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.