VALE PAUL TAYLOR
Paul Taylor was always happy to see me. He was happy to see anyone. There’d be that huge grin as he set eyes on you, then the enthusiastic handshake and slap on the back. As the kids say today - he made you feel “seen”. There will be people who know Paul as the dad of actor, Noah, and poet, Jack. Others will know him as a journalist-turned-ad-man and then an entertainment publicist alongside his wife, the equally charming, Suzie Howie. I knew him because he was an old Fleet Street friend of my Dad's and took it upon himself to introduce me to Melbourne in the mid ‘90s. I was 23. From Queensland. Gormless. There was literally nothing to recommend me. But he’d invite me along to the opening nights of shows he and Suzie were publicising. There was Cats, Les Miserables, Jersey Boys, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Mary Poppins etc and etc. Paul would even get me into the after-parties where he’d introduce me to the stars of stage and screen. I know people wondered why he was hanging out with me. In fact, some of those people turned their wondering into actual words, saying, “Paul, why are you hanging out with him?” I only found out years later that he’d wait till I was out of earshot, then tell the detractors I’d go far - “You watch.” How “far” I went is up for debate. But I’m sure if Paul hadn’t been there the only place I’d have gone is back to Queensland. Later, when I started writing plays and TV shows, I’d always invite Paul to the premieres, thinking I was repaying his generosity - which is laughable. No Adam, by turning up to your premieres, Paul was still being generous to you. So, I never got to repay him. Now I never will as Paul passed away yesterday. There will be many tributes to him in the coming days. But I wanted to say how much he meant to me. The photo above is of Paul at our wedding, supporting my emotional Dad. Suzie is closest to camera, no doubt talking to one of her many fans. I hope the three of them are now at some big opening night in the sky, sharing the first of many vinos.