Vancouver’s Paul Robert Laine left home as an early teen, and was playing guitar in clubs at only 16 years old, lieing about his age since the province’s legal age was and still is 19.
Wanting to strike out on his own with himself singing, he produced a three-song demo as bait but that none of the big label fish bit. General comments were the raw material was good, but production in a basement studio left much to be desired. Frustrated with the system, he formed his own management company with friends Les Horne and Fran Adamson and worked with several groups around the area. But by the time he was 21 he’d sold off his majority shares of the company to return to recording more.
He assembled a band that consisted of guitarist Kenny Kaos, Scott Brown on bass, Paul Gogo on keyboards, and drummer Pat Steward. They went back to the studios while working the western Canada circuit, when the demos caught the interest of CBS Records execs, with other offers coming in shortly afterwards. MuchWest VJ Terry David Mulligan heard the tapes, and turned them over to manager Bruce Allen, who added Laine to his roster, which at the time also consisted of Bryan Adams, Anne Murray, and Loverboy among others.
He signed with Elektra in the spring of ’88, releasing their debut album, STICK IT IN YOUR EAR, in the summer of ’89. Produced by Bruce Fairbairn, it also featured cameos by drummer Mickey Curry and James Cotton on harmonica. With the lead single “Dorianna” initially getting decent rotation and the video receiving some views on MuchMusic, they struck out on the road for the better part of the next year, opening for Kim Mitchell, Bryan Adams, and Richard Marx on their cross-Canada tours.
The second single, “We Are The Young,” also got initial spurts of support, but fell off the radar before cracking the top 40 nationwide.
The band took some time off following the tour, and with a name change to Paul Laine and Black Bone Gypsy, they spent some time in the studios in the UK. But upon returning home, the band eventually fell apart before an album could be released.
He took the job as the new frontman for New York-based Danger Danger, and had already released one album with them in ’95, when the previously unreleased solo material was finished off with studio players. The independently released CAN’T GET ENUFF a year later was in the stores briefly, but quickly fell off the radar. With the title track, and covers of Sammy Hagar’s “Two Sides of Love,” Judas Priest’s “Riding On The Wind,” and The Motels’ “Only The Lonely,” it continued in the same vein as its predecessor, melodic harmonies in a hair metal package, and was partially made up of the last studio sessions with his group, as well as some of his early demos that were touched up.
He recorded five more albums with Danger Danger, including three more in the studio, and did several tours across North America and one in Europe (the MTV Headbangers Ball tour, with Scott Brown on bass), including the opening slot for KISS for a few shows. But when the group disbanded, he moved back to Vancouver and formed Shugaazer, then Anderson-Laine-Readman, each for one album. Brown would come into play again during this period, playing bass on some of the Shugazer album in 2004, SHIFT.
Taking a step back from recording all together, Laine opened his own recording studio in Vancouver, and in ’07 he wrote, produced and performed all the music to web-based program “Connected life,” which airs weekly on MSN Canada.
Following their departures, everyone else also went their seperate ways. Steward joined The Odds after working with Bryan Adams for awhile. Kaos formed his own band that toured for awhile, then became a studio musician. Brown and Gogo both wound up joining Trooper in the late ’90s, touring the continent and each releasing solo projects along the way.
Both Paul Laine albums were remastered and re-released on CD in 2005 on Escape Records, with four tracks that didn’t make the original included on STICK IT IN YOUR EAR.