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The Paperboys online forum
This is a collection of the comments posted to the The Paperboys online forum regarding Lolly.
I really don’t even know where to begin here. On Saturday morning we woke up to the devastating news that our dear friend and drummer Paul ‘Lolly’ Lawton had suddenly passed away in a tragic accident on the afternoon of July, 15 2005. To say that we are deeply saddened by this is a gross understatement of how we feel. The truth is that words fail me now to express just what we are feeling and going through in the last few days.
We all loved and cherished Lolly and will miss him dearly. He brought so much joy and happiness to us and to everyone around him. Paul first joined the band back in 1994 and played with us until 2000. He performed on drums, percussion, and vocals on three records (Late As Usual, Molinos, and Postcards) as well as literally hundreds of shows all over North America. We started a journey together that took us through many highs and lows, thousand of miles, and so many memories that we will never forget. We feel privileged to have known him and spent so much time with him. He was a phenomenal musician and songwriter who had a passion for music that I have never seen in anyone else. His skills and talent helped shape the sound of the Paperboys and brought so much heart and soul to our music.
In addition to being a drummer, percussionist, and guitarist, Lolly was a football fanatic who loved Everton Football Club almost more than any person really should love a sports team. Above all, Lolly’s greatest passion was his faith. Paul was the most spiritual person any of us have ever known and his relationship to God and his church was humbling and inspiring. No matter how much we drank and how late we went to bed Lolly always rose early on Sunday to make it to Mass no matter where we found ourselves. He put his faith into practice, volunteering his time to many charities and, since he was only 12 years old himself, has sponsored a foster child whom he stayed in touch with all these years. For those of you who knew him you will know that he was always up for a laugh even if it meant he made himself look like a fool to bring a smile to others. We loved his stories and were amazed at how good of a storyteller he was. His tales often rambled on but you certainly didn’t mind as you felt you right there in the middle of the tale and always laughing by the end.
Paul is survived by his mother and father Matt and Christine Lawton, as well as sister Beverley and her husband Gerard and nephews and nieces Caitlin, Colette, Anna, Peter and Finnian Doyle. We’ve spent the last few days with Matt, Christine, and Beverly and once again wanted to thank them and tell them once more how sorry we are for their loss.
We had the great honour and pleasure to play music at his funeral mass, vigil and wake. The funeral service was absolutely beautiful and the wake showed us all just how loved Paul was and what an impact he had on our lives. As we chanted at the top of our lungs: ‘There is only one Lolly Lawton’ I realized his spirit was in the room that night and will always be with us.
All his friends, family, and we the band will be honouring him again with several events fundraisers and concerts. There will be a website dedicated to him and we will keep you posted on its launch. We invite all of you who knew him or met him to post your thoughts on our forum. We ask that details of his passing not be brought into this forum out of respect, but please do feel free to share your thoughts, memories, and prayers with us.
Lolly, thank you for every note, every laugh, every conversation, every drink, every hug, and every minute we had the privilege of knowing you. I know you will look after us in between the soccer highlights, hitting the tubs, coming up with another crazy drink recipe, and making a new playlist on your I-pod up there in heaven where you most certainly are and deserve to be. We miss you.
Hello. I am a family friend of Paul’s from Windsor. I just wanted to say that I have been reminiscing about Paul and listening to the two CD’s he played on with you guys. It’s been great to hear your music again. It really tugs at the heart strings to hear “Same 4 everyone”. I heard you played at his memorial mass on Tuesday night. I’m sure it was beautiful. My mother sang a Psalm at the same mass. Good luck to you all in all you future endeavors.
I’m sorry to hear that. My thoughts are with those who knew and loved him. - Mandy
I am so sad to hear about Paul Lawton. I just wanted to say to his friends and family how sorry I am for your loss.
'adventuregirl'So sorry to hear the sad news. My thoughts and prayers go out to Paul’s friends and family.
My condolences go out to all of you - find it in your grieving to know that each of us lives because of the influence and effect we have on others. Paul Lawton sounds like the kind of human being who affected many lives and will continue to influence those who knew him. With an embrace, Laurie
I’m so sorry to hear this. My condolences to Paul’s family and friends.
'The O’Connor Family'
We are cousins of Paul Lawton here in Cobh, County Cork, Ireland. Although we never met Paul in person, we have met his parents Matt and Chris and have a CD of his music. It was great to read the wonderful tributes to him on your website and noted particularly the fact that he bought a lot of CD’s. We have a son who does the same, it must be genetic. We have been thinking and praying for Matt, Chris, and Beverly since we heard the tragic news. - Mary, Ger, Niall, Jill, April, Kim and Sean O’Connor.
I’m so sorry to hear the sad news. My condolences to his family and friends.
The music lives so the musician will continue to live too for those who listen but... I’m so sorry for those who have lost a friend, an inspiration, a family member, or someone who could have been family. I wrote about some of my favorite music today at my blog and of course included the Paperboys. When I visited the band’s web site so I could include the band’s link with my post I saw the story. I hope those who knew him personally will get some measure of comfort from these messages left by those of us who only know any of you through the music. I think this tribute forum is a beautiful idea. Thank you for providing it. Peace & Joy to your world.
Jennifer and I first heard of Lolly’s passing through an e-mail inquiry looking for his bodhran, we were floored. After the surprise and shock wore off a bit I did a web search and went to the Paperboys site and found a bit more info, still a bit dazed at the news.
When I first met Paul he was on the Paperboys first tour of Ontario way back in about 1994, I was playing locally and teaching bodhran at Studio Celtia here in London. Lolly and I hit it off right away, we even had matching black ‘Fred Halpin Bodhrans’ (made by Fred within days of each other). Paul’s with a lightbulb burn hole in it, mine with a cut from a packing knife. Every time we’d meet at some music get-together be it a local London Pub or Home County Folk Festival, Lolly would invite me to sit-in for a few tunes with the band.
Lolly didn’t have to say it, you could sense it about him that he had some very strong spiritual beliefs that showed in his calm manor and actions, sorta like a fun loving, happy-go-lucky, drumming priest or Buddhist master. You could tell he had a gentle soul. Having my own (non-denominational) spiritual beliefs, I’m very aware of signs and miracles that have come into my life and the life of my life/musical partner (Celtic harper-composer) Jennifer White, and I think Lolly past one on today.
It’s strange— just around the time of Lolly’s death I was inspired by a ‘Freecycle’ e-mail request for a child size wheelchair for a boy named Joseph in Zambia. I was drawn to our local St. Vincent De Paul Store here in London where I had seen a pile of discarded Wheelchairs in their compound ready for scraping. I passed on my story of the e-mail request I’d seen to the manager and was given permission to take the chairs, repair, and pass them along to those needing them. The chairs and other supplies (walkers crutches and canes) all from St. Vincent de Paul were to be picked up today August 9-05 (before I heard of Lolly’s passing) by a church group sending needed hospital supplies to Zambia. Due to a flat tire the pick up had to be rescheduled for tomorrow. When Jennifer and I read in Lolly’s obituary ‘that In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Society of St. Vincent De Paul, 2743 Main Street, Vancouver,BC, V5T 1P4’ we felt one of those ‘Penny Drops’ moments... and the connection our wheelchairs to Zambia came through St. Vincent De Paul here in London we figured that it just might be more than mere coincidence and that just maybe Lolly is still doing his charitable work.
Even though Lolly has passed on, I believe his work as a musician and humanitarian will be carried on in some little way through those of us he touched as he did his journey through this life. So with that said, Jennifer and I head to our studio-drumroom, set-up the Halpin bodhran, a web-copy of Lolly’s photo proof sheet (what a great face), pour a shot of ‘Bushmills BlackBush’, and toast the life of a distant friend who made our lives better just by passing through and gently touching them.
To ‘Lolly’, a brother in the Fellowship of the Drum.
Robert McMaster (SoundScape Percussionist) & Jennifer White (Celtic harp composer vocalist), Knockgrafton Productions, London, Ontario, Canada.