Friday, October 29, 2004

R.I.P. John Peel

I sent him a letter once. I don’t remember what was in it but he replied in some format. I must have moaned about Chester because he said he had grown up not all that far away. I sent him postcards with requests and he played one or two. Once someone else, besides me, maybe Nath or maybe Mike actually heard the request.

He wasn’t the only DJ. In the sixth form I often wouldn’t start my homework until Peel’s show was finished. I would put on Dave Fanning who didn’t require quite the same amount of attention. On Friday there was Phil Ross and later Roger Hill. I quickly found that music dabblers would listen to the 8pm shows on Radio One. But the real music lovers were listening to Peel. The thing I learned from his show was an attitude to music. There's a lot of it out there, and it's fun to lsiten to it without prejudice Peel would surprse you. I heard King Sunny Ade and Youssou N'Dour from him first. He played that Misty In Roots record a hundred times. He played Napalm Death and they really weren't very good. In the last year I have been listening to his show streamed over the internet. He knew some of us were doing this and mentioned it, and he read oout text messages and emails he had got. I heard him play Mutantes and it was weird that a band I had known for years were new to him. But he didn't worry about being behind the times, he just was playing a record that was new to him. He played what sounded good. For a time he played Sheena Easton and I listened carefully.