Addicted to Robert

*Sigh*–now another icon from my teenage years is gone: Robert Palmer. Actually, I’m probably slightly older than the average RP fan: I first heard him on the radio in 1975 on KSFM, one of those 70s progressive A & R radio stations alá San Francisco’s KSAN. I ran out, bought Pressure Drop on 8-track and plopped it into my yellow Panasonic plunger player (I swear to god I had one). I was in love. Next to Boz Scaggs he was my white-soul homeboy.


I bought every Robert Palmer album from Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley to Secrets. My sister and I even saw him circa 1978 at San Francisco’s Bimbo’s 365 Club, a tiny, supper-clubby venue. We were in our finest bad-girls-toot-toot-disco finest (handkerchief-hemmed dresses, Candies to die for), screaming our heads off every time he started a song. I know he saw us because by the time he launched into Which of Us is the Fool, he was glaring at us.

By the time the 80s rolled around, I pretty much lost interest. There are many reasons: RP began moving away from his reggae/white soul sound to rock; I became hot ‘n heavy with the guy I thought I’d marry, etc–the whole growing up thing. My sister carried the torch, going to concerts and screaming at good-looking singers, culminating in her legendary vault over a three-foot concrete wall wearing five-inch heels and a tight pastel sweater-dress (with monstrously huge shoulder-pads) at a Bon Jovi concert.

He didn’t mean to turn us on, but he certainly had my little heart thumpin’. Good-night, Robert.

What I’m Listening To: OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, especially “Ghetto Music”. I just don’t know what is up with me these days….

What I’m Reading: Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brien–and not because of Russell Crowe, so there.

One Response

  1. Original Cyn
    Original Cyn October 1, 2003 at 6:55 pm | | Reply

    I feel your pain. I loved his white-boy blues, especially the more obscure stuff. Sally was on my turntable for about a year.

    It’s very odd, isn’t it, to see our college-era idols growing old? When I watched Elvis Costello and The Clash inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame last year, I was struck by how much they all resembled accountants.

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