It's gratifying to see that there are a whole lot of people out there who agree that John Peel was one of the most influencial people in music over the last few decades. In the 1980s, buying a Peel Session slab of vinyl was generally a good way of discovering a new band or renewing an old friendship. Catching Peel on the BBC World Service was a reason to own a shortwave. Image the Sex Pistols, or the Jesus and Mary Chain, or the Cure without John Peel? Nearly impossible.
There's an excellent discussion going on on Plastic. I wanted to highlight the observation that Peel never got linked to a musical genre, here was an older family man who genuinely appreciated punk, reggae, hip-hop, and electronica. And long before most "cool" people did. And he let everyone know what music was crap with his dry wit.
"Perhaps it's possible that John can form some kind of nightmarish career out of his enthusiasm for unlistenable records and his delight in writing long and facetious essays." - from a school report
"I can't listen to it now without getting all dewy-eyed. And if I play it on the radio, I have to segue it into the front of another record because I can't speak after I've heard it." — John Peel on "Teenage Kicks," The Undertones
With a record collection estimated in the hundreds of thousands of albums (!!!), here's hoping that someone will digitalize them and make them available online. (Yeah, right.)
Another great story was Billy Bragg showing up at the studio with food and a demo after hearing John Peel announce on the air that he was hungry. Online sources name it as a "mushroom biryani." I couldn't make that up.
"I'm not looking for a new England..." - Billy BraggPosted by duver001 at October 29, 2004 11:43 AM