I am making this post for Bloggernews in Simon Barrett’s honor. Bloggernews was his baby. He was so smart when it come to a website. He taught me a lot but I thought it was better for him to do all the backdoor work on the site. He did teach me enough to keep it going for a while I hope. Sadly for those who did not know, Simon passed away on February 9, 2020

We had a Memorial Service for Simon here where I live. Before the service I had a request from one of his buddies, Tokyo Rosenthal, who wrote such a lovely piece about Simon and he asked that I read it out loud to everyone. I read it to everyone that attended the Memorial Service and I have to admit it was so hard to read. I kept choking up as I read it but I finally got through it.

Simon was one of a kind. I never saw anyone love his work as he did. He could make any type of music sound good in his reviews that he wrote. He was so good at putting the words together. I wish I could have had that handed over to me from him. No one could do it like Simon could though. Needless to say I miss him more than words can say.

I want to thank Toke for his words about Simon. Simon had so much respect for Tokyo and I am proud to share Toke’s words with all of you. Here they are, please enjoy:

Musicians, and people in the arts, fight everyday for recognition. They are constantly put down by reviewers, other artists, the media, and competitors. Not so with Simon. Simon made me feel like a star from the first moment I spoke to him to the last moment he wrote about me. He didn’t condescend, he didn’t put himself on a pedestal, he didn’t make you grovel. He was genuinely concerned with what made you “tick” and putting you at ease while he prodded you for answers. Never in a rush. “Don’t worry if we run over, I’ll make it fit!, he’d say”. Always laughing. He was my best audience.

There was never a need to patronize Simon. He was every man. He loved Jan, he loved his dog, and he loved his work. He was there to help you and never asked for anything in return. We fantasized about my coming to Mississippi for a house concert in his yard. Not very typical for a music critic and I’m so sorry we never got to do that. You can only imagine what confidence his various critiques and conversations gave me. He always wanted to be the first to hear my new releases, or read my books. Even if they weren’t in his “wheel house”, he’d listen again and again, he’d read again and again, to make sure he got where I was coming from and could converse with me about them accordingly. And he never missed the mark.

Simon was a pioneer in the new world of social media and technology and I enjoyed riding his coattails even if I had no idea where we were going. He never failed to put a unique slant on things and challenge me, or anyone else, to answer the hard questions. Sort of like our personal “shrinks” to make us understand why we did what we did, even if initially we had no idea as to why. But he always seemed to get what he was looking for out of us. A constant source of support in a very cold world.

Who will take his place? How will he be remembered? The fact is he touched many people, everyday, and his memory will stay with us as he reverberates around the “Web”, 24/7/365. Rest in Peace my Advocate.

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