One of my favorite music blogs passed away.
This sincere-but-tardy eulogy comes upon the realization that Sir Charlie Palmer is gone and it ain’t coming back. So goodbye, Sir. May you rest in peace.
Sir Charlie Palmer was a tart blend of commentary and music of every stripe. The picture of Karl Marx, the icon which read 'I Don't Give a Shit What Your House Is Worth' and the suggestions to support socialism and vote Labour were proof-enough of that.
Blues, reggae, garage, new wave, 60’s beat, folk and even country and western all made appearances. Likewise critical seventies relics like the Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s Next and Brinsley Schwarz’s New Favourites of Brinsley Schwarz .
It was where you went to find Ballboy. Kris Kristofferson. Tim Hardin. The Pretty Things. Son House. And Eek-a-mouse. And as if this ruddy-cheeked UK blog needed another infusion of personality, Sir Charlie used the names of players from his favorite football club as file links. Perfect.
But now it's gone.
You could argue that our multi-national conglomerates will once again be able to pay their Armani-suited executives bonuses now that this portal to sin and theft is gone. But you’d be wrong.
Home taping didn’t kill music, and neither will downloading obscure, long-out-of-print music off the Internet. In fact, blogs like Sir Charlie Palmer were likely the only things keeping memories of these musicians alive, given the capriciousness of record company deletion policies.
Once again, the people visiting blogs like Sir Charlie Palmer weren’t tweens looking for a bypass around iTunes, Amazon or Rhapsody for their B.o.B. or Katy Perry downloads. They were hardcore music lovers like myself with boxes and boxes and boxes of vinyl, cassettes and CDs.
When prompted to name dependents on my yearly income tax form, I was often tempted to list record companies. It wasn’t far from the truth.
And as much as my limited finances allow, let it be known that I have purchased CDs formerly downloaded off the Internet. Because like so many of my blog-visiting brethren, I am a musiholic. Someone who lives, breathes, eats and drinks music.
And when I fall for an album, I want the cover art and the lyrics and the names of the musicians and the producer and where it was recorded. Something tangible and tactile. Something as vivid and three-dimensional as the music itself.
Not a computer file or CD-R lettered in magic marker.
So if you’re part of the industry, please respond and tell me who I’m stealing from when I download an album that has been out of print for twenty or forty years. I could likely buy a $45 Japanese import, but allow me to respectfully point out that it is because of corporate monoliths like yours that I don’t have the $45 to begin with.
I see it this way: after decades of soaking people for fifteen-dollar CDs that cost less to make than vinyl LPs, stealing music off the Internet could be something of a—ahem—market correction.
But beyond that, blogs like Sir Charlie Palmer made music available the accountants in charge of our entertainment conglomerates have no idea even exists. In other words, he was creating demand. Do you understand that, Mr. Bean Counter?
Goodbye, Sir Charlie. You will be missed.