Spotlight Artist: Paul Collins

Our next spotlight artist is rock icon Paul Collins, one of power pop’s founding members with The Nerves and The Beat.

The Nerves were a 70s punk/power-pop band best known for writing and recording the original “Hangin’ On The Telephone” which later became a hit for Blondie.
After the Nerves split, Paul formed The Beat, who’s first self-titled album is usually included among the top power pop albums of all time lists you’ll find in magazines and on the net.
In the 1990s, Paul reformed The Beat as Paul Collins Beat, and they continue to tour and record to this day. They are currently touring in support of his 2010 album, “The King of Power Pop“, recorded with producer Jim Diamond at his Ghetto Recorders studio in Detroit, Michigan. They will perform Sunday night, December 5, at Bar 9 in Hell’s Kitchen.

We were introduced to Paul by his guitarist, Michael Cecchini, who in turn was introduced to us by Jay Banerjee when we featured Jay on MurphGuide earlier this month. Paul answers our questions below:

Spotlight Artist: Paul Collins Beat
Band Line-up:

Right now I have 3 bands.

In the New York area I play with:
Michael Cecchini – lead guitar
Waylan Daniel – bass guitar
Alan Swift-Cameron – drums

I also have a band in the Midwest:
Tim Shwieger – lead guitar
Timm Buechler – bass guitar
Amos Pitsch – drums

European band is:
Manolo Cahuchola – lead guitar
Carlos Guardado – bass guitar
Chris Bongers – drums

How long have you been performing?
About 35 years, since I was 17.

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
My very first band when I was in High School was called Home Grown. Then I moved to San Francisco from NY and joined The Nerves. When The Nerves broke up I started The Breakaways with Peter Case. The Beat was formed in 1977.

Musical influences:
My earliest influences where from my dad, Hank Williams and Ray Charles. After that it WABC Radio in New York, which was basically the best of the 60’s, rock, soul, country and British Invasion.

What are some of your favorite venues to play:
I love to pay the clubs, especially ones with a nice stage. In New York, I like The Bowery Electric or Bar 9. In LA I like the Redwood Bar. In San Francisco, I like Tractor Tavern. San Diego has The Soda Bar

Tell us a story or anecdote about performing live.
One of the best ones was when we were just starting out in The Nerves. One day we just piled all our gear into our friend’s Buick Super 88 and drove down to The Omni on Haight Street in San Francisco and set up our gear without anyone’s permission. We started to play real loud, the place went nuts and the bartender threatened to call the cops if we didn’t get the hell out! We were so sure that everyone would love us once they heard us play…well, we were wrong!

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
The Beat Army. It is an on-line community dedicated to preserving and propagating Power Pop. On facebook, join us and help us spread the word!

YouTube: paulcollinsbeat
twitter: paulvcollins
myspace: paulcollinsbeat
Reverb Nation: paulcollinsbeat
eBay: 2005pcollins
Amazon: paulcollinsmusic
Article: Big Music & The Beat Army team up to keep Power Pop alive and well! (

Where can we buy your music?
It is for sale at a lot of cool record shops but you can also buy it directly from me either on Ebay or on

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Work hard, don’t give up your dreams, don’t listen to people who say you can’t do it, and be the best you can be…it’s tough and there are no guarantees but if its what you love to do, then do it!

Thanks, Paul!
Paul Collins Beat performs this Sunday at Bar Nine in Hell’s Kitchen…
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Power Pop Fest at Bar Nine
A night of power pop featuring live music by:
Paul Collins Beat

The Wellingtons

The Tattletales
Matthew Pop
$5 admission
Bar Nine

807 9th Ave. (between 53rd & 54th St.)
New York, NY
(212) 227-6463

Below is a video of Paul Collins Beat “All Over the World”:

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