Simon Paradis is an accomplished roots/rock musician, having played in bands across Canada for over 30 years. One morning in 2008, while working his construction job on the Sunshine Coast in B.C., Simon fell off a scaffold and landed on the pavement below, resulting in massive brain and spinal cord trauma. He and his band The Precious Littles were set to release a new album that weekend at the Vancouver Island Music Festival, one that would hopefully gain them some notoriety and enable Simon to spend less time on the job site, and more time focused on his music. Things were going to change... They did, but not the way Simon expected.
In her 2015 book Fallen: A Trauma, A Marriage, and the Transformative Power of Music, Simon’s wife Kara recounts the days and weeks that followed the accident, as the couple—along with their family and friends—navigated an emotional, turbulent, and uncertain landscape. As the situation went from what seemed like almost hopeless to what some would call miraculous, music played a key role. It was always there, providing solace, joy, and ultimately a tool for Simon’s brain to re-map itself.
Despite extensive damage throughout his body and daunting medical obstacles (the accident resulted in—among other things—paralysis from the waist down, a stroke on his left side, and loss of hearing on his right), Simon managed to make a stunning recovery. His passion, optimism, sense of humour, tenacity and hard-core work ethic resulted in his re-learning the guitar, while simultaneously figuring out how to navigate his new life as a musician with a disability.
In this episode, Simon and Kara talk openly about their life, their work, and the challenges and victories along the way. You'll also be treated to the Music Buddy Band version of Simon and Kara’s song “Night is Here”.
MUSIC BUDDY SESSION: "Night is Here"
Written by Simon Paradis and Kara Stanley
Performed by Simon Paradis, Steve Wright, Jane Gowan, and Tim Vesely
More about Simon and Kara:
Simon Paradis on Bandcamp
Purchase Fallen, by Kara Stanley
Vancouver Adapted Music Society (VAMS)
Joe Stanton (Simon's "brother in music")
Music Samples in this episode:
The show's theme song, "Human Stuff," is written by Jane Gowan and Tim Vesely, and performed by Jane and Tim, with additional vocals by Steve Wright and Connie Kostiuk.
Contact the show: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jane's indie pop band: therealshade.com