30 Nov 2005

"In case you're wondering who this funny old bloke is, I'm the one who comes on Radio 1 late at night and plays records made by sulky Belgian art students in basements dying of TB."

I can honestly say that there are very few celebrities that have died and I've been genuinely upset to see pass.
John Peel was the only one I can think of that stopped me in my tracks when I heard the news. I'd grown up listening to Mr Peel from the time I had a cassette/radio recorder in 1978 with a 'deaf aid' style earpiece underneath my Star Wars duvet pretending I went to bed ages ago. I can remember hearing my favourite band madness for the first time on his show and countless others too, including the night John Walters his then producer coming into the studio out of breath and late exclaiming about this new act that he'd seen called Billy Bragg. There many many others over the years some of which you'd heard of and most of which you hadn't. That was the beauty of his show there was so much breadth to the playlist that if you didn't like the track he'd been playing the chances were that you'd like the next one or the one after as they were so diverse that he could appeal to all ages all sexes and all tastes in one show. I mean I hate country music but when He played Laura Cantrell to me I found that Country wasn't all about leaving a no good woman or your dog dying etc. I've tried listening to the three shows that replaced his but even with three different djs it still comes nowhere near to the diversity that one man achieved. Thanks to the modern wonder of the interweb I was able to get a couple of mentions on his show most of which I've mp3'd (yes I'm that sad) and I think I'm mentioned somewhere on this post too. Part one is the best of John Peel from the year 2000, and the other two are from the only two remaining cassettes I have of John. Most of which where 'failed to be returned' along with five years worth of Mark Radcliffe's shows including sessions from the Britpop era's finest bands but let's not get bitter towards my ex friend. The best of post starts with a poignant track called "Please don't talk about me when I'm gone" it was one of the Pig's Big 78's which I thought were a, typically Peel and b, fantastic to listen to. Never great quality but then you young people have been spoiled with your cd's etc. damn your young bones. Anyway hope that you get as much pleasure listening to these shows as I did and still do. When he died it was like losing a favourite relative who'd always been there for you whenever you needed them. And for those of you who don't know (shame on you)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Peel


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