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Ashes to ashes / Paradise

The Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. The fire started on November 8, 2018, ignited by a faulty electric transmission line. The fire originated above several communities and a an urban firestorm was formed in the densely populated foothill town of Paradise. 

The fire caused at least 85 civilian fatalities,  and it covered an area of almost 240 sq. miles, destroying18,804 structures. By January 2019, the total damage was estimated at $16.5 billion, a terrible disaster.

In Dutch media the Paradise tragedy was not more than a footnote, incredible but true. Yet the unfortunate news was picked up by Francoise Vaal. As I had just asked her to write a lyric for a new song, she dedicated the lyric to the city and the people of Paradise. The match between the song and the lyric was just perfect.


Typical things happen around this type of disasters: politicians immediately look for someone to blame, others come up with conspiracy theories, some blame alien offenders etc. Donald Trump's visit to the site was painful as he mistakenly mentioned Paradise as "Pleasure". Then shortly after, the whole world is back to business as usual. Except for the people in Paradise. For them this will never end, and they will carry this tragedy with them for the rest of their lives. This song is written to make sure the people in Paradise, and the tragedy they faced, will never be forgotten. I really hope this song gives the people in Paradise a little bit of comfort and moral support, to get over this, and carry on......

Keith St John, who lives in the L.A. Area and whose house has been close to similar fires, did an incredible job singing this song. His interpretation of the lyric and the emotion he puts into it, is unheard of. I am so proud to have such an amazing singer for this song.

On most of the album tracks the guitar solo's are played by high-speed shredders with incredible speed and melodic skills. For "Paradise" however, I knew I needed a laid-back Jimmy Page kind of classic rock solo, where off-timing is the perfect timing. Daniël Verberk was the one and only candidate for me. Daniël plays in Europe's best Led Zeppelin Tribute band Physical Graffiti and he is more Jimmy Page than Jimmy Page himself. Daniël's guitar solo is  touching and gives you goosebumps, and his "crying" slide guitars make it even more emotional.

PARADISE - Single edit & video clip August 2020

On August 1, 2020, an edit of 'Paradise' was released as the 3rd single from the 'RISE' album. The release was accompanied by a video clip. The purpose of the video was to show the huge impact of this disaster and the total state of despair the victims in Paradise must have gone through. I feel so sorry for them.

Lyrics: Keith St John, Francoise Vaal

Vocals: Keith St John

Guitar Solo: Daniël Verberk

Ashes to Ashes (instrumental)

Music: Ron Coolen

Quotes: Steve Patterson, Elaine Quijano,

Jeff Glor, David Begnaud, David Wilcock,

Donald Trump



A burned face stole all time

The bitter church bells sang their chime

So many mirrors from the past

He’s barely gripping the edge, barely holding on


How can a man who loves for life 

Ever forget his loving wife

Feels like there’s nothing left to find 

Oh - No more peace of mind


Nothing left in Paradise ashes to ashes 

Nothing left in Paradise dust to dust


The scorching walls keep closing in 

The winds of fate took everything

No more memories left to save 

Only home is in her grave


Nothing left in Paradise ashes to ashes 

Nothing left in Paradise dust to dust

Guitar Solo: Daniël Verberk


All blue skies gone to black

And he will never get them back 

Far beneath the setting sun

All alone and undone


Nothing left in Paradise ashes to ashes

Nothing left in Paradise dust to dust


Music: Ron Coolen

Lyrics: Keith St John, Francoise Vaal

Vocals: Keith St John

Guitar Solo & Slide Guitar: Daniël Verberk

Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboards: Ron Coolen

Quote: Steve Patterson

Ron Coolen - Paradise (feat. Keith St John and Daniel Verberk) artwork
Paradise Campfire Memorial
Ron Coolen - Paradise (feat. Keith St John and Daniel Verberk) buy digital single
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