Friday, September 24, 2010

Goodbye, Sir Charlie

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.


  1. Agreed^^. RIP Charlie. Great blog. Will miss it here.

  2. Many thanks,i could not have put it better myself !

    A Really great site RIP !!


  3. fuck !!!

    I hoped charlie's blog have migrated on another provider of blog .

    Why did Sir Charlie Palmer close sunddenly his blog ?



  4. Agreed. My. Favorite. Blog. Period.

    Seriously though, cheers to the biting commentary! Sir Charlie Palmer introduced me to such much music.

    My favorite part of a blog like his was that it was all his character. I felt I shared something with him and in so doing was loyal enough to give everything he suggested a try. There were the ups and the downs but there was such much music that I would've never even guessed to try that he opened my mind to. I have so much praise and thanks that I wish I could give him.

  5. Beautifully worded. I'm getting sick and tired of finding my favorite blogs deleted, when they're passing around music recorded from the vinyl itself, or albums so random and obscure, only dedicated music lovers would cheer at such postings.

    I found a number of bands/singers I never would have listened to if it weren't for Sir Charlie. I hope he stumbles upon this post, and if he does, thanks for all the music!

    And thank you, OP, for writing this!

  6. Totally agree with everything thats been said here. It was blogs like Sir Charlie's that kept great old/obscure music alive. Without blogs like that, old deleted albums may in future never be heard, which is a shame for music as a whole.

    Like this article says its not like it supplied music that is readily available for purchasing, it just helped people discover great music from the past that they would of never been able to listen to otherwise.

    If i was in a band from years ago and I saw one of my albums on such a blog, i would be over the moon that the music i had created was living on, and out there for a new generation (and future generations) of music listeners to discover.

    RIP Sir Charlie you will be greatly missed.

  7. Damn. Sir Charles was definitely in my top 10 music blogs. Found some great stuff via his diligence. Damn. Hope Notts have a decent season as some sort of recompense....

  8. Maybe, it is the long winter mornings, but somehow my days don't seem complete without checking what has been posted on SCP –– it still saddens me, to think he has gone for good. Which, is why I'm here trailing Google, for any hint of rebirth.

    Very well put, I agree 100% with your sentiments.
    He was a true asset to Crate-Digging. I have endless purchases to prove it. A sorely missed Crier of rare and talented Artists.

    It was shut after his 1,000,000th hit – as with his past blogs – I think it is no coincidence.

  9. As this is the only Sir Charlie related thing I can find - I hope he reads this - I just wanted to thank him for posting Lightnin' Hopkins 'Goin' Away', finally got around to listening and the title track alone makes it all worthwhile.

  10. I wept when I realised the blog was gone. What now for eclectic music?

  11. perfectly spoken. RIP sir charlie.