dean and Geoff playing soul, R’n’B blues material. In late 72 we did a couple of weeks in Sydney at Chequers and Whisky Au Go Go. Nobby left the band in early 73 and went to work down at the new Wrest Point Casino which had just opened. Freddy Payne (trumpet replaced him. The band did a second stint in Sydney again in April “73. I flew back to Adelaide because my son was born on April 16th 1973. The rest drove back. By now a second band was being formed. This band was called Paint.

“Paint” was like “Paragon” with the addition of Freddy Hampton vocals and Grahame Conlon guitar. Paint more or less replaced Paragon. Paint did a big launch at the “Arkaba”. We were all wearing that glam rock type of clothing (borrowed) from a boutique. Playing original progressive Rock type of stuff. By now Sue Barker had appeared on the scene. I felt a bit sorry for Bill O’Grady he was sort of phased out of being the lead person. The band now consisted of Freddy Hampton, Grahame Conlon, Bill O’Grady, Freddy Payne, Dean Birbeck, Geoff Kluke and Sue Barker. This all continued through ’73 but it was all starting to fall apart. I was doing session work and started playing for Channel 7 tonight show, backing acts. Grahame and Freddy did work out at Slaters studio (jingles). So it all just sort of fell apart with people going their own ways as is usual. Hope this helps. If you need more info just let me know. I’ve got some old photos that I’ve included in a few video clips that I’ve put up. Cheers Bob. It’s wonderful to hear from you.

Hi Bob. There are some old photos that I’ve included in a couple of videos that I’ve put up lately. The videos are a short preview of Sue Barker’s 1976 album. (on You Tube just type in Geoff Kluke and a whole heap of them come up.) 10 tunes

There are some old photos that I’ve included in a couple of videos that I’ve put up lately. The videos are a short preview of Sue Barker’s 1976 album. (on You Tube just type in Geoff Kluke and a whole heap of them come up.) 10 tunes here just a short snippet of each of the 10 tunes.

A photo of Paragon, black and white, with Dean, Nobby, Bill and myself taken up by Col. Light’s statue on Monteifore hill, opposite Carclew in 1972. Also another video in a clip a video of mine called “Mr. Grunt”. There’s a photo of Paragon, black and white taken at that place called Fiesta Villa (I think). This photo has Bill O’Grady, Sue Barker, Dean Birbeck, Myself and Freddy Payne. All with really long hair. You probably already know that Bill O’Grady died a few years ago aged 61 I think, 2009 I reckon and Billy Ross died about a year ago.