Joining crazy Osbourne train
Former Nevada Union student Josh Paul is on the cusp of a pop culture phenomenon, part of a band led by perhaps the hottest name in media right now.
Paul, who grew up in Grass Valley and attended Lyman Gilmore and Nevada Union High School, plays bass for 18-year-old Kelly Osbourne in her new band, a punk powerhouse that pays a passing tribute to the teen’s famous father, rocker Ozzy Osbourne.
It’s been a busy fall for Paul, who after seven years with the metal rockers Suicidal Tendencies joined Osbourne’s fledgling band in time to tour and promote “Shut Up,” released late last month and now making the rounds as a staple on MTV, where “The Osbournes,” the hit reality show starring Kelly, her mother Sharon and brother Jack, can be seen weekly.
But Paul said there is nothing he’d like more than to jam up on a makeshift stage in downtown Grass Valley one upcoming Friday night at the old-time Cornish Christmas street fair.
“If I could pull it off anywhere, I wish it could be here,” he admitted.
Is this guy serious?
“Yes, I’d love to play Cornish Christmas.”
Josh Paul – born Josh Peden – was in town last weekend visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday, not trying to uproot the Fruit Jar Pickers or the Cornish singers from their usual posts during the downtown event.
There is no comparison, Paul said, to his life as a married father and working musician and the life of Kelly Osbourne, who grew up touring with her flamboyant, playfully loudmouthed father, who is adored by millions of fans around the world.
“They have the ultimate lifestyle,” said Paul, relaxing in his sister Cindy Maple’s Grass Valley apartment. “I try to live somewhat simple. Jumping into something like (the new band) is pretty crazy.”
Osbourne’s band is not quite three months old, yet Paul rejects suggestions that Kelly is riding on her famous dad’s coattails.
“A lot of people don’t take Kelly seriously. When I met her, I respected her as a musician. She appeals to people who don’t want to connect to (pop stars) Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. She’s the anti-pop queen.”
Osbourne and her band have appeared on MTV’s Total Request Live and The Tonight Show.
Offstage, Kelly Osbourne acts “exactly like she is on screen,” Paul said. Which is to say a bit playful, hard-edged and not afraid to speak her mind.
Paul is no show-biz stranger. Even before his stint in Suicidal Tendencies, he jammed in regional bands, had parts in television shows, and played important roles in two Don Henley music videos, including the “Boys of Summer,” which took the Video of the Year award in 1985.
He had parts in “The Wonder Years” and “Quantum Leap” television series.
Music was almost Paul’s birthright, said his sister. “He was playing and beating out rhythms from the time he could sit up,” Maple recalled.
Paul now is preparing to join Osbourne’s new band next month, performing on a broadcast of the American Music Awards.
And he plans on returning often to Grass Valley, where the bucolic country life keeps him grounded.
“I don’t live her life at all,” said Paul of Kelly Osbourne. He and his wife Roxanne have a son, Joshua Jr., and are expecting another child in January. “I try to be the ‘Brady Bunch’ dad whenever I can.”
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