Tuesday, October 26, 2004


One of the many reasons I got in radio was John Peel.

I remember back in high school, staying up extremely late to hear John Peel's 30 minute show (and to tape it) on the the BBC. He got me hip all kinds of eclectic music. In 30 minutes, he went from alt rock, surf/garage, trance, dub, reggae... whatever sounded cool. That has always stayed with me. When I got involved with KSYM in 1997 (and eventually got my own show) I tried to emulate John Peel's style (only without his trademark "rough" voice. As a "real DJ", you "ride the gain." Meaning, the operator establishes a tone or attitude with music.

When playing a set of music, you take the listener on a trip. And like all trips, they eventually need to end... this rule alone has been forgotten by modern people in the industry. Afterall, computers can't make decent segues with lifeless music. Except for college/community radio, where are you gonna find a live person to even listen to new music? You can bet that John Peel didn't let some inept intern to screen his music!

People like John Peel, Alan Lomax, and Greg Shaw are the real reasons why we aren't listening to Pat Boone right now!

Popular music? No, it's "real music" that I listen to! Thanks, John!


PS- John Peel also taught me that you really can play two instrumentals back-to-back.

Broadcaster John Peel dead at 65

(CNN) -- Veteran British broadcaster John Peel has died while on holiday in Peru, the BBC and the British Embassy said Tuesday.

Peel, who discovered dozens of major bands during 40 years as a radio disc jockey, suffered a heart attack Monday night in the ancient Inca city of Cuzco, the BBC said.

Peel, 65, was on holiday with his wife, Sheila.

"John Peel was a broadcasting legend. I am deeply saddened by his death as are all who work at Radio 1," said BBC spokesman Andy Parfitt.

"John's influence has towered over the development of popular music for nearly four decades. He will be hugely missed."

Born John Ravenscroft near Liverpool in 1939, Peel said his life was changed when he was a teenager by hearing Elvis Presley singing "Heartbreak Hotel."

Peel became one of the UK's first pirate DJs, who broadcast from ships outside British waters in the 1960s. He later moved to Dallas, Texas, where he landed a job as a DJ on WRR radio.

He joined the BBC in 1967, becoming the longest-serving DJ on BBC Radio 1.

Peel was among the first DJs to play demo tapes by little-known bands --championing acts ranging from Jimi Hendrix to The Smiths, The Fall, Pulp and Northern Irish punks The Undertones.

He was a strong supporter of punk rock in the late 1970s, as well as reggae music. He also promoted hip-hop.

Since 1998, he hosted Radio 4's "Home Truths" program, a whimsical show about the travails of family life.

Peel is survived by his wife and four children.


Post a Comment

<< Home