Paulie Heenan remembered by Solid Gold's Matt Locher

Paulie Heenan remembered by Solid Gold's Matt Locher
via Monovox's MySpace page

Musicians in the Twin Cities, Madison, and around the country lost an ally over the weekend when ex-Solid Gold guitarist and engineer Paulie Heenan was tragically killed over the weekend. Details of his death are still emerging, but it appears to be a case of mistaken identity involving police in Madison, where the 30-year-old Heenan was staying on his way to a move to the West Coast.

Gimme Noise reached Solid Gold's Matt Locher, who along with Zach Coulter played in a three-piece version of the group with Heenan in 2003-04. Together, they created the Out of Your Mind EP. "It was clear that this guy had talent coming out of every pore," Locher tells Gimme Noise. "He was a technical wizard in the studio, and an insanely good guitar player, singer, keyboard player. He could play anything. We needed a third guy. Paulie was the perfect person."

What follows is a statement given to Gimme Noise by Locher about his departed friend with archival photos.

See Also:
R.I.P. Paulie Heenan, former Solid Gold guitarist dies in Madison police dispute

We reached Locher in the middle of preparations for a Solid Gold video shoot. He describes Heenan as a wildly creative guy who could bridge a serious technological skill with impeccable music talent. This led Heenan to get plenty of studio work, including DNA Music Labs, where he met the Solid Gold guys.

In addition to helping Solid Gold refine their developing sound, he played guitar for groups including Monovox and the Pull. He crafted guitar pedals, and later helped create drum loops for Apple's Garage Band. Above all, Locher notes: "a really, really great friend" who they kept in touch with over the years and visited when they were in New York.

From Locher:

Zach and I were talking bout how fond we are of the memories from that point in our lives. Everything seemed so bright and possible at that point. It's hard to not be utterly heartbroken about something like this. We were all in our early 20s. It was a real awakening period in. We were young, and we were playing this fresh, cool music.

Once Paulie Heenan was playing with us, we wrote six new songs and recorded an EP in a matter of weeks. That was the summer of 2004. That was over the course of the year that we had known Paulie. We played tons of shows, recorded this EP, and then we went on tour up to New York. At that point we were all kind of thinking, "Hey, let's move to New York." And then due to personal lives, Zach and I decided that we were moving to Minneapolis. Paulie had already decided on New York. In the fall of 2004, he left. We played our last show with him in Chicago.

Paulie with Solid Gold around 2004.
Paulie with Solid Gold around 2004.
Courtesy of Sold Gold

It was always amazing how much was packed into one person. He could do anything. You could talk to anyone in any band he played with or recorded with. They would say that he's got a light about him. He added the most positivity and creativity to any room he was in. He would make your band sound better if he was recording you, or he would make your band sound better if he was playing with you. If you were just his friend, he'd make you laugh your ass off.

I love him and miss him. My heart goes out to his family and all his other friends.

Paulie Heenan remembered by Solid Gold's Matt Locher
Paulie Heenan remembered by Solid Gold's Matt Locher

Paulie Heenan remembered by Solid Gold's Matt Locher
Photos courtesy of Solid Gold

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