Smugglers' founder Paul Preminger passes on

The original drummer for legendary Vancouver band the Smugglers has passed away. Paul Preminger died on October 27, evidently from a heart attack. Smugglers vocalist Grant Lawrence remembered Preminger as “a guy that hit the drums hard, and who lived hard. He was a Joe Pesci, bulldog kind of a guy, but very smart, very funny, and very kind.”¦He was one of those guys who’d sit on the couch and answer every single question on Jeopardy!, and you’d be like, ”˜What the fuck? How does this Bukowski-esque character know all this?’ ” Lawrence told the Straight that Preminger was hitchhiking in West Vancouver when they first met, in 1988. “We were just forming the Smugglers. Within picking him up in Dundarave and dropping him off at Park Royal, he joined the band.”

Older than his bandmates, Preminger was responsible for getting their booze. “He was much more experienced in every facet of life,” Lawrence said. “He had a hundred stories. It was like touring with a merchant sailor. And he had a lot of strange quirks. He developed a quirk where he’d puke before every show, sometimes on-stage.”

Preminger recorded one album with the band before leaving in 1992 to become a chef. He was working at Manzanita in Powell River until ill health brought him back to Vancouver earlier this year.

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8 Comments

Paul V. Preminger

Nov 5, 2009 at 10:58am

I am the proud father of Paul Christopher Preminger...he was all that Grant said about him and more. He was an avid reader of everything including advanced Physics and Astronomy, Mad Magazine, Clive Cussler, Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling and Stephen King!! He could go through one of my engineering text books in a couple of days and if he was examined on the contents he could get at least a second class mark everytime.

He chose not to follow in my professional footsteps as an engineer and to study Culinary Arts instead ...needless to say he graduated at the top of his class!!

He loved to travel...at age 14 months we lived in Chile, his first word was in spanish...leche!! (milk!!), After two years in Chile we lived in Canada, the USA, Peru, Mexico, and Argentina. Since thoses days he revisted many of those places.

Besides being a genius, he was a humble and generous friend to all...he loved our succession of dogs Jeeves, Fric and Frac. Had had a succession of cats named Bart and Pisco and later another called Bobbie...Bobbie died in front of us at age 20 while we were living together in Powell River. He missed her very much..

It is hard for me to maintain my composure when I remeber his last words to me on the 27th of October ......Good Night Dad...I Love You!!

A service will be held at the Hollyburn Funeral Home at 10 AM on Saturday 21 November, 2009. All of his friends are welcome.

Paul Sr.

MIke Luney

Nov 6, 2009 at 12:13am

Paul joined and helped to form local surfband, The WaveDwellers in 2003-ish, with myself, Andy Pye, and Lorne Jee. Although our time was brief and unknown...we had a bunch of good times, and were able to record a decent amount of stuff. Playing bass along with his vintage, hard hitting metronomic style was a special treat. We didn't even have to think, we just knew. Such a great drummer, and such a great dude. He did have tons of stories, and tons of odd trivia that only someone who was very well read, would know.
After he left for Powell River, we kept in touch over the years, and it was always great to hear from him. The WaveDwellers morphed into The Boss Monsters, and things went on. He then kinda went M.I.A for a bit, but then resurfaced later, in Vancouver a few months ago, with some health issues. We welcomed him back to the jam space with open arms, and immeadiately we picked up musically where we left off. But ,it wasn't meant to last. October 27th happened. I miss you Paul, and will NEVER forget. Kick Bonhams arse in a drum duel for us. See you sometime. -Mike

Whitney Preminger

Nov 6, 2009 at 10:25am

As we travelled alot when I was a kid and much of the time it was just Paul and I trying to entertain ourselves...thanks Paul for all your funny games: "Syncronized Swim Team", "Cling" and many more. You entertained me all your life...I miss you and will always miss you!

Amy Sharp

Nov 6, 2009 at 10:34am

Paul's love for cuisine was instrumental in the conception of our restaurant, Manzanita, in Powell River. Long before we thought about opening it, I got a cut of pork from a small local farm near Lund for him to cook. Then I took him on a walk through our homestead out in Okeover to show him all the different herbs growing there. He was like a kid in a candy store, grabbing and rubbing different ones and carrying on about the possibilites. Of course, the meal was fantastic. My 6 year old son still asks for Uncle Paulie's demi-glace and champs. Paul was a kind and generous heart with lots of interests in many many subjects from conspiracy theories to deep spiritual meanings to the latest film noir. He will be missed.

hedy

Nov 7, 2009 at 11:21am

I just wanted to say to Paul's family that I am so sorry for your loss. Paul and I were friends for about ten years. Unfortunately our friendship ended badly a couple of years ago, but I always thought that in time we would be able to mend that. It makes me very sad to know that now there is no more time for Paul.
He was a complicated, generous, good hearted friend and I have many memories of him. He would always make the most delicious food in the world and entertain you with hilarious stories. He was a hedonist, a great drummer, a traveller and a truly unique guy.
I will always be so sad that our friendship got broken and can only hope that he is finally resting in peace, free of pain.
sincerely,
Hedy

Miche

Nov 11, 2009 at 1:00am

I Love You Paul !! AND I Hear YOU , i know your everywhere so thank you for your comfort and your guidance since your passing. Yes the numerology and i have noticed the cats and the name being repeated,, oh and the food! You are clever you are! Always were and always will be... show me how the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs We had a deal remember
Love and Light you Angel of Light Enjoy INFINITY BABY XOXXOXOXOXOXO
See you when i get home.......

Rick Fleming

Jun 17, 2010 at 5:56pm

I have a lot of memories of Paul; we worked together for a few years on Gabriola and were good friends. We watched a lot of Simpsons and Hockey (the odd sip of JD) in the old Hacienda! Reading all of what is written here about him is so true. He was a good friend, and one of the funniest guys I have ever met. Unfortunately we didn't keep in touch since he left Gabriola, you hear a little bit from mutual friends once in a while, but Paul never left our thoughts. How can you not smile and even laugh out loud when you think of him? He sure left a warm impression in my heart.
Paul, you will be greatly missed by all who knew you.
I'll never forget you my friend, Rick.

H.D.

Mar 23, 2012 at 9:30pm

I knew Paul well, and have so many fond, and even less fond memories of him.
But you guys are right, I learned so many fascinating things in his company.
Fond or less fond ;)... I will ALWAYS recall him with love in my heart.
Still thinking about you man, and your double fisted drum fills.
Para todo la vida,
H.