Paul Hewson Profile

Steven Shaw
9 Jul 2014

Songwriter and keyboardist Paul Hewson became a true rock star in Dragon, and left behind a large musical legacy when he died in 1985. He steered Dragon into pop-rock territory and wrote (or co-wrote) the signature hit songs ‘April Sun In Cuba’ and ‘Are You Old Enough’, among others.

An in-demand player in New Zealand long before he made the move to Australia with Dragon in 1975, Hewson started his professional career playing with bands The Marble Arch and Freedom Express before joining  club band Cruise Lane with former Underdogs singer Murray Grindlay, drummer Brett Neilsen (The La De Da's), former Layabout Mike Wilson and ace guitarist Red McKelvie.

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Dave McArtney and the Pink Flamingos - Is That The Way
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Dave McArtney and the Pink Flamingos - Hungry Night - Paul is not in the video but features on the recording
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The Arch, 1970. Left to right, Paul Hewson, Peter Grattan, Rob Maginley, Noddy Dawson, Rangi Williams.
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Freedom Express, 1971. Left to right: Rangi Williams, Noddy Dawson, Dennis Ryan, Paul Hewson. Rob Maginley has been cropped out on the left.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Paul Hewson and Peter Grattan rehearsing at Rob Maginley’s, 1970
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Dave McArtney and Paul Hewson, Darby St RipItUp office, Jan 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Cruise Lane on stage at De Bretts, High Street, Auckland, August 1973. Left to right, Red McKelvie, Brett Neilsen, Mike Wilson, Murray Grindlay, Paul Hewson.
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The Arch on stage at The Monaco, 1970. Left to right, Paul Hewson, Rangi Williams, DJ Keith Adams, Rob Maginley, Noddy Dawson, Peter Grattan.
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The Marble Arch, briefly renamed The Saint Ludwig Group for Peter Grattan’s debut with them at the Mount Roskill War Memorial Hall, 1967. Left to right, David Pou, Rangi Williams, Peter Grattan, Paul Hewson, John Hewson.
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Dragon - Are You Old Enough (live in Sydney, 1984)
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Paul Hewson with Dragon, Geelong 31 October, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Jenee McCusker
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The Arch, 1970. Left to right, Rob Maginley, Paul Hewson, Rangi Williams, Peter Grattan, Noddy Dawson.
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The Arch, 1970. Left to right, Rangi Williams, Paul Hewson with the Blind Faith inner sleeve, Ray Archer, Rob Maginley, Noddy Dawson.
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Full concert - Dragon at Sydney Entertainment Centre, 1984
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Thanks from the Hewson family on the passing Paul. January 25, 1985
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Paul Hewson and Dave McArtney
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Dragon - April Sun In Cuba
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Croxton Park Hotel, Melbourne, 1st of November 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Jenee McCusker
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Dave McArtney & The Pink Flamingos at the beach, summer 1981-82, with Paul Hewson on the left
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Dragon - Still In Love With You
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The Arch on the eve of or just after renaming themselves Freedom Express, early 1971. Left to right, Rangi Williams, Noddy Dawson, Rob Maginley, roadie Chook Conway, Paul Hewson, Dennis Ryan.
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Trivia:

In 1966, Paul Hewson and his best mate Kevin Walden crawled under a fence and gatecrashed the farewell garden party of Kiri Te Kanawa, whose parents lived in the same street as the Hewson family.

Hewson's band The Marble Arch played at Dragon guitarist Ray Goodwin's sister's wedding in Avondale, Auckland, years before Dragon had even formed. The two musicians didn't meet though, because "None of the band mingled. They were deadset pop stars.”