Aug 19

Great News For All Our Readers!

Popular18 comments • 1,819 views

Hello Popular readers!

After sixteen years, and suffering from (as you’ll have noticed) a much slower posting rate, I’ve come to a decision.

I’m going to crowdfund this project, using Patreon. HERE’S THE LINK. This coincides with me leaving my day job and going solo, which opens up a lot of spare time. But billable time being money in the freelance world, I want to be able to devote time to Popular, and Patreon is a way to do that. It’s not a perfect platfornm – what is? – but I’ve been able to set up tiers and goals which I think might appeal to people who like my work.

Very importantly, if you decide not to contribute, nothing will change – Popular will still appear here, on Freaky Trigger, and hopefully a lot more regularly than it has done recently.

UPDATE: We’ve already reached the point at which I am happy to guarantee 4 entries a month – I am enormously grateful and delighted by how quickly this has happened and how much support this funding initiative has had. Thanks, you lovely lot.

If you DO become a patron, you’ll get early access to main entries, very early access to certain other entries, and exclusive access to some other exciting things. THAT LINK AGAIN.

Whether you join up or not, it’ll mean more Popular, sooner, and I hope you agree that’s something to celebrate!

And finally, other fantastic FT contributors have Patreons of their own which also deserve your support! Mark S is creating podcasts and articles around the topic of his excellent book, A Hidden Landscape Once A Week and Hazel is crowdfunding her motorsport journalism by dishing the (some) dirt on a Patreon.


  1. 1
    Concerned Citizen on 8 Aug 2019 #

    Oi Tom, sorry to be a pest but cannae see the login button in Freaky Trigger.

  2. 2
    Tom on 8 Aug 2019 #

    Yup – we’ve switched versions of WordPress and there are Teething Problems.

  3. 3
    Cumbrian on 9 Aug 2019 #

    Congratulations on striking out on your own, Tom. Also more than happy to dip my hand in my pocket to help you push forward. Nevertheless, I have questions!

    Will comments on the Patreon be transferred over to FT once a post goes live on FT? I imagine that you could wind up with a 2 speed comments system, which, imo, would be a shame – the breadth of the comments is a real feature of the project, I think. Of course, this might be a good reason for people to sign up to the Patreon!

    Will you be replacing your 50s-70s entries here with the new ones that you write up? I signed up to a tier where I’d get access to these in any case, so no skin off my nose, but I’d imagine that these may also inspire further discussion.

    You alluded to a book. Fantastic! Would you like to/can you reveal any tentative plans for this?

    Exciting stuff – I am sure I am not alone in wishing you all the best in this and also in the new approach to your career more generally.

  4. 4
    Neil C on 9 Aug 2019 #

    Signed up for Popular and More Popular – looking forward to it! Good luck Tom :)

  5. 5
    Tom on 9 Aug 2019 #

    #3 – Hi Cumbrian! Comments are tricky – my intention is that the primary commenting area remains the FT entry – as you say, there’s a breadth of comments here (even though we’ve been having backstage difficulties with the actual comment function, owing to forces Beyond Our Control).

    I think I will try and copy over any Patreon comments, or else encourage people to wait until the entry migrates.

    The expanded 50s-70s entries are meant as occasional, Patreon exclusive, material. In the long term the plan has always been to revisit early entries for any Popular book (whether a complete series or a compilation) as they were written in very different conditions and, frankly, with a lot less care and research. But I’ve also always felt the web entries should stay as they are. So this seems a good compromise, and a way to feel out how easy revising those earlier entries will be (and as such how much time editing them for a book might take).

  6. 6
    lockedintheattic on 9 Aug 2019 #

    Absolutely delighted to hear this – I’ve signed up. Really looking forward to this and best of luck in your new freelance life.

  7. 7
    Tom on 9 Aug 2019 #

    Another update – there is now a (faintly preposterous) GOAL on the Patreon. I’ve thought of another vaguely more realistic goal too but I’ll save that for a bit.

  8. 8
    Cumbrian on 9 Aug 2019 #

    Good stuff Tom. All going pretty well thus far – best of luck with it all and looking forward to seeing what happens.

  9. 9
    Mark G on 9 Aug 2019 #

    I guess I’ll have to “save” my ‘Tower of strength’ Frankie Vaughan, just in case.

  10. 10
    Brian B. on 10 Aug 2019 #

    Yay! I just discovered your site right around the time of your most recent entry — I was linked to your spectacular piece on Madonna’s “American Pie”, then kept clicking Next Entry a lot, before backing up for a more systematic approach. I was delighted your site existed, delighted by the quality of the comment sections, and delighted yet again when I read that you’re an Elizabeth Sandifer/ TARDIS Eruditorum fan because I had already decided your work reminds me of hers. When I realized how rarely you updated, I was like “I wonder if Tom has considered doing a Patreon? It’s worked for Sandifer”….

    Incidentally, the album that turned me, at the age of 16, into a music fan and thereby changed my life was the Boomtown Rats’ ‘the Fine Art of Surfacing’, which my Mom brought home because of “I Don’t Like Mondays”, to which you gave a 2 out of 10. And I *still* like your writing. So, well done!

    I haven’t been allowed to register for comments (nor has the webmaster written back), so hopefully this goes through OK.

  11. 11
    AMZ1981 on 10 Aug 2019 #

    And done. I’ve been following Popular since the article in The Times and I wish I’d become a contributor to the comments sooner. Happy to make a modest contribution to help it continue. Indeed; as I’ve always been anticipating the next entry it wasn’t much of a Dilemma!

  12. 12
    Lee Saunders on 10 Aug 2019 #

    And also done. Very pleased to hear about this, I was under the sneaking suspicion that Popular was crawling to an end when we got to the September 2003 bunny (or even before one sooner than that) so this is marvellous news. I too regret not finding Popular sooner (only found out about in 2016 when it reached December 2001, so about the time it slowed down, so now having four entries a month is fab)

  13. 13
    FiveLongDays on 11 Aug 2019 #

    Well worth a lousy ten (well, 12 after tax) bucks a month. Proud and pleased to be able to support you!

  14. 14
    James BC on 13 Aug 2019 #

    This is great news! The perfect use of Patreon.

  15. 15
    ThePensmith on 15 Aug 2019 #

    Lovely to hear this Tom – I’ve just signed up myself to become a patron, glad I can help be a part of its continuation even in a small way that I can going forward as I’m always interested to hear your take on the songs covered here and the way you write about them.

  16. 16
    admin on 19 Aug 2019 #

    BTW, to those that asked/noticed, the “login” button is slowly being reintroduced now.

    We had to remove it when our hosts implemented a security thing on their system, but they appear to have lifted/fixed whatever it was they did.

  17. 17
    daveworkman on 19 Aug 2019 #

    Nice name check for you on the latest Hit Parade podcast!

  18. 18
    Fleta Hawker on 9 Mar 2021 #


    My name is Natalia. I am an expert in posting articles and texts on various websites.

    Would you be interested in a mutual cooperation? In fact, I have to propose you something but before starting working answer please this questionnaire in the link below: https://forms.gle/58NDRfrHg3RMdRcW7

    It takes no more than 3 minutes but will clarify all the details of the project and accelerate each stage of your future partnership.

    Thank you in advance for your time and I’m looking forward to a fruitful collaboration.

    If you require any further information about the questionnaire or anything else, feel free to contact me letpartner@hellopartners.ru .

    Best regards!

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