Party's over

The planet's a poorer place today. Karl Wallinger, the guy who fronted the band World Party – or maybe it would be more accurate to say he was World Party – has died. He was a songwriter, musician, and thinker, with amazing skill and depth, and an artist in every good sense of the word. I had the privilege of seeing him and his small troupe in a tiny club back in 2012. There couldn't have been a hundred people in there. We stood right up next to the band and sang every last word of his beautiful songs at the top of our lungs.

Wallinger had a brain aneurysm at the height of his career, and he had to teach himself how to do anything again, much less play guitar and perform. He did that, and did it well. There was music and great spirit inside him, and it had to come out. Wallinger made it to age 66. His music will be around for a lot longer than that.


  1. I liked to keep up with Karl, hoping for news that he would return to the States one of these years. Alas, that dream died today. What a huge loss for music. Here's a link to an interview, perhaps his last, that he gave in 2022.

    1. Thanks. I remember that interview. Especially: "And now I really believe that songs are just amazing things because they go off and they have their own life. They get played at weddings and funerals and births and deaths and everything. Happy moments or moments of doubt or moments where it just seems to be the friend you want. It’s a strange thing, the way they have their own life. I love that about them. They’re like kids. They’ve gone off and experienced more of life, probably, than I have. They’ve been in the background when two people are making love, or they’ve been on a car journey to Alaska. All these scenarios where they’ve been experiencing our lives, as well as we are experiencing them. It blows me away. Songs are incredible things. I love them."



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