To celebrate the new album release, Paul opened up his archives to share some personal keepsakes from his exciting time in the spotlight. Periodically, we'll be adding more pictures (with links to high-quality images for you to enjoy) along with personal recollections written by Paul Parker himself.
This was my first appearance outside of the state of California, Right On Target had just hit the dance charts. I did a three city tour, this was a Loading Zone party in Chicago, I then went to Texas to the Loading Zone there, and then New Orleans and played a third club -- three clubs over two weekends. This floor I was standing on was stainless steel, and the dry ice had just evaporated, and it was so wet I could barely move without falling down! The feedback was terrible, because look at the speaker behind me that the microphone can easily point at. From this appearance I learned that sometimes the sound check actually meant I had to rearrange the sound in the club to be able to do a live show. Most singers prior sang along with the record, or traveled with a band. I always sang live, and the tracks were a specially made instrumental recording of the recent release.
Before meeting Patrick Cowley in the Autumn of 1979, I was singing with a 5-piece cover band in local San Francisco venues. Some of these gigs would last over three hours! I played occasional guitar and was the lead singer. Our playlist included Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Eagles, Grateful Dead, The Stones ("Wild Horses" was one of my favorites), and of course The Beatles.
Only when I started singing with Patrick Cowley did I get a real education in dance music...especially Latin rhythm and hi hats. Patrick invited me into the studio after a mutual friend introduced us. He liked my vocal style...he just said "sing" and I did the rest!
Promo pic which accompanied the release of "Right On Target" as a sticker on the Megatone 45 single's shrinkwrap. This at a time when it was rare for a photo to be on a dance 12".
The bright halo effect around me was achieved using a star filter on the camera lens.
In late July of 1982, "Right On Target" hit #1 on Billboard's Dance/Disco chart, right on my 30th birthday. There was a surprise party in my honor. I walked into a crowded room of friends from all my "lives" brought together. That was quite a mix and quite a day!
One interesting phenomenon which seemed to ring was true pointed out by my promoter at the time (Tarquin Featherstone III): "the farther from home you are, the more famous you become."