I just logged on, and read this without comprehending at first what Zee was saying; this is awful news. All I can think to do is to express my deepest sympathy to Charlie's family and those of his many friends, like Zee and Alan, who are most directly hit by this bombshell. Richard
I heard the terrible news earlier this afternoon and spent an hour or more just pacing up and down the flat not knowing what to do with myself.
Obviously it would be both a cliché and an absurd exaggeration to say that, over the past few years, Charlie had been like a father to me. But I think all the relationships we have in this world in some way echo those most fundamental bonds; everyone is either brother, sister, mother of father to their friends, depending on that relationship’s dynamic.
And I certainly received so much support and encouragement with respect to my writing that I can honestly say I wouldn’t be in music journalism now, or, more importantly, I wouldn’t have written the novel I am now so proud of, if it hadn’t been for both Charlie’s unbridled enthusiasm and his sometimes devastatingly blunt critism. Both were without doubt of equal importance in getting me to knock my words and sentences into some kind of shape.
But then of course he did the same for countless other writers and musicians over the decades. He was wise enough to know that voicing enthusiasm for other peoples creative efforts costs you nothing, yet is absolutely invaluable to those he supported and encouraged. And he was also a man whose support also meant so much because we knew that he had such great taste in the first place.
But more than anything else I shall just miss that open, cheerful grin he’d greet you with at concerts. That friendly face with no hidden agenda, that warm handshake, and just the fact that he couldn’t wait to find out if you’d heard this or that new CD, and whether you liked it as much as he did.
I’m tearing up now, so I’ll leave it at that. I only hope we can keep this place alive in his honour, I’m sure that that’s what he would have wanted.