Rock ’n’ roll runs deep in this one.
Paul Archer has been behind the scenes of some of the greatest rock bands in history. Literally.
He’s crafted murals for acts ranging from Black Sabbath to Lady Gaga and hung out with the likes of Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper.
And now the artist, who sometimes calls Langford home, has built a replica of stonehenge for the Saints of British Rock.
Archer crafted the iconic monument in a makeshift studio in the yard of a Charmar Crescent home.
Made of Styrofoam, the ten-foot-tall sculpture has an authentic rock look (pun intended) thanks to Archer’s legendary air brush techniques.
The makeshift monument is for a five-piece band of Greater Victoria musicians, including Nick Houghton and his band mates from Party on High Street.
Affectionately called “clonehenge,” the faux stones will be the centre piece of the Saints’ Victoria Day parade float on May 21. After the parade, clonehenge will serve as a backdrop when the band goes on tour in July.
For Archer, who says he’s booked until the fall, the project was unique among a lifetime of creating unique works. He’s painted everything from a panoramic forest on the wall of Lumberworld in Saanich to a mural of Simmons and his family – stars of the reality TV series Family Jewels.
Archer gave that mural to the KISS legend when he was in View Royal hosting a meet-and-greet at the Great Canadian Casino last July.
“Gene recognized me and knew my name, he said ‘Paul, right?’ and I said yeah!”
As for the painting, Archer said: “They loved it. They had their picture taken with it, the son was extremely polite and nice – they are really nice people.”
Next up for Archer, who grew up in Victoria and Saanich and graduated from Claremont secondary school, includes a possible job for high-profile U.S. magician Criss Angel. It will be another notch in the black-leather belt for an artist whose very presence suggests a diehard musical life. At 51 and well established, Archer is a long way from his early start in the Inner Harbour, where he painted T-shirts for tourists. That job led to his first mural and a career on the edge of rock ‘n’ roll history. “I got paid really good for one night – I got $1,500 – so I thought this is where the money is.”
– With files from Peninsula News Review
Victoria Day Parade quick facts
• Parade marshalling gets underway on Monday at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of the Mayfair Shopping Centre. The parade begins heading down Douglas Street at 9 a.m. and ends behind the Fairmont Empress.
By the Numbers
• American bands in the parade: 16
• Parade judges: 12
• Parade prize categories: 10
• Parade entries this year: 142
• Parade entries in 2011: 143
• Spectators: 70,000 to 75,000
• Consecutive years the parade has been held: 114