Nine Questions

Ellis Paul

Boston-based Ellis Paul is a master songsmith in the folk-rock and Americana traditions. He'll play Friday, June 10, in Suite 147 at Plaza Palomino, 2970 N. Swan Road. Amber Norgaard will open at 7:30 p.m.; $18 advance; $20 at the door; $10 for students. Call 319-9966 for information.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

My first concert was Doc Severinsen from The Tonight Show. I was 12. I played trumpet, and my dad took me. My first rock show was Ted Nugent; my town in Maine wouldn't let him wear the Tarzan outfit. He wore it anyway.

What are you listening to these days?

I'm listening to Peyton Tochterman a lot. Randy Newman. Bonnie Raitt.

What was the first album you owned?

Chuck Mangione's Feels So Good. My first singer-songwriter album was Billy Joel's 52nd Street.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?

I'm not into heavy industrial metal. Anything where you can break your neck while grooving to it seems ridiculous to me. But to each his own.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I blew it by not seeing the amazing Ray Charles before he died. That one hurt.

Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Generally, all my pleasure is guilty. I think the Bee Gees and Barry Gibb were great songwriters.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

"Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney and Wings. "You Can't Always Get What You Want," the Rolling Stones.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

Dylan. ... He showed me what potential a song could have. ... It could be a painting, a curse, a joke, a political statement, a come-on, a diatribe, a farce, a lark, a commandment. He proved that songs were bigger than music.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Another Side of Bob Dylan. But I'd probably take the gun and shoot myself if I had to listen to it a million times. It's really great once.

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