Robert Palmer is dead

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Matt DC (Matt DC), Friday, 26 September 2003 11:14 (sixteen years ago) link

I had a complete brain meltdown just then that saw the news and immediately equated it with Robert PLANT and then freaked out, which lasted until about two second after I made that post.

Is it bad that I now feel incredibly relieved I got the wrong Robert P?

Matt DC (Matt DC), Friday, 26 September 2003 11:16 (sixteen years ago) link

No, but its not like either of them had more great work left in their futures...both had their moments in their pasts

Vic (Vic), Friday, 26 September 2003 11:18 (sixteen years ago) link

i hear weird al yankovic's 'addicted to spuds' in my head.

'johnny and mary' was only just covered by placebo. great tune.

piscesboy, Friday, 26 September 2003 11:28 (sixteen years ago) link

Sad. Guess he woke up laughing for the last time... "Clues" is an absolute classic in my book.

willem (willem), Friday, 26 September 2003 11:58 (sixteen years ago) link

He died of a heart attack at a ridiculously young age. Isn't there a stern warning in there for the cocaine generation?

Momus (Momus), Friday, 26 September 2003 12:39 (sixteen years ago) link

Nonsense, he was only addicted to love.

I'm sorry... (Matt DC), Friday, 26 September 2003 12:43 (sixteen years ago) link

"WHAT?!" That was my reaction when I saw the news just now. Came running frightened like a chickadee to ILM, of course. It's don't expect some people to die so (relatively) young and so suddenly. There's (gotta be) something inherently wrong with that. Also, I happened to confuse R. Palmer with Huey Lewis all the time, which I just did when I saw the report, and made me freakout, 'cuz you know, Huey Lewis is a really ace guy, IMO. But then I came unto my senses, and it hit me, "oh, shit! 'Addicted To Love' Robert Palmer!", yet I was still really sad. I hope I don't wake him up from the dead with the identity dilemma. RIP

Sidenote: Supposedly, he shunned the rock and roll lifestyle. However, I don't know how much truth there is to this.

Francis Watlington (Francis Watlington), Friday, 26 September 2003 13:12 (sixteen years ago) link

I thought it was guy-who-writes-liner-notes Robert Palmer but he was already dead. Really, I don't know what I was thinking.

Sonny A. (Keiko), Friday, 26 September 2003 13:55 (sixteen years ago) link

I was thinking the exact same thing Matt.

sander, Friday, 26 September 2003 14:12 (sixteen years ago) link

It featured Palmer backed by a
band featuring
identically-dressed woman,
who were also made up to look
the same.

the sentence above confuses me.

anybody ever hear Mandrake Peddle Steamer? were they better than the other robert palmer's Insect Trust?

i'm glad nobody said that he had a bad case of loving you. oops, i just did.

scott seward, Friday, 26 September 2003 14:20 (sixteen years ago) link

Contrary to what all the idle journalists of the world are busily saying because they're all too busy copying eachother to spend two minutes on the interweb doing a little bit of research and checking their facts, Robert Palmer wasn't in Mandrake Paddlesteamer he was in a Hull based band called Mandrake.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 26 September 2003 14:28 (sixteen years ago) link

were they any good then? probably not as good as my fave Mandrake Memorial, i'll betcha.

scott seward, Friday, 26 September 2003 14:30 (sixteen years ago) link

I've never been a Robert Palmer buff, but I was surprised to read "Palmer had also been on an extensive US tour as support and back up singer with Little Feat."

dave225 (Dave225), Friday, 26 September 2003 15:52 (sixteen years ago) link

.. uh, that was in the mid-70's btw .. not recently....

dave225 (Dave225), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:01 (sixteen years ago) link

There's agreat story in the Lee "Scratch" Perry issue of GRAND ROYAL where Palmer talks of a session he did at the Black Ark in the mid-'70s. It seemed to be him and Perry trying to record some stuff while some heavy Rastas hung around, trying to freak him out. They got him real stoned on some collie and fed him saltine crackers!

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:12 (sixteen years ago) link

Btw, anyone ever hear any of this stuff he did with Scratch?

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:13 (sixteen years ago) link

I've never been a Robert Palmer buff, but I was surprised to read "Palmer had also been on an extensive US tour as support and back up singer with Little Feat."

As I recall, Little Feat backs RP up on the "Sailin' Shoes-Hey Julia-Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley" medley on Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley, which used to be in fairly regular rotation on the classic rock station in Boston during the late 80s. Quite good, actually...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 26 September 2003 16:26 (sixteen years ago) link

Teen Idol is correct; I have the album playing now. Palmer was an excellent vocalist, and recorded a lot of good material.

Sean (Sean), Friday, 26 September 2003 17:09 (sixteen years ago) link

My friend Rob suggested that at his burial, his pall-bearers should be those symmetrical vixens who danced in all his videos circa HEAVY NOVA. A funny, if tasteless image

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 26 September 2003 17:15 (sixteen years ago) link

That image is the funniest thing all day.

dave225 (Dave225), Friday, 26 September 2003 17:26 (sixteen years ago) link

And the preacher will be in a sharp suit, crooning the eulogy into an old fashioned microphone.

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Friday, 26 September 2003 17:28 (sixteen years ago) link

More Palmer trivia: he was responsible for the Comsat Angels getting signed to Island after their deal with Jive collapsed (he was a big fan and, after a chance meeting with Steve Fellows, encouraged Chris Blackwell to sign them). The resulting album (_Chasing Shadows_, with RP guesting on one track) was one of the band's best records and, although it didn't sell well, put them back on the critical radar. RIP.

Jeff Wright, Friday, 26 September 2003 18:28 (sixteen years ago) link

Heh, this thread parallels the ILE one in interesting ways (I brought up the Comsats there!).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 26 September 2003 18:34 (sixteen years ago) link

He died of a heart attack at a ridiculously young age. Isn't there a stern warning in there for the cocaine generation?

Or, indeed, smokers. Someone pointed out after John Entwistle died that everyone was saying "coke -> heart attack" but a lifetime of smoking ciggies brings much the same risks (I think I'm right in saying there's more risk of smokers dying prematurely of heart disease than of lung cancer).

Andrew Norman, Friday, 26 September 2003 19:22 (sixteen years ago) link

>Someone pointed out after John Entwistle died that everyone was saying "coke -> heart attack"

I thought it was more like "coke + 2 hookers = heart attack."

Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Friday, 26 September 2003 19:35 (sixteen years ago) link

"Terminal Case of Loving You"

(seriously tho, RIP)

dave q, Friday, 26 September 2003 19:40 (sixteen years ago) link

woah. "Johnny & Mary" is ace, and for that alone I tip my hat.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Friday, 26 September 2003 20:12 (sixteen years ago) link

I thought it was more like "coke + 2 hookers = heart attack."
But if you gotta go...

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Friday, 26 September 2003 20:59 (sixteen years ago) link

It's sad because he was only 54 but (and there's always a *but*) I find singers who aim at sophistication incredibly depressing - compare Tony Hadley, solo Brian Ferry.

Bob Six (bobbysix), Saturday, 27 September 2003 02:28 (sixteen years ago) link

I'll tell you what; I'll compare Tony Hadley TO Bryan Ferry. The two shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence.

Sean (Sean), Saturday, 27 September 2003 03:32 (sixteen years ago) link

Man, Warren, Johnny, and now Rob. Fuck. God bless them all, and let choirs of angels sing them to their rest.

Johnny Cash showed me what it was to have things to sing about
Warren Zevon taught me how to write good songs about them
Robert Palmer taught me how to make it sexy.

Who the fuck am I going to draw inspiration from now? (besides Turbonegro, of course)

Helltime Producto (Pavlik), Saturday, 27 September 2003 06:24 (sixteen years ago) link

Michael Bolton taught you how to make it even sexier

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Saturday, 27 September 2003 14:46 (sixteen years ago) link

Btw, anyone ever hear any of this stuff he did with Scratch?

I've heard that song "Love Can Run Faster" and it's really nice.

Dadaismus (Dada), Saturday, 27 September 2003 14:48 (sixteen years ago) link
Could there be a less appropriate image for a heart attack victim's obituary?

I can't believe this wasn't changed to a sultry, sulky Michael Douglas pose.

Chris Ott (Chris Ott), Sunday, 28 September 2003 04:47 (sixteen years ago) link

Vinegar Joe. Just so.

Dock Miles (Dock Miles), Sunday, 28 September 2003 05:12 (sixteen years ago) link

R.I.P. Robert Palmer
Too bad about Robert Palmer. He died and he was only 54. The best thing I remember about him was his whole involvement with Powerstation, the side project of John and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran. What an amazing band. It was the mullet crew of the boy band of all time, and then Nile Rodgers, legendary percussionist, then there was Robert, who was the hottie business guy, with his bespoke suit and Saville Row stance. All was flashes of hot pink and turquoise blue, the strobe of the late eighties. Even though it was never acknowledged, it seemed like cocaine was the fuel for all of the artistic vehicles of the time, especially in the case of Duran versus Duran. Arcadia, the side project for the not-as- mulleted-yet-still-mulleted Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes, also included Nile Rodgers, and they were even more blatant in the video for the single "Election Day." Piles of white powder, skeletal models, lots of kohl eyeliner, lots of staring, presumably the exploration of dreary recesses in the psyche, the image of death and the maiden - played by women resembling Anna Wintour and Marissa Berenson. It's practically a New Wave Scarface.

Powerstation were subdued in their imagery, and made no use of ionic columns or any of the neoclassic silhouettes that had become so integral to Duran Duran. Robert Palmer had a lot to do with that. He seemed like a refined British thug, something out of a pulp novel - Reggie Kray. Handsome, murderous, millionaire dandy. That is what he brought to the table. The Taylors were not the stars of Powerstation, even though they were the famous ones and the only reason little girls tuned in to see them on Friday Night Videos. They were merely the backup band. Robert Palmer was the showman, and in a subtle way that no one had done before. His style was minimalist, bare. He moved very little, but he sung huge.

The performers of the time were wearing hair that defied logic in length or shape, dayglo colors, brooches! Robert Palmer subverted all of that, by giving merely the white man his day. He said - Look. I am a white guy. What you see is what you get. He never apologized about it, and he wasn't made to. His voice was beautiful and authentic, a bluesman down deep. He made white alright! The films of the time, 'Wall Street' and 'Working Girl' - fetishized the white collar executive, giving them prime time on the popular culture scene, which is ironic, as they are still there, they always were there before, probably always will be there.

Robert Palmer enjoyed much success after Powerstation in his solo career, with his ushering in the 'all women are the same' concept in his music videos. The songs lyrically betray the visuals. In them he talks of his one special love whom he is addicted to, whom he finds simply irresistible, these three minute pop confections as confession to desire and enslavement to one woman, yet all the women - sometimes playing the instruments, sometimes just standing by looking disaffected, are dressed and made up exactly the same. They are all the same height, build, color, age, everything, so the effect is that he is surrounded by a Helmut Newton army. I think this messed up the entire generation of men I grew up with. Royally. But too bad for Robert Palmer. Rest In Peace white dude. You had a great voice, and you affected all of us more than you will ever know.

~Margaret Cho

johnny fever (johnny fever), Sunday, 28 September 2003 07:31 (sixteen years ago) link

nd then Nile Rodgers, legendary percussionist

Ummmm...wrong, Margaret. Try Tony Thompson.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 28 September 2003 07:39 (sixteen years ago) link

Rest In Peace white dude.

That eulogy makes me want to push Margaret Cho over into a puddle of viscous filth. Robert Palmer deserves better.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 28 September 2003 07:41 (sixteen years ago) link

Accidentally playing a 45 of "Looking for Clues" on 33 rpm was a revelation to me. Another good one for this is Bananarama's "Shy Boy". But I digress.

wuperetta, Sunday, 28 September 2003 09:35 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm glad somebody finally mentioned the mounds of coke which always and quite soon kill off real creativity; at best, inherent abilities are reduced into a shadow of former being, a shattered skeleton trace of tangled neurons. Cocaine inevitably destroys the most precious part of any creative or artistic person, but the artists don't seem to recognize this.

bflaska, Sunday, 28 September 2003 13:25 (sixteen years ago) link

Yes, lots of staring -- as the brain tries to connect visual imput and match incoming information to existing now stuttering and misfiring circuitry. The success of that drug's inroads with the "creative set" likely accounts in part for the overall abysmal state of entertainment today as with prolonged or excessive use the effects of the new chemical hardwiring are likely to be permanent. It is the perfect drug of choice for yuppies, allowing them to be chemically suspended in a totally self-involved state with feelings of superhuman abilities and overweening self-importance. It's been known to put quite a strain on the heart, too.

bflaska, Sunday, 28 September 2003 13:42 (sixteen years ago) link

six years pass...


amateurist, Thursday, 15 October 2009 08:17 (ten years ago) link


Mark G, Thursday, 15 October 2009 08:24 (ten years ago) link


amateurist, Thursday, 15 October 2009 08:34 (ten years ago) link

Who's going to tell amateurist about Michael Jackson?

go in go hard brother (Billy Dods), Thursday, 15 October 2009 09:03 (ten years ago) link

Amateurist... I know it may surprise you and stuff, but.... you know..... John Lennon and Elvis Presley both died :(

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Thursday, 15 October 2009 10:10 (ten years ago) link

I had no idea either.

doe-eyed chicks get wiped out, fatally (The Reverend), Thursday, 15 October 2009 10:29 (ten years ago) link

Did you just forgot...?


― amateurist (amateurist), Saturday, 27 September 2003 20:49

Colonel Poo, Thursday, 15 October 2009 10:49 (ten years ago) link

i was responding to the posts about coke, not to news of robert palmer's death.

geir, you have a leaden sense of humor.

amateurist, Thursday, 15 October 2009 16:39 (ten years ago) link

hey, for what its worth, i completely forgot that he died. r.i.p. smooth crooner.

scott seward, Thursday, 15 October 2009 16:59 (ten years ago) link

me too :(

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 15 October 2009 17:03 (ten years ago) link

honestly i had forgotten too.

amateurist, Thursday, 15 October 2009 19:09 (ten years ago) link

wtf is up with this album cover

amateurist, Thursday, 15 October 2009 19:24 (ten years ago) link

It's coke.

Roman Polanski now sleeps in prison. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 15 October 2009 19:56 (ten years ago) link

I had just never heard about him dying in the first place. RIP big guy. ;_;

doe-eyed chicks get wiped out, fatally (The Reverend), Thursday, 15 October 2009 21:26 (ten years ago) link

nine years pass...

i just got a bunch of old terrible vinyl, which happens to me every so often as 'the guy with turntables'. a my fair lady cast recording, greek opera singers, french orchestral renditions of western scores... just all basically unredeemable. and wedged in there.. 'Clues' by Robert Palmer. sah-mokin!! i swear to god i thought i'd put it on at the wrong speed though, at first. no way those songs are that fast. but, well, no, they're that fast.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 6 October 2019 21:59 (seven months ago) link

That's the one where he teamed up with Gary Numan on a couple of tracks. "Looking for Clues" has one of those pre-MTV videos with a off-white backdrop and cardboard props, along the same lines as Sparks' "Beat the Clock" and "Number One Song in Heaven":

I don't know what kind of image he was going for. He looked slightly too old and slightly too well-fed to be a New Wave star. You had to be really thin to be a New Wave star. That's one of the reasons Talking Heads never invited Jocky Wilson into the band. He would have looked strange in that context.

The ancient Egyptian pharaohs were entombed along with their servants, so I like to imagine that somewhere in Switzerland there's a mausoleum with a skeleton dressed in a really sharp suit and some other skeletons - taller, thinner skeletons - dressed in 1980s minidresses, with fingernail scratchmarks on the door etc. It's a compelling mental image.

Ashley Pomeroy, Sunday, 6 October 2019 22:32 (seven months ago) link

Palmer was the best fellow traveler.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 6 October 2019 22:33 (seven months ago) link

XP - That song is remarkably like McCartney's 'Coming Up'

Maresn3st, Sunday, 6 October 2019 23:08 (seven months ago) link

“Woke Up Laughing” is such a perfect little tune.

... (Eazy), Monday, 7 October 2019 02:12 (seven months ago) link

three weeks pass...

so this green gartside interview has some juicy robert palmer stories:

cheese canopy (map), Friday, 1 November 2019 18:08 (six months ago) link

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