Discovering that a life as a trainee chartered accountant was not for him, he began a period of busking and roaming around Greece, the south of France and Spain where he ended up doing a spell in a Spanish prison after being arrested for busking. Having his hair and beard removed courtesy of one of Franco’s barbers he was eventually deported and made his way to Cornwall where he found the inspiration to write and compose.
Paul returned to Surrey at the onset of the winter months, picking up some weird and not so wonderful jobs – fruit picker, grave digger, drayman, hod carrier, sculptor and scenic artist. Paul is a very talented artist and worked at Shepperton studios as a prop maker on the Bond film, Casino Royale. He also formed a folk band, 'The Russian Front' with Steve Bloomfield who later found great success with pop/rockabilly cross–over band 'Matchbox'. Steve was co–producer on 'Lyin' Again' and 'Rosalyn'.
He had been to see local band, The Good Earth several times whilst back in England, sat in at some of the gigs and eventually became a full time member. Primarily a jug band, they played some memorable gigs, none more so than their appearance at the 1970 Hollywood music festival on the bill with such luminaries as – Black Sabbath, Traffic, Jose Feliciano and the Grateful Dead.
1970s…The band was now called Mungo Jerry and their debut single, In The Summertime became an enormous hit worldwide with Paul on banjo and jug. More hit singles and albums followed, including tours all over the world before the ‘inevitable’ break-up in 1972. Around the time of the split, Paul put out his own solo album – Been In The Pen Too Long – which amazingly failed to chart, but went down well with critics and fans alike. Paul, piano player Colin Earl, guitarist Dave Lambert and washboard player Joe Rush formed the King Earl Boogie Band, recording an album – Trouble At Mill - at Richard Branson’s Manor Studios near Oxford. Two singles were released. Plastic Jesus, looked a certain hit until the BBC blacklisted it, and was soon followed by Starlight which failed to chart. The Strawbs recruited guitarist Dave Lambert signalling the end for the band, almost as soon as it had started.
Paul went solo, releasing three singles on the Dawn label – 'Whoa Buck' (from his solo album) in March 1972, 'Look At Me Now' (as P. Rufus King with Russell Brown and Steve Holly later to be drummer in Wings) in March 1973 and Streakin’ as D’Jurann Jurrann in April 1974. Paul also released Round and Round in France during 1975 as Levi Gumble.
In 1976, under the name of D’Jango, Paul’s
collaboration with former members of Atomic Rooster and the Beat Stalkers
in the unreleased ‘Star Sign’ concept album 'Daughters
Of Heaven'. Daily Mirror ‘Pin Up’ girl Camilla La’More
got the Paul King treatment on a single released in the same year.
Working on the south of England pub and club circuit, Paul eventually joined forces with old friend and washboard player Joe Rush, Colin Pattenden (bass, Manfred Mann’s Earthband) and violin/mandolin man Mike Pigott in the Jigilo Jug Band during 1977. They recorded a five track 12” single – 'Live At The Limping Whippet'.
During 1978 and 1979 Paul continued his association with Denny Laine and members of Wings in a new band called Rhode Island Red. The band line up included Colin Pattenden, Jamie Moses (Merlin and Paper Lace) and John Hollywood (Hellraisers).
1980s and 1990sAt the beginning of the 80’s Paul returned to gigging and recording under his own name and was also heavily involved with David Hamilton's and Jess Conrad’s Showbiz Football XI. In his own words Paul spent the next 7 years playing music, football and getting p****d!
During this period he still found time to write 'Sailors Farewell' a Eurovision Song Contest entry in 1982 and form a new outfit called 'Nightshift' with former members of Blackfoot Sue, Tom and Dave Farmer, during ‘83 and ‘84.
In 1986, after Tom and Dave left to record under the name of ‘Outside Edge’ Paul took on fellow musicians Alan Hitt, Ric Corne and Colin O'Neil to carry on gigging and as 'Nightshift' (V2) they laid down ‘Vision of You’ at the Padded Cell Studio plus ‘Hey Good Looking’, ‘If You See My Baby’, ‘Lady with the Red Red Hair’ and ‘Houdini’. All 5 tracks were recorded on 24 track state of the art gear of the day.
By now Colin Earl had returned from the States after playing with brother Roger’s band Foghat, and was once again re-united with Paul in Skeleton Crew, along with Ian Campbell, Don Stevens and Colin Pattenden.
The band had reasonable success and put out a now hard to find cassette – 'Eclipse Of The Willow', a CD – 'The Complete Works', a 12” maxi-single – 'Boogie Woogie Skiffle & Blues' with lead track 'Live For Today' and a limited edition white label 45, a re-working of the old animals hit – 'House Of The Rising Sun'.
The late 1980's witnessed the rebirth of the King Earl Boogie Band with Colin Earl. However, during the early 1990's Colin took a year out and Paul formed a duo with Pete Hamilton ( Squeezebox on Listen To Reason) called The Artful Dodgers.
In 1995 Paul, Colin, Jeff Ward and Noel Jones, as the King Earl Boogie Band, recorded a somewhat belated follow-up to the debut album of ’72 – 'Trouble At Mill'. 'The Mill Is Gone' was recorded for Dave Rees’, A New Day Label, as was Paul’s second solo album – 'Houdini’s Moon'.
The Boogie Band continued with Paul until a successful appearance at the 1996 Cropredy Festival. Shortly afterwards Paul ‘retired’ to the west country but has recently played with the band again and is looking forward to returning to music once again.