Born in New York City, moved to LA at age 6, Paull E. Rubin has been an ASCAP writer & publisher member since 1983. Taught how to play stringed instruments by his Grandpa, Leo & father, Stan with advanced lessons from Larry Weber.
Paull received an AA degree from LA Pierce College & a BA from Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA. Paull has also taught music & studied recording with Mark Anthony, (Prescott Sound & Santa Barbara Recording) engineering and producing over 50 projects since 2004.
He has played with many of his heroes onstage or elsewhere including David Lindley, Bonnie Bramlett, John Densmore, & others.
Rock Cellar Magazine: What was the best day of your life?
Paull E. Rubin: I truly believe every day I wake up is a gift, so right now, this very moment is all there is & it is up to me to make it happen to be the best day of my life. I regularly get to back up many of the great singer songwriters from the Palm Loft Gallery “Allstars” & I am lucky I get to play guitar with Sudama in the Heart of Gold Band.
Every day I seem to get to play different types of music, from old ragtime from the ’20’s and ’30’s with my local Santa Barbara group “Guinness Bros” and then I get called to play lead and slide for “THC” (The Hoagland Conspiracy) which is a country & rock band, or my own music (Pelikanesis) which can be acoustic solo stuff to full band arrangements.
My own stuff is almost a mix or progressive rock & jam band with a lot of slide guitar. Any day I get to play guitar has got to be the best day of my life!
Rock Cellar Magazine: Who are your mentors?
Paull E. Rubin: I learn from everyone I listen to. Mark Anthony Aviles (Prescott Recording) trained me to be a recording engineer and brought out the best in me as far as being a studio guitarist, he often used me on his recordings and held my feet to the fire until he got what he wanted out of me! Jim Williams (Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa) who customized my guitars and amps, pedals (Audio Upgrades) really taught me the attitude necessary to really give it all you have when you are playing or recording.
Marc Mann was also very influential, I played with him in “Bear Bros” for many years, and he played on several songs on my CD’s over the years. I actually taught him how to play slide guitar before he went on to play the Concert For George, also showed him his first D chord back when we were kids. Marc introduced me to many wonderful musicians and I had the chance to work upon occaison, Jeff Lynne, Kenny Loggins...just doing very basic stuff. Kenny still knows me as “Spacebar” because that’s pretty much all I did for 5 hours, hit the spacebar when Marc gave me the cue!
Jeff pretty much was just interested in checking out the Roland vs2480 I still like to record with. My father and Grandfather are/were both stringed instrument players too so I have to mention they got me going, and Larry Weber who I studied guitar with, is of major importance to my developement as a player. I did learn more than I ever could imagine by observing Frank Zappa in rehearsal, he was beyond amazing to watch & be able to take notes.
Rock Cellar Magazine: Favorite recording session?
Paull E. Rubin: I have had so much fun recording over the years, but I guess I’d have to go with April 4, 2009, Live at the Lensic in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I played slide guitar while also recording (I had Garth Froula man the faders while I was playing) the Hani Naser Band’s gig, featured John Densmore on drums, Marc Mann, Craig Eastman, Richard Hardy, Mark Clark & Justin Bransford...great band and the coolest part was getting to swap slide solos on headliner David Lindley’s encore.
“Mr. Dave was very kind to me.Yep, that had to be the best “session” I can remember for sure.
Rock Cellar Magazine: Lessons for the youth comin’ up in the business?
Paull E. Rubin: Be nice to the folks you meet on the way, because they’ll likely be the same folks you’ll meet on your way back down….my nephew’s band The Spaces Between (Andrew Rubin, lead guitar) is a classic example of what kids can do if they put their minds to it. They have hung in there together since they were barely walking and now the guys have a CD featuring Jon Anderson of Yes, produced by Travis Warren of Blind Melon, and have played all the major clubs in LA and are well on their way to success.
It boils down to hard work, lots of hours of practice and study, eating well, exercise, getting proper sleep, and having healthy hobbies, I like gardening, getting my fingers in the dirt acts as cheap therapy.
Rock Cellar Magazine: First concert experience?
Paull E. Rubin: I was 14, saw Donovan at the Hollywood Bowl. My rear end was so sore from the concrete seats in the nosebleed section, but Mr. “D” was spot on, even though he played solo acoustic & harmonium, he held the audience in the palm of his hand, 28 songs total with no intermission. I do remember thinking to myself then it would’ve been a little more entertaining if he’d had a backing band for at least some of the show, (2nd show: Newport ’69..got way more than I bargained for!)
Rock Cellar Magazine: Any stories about fans yelling something to you on stage?
Paull E. Rubin: I was playing bass (my ’63 Fender Precision!) when a young pretty girl yelled out “You’re on fire!”…I nodded & thanked her graciously. She then ran closer and pointed out that my cigarette (yes, I was young and dumb once!) which I’d strategically stuck between the strings in the headstock above the first fret had burned all the way down and smoldering in the wood at that point. I pulled it out quickly and stomped on it, but to this day the burn mark remains on the headstock, gives more “character” I suppose? Yikes!
Rock Cellar Magazine: What was the first car you owned?
Paull E. Rubin: First car I owned: I paid $35! for a 1963, very beaten up Dodge 440 with a push button transmission. I drove it back and forth to Pierce college for a year before embarking on a Canadian adventure tour where it finally broke down in Boston, MA. I sold it to a scrap yard for about $50..and the 318 V-8 engine still worked fine although everything else was a wreck. That was in 1975.
They sure don’t make cars – or guitars – like they used to!