Thursday, October 13, 2005

Peel Before Using

Today is the first anniversary of John Peel's death, and it's officially John Peel Day in the UK where he was deservedly regarded as a national treasure (think they'd have such a day here to commemorate the likes of...uh...Wolfman Jack?...Dr. Demento??...Phil Schaap??? Nah, not very likely...Dick Clark probably will get his briliantined mug on a stamp though one day).

In any case, I only met Peel once when The Magic Band played on his show a year or so ago at Maida Vale Studios in London, we had a good chat (told him I was a big Dandelion Records fan, citing Siren, Stackwaddy, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre and Bridget St. John as amongst my faves; he seemed apologetic as the label hadn't exactly set the world on fire, but hey, they certainly promulgated some classic sides plus there is that excellent label sampler "There Is Some Fun Going Forward" featuring Peel's naked bod in the bath with a young nubile on the cover...a model, "definitely not the Pig", he told me)-- and I laid a selection of my solo albums on him (handed him a bunch in a polythene laundry bag from the Swiss Cottage Hotel with the words: "Here's some of my dirty laundry...". He smiled, and later spun both "The Mad World" from The Edge of Heaven and "It's Like a Wheel" from Street of Lost Brothers on his show before passing onto that great gig in the sky...)

anyway he was truly a gentleman and a great force for good in music (fantastic booster for Beefheart and Kevin Coyne, both of whom I was honored to work with...and for The Magic Band; in fact, besides having us on his show--check the group photo from our session on my website in the pictures section--John Peel did the narration for Elaine Sheperd's brilliant DVD about the MB reunion project, available at, check it out!). You can read more about JP at Elaine is hard at work now on a BBC documentary about the hidden treasures lurking inside Peel's private record collection.



Blogger Andrew Thomas said...

John Peel was the best champion of UK unsigned bands, and I'm doing my best to carry on that tradition.

On my blog you can download a selection of free music from new unsigned UK bands:

10/14/2005 6:28 AM  
Blogger Blue Turtle said...

Classifications are over rated when you have the poor musician writing folk-world/beat/jazzy/funky experiential existensial -

11/06/2005 11:37 AM  

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