Ellen Easter Powell, wife of Lynyrd Skynyrd pianist, Billy Powell: I love him! Paul was such an integral part of the guys being on the road. A more salt-of-the-earth person, would, I think, be difficult to find. Paul is so fair. He had a lot on his plate looking after these guys! Without a complaint or a whimper he was always, with a smile, doing all that he could do and had people’s best interests at heart. They were so fortunate to have Paul.
Randall Hall, former guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd: During my tenure with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Abraham was the calming force, with a smile on his face, when the chaos of touring was tough. We shared many laughs, miles and smiles, and extremely good times like a real brother.
Ed King, former guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd and co-writer of “Sweet Home Alabama”: Paul is a brother of the road, and I couldn’t have done it without his help. And he’s SUCH a great story teller!
Iain Monk, Skynyrd blogger, Edinburgh, Scotland: It is September, 1988 and Lynyrd Skynyrd are about to hit the stage at the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey. This fresh-faced young Scot, having travelled thousands of miles to see his heroes, makes his move towards the stage. My route is cut off as a large figure looms into view and shoots me a menacing glare. “Move back, son,” he orders.
I later found out that it was Paul Abraham uttering those words, delivered with a quiet authority, an assertive tone. It goes without saying that I took a backward step, as if retreating from an advancing Grizzly bear. Over the years, as I continued to criss-cross America and Europe following the band, our paths crossed on numerous occasions. Each time Paul was helpful, gracious with his time and unflappable.
I always imagined Paul not so much as a tour manager—more a high-wire artiste walking a tightrope stretched very high above the ground. A tricky balancing act: on one hand keeping the band happy, on the other, dealing the insatiable demands of the fans who wanted to get close to their idols. Working for Skynyrd, Paul must, at times, have felt as if he was herding cats or juggling rattlesnakes. From where I stood, the Skynyrd fan in love with the band and their music, all I ever saw when Paul Abraham stood before me was a good, kind man. At all times, he exhibited the very best of human characteristics.
Killer Beaz, “world-famous” comedian: Paul Abraham is equal parts psychic, cat herder, gang enforcer, priest, judge-jury-executioner, AND GRIZZLY! With a heart of gold. Love that man. “Save up!”
Michael Peterson, chart-topping musician and songwriter: I have worked with several road managers during my career of 30+ years. I was friendly with all of them, but only became true friends with one. That would be Paul Abraham. He always did a great job handling details, but more importantly, he did a fantastic job taking care of the people he was with. He never failed in that regard. He was and still is one of the finest men I know. What a privilege it has been to work with and known him.
James T. McCafferty, author of The Bear Hunter: The Life and Times of Robert Eager Bobo in the Canebrakes of the Old South: You won’t find this gospel at the Baptist bookstore, but between its covers you’ll meet a collection of folk who form a virtual Who’s Who of southern popular culture. From the boys of Lynyrd Skynyrd to Dale Earnhardt to Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus, Paul Abraham has known—and now writes about—them all. Read the book!