Paul in his bedroom at the "Jonny Sevin House" (Roy Mars, 1983)

Paul C. Young


Paul Young was a motherfucker. And I mean that most respectfully, plagiarizing Miles Davis' most heartfelt compliment. Those who knew him would agree with my use of the term, as all others that usually are used to describe the best of human beings just seem to fall short when applied to Paul. But I guess I'll be forced to use them anyway, since I'm not a poet.

Paul was musician and a friend to many. His influence on the music scene in the early 80's in Tucson cannot be overestimated. Paul was the helpful nice guy behind the counter at the local commercial record store in the mall in the wasteland that was the eastside of Tucson, where he was in the perfect position to have an impact on the bored youth of the day for which few other outlets existed. It was there that I and so many first met Paul. His soft spoken manner seemed contradictory to his wild long hair and tallness that seemed more appropriate to a mean biker typecast. Paul managed the decent record store and saw to it that it stocked a small stash of musical gems so that when people would step up to the counter with a record he was in a position to say "if you like that record, well you just might like..." and then direct them to a Bad Brains slab or the soundtrack to The Decline of Western Civilization. And therein lied Paul's influence: the sound of a Circle Jerks or X record to the ears of disaffected suburban youth in an era where few sources were available (hell, cable and MTV hadnt yet come to Tucson) was like a rift in the universe, like the high school auditorium imploding, like an airliner crashing into a Foreigner/Journey arena-rock concert.

Paul lived in a house at the corner of Columbus and Broadway, a dive known as "the Jonny Sevin House" to people in the scene or more commonly as "that punk house". He always seemed (to me) like the "adult" there, the guy who held the place together. Nik-named after Lee Joseph, Pen Pendleton, Joe Dodge and Mark Smythe's new-wave-punk band that used the place as a practice space, the house became the practice space for many hardcore bands, from Conflict to Civil Death and later UPS. As with all bands, practice space is of paramount importance, and it is especially the case for bands playing loud hardcore punk rock (a sure recipe for a neighborly call to the cops). Because of its location, the house was immune. Usually the place resembled a disaster zone, with science projects growing in the sink and elsewhere, impossible to keep clean with all the people flopping on the floor and coming through weekly. In fact, it was for this very reason that Tucson had such a vibrant punk scene back then because going hand in hand with a dependable venue to play (The Backstage) goes a floor to crash on, and the Jonny Sevin house was always there. And Paul was the secret, the pillar, behind that house.

Pauls life went through many changes in the brief period of the early 80's. He left the mall record store and managed the fine indie record store near the university, Roads to Moscow. Paul joined the hardcore band Civil Death in 1983 and later was a pivotal member in the band The Knumbskulls which became the notorious UPS (Useless Pieces of Shit).

Pauls life ended senselessly sometime in the late 90's, due to medical incompetence (its my understanding that he was turned away from an emergency room with a foot infection and died in the car on the drive back). He was survived to my knowledge by at least his lovely sister Lydia.

I dont claim to have been Paul's "best friend". I'm just one of many who admired Paul and considered him a friend and positive influence. The details of his life are unknown to me, I dont even have a birthdate or day of passing that seems appropriate to a proper tribute (thanks Ed!). And thats where you come in. I envision this site as a place where people can share their stories, thoughts, photos, anything, related to Paul Young. If you want to contribute, correct any of the above, comment, anything, please email me. This is a work in-progress. Thanks!

jan 1, 2006



Paul as featured in a photo accompanying a feature article (below) that appeared in Tucson's Arizona Daily Star, June 17, 1995.
Original caption: Photo by David Sanders, The Arizona Daily Star. Paul Young, with a Jimi Hendrix tattoo on his arm, has been buying, sometimes trading, bootlegs since he was a teen.

Heres the place for comments, stories, photos. Please contribute!

(Below are photos of Paul with Civil Death, opening for Black Flag, May 13, 1983 at the Backstage taken by Ed Arnaud)


Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008
From: Richmond Teratoma"


I'm not sure if we ever met - it looks like you'd left Tucson by the time I started hanging out. I used to do a 'zine called RICKEY RAT COMICS, and an occasional gig flyer from time to time. Anyway, I had something I wanted to contribute to your Paul Young page. It's from my blog posted March 18, 2006, as my band was getting ready to play with Bloodspasm. They weren't planning on doing any more shows after that one, but had so much fun that they've been playing twice a year since. I posted links to the posters I've made for these shows; one of them is a drawing of Paul from an old photo... I always wanted to do that back when they were still playing, but it never happened. So it was cool to be able to finally get the chance - plus it's a much better job than I would've been able to do back then. And since this Saturday is another one of their shows, I thought I'd send you this stuff:

Posted March 18th, 2006 by HANDSOME DICK TERATOMA (aka RICKEY RAT aka Kevin Byrd):
"...Paul Young was one of the first people I met as a teenager wandering around downtown Tucson & the U of A area. I remember being

The poster for the show The Absolute Fucking Saints played with BLOODSPASM

taken (in 1984) to Roads To Moscow, a PUNK ROCK record store which was where Mama's pizza was later, in a building which no longer stands, by my older friend Troy [Held]. My mom would let me hang with him because she went to church with his mom. He was a pretty upstanding chap even by their standards but the world he introduced me to was as subversive as they could ever imagine. Paul was up on a ladder stapling a display together, looked down and saw the pimply 13 year old that was me and said "Heh! Youth Brigade." Paul always remembered me every time I saw him after that though, and if you knew the guy, you know what people mean when they talk about his heart and his overall warmth if he liked you. And I didn't know many people that he didn't.

And though I might not agree with some of the things Bob sang about, I took pleasure in knowing that the guys providing the INCREDIBLE SONIC BACKBONE that was the sound of BLOODSPASM were skaters,

The poster with the portrait of Paul.

anarchists, and drug enthusiasts. BLOODSPASM came out at a time that a lot of us were listening to crossover metal stuff. Tucson hardcore has always had a healthy dose of that going for it and BLOODSPASM was no different. But when I pointed this out to Paul (I might've said something like, "BLOODSPASM is my favorite Tucson SPEEDMETAL band!" Remember when they called it "speedmetal"?) he got indignant and insisted that they weren't metal at all. As a result of this, he attempted to play the next 2 or 3 shows without using any "palm-muting" (the technique that Black Sabbath uses to go GUNKAGUNKAGUNKAGUNKA) ...This technique had a lot to do with the way those songs were written and were supposed to sound though, so later Paul actually came up to me and told me that I was right, and that "We ARE a metal band," and that "We sound really shitty if I don't play our stuff that way." Oh and he also said "So FUCK YOU KEVIN BYRD!" But the next time they played he really laid the GUNKAGUNKA stuff on thick, and they were the most metal EVER!

And that sound has so much to do with the way I play guitar that I just can't contain myself and must babble incessantly about how cool it is to share the stage with these guys playing that material for what will probably actually be the last time. Plus I'm drunk. It IS St. PATRICK'S DAY you know."

One from last year.










...And the controversial one for this Saturday.

Thanks for taking the time to put up this site, especially the Paul tribute page. I know most of the people who have shared sentiments here. And Paul; rest in peace... Or in chaotic mischief; whichever suits you, wherever you are!



Date: 8 Dec 2006

Damn man:
I stumbled across your site hoping to find some old shit on the Tucson scene. I have been out of touch for years bouncing around and fighting off dope addiction. Paul mother-fucking Young. Damn. I first met him at Zip's records in the old Park Mall. We just started bullshitting and he invited me to some house party. I think it was like 1980. Maybe even 1979. To most people Paul could seem like the biggest asshole on the planet, but to those of us who got to know was his fucking sense of humor that came out most often. I remember a a Blood Spasm gig or maybe Opinion Zero (my brain kind of blends shit together these days) and the guys were rocking out their serious hardcore shit...and Paul was reciting lines from Robert Plant in "The Song remains The Same". Does anyone remember laughter...

(From RC's excellent blog, be sure to check it out)

You were no one in the Tucson punk scene of the early 1980's if you didn't know who Paul Young was. I first encountered this hippie looking guy 10 years my senior sometime in 1980, or perhaps 1979. My memory is foggy. He worked the counter at a shitty chain record store in Park Mall. He was always good for conversation, and turned many snot nosed kids like me onto the punk music taking place at the time. It was Paul who invited me to my first "punk" gig. I could go on page upon page about Paul, but there is a great site dedicated to him: Paul Young Tribute Page The last time I talked to Paul was at a party I held at the house I rented a room in, over on University Blvd. I had three bands playing that night. The short lived Bowel Movements, and two others whose names escape me. At about 1 a.m., Paul asked me if his band at the time, Opinion Zero, could go grab their equipment and play. Of course the landlord was pissed at this point so they didn't get to take the stage we had built in the backyard.

The last time I saw Paul alive was a year or so later at another house party. This time Paul was in the band Blood Spasm...


Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006
From: Dean Miles

Hey there> I had to write you because, you just made my day. I stumbled on your site today and completely lost it. I was looking for UPS stuff or any hardcore from Tucson. 'My name is Dean and I used to play in acouple bands in Tucson during 85-88. I was in What Went Wrong and also Opinion Zero. I was also a very good friend of Pauls. He was a father figure if you would like to call it that. But I totally looked up to and admired him. I moved to Tucson and was a drummer, and those seemed to be pretty scarce, and Paul was actually into having me in Blood Spasm, right after their first drummer , I think his name was Tommy, moved back to NY. Anyway, he passed and WWW actually bought me some drums at Chicago store, so I joined them, but still always kept in touch with Paul. We eventually lived together with his girlfriend Bridget. Anway, we used to go out "do crimes" of all sorts. Eventually all the drugs kinda took over the scene, at least it seemed to me, and that's when I split for Seattle. 1988. Ended up in Portland and Paul and Bridget were the first ones to come up and they ended up staying here for a while. I know they missed being the big fish in the little pond and they returned back to Tuscon. Then through a friend I heard the news that he passed while waiting in the ER for some stupid jammed toe or something and died, and genuinley something in me died. But not the balls out attitude that Paul showed me everyday. I will always live life like that. I'm don't drink anymore and I could tell you stories for day....... Like when Eddie Supersucker and I remeniced about Paul and Roads to Moscow and how Paul turned us onto Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, MC5, Beefheart, Zappa, Hendrix, Grand Funk........ etc...... And Poison Idea was also one of our bonds as well. Now I'm in PDX and those are very good friends of mine, and I'm glad Paul got to hand out with Pig Champion one nite. When Paul told Tom that someone had stolen his Pick your king EP. Tom (very much later in the evening, morning, ???) gave Paul a personal copy and for the only time in my life, I got to see Paul Young cry. That's no lie.

Thanx for the webpage to him, you truly must be a very decent person and I thank you. because for the first time in a while, you've made me cry with your pictures. A compliment of the highest order



From: Michael Gorman

Date: March 14, 2006

...I wanted to write and say a few words about my long lost comrade Paul Young. We had already been friends for years when I was asked to play with him in Bloodspasm, and I jumped at the chance. We played together for several years and collaborated closely on what became one of the best bands I was ever in. We are getting together to play one last show in Tucson at the Vaudeville this Saturday March 18, so I have thinking about Paul a lot lately, trying to learn his guitar parts.
Paul was born and raised in Michigan, so he told me, and his family had some money when he was little. He talked about having horses and motorcycles and other things kids might want. Seems like he said his parents divorced, and he ended up in Tucson with a lower standard of living.
One thing nobody mentioned on the tribute page was that Paul was veteran of the Marine Corps who actually served in Vietnam. I think he volunteered. He did not serve in a combat unit, but drove trucks.

Civil Death: Paul, Johnny, Lenny Mello, Nick Johnoff, Zach Hitner
Click to enlarge (Ed Arnaud)

Still he saw a lot of crazy stuff, and was exposed to a lot of substance abuse at an early age. He used to talk about Vietnamese kids coming up to him to sell him packs of Kent cigarettes which had the tobacco replaced with high grade weed and painstakingly rerolled and shrinkwrapped.
To say Paul loved music is a pretty severe understatement. From acid rock to reggae to Hendrix to metal to punk and every great guitarist that ever lived, Paul had a pretty comprehensive understanding and love for music. He was fond of saying that the best musical performance he ever saw was John Denver performing “The Hawk and the Eagle” at TCC. He known to wear Kenny Rogers and Merle Haggard shirts onstage at Bloodspasm shows, and I don’t think he was being as ironic as everyone thought he was. He genuinely loved that stuff too. Some of his favorite punk bands were Poison Idea and Raw Power, and we actively tried to put some of that style into Bloodspasm. He also adored guitar rock like Robin Trower and Thin Lizzy, and I got turned on to lots of great albums from going through his collection.
Paul was pretty modest about his guitar playing, but he could tear it up like few others will ever be able to do. His lead playing especially with the wah wah pedal had a chaotic speaking-in tongues quality that nobody can match. He played so hard and sweated so much that his strings would be destroyed after every gig or practice.
One thing other people touched on was the sort of twin personality thing Paul had going on. One on one, Paul was one of the most sensitive caring people you could ever find. Paul actually LISTENED when you talked to him, and could be an incredibly compassionate gentle soul.
On the other hand most people who only knew him in public settings got Paul the berserker. The guy that would headbutt strangers, the guy who is probably the only person in history to get kicked out of a pro wrestling event at Tucson Community Center for yelling too loud. This Paul enjoyed a little friendly cartoon violence, no hard feelings. Paul and Bob Spasm would occasionally get into wrestling matches in the living room of the house, smashing furniture and sending anybody nearby running for cover. This is the guy that had several sticks of actual decade old dynamite under his bed and never got around to disposing of it. If you came by the house on a Friday night and Metallica’s “Whiplash” was playing so loud you could hear it from across the street, the party was on.
The hard part about doing a reunion show without Paul is that you can never match his personality or intensity, even if you COULD play his guitar parts note for note.
Rock on brother. When I get to heaven , the first thing I expect to happen is to get headbutted by you.
Mike Gorman
Last Living Original Bloodspasm Guitarist


From: Alex

Date: February 4, 2006


read your tribute to Paul..

He turned me on the Adam and the Ant's "Kings of the Wild Frontier" at Zips in Park Mall....  this was high school for me remember....

last time I saw him it was at 814...

He was going around doing head butts with everyone.  Trying to crack his or there's skull.  I think I stomped on his toe or something when we butted heads to divert his attention...  as I did not want my skull cracked.  He ended up cracking the skull of this Mexican Indian drunk dude who hung out at those parties later in the evening.  It ended up not being funny... Fuckin' genetics... the drunk didn't have a chance


From: Joel J Karki

Paul and Johnny Glue
Click to enlarge (Ed Arnaud)

Subject: Paul Young
Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006

Moved to Tucson in July 1982. Went to Zips in Park Mall wearing a Clash t-shirt and some "hippie" behind the counter gave me a flyer for a Husker Du show at the Backstage w/ instrctions on how to get in (underage). Paul Young changed/rearranged my life... Still have the flyer, or
Saw him many more times at various shows (since Tucson was a hub)& let's just say he was as much of a part of the Tucson scene as Big Bill & Purple Haired Dave (WREX)...

JoeL K.


January 1, 2006

I met Paul at the mall, when he worked at Zips records. We used to talk acid rock, Hendrix, etc until one night I "discovered" Black Flag (live). On my next trip to Zips Paul raised his eyebrows and said, "well, well..." and sent me home with Circle Jerks and the Decline soundtrack. My life was pretty much majorly changed forever. Growing up on the eastside of Tucson, enduring the closed-mindedness and redneck attitudes toward music and anything different had jaded me. But Paul's enthusiasm and assurance that there was an entire other world out there gave me new life. Within a month I was playing in a hardcore band that practiced in a tiny spraypainted room in the back of the jonny sevin house. I'd spend break times talking with Paul in his room, which was adorned with a giant banner of Hendrix. The walls were lined with hundreds of cassette tapes, records, music of all sorts, bootlegs, tapes of tapes. Every time we sat he played a new band that blew my mind.

Paul played guitar, and like his hero, a Strat. He also had a 12 string guitar and he sincerely loved it when I'd play the songs I cut my teeth on, songs like Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" and Zeppelins "Over the Hills and Far Away". I was embarressed to know those songs, and to play them in that punk rock house. But Paul assured me that all music was sacred, not to be ashamed, something
Paul with his sister Lydia and Johnny Glue

that my self-conscious 19 year old mind was grasping at.

When I'd ask Paul about playing in bands he'd insist that he "sucked". The guy was modest to a fault. When he started playing in Civil Death I remember him sheepishly asking me after their shows whether he didnt "suck".

Paul seemed to get an injection of madness around that time. He broke up with his beautiful African girlfriend and started dating a younger girl who dyed her long blonde locks pink. After my band broke up and I immersed myself in my studies my exposure to Paul was unfortunately diminished, typically to him whizzing by on a skateboard, having him stop dead in his tracks, do a 180 and run back to me yelling "BILLY!!!" then grabbing me in a bear hug that would practically break my spine (did I mention that Paul was over 6', probably in the 6'4" to 6'6" realm?). Then the madness in his eyes would evaporate and the calm sweetness of Paul Young would return, just like in the Zips Records days, and he'd say "how you doin'? i dont see you enough".

I last saw Paul before I moved away from Tucson in '92. I heard of his passing a few years ago through Karen Nurse. Everyone I've broke the news to has been devastated.

I attended the Club Congress 20th Year Anniversary celebration last labor day in Tucson. As hardcore punk never graced the Congo stage it was absent from the bill, and there had been some grumblings in the scene about that. Despite the gentle reminder that the bands were all about the Congress post 1985, a shining moment occurred when Al Perry invited Bob Bloodspasm on stage to sing on his rendition of Bob's "We Got Cactus". Before anything could happen though, Bob stopped it all and dedicated it to Paul, noting that Paul was a soul that was sorely missed. A small knowing cheer went up through the crowd.

Amen (or a-satan or whatever).

-bill cuevas


From: Zach Hitner
Date: December 7, 2004

I heard about Paul a few years ago, and that really sucked. Dude was one of the truest hearts I’ve ever met. Crazy as any, but good to the bone. He had a strep infection in a finger once before that caused him to be hospitalized for a week, but I thought I heard he passed away from some kind of pneumonia, but I could be wrong.




From: Ed Arnaud
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004

...The only photos of mine that anyone else ever saw was Civil Death from that show. I went to their place at Broadway/Columbus to show them. I gave some copies to Lenny and Paul. Have you been in contact with Paul Young? I haven't seen him in a long time. Nice guy. I took him and Dee (I think that was her name) to UMC ER because
Click to enlarge (Ed Arnaud)

Paul took a dive off the stage at the Clash show in the exhibition hall and everybody moved, so Paul hit the floor and split his forehead. Crazy memories.

Date: September 14, 2004

Terrible terrible news about Paul. Can't believe it. Yes, Lydia was his sister. I met her a few times. Dee, Pauls earlier girlfriend was the exotic African girl. Wow, I think I had a crush on her at the time.....well, I know I did. I used to work at Sears the same time Paul worked at Zips. He always had a wealth of info on music. He stocked things in Zips that you wouldn't see anywhere else. He's the one who introduced me to hardcore. I was into Ramones, Sex Pistols and the Deadboys, but Paul recommended Battalion of Saints (always said the guitarist was phenomenal) Bad Brains, Black Flag, Circle Jerks etc. Paul also introduced me to Reggae. He stocked Zips with all of Marley's albums. I would frequently buy albums based on his recommendation. I also have photos of Paul playing with Civil Death. I'll be sending those to you also.

Date: September 18, 2004

Also, did you see the article on Paul Young back in 95 in the Daily
Star? It was about his huge bootleg collection. If not, I'll get a
copy from the Daily Star archives.

Date: September 23, 2004

Not as much on Paul as I thought. Still cool he's quoted a few times.

begin forwarded message:

> From: NewsBank -- service provider for Arizona Daily Star Archives
> <>
> Date: September 23, 2004 12:23:50 PM MST
> To: e********.com
> Subject: Arizona Daily Star Document
> Arizona Daily Star, The (AZ)
> The Arizona Daily Star
> June 17, 1995
> Bootleg music mania; It's a search, a passion and, often, an
> Author: Gene Armstrong
> For die-hard music fans, the quest for bootleg albums can be
> spiritual, laborious and seductive.
> It takes some work to seek out these live recordings, which usually
> are unauthorized - and sometimes disdained - by the artists.
> ``You hear a rumor and the possibility of something existing, like
> some extra (Bob) Dylan songs that haven't been released yet on a

Click to enlarge
(Ed Arnaud)

> record,'' said bootleg collector Paul Young.
> ``You get one of these catalogs - they're more like mimeographed
> newsletters, really - and it's got a couple pages of listings of
> concerts, in chronological order, or as best as it could be. And
> are lists of dates and places and the songs in order, and whether a
> tape is available.''
> When you find the elusive bootleg - some of which are common, some
> rare, some nearly apocryphal - ``it can be like a religious
> experience,'' Young said.
> Young, 39, is a master carpenter for the Southern Arizona Light Opera
> Company and form! er record store manager who has played guitar in
> such Tucson punk bands as U.P.S. and Blood Spasm.
> He's been buying, sometimes trading, bootleg recordings on LP and
> cassette tape since he was a teen-ager.
> Young remembers the early days of the bootlegging industry, the late
> '60s and early '70s.
> ``When I was in junior high school in Michigan, there was this head
> shop, where they had pipes and rolling papers and black-light
> ``It was there that I first saw Dylan's `Great White Wonder' bootleg.
> I also bought this Hendrix bootleg there, called `Kiss the Sky,'
> was his last performance in 1970.''
> Young has bought about 125 vinyl and cassette bootlegs in that time,
> and he recently started buying CD boots.


> Photo by David Sanders, The Arizona Daily Star
> Paul Young, with a Jimi Hendrix tattoo on his arm, has been buying,
> sometimes trading, bootlegs since he was a teen



Rest in Peace, Motherfucker

Paul left, with Troy Held, at the Stumble Inn 1983 (Ed Arnaud)








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