Paul Templeton has spent the better part of a lifetime listening to music, playing guitar and singing mostly for his own satisfaction. Having been a fan of early rock ‘n roll, the British invasion, 60’s folk, 70’s pop and blues, Paul can claim all of those as important influences. Of his own writing, he says, “Having admired the creativity of these great artists for so long, it’s only natural that I eventually ended up writing songs. Watch enough people try to ride the bull, and sooner or later you have to have a go yourself”. Paul’s ride has covered a lot of ground. His career in teaching has taken him from its starting point in the Hamilton area, all the way to northern Alberta and back again.
It was in Alberta that Paul got back into singing and playing to help get through the long winters. “I had students in a locally developed Distance Education program who were located in tiny northern communities. Part of the job was to visit these communities from time to time to meet and work with the students. The driving was done on “improved” roads that could be quite an adventure at times. Evening layovers often involved having a meal in an oilpatch diner. There were two menu choices: take it, or leave it! After having whatever looked safest on the menu for dinner, the guitar would come out in the trailer that passed for a motel room and I would pass the time trying to teach myself how to play songs or guitar licks I admired, in the days before you could search for it on YouTube. Then once back home, I would try out the new stuff at open mics or jam sessions in the small town roadhouses, where the patrons were never shy about telling you what they thought of it. Great experience for sure!”
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Paul Templeton was raised in Ancaster, a nearby suburb. His father was a pharmacist who ran a drugstore in town. At 13, Paul began working after school in his dad’s store. The girl he would marry 42 years later, but whom he had lost track of for decades, was a part time cashier at that store! Events such as this have only reinforced Paul’s belief in an interwoven circle of life in which things happen for a reason. Paul has found these mind-boggling ironies fertile ground for his songwriting, as he marvels at the connectedness of the things in his ever-expanding world. “The drugstore was a microcosm of the community”, recalls Paul. “I got to learn about people from all walks of life. I also got the greatest gift of all, which was to watch my dad at work for a few years during a formative period in my life. There were life lessons on display daily at that store, and I think much of my world view was developed right here in Ancaster.”
Paul’s older brother John has been a big part of his entrée into music. In the early days, it was the access that John generously allowed to his record collection that provided the younger brother with what Paul wistfully calls, “a clue”. Much later, it was John’s skills as a sought-after guitar amp repairer, builder and restorer that introduced Paul to a variety of artists on the Hamilton music scene as they came through John’s shop to drop off or pick up their amps. Meeting and hearing some of these people play in a casual setting further fueled Paul’s interest in taking his own shot at creating original music.
Today Paul works as a Teacher of special needs children and adolescents at McMaster Childrens’ Hospital in Hamilton. He lives with his wife Melda in their hometown of Ancaster, Ontario. He continues to challenge himself in music by performing locally and by releasing his first album of 12 original songs, titled, “Old Chrome”.
2017 OLD CHROME
Paul Templeton Music