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Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:25 pm
by Caspar LS
No time yet to read everything here – that can wait (Charlie wasn't one to rush anything, in my experience). But I have just posted some thoughts on what a privilege it was to edit his reviews for the Observer.
Here: ... ett-legacy

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:36 pm
by dreamcatch
I am completely devastated - I've known Charlie for twenty years in his lesser known role as music publisher and founder of Oval Music with his wonderful partner Gordon Nelki.

Everything everyone has said here about Charlie is so so true. In the years since he signed me to Oval Music, he was a guiding light for me, a mentor and yes father figure and friend, quietly encouraging patient and dedicated, totally committed and professional, caring, enthusiastic, adventurous, the list is endless. I trusted him totally and he handled the publishing side and dealings with music industry people impeccably, and truly professionally. At the same time he always found a moment to answer any enquiry at the other end, from the people who had actually bought our albums.

As a musician and producer, I felt honoured that Charlie and his wonderful partner Gordon Nelki took such an interest in my music. He always gave everything I did a proper and considered listen to, and didn't beat about the bush, always (searingly!) honest about what he thought. - good or bad.

I going to Charlie's one cold January morning in 1998 armed with a few tracks. After chatting to Buffy over a cup of herbal tea and some amazing cake, we descended to Charlie's basement office and listened to one song I was quite excited about. At that point only my wife and a couple of friends had heard it. Charlie gave me one of his broad grins, shook my hand and said "congratulations Dave - you've just got your first top ten hit !" I couldn't believe it, I was so thrilled.

From that point on, despite even my reservations, Charlie's unswerving commitment to the track and the idea, never faltered. Together he and Gordon beat the path around all the major labels several times to get a licensing/distribution deal, and were constantly rejected. After all, who'd back just one song with not even an act or artist behind it? But there was no stopping Charlie. He told me from day one it would happen, and true to his word, he phoned me on holiday in June to say gleefully we'd got a deal with V2 records. After the knife edge battle to get us there, Charlie suggested the name of our project should be "Touch and Go"

In November 1998, 9 months after I saw Charlie in his office, our song, "Would you...?" entered the UK charts at number three, and the rest they say is history. Charlie told me, with more than a hint of pleasure, about all the record company people that had rejected him and our song, phoning him up and asking if it was the same one!

Charlie and I were in touch only a couple of weeks ago, working on another idea to conquer the world once again. God bless you Charlie, I'll miss you so much. My thoughts and love go out to Buffy Suzy Jody and Ivan and the grand children.

Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:39 pm
by Hanitra
I am deeply shocked by this sad news! We did not thank Charlie enough to have let our music travel across the globe, now he is gone... Our hearts to his family and loved ones.
Charlie, you were truly an invaluable being for us, a great loss for the world of music.
Hanitra of Tarika

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:42 pm
by Martin_Edney
I was so very very sad to wake to the news this morning of Charlie's death - condolences to his family, and also to the extended family of friends, acquaintences and everyone whose lives have been touched by this remarkable man.

Music is a huge part of my life, and my formative teenage years were heavily influence by listening to Charlie's Undercurrents show on Capital Radio. Years later, when I met Charlie at a Jamie Renton DJ relay, it was a real pleasure to discuss my memories with him. I enquired after the signature tune he used in those days ("Mumbo Jumbo" by Woodhead Monroe), and sure enough he played it in his show the following week for me, which really brought a lump to my throat and instantly took me back 30 years.

I've seen others asking for piece of music to choose to sum up Charlie - I'd go for Ian Dury & The Blockheads' "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick", which just sums up beautifully Charlie's attitude to music and to life.

I've rather dropped out of this forum in recent months, but I had a great evening in January chatting with Zee, with both of us reminiscing about our favourite ping-pong sessions over the years. I asked Zee to convey my appreciation to Charlie, who'd just been re-admitted to hospital. I hope the message got through.

Thanks also to Zee for prodividing us the space to express our feelings, and to get some mutual support and comfort by joining together. It's a fitting tribute to Charlie, who was always bringing people together.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:44 pm
by Tom McPhillips
Like everyone else, I'm waking up this morning checking here, and enjoying all the wonderful comments, and finding it very hard to concentrate, constantly thinking of the many years Charlie has been providing so much sustenance to my musical table.

When I got in the car this morning, there was still a CD that I'd been playing on the way home last night it was something from my Early music collection, melancholy music but very appropriate to my sense of loss on this sad day - but my immediate reaction was "Charlie would really have hated this!" So the question was do I listen to something else? Go through the Ipod and find one of his compilations? No, stick with it, in true Charlie style and as a tribute to his "don't play something for any other reason than it's what you want to play and you like it" mantra. So in his honour I played it all the way into work continually picking at that scab - "Charlie would have hated this! Charlie would have hated this! Charlie would have hated this!"

I know I'm going to continue missing him for the inconceivable future, and wondering if he'd have played one of those future discoveries that we're all going to be making now without his friendly advice and guidance...

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:57 pm
by katerina pavlakis
Still taking in the terrible news... what a desperately sad loss.
Charlie was such a special person to everybody who knew him, whether in person or on air. I still can't believe we will never see him again.
My thoughts are with Buffy, Jody, Suzy an Ivan.


Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:14 pm
by garth cartwright
I tried to post something this morning but am obviously too jetlagged to master even the most basic of technologies. Doh!

What to say? I first came across Charlie as a wee Kiwi teen who loved Sound Of The City and then went out hunting old 2nd hand music mags and often found his features/revs - in Let It Rock, NME, Creem etc - were head and shoulders above all else. Picked up a second hand copy of Another Saturday Night and loved it. I'd always been interested in American music and via Charlie I managed to dig deeper, listen harder.

In London I became an avid listener to his GLR saturday night show and first saw him when he hosted the Southern Songwriters night at the QEH in 94 or 95. Not too much later I bumped into him at a gig and got chatting about OV Wright and OMC - shared passions. From then on a great friendship developed. He was something of a mentor to me - pushing me to write, to listen, offering contacts and lifts, a generous, warm, wise, witty man. His wife and kids reflect this: wonderful people.

I dedicated More Miles to him and he rang to say how touched he was. I'm so pleased that I did this while he was still walking the earth. I've read several chapters of his memoir and it's great. I know that Hannah, his agent, has it and has been editing it so hopefully we can read it within the next year.

Finally, I should add that Charlie's gift for friendship extended to this forum and I've been fortunate to make many good friendships through it. Thank you, Charlie.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:36 pm
by oraea
Charlie was quite simply the most important musical influence in my life. From the Honky Tonk days through to listening to the repeat show on the World Service in the early hours of this weekend, it was like having a musical mentor. I did the phones on Honky Tonk a few times and really now treasure those memories of BBC Radio London and the studio in Marylebone.

My internal cd is now back circa mid 70s and playing 'Third rate Romance' 'Morning Glory' oh and probably something by Gabby Pahinui.

My heart goes out to Buffy and the family

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:47 pm
by stumal
I am sitting here on a sunny Greek Island with tears in my eyes thinking of the early days in Bristol when Buffy and Charlie had just got together.
I was art school with Buffy, Charlie was teaching and we all lived in the same house in Clifton. I played in a band and even then, Charlie and Buffy would be in the audience giving encouragement. They got married and went off to America on their honeymoon, by boat. When they came back and we met up again in London and by then Charlie had found his direction, wrote 'Sound of the City' and introduced me to his world of music. It has never left me and like so many of the contributors to these pages, I would like to thank him for a sublime education.
To Buffy and her family I send my humblest condolences and shed some more tears for you too.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:48 pm
by paul b
Very sad. Charlie was - and still is - an inspiration. I remember hearing Idjah Hadidjah one night on his show - it was one of the most revelatory experiences I've ever had. I had the pleasure to meet him several times and I can honestly say that i would not be doing what i am doing today without his influence. A true gent. A true music lover. Peace be with you Charlie and with your family.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:04 pm
by Dominic
I've just put on a Chango Spasiuk CD. It feels so right, I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:05 pm
by avivitcaspi
I know it is not totally the end, I know such a beautiful vast soul as yours Charlie will continue resonate and be,
still Sad,
I feel huge love, deep sundaes, how come your amazing spirit wasn't enough to keep you here..
Charlie's wife, Charlie's children, don't know what to say, think about you sending you warmth
I can't say a thing,
Thank you Charlie for all what you did, for what you did for me, for who you are, with salty tears

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:14 pm
by finnis
So hard to come to terms with Charlie's passing. He was a true mentor to me in my younger days and though our lives took different paths, we stayed in touch. My thoughts to Buffy and the family.

Rob Finnis

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:22 pm
by Jeff Merrifield
Charlie Gillett was one of music's true gentlemen, a source of inspiration and enthusiasm. He will be much missed. Rest in peace, Charlie.

Re: Charlie's gone

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:24 pm
by howard male
Dominic wrote

I've just put on a Chango Spasiuk CD. It feels so right, I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier.

Funnily enough a copy just arrived in the post today, and I’d just put it on myself (remembering that that was the CD Charlie was raving about in his last post on the forum) then a minute later I read your post, Dominic.

But, yes, your’re right. It is lifting my spirits a little.