Richard Jeffrey Charles Palmer-James (born 11 June 1947, in Bournemouth, England) is an English musician, best known for having written lyrics to several songs by the progressive rock group King Crimson in the early 1970s.
Palmer-James got his start in the music business playing in various Bournemouth bands: The Corvettes, The Palmer-James Group (formed with Alec James), Tetrad, and Ginger Man, all of which also included John Wetton on bass and vocals. He was a founding member of Supertramp; he played guitar and vocals and wrote the lyrics for their self-titled debut album under the name Richard Palmer and co-wrote the lyrics of the song "Goldrush," a song written during his days in the band and finally recorded on their 2002 album Slow Motion.
Palmer wrote lyrics for three of King Crimson's albums: Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red. He did not participate in any of King Crimson's recordings, but worked with John Wetton and David Cross after Robert Fripp disbanded the group in 1974.
Palmer has lived in Munich since the early 1970s. In 1978 he was visited by John Wetton and W.J. Hutcheson, who were his bandmates in Tetrad, and they recorded an album with the German drummer Curt Cress in 10 days called Jack-Knife performing songs from the early days.
In 1997 he released a CD with former bandmate John Wetton under the title Monkey Business, a compilation of unreleased material including some songs that were recorded for the first time in studio, like a King Crimson tune called "Doctor Diamond".
Today he makes his living mainly as a lyricist and keeps playing guitar in bars.