Frontman Kip Berman told the story of the song on Dailypop
: "'Hey Paul' was one of the earliest tracks we ever wrote. It was an homage to my friend from Portland, Paul Burkhart, who was the singer and songwriter of one of my favorite rock and roll bands ever, Cocaine Unicorn. You can snicker at the name I suppose, but they were awesome – like the very earliest Primal Scream and a bit of Velvet Underground, Flamin Groovies and loads of California-ness. They also looked and acted REALLY COOL and had a guy named Dasa with tattooed knuckles that loved fighting and played tambourine. Yes. The only contemporary band that kinda reminds me of them in all their deranged glory is Girls or the poppier side of Brian Jonestown Massacre, in which drummer Ryan Sumner (R.I.P. TOO TALL) was and bassist Collin Hegna still is a member.
Anyway, I really admired Paul as a songwriter, so almost all the lines in 'Hey Paul' are either Cocaine Unicorn lyrics or references. It makes me sad to see people who are genuinely talented like Paul never really get their music heard. The band never even got a chance to record a proper LP, instead having two slightly rough sounding self-recorded cd-r EP's as the only lasting legacy of a band that should have had a beautiful record with some velvet-unicorn-rainbow art that I could listen to late at night with my friends when we come back from that 1:55 beer run, right before the Plaid Pantry stops selling. Sigh. But I know I got to see something truly special– and though there's only a handful of us that were there and remember (Zaza's Danny Taylor can vouch for me here), that mythical and unnaturally white creature will always gallop triumphantly in our memories, stampeding our hearts and impaling our mind."