Phil Palmer

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Phil Palmer
Palmer with Murray Head in 2017
Palmer with Murray Head in 2017
Background information
Birth namePhilip John Palmer
Born (1952-09-09) 9 September 1952 (age 71)
London, England
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • musical director
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Years active1980–present
Formerly ofDire Straits

Philip John Palmer (born 9 September 1952) is a British rock sideman and session guitarist who has toured, recorded, and worked with numerous artists. He is best known for his work with Eric Clapton and Dire Straits.


Palmer grew up in north London. Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks were his uncles on his mother's side.[1]

Palmer has supported artists that include Lucio Battisti (album Una giornata uggiosa, 1980), Pet Shop Boys, Murray Head,[2][3] Steve Harley, Wishbone Ash (1986 touring), Joan Armatrading, Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, Iggy Pop, Scott Walker (Track Three, 1984), Thomas Anders (1989), Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Dire Straits (1992 tour), Pete Townshend (1993 and 2000 shows), Eros Ramazzotti (Tutte storie 1993), Alejandro Sanz (Alejandro Sanz 3 1995), Paola e Chiara (1997), Pino Daniele, Geri Halliwell, Katey Sagal, Chris de Burgh, Bryan Adams, Johnny Hallyday, David Knopfler, George Michael, Ivano Fossati, Renato Zero, Claudio Baglioni, Massimo Di Cataldo, Melanie C, Robbie Williams, David Sylvian and Hajime Mizoguchi (album Angels, 2001).[4] He often works with producer Trevor Horn. In 1986, he worked as a studio musician on Alphaville's album Afternoons in Utopia.

He co-wrote "I'm No Angel", recorded separately by Bill Medley and the Gregg Allman Band.

In 1993, Palmer assembled a band called Spin 1ne 2wo, with Paul Carrack (vocals and keyboards), Steve Ferrone (drums), Rupert Hine (producer, keyboards) and Tony Levin (bass). They released one album, a self-titled project, made up of classic rock covers including songs by Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Blind Faith, Steely Dan and Bob Dylan.[4]

Palmer performed with the numerous artists and was the musical director of The Strat Pack, at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Fender Stratocaster guitar which was held in 2004 at Wembley Arena in London. He performed in 2002 as a member of the backing band at the Queen's 50th anniversary rock concert at Buckingham Palace, "Party at the Palace".[1]

To date, he has appeared on over 500 albums and over 5000 songs.[5]

In 2021, Palmer released an autobiography entitled Session Man.[1]

Personal life[edit]

His uncles are Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks. He has appeared with them on stage many times.[citation needed]

He has named Davey Graham and Big Bill Broonzy as key influences on him while growing up.[1]

In January 2012, he married Italian singer and TV personality Numa Palmer. Italian pop megastar Renato Zero was Palmer's best man for the ceremony in Rome. Palmer and his wife are involved in several humanitarian projects, in particular with UNICEF.[6]

Palmer has two children from his first marriage.[1]


With Bryan Adams

With Alphaville

With Thomas Anders

With Tasmin Archer

With Joan Armatrading

With Gary Barlow

With Pet Shop Boys

With Sam Brown

  • Stop! (A&M Records, 1988)

With Melanie C

With Eric Clapton

With Jim Diamond

With Céline Dion

With Dire Straits

With Sheena Easton

With David Essex

  • Gold & Ivory (CBS Records, 1977)
  • Imperial Wizard (Mercury Records, 1979)
  • Hot Love (Mercury Records, 1980)
  • Silver Dream Racer (Mercury Records, 1980)
  • Stage - Struck (Mercury Records, 1982)
  • This One's for You (Mercury Records, 1984)

With Delta Goodrem

With Geri Halliwell

With Steve Harley

With Murray Head

With Trevor Horn

  • Echoes: Ancient and Modern (Deutsche Grammophon, 2023)

With John Illsley

  • Never Told a Soul (Vertigo Records, 1984)
  • Glass (Vertigo Records, 1988)
  • Long Shadows (Blue Barge Records, 2016)

With Duncan James

With Howard Jones

With Juanes

With Ronan Keating

  • Songs from Home (Decca Records, 2021)

With Nick Lachey

With Lulu

With George Michael

With Olly Murs

With Jimmy Nail

  • Crocodile Shoes (East West Records, 1994)
  • Crocodile Shoes II (East West Records, 1996)

With Iggy Pop

With Cliff Richard

With Andrew Ridgeley

With Jennifer Rush

With Katey Sagal

With Seal

With Skin

With Lisa Stansfield

With Amii Stewart

With David Sylvian

With Take That

With Tina Turner

With Judie Tzuke

With Robbie Williams


  1. ^ a b c d e "Session Man" by Phil Palmer, 2021
  2. ^ "One night in Bretteville avec Murray Head". 11 December 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Murray Head – Gérard Drouot Productions". Archived from the original on 10 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b Tingen, Paul (April 2009). "Phil Palmer: Session guitar player". Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  5. ^ "500 Albums, 5000 Songs - interview with Phil Palmer | Access2Music". 23 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Numa E Phil Palmer Ospiti Internazionali Alla Giornata Per L'infanzia Di Napoli". 21 November 2015.
  7. ^ Sleeve notes: To the Limit, 1978, A & M Records (AMLH 64732)
  8. ^ "Twelve Months, Eleven Days - Gary Barlow | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  9. ^ road/mw0000453689/credits "Open Road - Gary Barlow | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 January 2020. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  10. ^ "Unison - Céline Dion | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Mistaken Identity - Delta Goodrem | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  12. ^ Passion (Geri Halliwell) CD liner notes, Innocent Records, 2005
  13. ^ "Murray HEAD : SHADE (1983)". Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Murray HEAD : RESTLESS (1984)". Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Murray HEAD : SOONER OR LATER (1987)". Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Murray HEAD : PIPE DREAMS (1995)". Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Murray Head - Rien N'Est Écrit". 23 June 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  18. ^ P.A.R.C.E. - Juanes > Credits Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-12-07
  19. ^ "George Michael – Songs from the Last Century Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  20. ^ Soul 2 (Seal) CD liner notes, 2011 Reprise
  21. ^ 7 (Seal) CD liner notes, Warner Bros. Records Inc., 9362-49240-1
  22. ^ The Moment (Lisa Stansfield) CD liner notes, 2004 ZTT Records Ltd., ZTT192CD
  23. ^ Sing When You're Winning (Robbie Williams) liner notes, 2000
  24. ^ Escapology (Robbie Williams) liner notes, 2002
  25. ^ Reality Killed the Video Star (Robbie Williams) liner notes, 2009 Chrysalis Records Ltd., CD: 5099930969827 [deluxe edition]

External links[edit]