Thursday, October 12, 2006

John Peel Day

If you've wandered by looking for the traffic island bollards... then just keep scrolling down, past 'all things Peel'! Today is 'John Peel Day' (woohoo - to steal back from myself part of a Ship of Fools thread title). So, today, here, you will find all things Peel, in honour of the great man. But first, something by way of a disclaimer/explanation/excuse! I just wanted to say that remembering someone for their influence and inspiration, for the music they championed and for their focus and dedication to a job they loved, as well as for the compassion they showed to so many (thinking Home Truths here) and just, well, for being very interesting (despite what John seemed to think about himself), doesn't make all 'fans' unrealistic or idealising (idolising) loonies! I wonder if John Peel's family sometimes smile to themselves when we all go rambling on, as they think of the man they actually knew, who was most likely (like the rest of us) far from perfect? I've said a prayer or two for them today - even though of course, it won't take just one day like this to get them thinking about the man they love[d]. This post will undoubtedly grow as the day goes on... so please pop back (good job it's my day off!). And so having said all that, off I go with all things Peel...

First, has to come the theme tune for the day... The Undertones' Teenage Kicks which I will undoubtedly play very loud, repeatedly today... and TeenSon will no doubt say at least once, "you're not playing that again are you?" (It has been said before!). So, here it is... what a classic!

YouTube - Undertones - Teenage Kicks

And the tally of how many times I've played it today: 6

When John died there were a load of documentaries made or re-shown about him and his life - I watched as many as I could and taped a few... which of course I'm bound to watch again today. There's also some great stuff around on the internet... I'll dig out some links I've enjoyed later, but for now here's the (radio) documentary from last years' 'Keeping it Peel' day...

Documentary - John Peel Day 2005

Ok, that's a right load of listening... here's something to watch. Peely loved Glastonbury and there are some fantastic bits to be seen...

Peel at Glastonbury

Classic Peel: "Really, since I was about 30 I've had no ambitions to do anything other than what I do. So if I drop dead tomorrow I couldn't really complain to be honest. I mean, I hope I don't you know 'cos there's going to be, like, a new Fall LP next year, and things like that you know, and I want to hear that so it's just mere nosiness that keeps me going... thinking, you know, if I stay alive another day, will the man from the security van turn up with a box of records from some importer in London? You know, it's just babyish stuff like that that keeps me ticking over."

Peeling Back the Years - from the BBC archives (scroll down to click and play).

And then of course, there was Radio 4's 'Home Truths' - unbeatable Saturday mornings with Peel, and some...err, rather interesting characters!

A random month of 'Home Truths' with Peel.

And then of course there's the books... I went straight out and bought them as they appeared:
First, Mick Wall's John Peel A tribute to the much-loved DJ and broadcaster.
In having a quick look on Amazon, and then further afield, for the picture I discovered that it's not out there to be found - just a few piccies of the paperback. I came across some reviews - scathing, and some discussions - questioning (the withdrawal of the book?). Interesting. It seems the book was rushed out in a hurry not long after John's death... and really that shows in it's quality.

Then there's Michael Heatley's John Peel A Life in Music. As the title suggests, this one covers John's career in the music industry. Available from Amazon. I've given up trying to post a piccie of it... after four attempts, Blogger finally saw fit to allow it onto this page - but the picture's layout had a margin surround the size of... err, something very big, so it didn't work here (probably a clever ploy to stop people like me pinching the picture and posting it on their blog!).

And, last but by no means least, there's John's own autobiography Margrave of the Marshes. Also available from Amazon... Definitely worth buying! As you're probably well aware, John died before he completed the book and so the second half is written by Sheila. Excellent.

They're the ones I've bought... I'll have to start looking around for more!


At October 18, 2006 10:05 pm, Anonymous Beki said...

I loved it when he did the Glastonbury coverage for the BBC - such a big loss :o(

At October 20, 2006 9:27 pm, Anonymous solevoice said...

Thanks for all of these Chelley - we all loved him!

Best Wishes,



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