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Paul Dickinson


Early life

Hey everybody! Here's a little bit of info about me (well, maybe a lot!)... I am originally from Burnsville, Mn. and graduated in 1983. Instead of the usual college route after high school, I decided to join a Rock N Roll band. I auditioned for the band "Rocking Horse" in the Twin Cities and got the job in '83 or early '84. I had a blast playing the Minnesota ballroom circuit and some of the cooler clubs around the greater Mpls/St. Paul area. Rocking Horse was basically a hard rock cover band.

My goal, however, was to get a record deal and be in a nationally recognized band (i.e. make the big time!). There was a singer/songwriter I worked with in junior and senior high school, that had started a really cool original band called "Great Nation". I really admired what they were doing, and I eventually hooked up with them.

I had won a Twin Cities songwriting competition that was put on by Don Powell, who was manager of the National act "The Jets". His partner was Paul Moe, and eventually Paul became our manager and managed to find an investor and set us up in a studio to write and record songs. "Great Nation" played the college circuit, and even opened for some big names, like Joan Jett and Corey Hart.

We released an EP and were getting some airplay in the cities. We won "Best New Band" at the 1986 Minnesota Music Awards. Well, eventually the investment money ran out and we had to start playing more cover material and less of our originals. We did a couple of showcases for record labels and even had a slight interest from producer Keith Forsey (Billy Idol, Charlie Sexton) but it still managed to eventually fall apart. The singer left Great Nation and the remaining members formed "The Spinnin' 45's"...kind of the exact opposite of the polished 80's act we used to be. We were a good time, unpolished, 50's band - those are actually some really fun times we had back then - let's just say, we blew off a lot of steam! Enter the late 80's and 90's.

The founder of Rocking Horse was starting a comedy rock band called "The Wetspots". Another good time party band, you might say. The band was best known for dressing up in various costumes throughout the night. Everything from dressing in drag to dressing up like Alvin & The Chipmunks (I think I was Theodore). Well, with everything turning into comedy at this point, I had made a deal with myself. If I didn't have a record deal by the time I was 25, I would go back to school. I got kind of tired of the music scene, and actually started getting into Talk radio. I developed a genuine interest in radio, and after getting my Associate degree at Normandale College, I enrolled at Brown Institute in Mpls and got my certificate in broadcasting. After some job placement, I wound up here in Neillsville, Wi at WCCN Radio, where I eventually worked up to being Music Director - I began working at 107.5 fm WCCN The Rock in 1994.

Since I've been in Wisconsin, I eventually got back into music. Before I had kids, my son Keegan and my daughter Macey, I had a little 8 track studio in my house and recorded 4 cd's of original work. I played all the tracks...guitar, keys, bass, drums and vocals. Never Go Home (1999) Second Sun (2002) Small Planet Life (2003) and a Country cd called Dickinson Country! (2003) A friend of mine had asked me to sit in with his band on keyboards and guitar and the next thing you know I was a permanent member of "Jay & The Free Buffet Band". I played with The Free Buffet from about 2002 up until 2009. I also started up an acoustic guitar project called "Some Strings Attached" from 2007 to 2009. We played a lot of the lounges and Holiday Inn type gigs. Well, we're just about done now (whew!).

My partner in the acoustic band decided to uproot and move to Indiana. I had a choice...I could either replace him, or try to join another band. Well, through a series of "Craigs-listin'", I started corresponding with Dan from The Bear Creek Band. After some auditioning and rehearsals I'm happy to be a member of this established act. The caliber of gigs and professionalism is so refreshing to me. We all seem to get along perfectly, and I'm really having a great time with this. It just seems to be a perfect fit for me right now. The Bear Creek Band plays a lot of the casino's in the 4 state area, something I've never had the opportunity to do before!




Bear Creek Band -- Guitar

Former Bands

Some Strings Attached
Jay & The Free Buffet Band
Great Nation
Rocking Horse



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