The Paladins started out as a rockabilly band during the rockabilly craze of the early 1980s. Their tagline at the time was "Western & Bop", as they played a combination of rockabilly and vintage country. Original members Dave Gonzalez on lead guitar & Thomas Yearsley on bass had met in high school in Encinitas, CA. The lead singer and rhythm guitarist was Whit Broadly, and Scott Campbell was their original drummer. With this lineup they did their first recording, a contribution to a 1982 local compilation album, Who's Listening?, and a song two years later on The Best of L.A. Rockabilly, a 1983 Rhino Records LP, compiled by Art Fein. Their first LP, The Paladins, was produced by Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds and was released in 1987 on Wrestler Records. Their second album, Years Since Yesterday, produced by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin and Mark Linnet, was released on Alligator Records in 1989 and had sold more than 20,000 copies by the end of the year; the band shot a music video for the title song at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California for $30,000. Spending most of their time on the road, by 1989 they had already toured with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Los Lobos, The Blasters and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. They toured abroad as well; in the summer of 1989, between recording sessions for the third album, they played in Europe for the month of June, including shows throughout The Netherlands, at the Peer Music Festival in Belgium and the World Music Festival in London.
In 1990 Brian Fahey joined the Paladins as drummer as they released their third record, "Let's Buzz", "an invigorating blend of rockabilly, blues, rhythm-and-blues and country" recorded in the Los Angeles studio of 1970s soul star Leon Haywood (who also played keyboards on the album), produced again by Steve Berlin and Mark Linnet and released by Alligator. Acclaim came with a nomination at the 1990 Entertainer Music Awards (San Diego County) for Best Rock 'n' Roll, Original Music, for which they were a critics' favorite (they lost out to Beat Farmers). They won the award two years later, a year after winning the San Diego Music Awards. Touring continued relentlessly at home and abroad; in 1991, for instance, they toured Australia for three weeks! 1993 saw the Cesar Rosas produced album "Ticket Home" released, with drummer Jeff Donavan. "Million Mile Club" was released on 4AD soon after that, celebrating The Paladins' global reach, as they did indeed pass the million mile marker as a touring band! "Slippin' In" was the final album released in the 1990's, and Brian Fahey rejoined the band as drummer.
The Paladins released "Palvoline" in 2001 and "El Matador" was released in 2003, on Yearsley's new label, Lux Records. It was recorded at Yearsley's Thunderbird Analog Recording Studio. The band appeared to have come to an end to fans in 2005 when Gonzalez wanted to focus on different musical interests after having formed the Hacienda Brothers. Thereafter a number of live Paladins albums and a live DVD were released, with the band sometimes described as being "on hiatus." While touring with his band, the Stone River Boys, Gonzalez joined Yearsley and drummer Brian Fahey at the Ink & Iron Festival in Long Beach, California in June 2011 for a Paladins reunion concert, the band's first US concert since 2005.
Since 2011, The Paladins have been adding more and more worldwide concert dates, creating/recording/releasing new music - including a 45rpm of "Wicked" & "Should Have Been Dreamin'", a compliation CD entitled "More Of The Best Of", "Slippin' In Ernesto's", a live album recorded at Ernesto's in Sittard, NL, and their latest release, "New World", which came out April 16, 2017. Dave, Thomas & Brian are really enjoying their 36th year of musical brotherhood & putting on high energy live shows for all their pals!