"It's a folk singer's job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people" - Woody Guthrie
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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Gems From My Collection - John Peel
I was thinking about John Peel today. I tend to do that from time to time especially when playing music and a tune pops up and says that it's taken from a Peel Session. I have quite a few in my collection that I prize very highly (Adam & The Ants, The Models, Stiff Little Fingers, The Ruts, Penetration, That Petrol Emotion, The Slits, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Specials, Madness, The Jam, The Cure, The Shop Assistants and The Darling Buds to name just a few).
I remeber meeting John Peel a couple of times in my life when he was DJ at Reading Festival and a show I was working at with a band called the Disco Zombies in Northampton. That Northampton show was the first time I met him and I asked him if he could play a UK Subs record for the some of my mates on his show. The following Monday night show he did indeed play the UK Subs and gave the dedication to our little gang known as the Forest Hill Punks. A top bloke indeed.
He was in my mind one of the most important people on Radio because he played music that you would never hear during the daytime and he showcased so many great bands down through the years that you wonder if we ever would have heard of them had they not been given the platform of the John Peel Session.It wasn't only those who had sessions of course that benefitted from getting airplay because Peel played everything on his show from Death Metal, Reggae, Belgian House, Hip Hop, Indie, Punk, World Music and a whole lot more. His influence on the business is outstanding and he just saw himself as someone who loved music and wanted to share it with others.
When John Peel passed out of this world the BBC Radio 1 put together a fantastic show presented by Jarvis Cocker entitled 'Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat' that includes tributes and stories of Peel and some funny moments of Peel playing tracks at the wrong speed. I had a wee listen to it again today and it set me thinking a lot about the man. If you want to listen to the show Then Click Here to Download It.