Canadian-born guitarist Paul Rudolph has led a multifaceted career in psychedelic music, heavy metal, proto-punk, and progressive rock. He entered the music history books in 1969, when he replaced Sid Bishop in the lineup of the Deviants, the renowned late-'60s British underground band, in time to appear on their album No. 3. It wasn't long after this that singer Mick Farren departed and Rudolph, bassist Duncan Sanderson, and drummer Twink reorganized the band as the Pink Fairies. Rudolph cut an incredible swathe across their first two albums and innumerable concerts with his free-flowing blues-based playing, he and Sanderson generating a sound of laser-like precision and intensity at their best moments, while Sanderson and Twink held the beat as well. The group's music was a cross of psychedelic and heavy metal, yet also embraced elements of what would later be labeled punk rock; even in the absence of a name for exactly what they were doing, their reputation soared like Rudolph's playing, and it seemed as though it would only be a matter of time before the group broke through to wider, even international recognition.
Instead, Twink departed after the first album, and Rudolph left after its follow-up -- the highly successful What a Bunch of Sweeties -- and the group went on to success without him before splintering. Meanwhile, Rudolph had jumped to Hawkwind, a metal band with underground roots similar to (and rather closely intertwined with) the Pink Fairies, who had just fired their bassist, Lemmy; for the next two years his bass work illuminated their space-borne metal rock on both stage and record, though his past associations with the Deviants/Pink Fairies still occasionally caught up with him. One of Rudolph's great, transcendent on-stage moments was captured for posterity when he returned to the Pink Fairies lineup for a July 13, 1975, show at the London Roundhouse that put together the group's original lineup and paired him with his successor, Larry Wallis, with appropriately scintillating results -- it's worth hearing just for the interaction between the two of them and Duncan Sanderson's bass.
Finally, in 1977, Rudolph and drummer Alan Powell decided to form their own band, after a short stint in a group called Kicks alongside ex-Vinegar Joe bassist Steve York and ex-Quiver/Cochise/Al Stewart alumnus Cal Batchelor. And amid all of that heavy metal/proto-punk activity from 1973 onward, he also recorded extensively with Brian Eno on the latter's albums throughout the decade, which put him in the august company of Robert Fripp et al. Rudolph has participated in various reincarnations of the Pink Fairies and the Deviants, and subgroupings from their respective orbits, in the decades since. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi