Paul Fox (of The Ruts)
Do not confuse Paul Fox the deceased British guitar player with Paul Fox the living American producer
Paul Fox (11 April 1951 – 21 October 2007) was a British singer and guitarist, best known from his work with the UK punk band, The Ruts. The Ruts' style combined punk with dub reggae, a sound that owed much to Fox's guitar skills and earned him respect and admiration. The Guardian noted in his obituary: 'Fox played a pivotal songwriting role, and quickly became a model punk guitarist at a time when the three-chord thrash was the height of many of his contemporaries' ambitions.'
Fox was a founder member of the Ruts. When the original lead singer Malcolm Owen died of a heroin overdose the band continued with Fox on vocals, renaming themselves Ruts DC. After the break-up of the band in the early 1980s, Fox joined a London rock band called Dirty Strangers, who recorded two albums, that The Rolling Stones guitarists, Keith Richards and Ron Wood, both guested on. He went on to form Choir Militia, in 1983. This band soon folded after which he worked with Screaming Lobsters in 1987 and Fluffy Kittens from 1991 to 1994, retaining hard-core fan interest. In 1996 Fox played on a track for Mat Sargent's charity album Sex Drugs and HIV, the song, Heroin, also featured; Pauline Black - The Selector on vocals, Tony Barber - The Buzzcocks on bass, Dave Parsons - Sham 69 on 2nd guitar and Pete Davis - UK Subs on drums. From this point on his musical career was combined with carpentry, but he cut singles with the Chelsea Punk Rock Allstars in 1997, and ska legend Laurel Aitken in 2000.
Fox appeared as occasional guest guitarist with London-based ska band The Riffs (Mark Clements, Dave Fisk, Andy Gillard, Spencer Taylor, Duane Matthews) at various shows in the south east and at a few festivals. He appeared with the band at London's Club Ska in 2005 performing a number of tracks, of which a cover of The Ruts' Jah War and a song with Jamaican reggae singer Winston 'Mr Fix-it' Francis appeared on the album; The Riffs - Live at Club Ska (Moonska Records). Fox also appeared later that year with members of The Riffs, his son Lawrence and Geno Blue of the Chelsea Punk Rock Allstars as The Ruts/ Riffs Allstars at a memorial concert for the late Laurel Aitken in Leicester, performing a short set of Ruts, Riffs and Laurel Aitken numbers.
Fox revived The Ruts name and songs in 2006, touring with a line-up known as Foxy's Ruts, featuring his son Lawrence on drums. Fox died of lung cancer in October 2007. Three months before his death, on 16 July 2007, Fox headlined a concert in his own honour, teaming up for one final performance with his surviving band mates and long time Ruts' fan, Henry Rollins, filling in for the original Ruts' singer, Malcolm Owen.