Back in dear old Blighty… the US was fab as always, but am glad to be home.
I’ll post a series of entries about the holiday/gigs soon, but need to post something about the death of John Peel first – Peel was the first radio DJ that I listened to regularly – in my mid-to-late teens, all my school friends would listen to Peel, taping tracks off the show and discussing it in the next day – there was a serious amount of kudos if you managed to listen to the entire show every day for a week. Through Peel’s show, I – along with just about any serious music listener in the last 30 years – discovered so much amazing music, and a whole load of really bizarre fringe stuff that I’d never have heard if it wasn’t for him. From The Pixies to Napalm Death, Bongwater to Extreme Noise Terror, Kanda Bongo Man to Dr And The Crippens – an endless supply of amazing music.
The first time I heard Napalm Death on the show, I went and got my mum out of bed to hear it, and we couldn’t quite believe what we were listening to – hilarious stuff, and marvellous too.
John Peel represented a spirit in musical listening and advocacy that viewed the mainstream with great suspicion and sought to represent fringe music, discovering the gems that the rest of UK radio would miss out. Boundaryless radio programming is a very very rare thing, and no-one has ever presented the world with a wider range of music that John Peel. The patron saint of fierce originality, individuality and the underground, Peel’s place in the British music scene will never ever be forgotten, and he’ll never be replaced.
It’s truly the end of an era, and the UK airwaves will be poorer for his absense. His influence has been immeasurably huge, and almost every good thing in UK music over the last 30 years can in some way be traced back to his patronage.
My thoughts are with his family and close friends, who have to deal with the loss of one they love while the rest of us mourn the passing of the UK’s most important and influential radio DJ ever.by