RIP: John Peel

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Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2009
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I've just turned on the telly to see the news that John Peel has died. :(

John Peel was probably Englands most respected Radio DJ. He was there from the days of the pirate radio ship Caroline, and was one of the original gang of DJs on Radio 1.

He is probably most well known for championing and playing music that went against the grain of the current music scene, at the time. Most significantly, he was the first DJ to dare to play punk regualy, and continued to play it after it went out of fashion. He was also renound for playing the wrong track, at the wrong speed etc.

What made most of us listen to him, though, was not only the music, it was the fact he actually 'talked' to you, and seemed to understand teenage angst better than any psychologist. Because of this, he gained the nickname 'Uncle John'.

So fairwell then ... 'Uncle' John. :(
My condolences.

We now have 'Jonesy' on our local Los Angeles radio and I can hear him if I go out at lunch time. It reminds of of the good old days when radio seemed more exciting (music-wise).

Now the only radio excitement seems to be talk related. We'll see how Howard Stern transforms satellite radio in 2006.

:kill: Clear Channel is evil.
He'll be badly missed.

My fondest memories of his show, are from the early to mid 80s, listening with the headphones on while in bed, even when I had to be up at 6am!

When I was in a band he was one of the few DJs to give our single airplay. Ultimately we weren't successful, but many, many bands of yesterday, today and even tomorrow owe him the break that led to their success.
God bless 'im

one of the girls in the office told me this afternoon...I was quite upset.
Funny things that spring to mind was the 'festive 50' year I had about 40 of the 'hits' that had been voted for...I used to record lots of his 'Peel Sessions' too, his little comments inbetween tracks were absolute gems!
Originally posted by starbug
...I used to record lots of his 'Peel Sessions' too, his little comments inbetween tracks were absolute gems!
I remember the Electro Hippies, back in the 80s, doing a Peel Sesh, and performing their classic "Mega Armageddon Death!", which was about 1/2second long, and consisted of one chord!

Peely's comment afterwards: "One of their longer tunes, that one" - Priceless :D

But I also remember his more comman quotes:

"Er ...... sorry .... I seem to have got the wrong speed for that one"
"And next we have The Undertones with Teenage Kicks ...... er ...... sorry ...... wrong deck .... I seem to have played Jilted John again!"
"I went to see The Wedding Present/Fall(-ah)/Smiths** last night, and was very impressed by the support band: Terry's Knuckle Dusters. I was given a demo tape, but I've forgotten to bring it with me"
".... er ..... sorry ...... I wasn't expecting the record to finish so quickly, and I'd nipped out for a cup of tea"

** = Delete as appropriate
Judging by the amount of obscure, minority music they already possess between them, probably Starbug & Cydermaster! :D
I'm well stocked up on Fall(-ah) records. Most, I have to add, are almost unlistenable to; but they do come up with the odd gem.

Who would have thought that Mark E Smith(-ah) would outlive John Peel!
That just about sums up the Fall. Nearly got a support slot with them once, hard to say who would have been more unlistenable ;)
It's not just his Radio 1 slot where he will be missed.

Home Truths on Radio 4, Saturday mornings, was a totally different side to the man. He had an empathy with the contributors that would be hard to match. The show was never the same when he was on holiday, now it will just never be the same. Let's hope the show will end to, rather than be given to another presenter who can't do it justice.

His musical tastes were eclectic to say the least and he just played what he liked (or stuff he just thought people would like to hear) regardless of whether it was trendy to play it. He didn't follow fashion nor really set out to make fashion, he just didn't seem to care about fashion, just what he liked. A refreshingly honest man.

My sympathy goes out to Sheila and the children. He will be sadly missed.

On these shores we lost Scott Muni and over there now we've lost John Peel. He was just mentioned in Bill (BeBopDeluxe) Nelson's online diary having recently interviewed BN or showing up at one of his recent gigs.
Peel was first to play Nelson's home made album "Northern Dream" getting him noticed by Capitol/EMI and thus began BeBop Deluxe. Any of you Yorkshire folks ever see Bill Nelson around?
The loss of these important radio personalities get me to thinking of the Kinks song "Around the Dial"...
So John Peel...thanks for everything.

John started out before my time and missed a lot of his pioneering days, but a lot of the music I listen probably wouldn't be around if it wasn't for John's willingness to push the envelope of musical taste.

"Teenage dreams so hard to beat" - Teenage Kicks, The Undertones

"I just mark with an asterisk those tracks that I want to play on the radio. One asterisk means might play, two asterisks means should play and three asterisks means must play. I try to restrict myself to three asterisks but if I get very enthusiastic I put four or even more. The Undertones Teenage Kicks got something like twenty eight asterisks."

John Peel, Radio One
Planet Andy

Just went to see Bill Nelson about a week ago " 30th anniversary Be-Bop Deluxe and beyond tour ".
It was good but not as good as last years " Romance of Sustain tour"

I've nearly finished "Diary of a Hyperdreamer", I've enjoyed it, but if your not a fan of his work it won't mean a great deal...

Bills tribute to Peely is rather moving

I'm hoping he brings that tour to the US but its probably not likely any time soon. Last Time I saw BN was when he released "After the Satellite Sings." I like lots of his stuff but the past few years its been so much volume and a lot of sameness in my humble opinion. Must've been great to hear the BBD stuff done live! At any rate back to paying tribute to John Peel.

I don't listen to the radio, haven't done so in many years. But my wife loves her oldies station and is really bummed because it goes kaput tomorrow. They're changing it to some kind of Spanish-language station. Apparently there's no other oldies (50's, 60's & 70's) station in the San Diego area, so she's at a loss.