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Sad day for music.
October 26, 2004 6:07 AM   Subscribe

Legendary radio DJ John Peel dies of heart attack at 65. Peel's contribution to modern music and culture was "immeasurable".
posted by dash_slot- (118 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Terrible loss. So many hours spent listening to his chummy voice and unmatched music range. The memories of the festive fifty and being really, really, really concerned as to what would be #1. All those late-night sessions. He was so damn... nice.
posted by humuhumu at 6:12 AM on October 26, 2004


Thought about posting that myself. He could probably win my vote for "Earth's nicest human".
posted by ed\26h at 6:14 AM on October 26, 2004


We shared an enthusiasm for Ireland's greatest punk band, the Undertones. He changed music history by discovering hundreds of other great bands and championing reggae, electronica, and all things new. He never stood still.
Bio
Obit
posted by dash_slot- at 6:15 AM on October 26, 2004


All of our icons, one by one, moving on. Sad.
posted by ashbury at 6:18 AM on October 26, 2004


Very sad news, the man is a legend. There are many, many bands out there who would never have seen the light of day but for Peel. There are almost as many who can count amongst their most sought after recordings the "The Peel Sessions" moniker.
posted by vbfg at 6:18 AM on October 26, 2004


OMG - it's a sad sad day. John Peel was a legend. can't stop shivering... what a shock
posted by twistedonion at 6:23 AM on October 26, 2004


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posted by bshort at 6:24 AM on October 26, 2004


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posted by DenOfSizer at 6:25 AM on October 26, 2004


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posted by Cobbler at 6:26 AM on October 26, 2004


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posted by chandy72 at 6:27 AM on October 26, 2004


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posted by Quartermass at 6:27 AM on October 26, 2004


John Peel pretty much kept me going through some years of my life, a sad day.

[stolen from popbitch...]

Radio is such an intimate medium - and Peel's show was required listening for most of us. So for most posters they've lost someone they grew up with, someone who played them incredible, exciting music. If you grew up in a small town, with not much in the way of a music scene, JP gave you a window onto that and let you know what was out there. He adored new music and wanted to share that with people. And on top of that he was a really nice bloke too. So yeah - maybe feeling sad and bereft is in order.

Can we not have those stupid fucking dots, I can't think of anything less appropriate for a John Peel memorial. (other than perhaps an Ashlee Simpson tribute single)
posted by fullerine at 6:28 AM on October 26, 2004


A sad day indeed. 'Uncle' John has been with me on a musical journey over the past 23 years or so. From Public Enemy to The Fall and way beyond. I still have some Festive 50 tapes from the mid-80s.

Interview with the great man here, including an interesting anecdote from when he was in Dallas when JFK was shot.

I'm not really one for having heroes but he was an exception. This is very, very sad...
posted by i_cola at 6:28 AM on October 26, 2004


ooops the dots were too quick for me.
posted by fullerine at 6:29 AM on October 26, 2004


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posted by shoepal at 6:29 AM on October 26, 2004


A legend. They played Teenage Kicks (Undertones) - his favourite song, and mine too (the Undertones are from my home town) - on Radio 1 after they announced his death, it brought tears to my eyes. I don't know if I'll ever enjoy that song the way I used to.

About a year ago I started recording his shows, thinking that this would happen one day and I'd be heartbroken that he wasn't around to listen to anymore. I never thought it would happen so soon. Can't describe how upset I am.
posted by ascullion at 6:36 AM on October 26, 2004


.......








AAAAAAAAAARRRRGH
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:36 AM on October 26, 2004


A terrible loss.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 6:38 AM on October 26, 2004


A terrible loss.
.
posted by seanyboy at 6:40 AM on October 26, 2004


Just look at what he did for music. I hope he was near to finishing his autobiography (he signed a deal last year).
posted by ascullion at 6:40 AM on October 26, 2004


From i_cola's great interview:
and when I'm doing the program, unless I'm not feeling very well, that's when I kinda come alive, that's what I enjoy. As I say, you get free records, you get paid for playing them on the radio, I choose all the music for my own programs, if I hear a band play somewhere, I can say let's get them into recording some stuff for the program and it happens. And it seems to me to be almost the perfect life, really. I mean, I would like to be taller and have more hair [laughs] and things, but apart from those physical things I can't really imagine how my life could be improved. I hope that doesn't sound smug, but it is a pretty good life.
posted by humuhumu at 6:40 AM on October 26, 2004


Uncle Peel.
A massive influence on my enjoyment of music, and more recently my saturday mornings (waking up listening to home truths).

A massive loss, to music and radio and culture.

What a mark he made though!
posted by Skaramoosh at 6:42 AM on October 26, 2004


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posted by brettski at 6:44 AM on October 26, 2004


Jesus. I'm proud to have a photo of Peel and me with my band when we played a gig with him in the early 90s. Peel was the soundtrack to my teenage years - The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, the Cocteau Twins ..
posted by Pericles at 6:48 AM on October 26, 2004


dot
posted by Frasermoo at 6:49 AM on October 26, 2004


bugger.
posted by andrew cooke at 6:52 AM on October 26, 2004


Damn....a true hero....as a DJ has been one of my enduring idols... I met him once and was so impressed with him.

Truly very sad...

I will be playing Teenage Kicks at my gigs on Friday and Saturday..
posted by mattr at 6:54 AM on October 26, 2004


"I never make stupid mistakes. Only very, very clever ones."

"I think a lot of the stuff I'm playing now is crap."

Very, very sad. An absolute master broadcaster.
posted by nthdegx at 6:57 AM on October 26, 2004




.
posted by DrDoberman at 7:01 AM on October 26, 2004


Peel's broadcasts soundtracked my life as a teenager; he was one of those reliable constants, someone who was always there. He played a combination of the warmly familiar and the thrillingly unknown (which sometimes evolved into the familiar, and you loved him for it). Teenage Kicks was always a bittersweet song, and now it will be forever associated with the man. He will be hugely missed.
posted by jonathanbell at 7:04 AM on October 26, 2004


A few weeks ago New York radio's equivalent to Peel, Scott Muni passed away. Tough season for great DJ's.
posted by jonmc at 7:05 AM on October 26, 2004


For the Americans who aren't quite getting this... everyone in the UK between the ages of 15 and 50 just went into mourning.
posted by Hogshead at 7:08 AM on October 26, 2004


For the Americans who aren't quite getting this... everyone in the UK between the ages of 15 and 50 just went into mourning.

You mean everyone between the ages of 15 and 30 who cared about music. Anyway, what with internet broadcasting and the Peel Sessions LPs, he was known worldwide.
posted by ascullion at 7:11 AM on October 26, 2004


.
spends all afternoon playing Peel sessions albums
posted by dabitch at 7:11 AM on October 26, 2004


Very sad news. I've been listening to Peel, on and off, for 20 years, and he's introduced me to practically all of the stuff I now listen to, including Welsh language acts like Datblygu, who would never have had a hearing outside the Welsh language scene without Peel's support, in those pre-internet days.
posted by ceiriog at 7:13 AM on October 26, 2004


unofficial playlist archive (92 - 01) and Festive Fifties from 76-99
posted by shoepal at 7:15 AM on October 26, 2004


Teenage Kicks (aiff snippet)
posted by shoepal at 7:20 AM on October 26, 2004


. (high point of my music career was my friend from the uk calling me to tell me that he played my band's 7" single on his show.)
posted by n9 at 7:35 AM on October 26, 2004


this a terrible loss.

"extreme noise terror there, and now, a ukrainian band who's name I don't know, but it sounds good"
posted by Spoon at 7:37 AM on October 26, 2004


An excellent John Peel biography.
posted by nthdegx at 7:44 AM on October 26, 2004


I'm very very sad to see him go, and I'm shocked to find how deeply his death affects me.
posted by chrid at 7:44 AM on October 26, 2004


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posted by psmealey at 7:46 AM on October 26, 2004


Unfortunately last week's archived shows feature guest DJs as he was on holiday. I'm listening to Underworld's sit-in from last Tuesday now, though... quite a poignant moment with a slowed down John Peel annecdote (no more!). I daresay the BBC will put up some classic shows at some point soon.

This week they're going to be playing session tracks from the Peel archives. You can vote.
posted by nthdegx at 7:47 AM on October 26, 2004


"extreme noise terror there, and now, a ukrainian band who's name I don't know, but it sounds good"

now that sums it up.

I was doing a year in London, 1989, when he played the coolest psychobilly track I'd ever heard, from a then unknown Southern Culture on the Skids. That was the first Chapel Hill band to turn me on, and that started me on my treck to living in North Carolina. (that record would remain unknown too, never saw it for sale until I did move to Chapel Hill.)
posted by bendybendy at 7:49 AM on October 26, 2004


This is very sad. His work was huge, and I really hope there are nough people to step up into his position that this void won't be felt too badly.

But yeah, the guy was a titan in popular music.
posted by chicobangs at 7:53 AM on October 26, 2004


It's the fact that it's so sudden and unexpected that makes it more of a loss. Radio needs more DJs like him, people who genuinely loved the music and would play whatever he thought was good, not what was trendy.
posted by salmacis at 7:54 AM on October 26, 2004


For the Americans who aren't quite getting this... everyone in the UK between the ages of 15 and 50 just went into mourning.

I'm American. And I totally get it. A major loss. When I think of his recordings of the Gang of Four and the Smiths, I think of music that helped change the way I looked at music. And that's not even the tip of the iceberg.
posted by blucevalo at 7:58 AM on October 26, 2004


The Slits

posted by matteo at 7:58 AM on October 26, 2004


Crap.

*fondly remembers being adolescent in 77 and listening to Peel every night on a small transistor radio*
posted by carter at 8:04 AM on October 26, 2004


Fuck no.

Through his show, I was introduced to about half my record collection
posted by davehat at 8:06 AM on October 26, 2004


Teenage Kicks (aiff snippet)

And mp3 "snippet".
posted by nthdegx at 8:09 AM on October 26, 2004


Quite a few interviews with the man knocking about online too.
posted by nthdegx at 8:15 AM on October 26, 2004


JP had such an eclectic taste in music....he'd play some old steamboat jazz tune followed by a death metal track, followed by some happy hardcore followed by an Estonian folk song. Oh yeah, and he'd play the happy hardcore track at the wrong speed and say "ahhh that should've been a bit slower, but it still sounded alright to my ears".

A big loss.....unique and irreplaceable.
posted by SpaceCadet at 8:18 AM on October 26, 2004


Yes, SpaceCadet! And the Happy Hardcore record would have been on a "label I can't pronounce. It might be Zzvrrt Recordings, but equally it might not" :D

:(
posted by nthdegx at 8:20 AM on October 26, 2004


sucks. sucks. sucks.
posted by anathema at 8:24 AM on October 26, 2004




I've never heard of the man, but after reading the John Peel Sweet Eating Game I'm starting to realise what I missed.

So .
posted by ginz at 8:26 AM on October 26, 2004


God, no.

I heard Music For Airports for the first time on his show; O Superman, Vivian Stanshall and Ivor Cutler. I heard John Lee Hooker and Augustus Pablo there too - lots of blues and dub amongst the post-punk cuts. That was the difference: it wasn't just "hot young bands", it was the reflection of his taste (and that of his producer, the also, sadly, late John Walters), which just happened to be mercurial, always curious, never affected or pompous (or at least not since The Perfumed Garden came off the air). And although it came down to his taste and judgement, he never put himself at the centre of it, it was always what he was presenting that came first. Home Truths never spoiled that.

This is genuinely very, very sad.
posted by Grangousier at 8:29 AM on October 26, 2004


He was a true champion of good music. John Peel introduced me to too many bands to mention, I'll miss him greatly.
posted by kickerofelves at 8:32 AM on October 26, 2004


It's like losing the shipping forecast. I might not have listened every night, but it was reassuring to know that (old folks/The Kidz) were getting their (nighttime lullaby/introduction to real Music). And he was such a Good Bloke. Sad.
posted by bonaldi at 8:33 AM on October 26, 2004


we'll never have the opportunity again to look out for those rare peel session tracks. this is terrible. i can only imagine that they will start playing them over. in perpetuity. what else can they do?
posted by grimley at 8:38 AM on October 26, 2004


Terrible day. I still have dodgy cassettes made up from Peel shows of the eighties, and I dare say I'll be playing them tonight. Reminds me of the day Brian Johnson passed away, another radio great, albeit from a different era. A great radio presenter really is something special, and he was one of the best.
posted by ciderwoman at 8:38 AM on October 26, 2004


I've just been reading the growing lists of moving memories and tributes over at the BBC.

Grangousier: Vivian Stanshall and Ivor Cutler ... ah yes ...
posted by carter at 8:38 AM on October 26, 2004


If only this were a joke.
posted by gi_wrighty at 8:44 AM on October 26, 2004


(I'm sorry about the Home Truths snark, as I thought I'd cut it before posting, as unnecessary and mean.)
posted by Grangousier at 8:48 AM on October 26, 2004


If anyone wants to hear him.. he did a lesser-known show on the BBC World Service. You can hear an archived show there. As mentioned above, there are no archived shows on Radio 1 becuase he was on holiday last week.
posted by ascullion at 8:49 AM on October 26, 2004


he was one of only two dj's that played my record. as youngsters in a depressing northern town, peel was a lifeline and an inspiration in thatcherite britain. there can be few artists of note who haven't listened to him and admired him.

sorry, but i can't slow my mind down to write this coherently.

but, finally, listening to his show on the bbc world service when i was living in a remote tanzanian village was surreal and sublime

i did meet him, and he was just as you would expect him to be. that's the best way to describe him.
posted by quarsan at 8:57 AM on October 26, 2004


(I'm sorry about the Home Truths snark

I actually read the snark as being praise of Home Truths - as in, "on Home Truths he was just the same". Which he was, really - genuinely interested in the people who appeared, never pushing himself to the front. Dropping the odd anecdote about his wife or kids, you just felt he was down the pub, chatting away. He didn't broadcast at all, he shared.
posted by humuhumu at 8:59 AM on October 26, 2004


Do ye ken John Peel with his voice so grey,
He sounds as if he's far, far away,
He sends us to sleep at the end of the day,
(Till we're woken up by Tony Blackburn in the morning).

A little ditty from I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, circa 1970, that has been running around in my head ever since.

A sad loss indeed.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 9:00 AM on October 26, 2004


This is a sad loss to everyone who values good music. To me, and to I'm sure many people like me, John Peel was like a magical radio uncle, a benign avuncular presence who introduced me to some of the best music in the world. Without John Peel many fine bands would have slipped into obscurity - he was a vital force in promoting music other than the mainstream rubbish of the big record companies. I guess, to overuse a cliche, that this is another day that the music died.

Personally this is partcularly saddenning as I'd only just begun to regularly listen to Peel again after loosing touch for several years, my evenings won't be the same again.
posted by prentiz at 9:01 AM on October 26, 2004


.
posted by neckro23 at 9:03 AM on October 26, 2004


Dammit.

Thanks John.

Irreplaceable.

Going to download some MP3 from a completeley unfamiliar and random band as a tribute to master of diversity and the unknown.
posted by Blue Stone at 9:10 AM on October 26, 2004


Sometimes when people die, you just know that their like will never come again. I'm not the first and won't be the last person here to say my tastes in music since I was a teenager owe a great debt to John Peel. So many bands and even genres of music we'd never have heard without him

I heard about his death just as I left work, and came home listening to the Undertones, the Buzzcocks and the Fall.

BBC radio will never be quite the same.
posted by devon at 9:13 AM on October 26, 2004


...I just hope I'm even remotely as musically adventurous and giving as he was when I turn 65.

Blue Stone: Going to download some MP3 from a completeley unfamiliar and random band as a tribute to master of diversity and the unknown.
...that seems like the most fitting tribute one could make to this man. Bravo.
posted by Al_Truist at 9:19 AM on October 26, 2004


.
posted by armoured-ant at 9:21 AM on October 26, 2004


I sort of kind of knew who he was, from listening to radio-rips of some of his shows (grabbed off Usenet); on that alone, I thought, "How sad; seemed like an interesting guy, doing interesting work."

Then I clicked in here and saw what he meant to you all.

Blue Stone & Al Truist -- what I knew of him, I learned while doing just that: Assembling random shit from Usenet posts, looking for something interesting...
posted by lodurr at 10:27 AM on October 26, 2004


Waaaah.

Thanks for playing all that great music and live in-studio sessions, Mr. Peel. (And thanks for letting him do so, BBC and UK. Bravo.)

Somewhere out there the Perfect Golden Headphones are waiting for you, plugged in to the Heartbeat of the Universe.

Artists around the world are standing by to interpret your reactions. Take your time.
posted by loquacious at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2004


.

Listened every day. Kept me sane. Very sad.
posted by Flat Feet Pete at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2004


Outraged that The Guardian published a writer who wanted to assassinate Bush? Five years ago Julie Burchill wrote in the newspaper that John Peel needs 'taking out'.
posted by tapeguy at 10:36 AM on October 26, 2004


As pretty much everyone else said, he was a legend and will be sorely missed. He was more important to the cause of interesting music in the UK than any single musician. I listened to his show on and off from 1981 until the week before last. What will we do without him?

By the way, don't bother with nthdegx's "excellent biography" link from brainyencyclopedia.com; good though it is, it's an out-of-date Wikipedia mirror. Go direct to the live Wikipedia source instead: John Peel. [Disclaimer: I wrote some of that article].

np:fabriclive.07
posted by rbrwr at 10:36 AM on October 26, 2004


This is one of those days I'd hope would never happen. I just changed the channel to A Life of Grime(or something) on UKTV, and he's doing the voiceovers. I'm holding back tears.

What are the dots all about anyway?
posted by stx23 at 10:47 AM on October 26, 2004


Moby Disc records in Canoga Park. The Peel Sessions on vinyl up on the import wall in the back of the store. I never listened to him on radio, being in Southern California, but he definitely helped guide my musical tastes. Those albums were always had-to-haves. (my favorite Smiths record is a collection of Peel Sessions.)


.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:49 AM on October 26, 2004


Oh. Also. If anyone here knows Chris B. / zimbo / tofu / cuddlenoise in Austin (originally from OC, CA and KUCI), please tell him he could (eventually) fill John's shoes in some small way if he wanted to, even though he kind of already has. *prod* *nudge* *push*

(If you know Chris, you know what I'm talking about. Not only is he madly eclectic, but he's also insanely nice. Rare, that.)
posted by loquacious at 10:49 AM on October 26, 2004


Since the man inspires lists, all the Festive 50's since 1976.
posted by vbfg at 11:04 AM on October 26, 2004


...and a huge raft of playlists.
posted by vbfg at 11:12 AM on October 26, 2004


John Peel dead just doesn't make any sense.

Pop music in Britain will be demonstrably worse from now on as difficult new bands have lost their best friend and ambassador.

Deaths which make such a difference are the saddest of all. He was by far the most important presence in British popular music and I've been listening to him almost every day since 1976. I even had a pint with him once - a lovely, lovely man.

I don't remember crying for anyone else who wasn't close to me but I've been weepy for hours. Part of it is sheer selfishness for having lost all the music he won't be there to play anymore, I know.

Let's hope Mark E. Smith and The Fall waste no time releasing something along the lines of "Fuck the Andes".
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:17 AM on October 26, 2004


.

This is real sad, at a time when we need someone with his taste and sense of musical adventure more then ever. He put together the soundtrack to many people's lives.
posted by Skygazer at 11:21 AM on October 26, 2004


tonight's front row is devoted to him.
posted by the cuban at 11:32 AM on October 26, 2004


MiguelCardosoLet's hope Mark E. Smith and The Fall waste no time releasing something along the lines of "Fuck the Andes".

"Fuck the Andes" could be inserted in place of the chorus for "Leave the Capital"...(exit this Roman shell).

Is Fallnet in the house??
posted by Skygazer at 11:42 AM on October 26, 2004


Tonight, Matthew, he's going to be with Jesus.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:45 AM on October 26, 2004


Nothing much I can say that others haven't. A real shame.

And now there's nothing worth listening to on radio 1.
posted by cell at 11:51 AM on October 26, 2004


his camera obscura in-studio sessions are gorgeous if you can find them--some of their best recordings. he'll be greatly missed.
posted by lotsofno at 12:03 PM on October 26, 2004


..sigh... When I was a student during the '70s he was the guy who kept me in 10- midnight listening to Radio 1 when I should have been out doing sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Very sad.
posted by marvin at 12:19 PM on October 26, 2004


Absolutely the best--he supported my label when it was just a fledgling, and when he played obscuro records, he'd usually read out the label's address over the air. Open ears, open mind, great taste, unbelievably nice attitude--I've never encountered anyone who'd dealt with him and had anything other than gushing praise for him.
posted by 88robots at 1:00 PM on October 26, 2004


He put together the soundtrack to many people's lives.

Damn right he did. He'll be very sorely missed, and I think he'd be extremely suprised and very deeply touched by the reaction to his passing, if he could see it.
posted by chrid at 1:36 PM on October 26, 2004


Oh yeah, and another thing, a long time ago I was working in East Germany as the wall fell. I was a long way from the action, and I was vey lonely and depressed and stressed out. My alarm clock had a radio in it, and I switched it on one very lonely night and tried to find human voices to stop me going insane. What did I find? John Peel. One of the East German stations was just rebroadcasting his shows. I just can't tell you how good it felt to hear his voice.

I'm shedding a lot of tears for the man right now. Bless you sir, and safe journey.
posted by chrid at 1:50 PM on October 26, 2004


fuck the andes, indeed.
posted by jann at 2:17 PM on October 26, 2004


This is one of those moments when you feel like you need to write something but it's very difficult to know what to say. I was shattered to hear about this. Although I'm sad to say the only times I ever listened to his radio show was in wierd moments in cars and on holiday, I always enjoyed his tv work (and in particular I'm thinking of The Sound of the Suburbs show he made for Channel 4 and his Glastonbury coverage) and often listened to BBC Radio Four's Home Truths on which his warmth as a human being shone. That said I understand the contribution he's made to modern music and how lost we'll probably all be because he isn't there to point out the next big thing because we're stupid enough not to see. Bye John.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:27 PM on October 26, 2004


It's funny, but not being in the UK I don't think I've ever heard John Peel's voice. No, I've possibly heard a couple of interviews, but that's about it. I'm certainly not familiar with his DJ-ing style, and people's description of it in this thread makes me even sadder.

In reality, my knowledge of John Peel comes purely from the music he chose to highlight, and the live recordings thereof that have filtered through to me.

I mean, Joy Division appeared on the show twice, as far as I know. 'Nuff said.

Right now, though, I think this calls for the Jesus and Mary Chain Peel Session, turned up to 11.

Thanks for the music.
posted by Jimbob at 3:33 PM on October 26, 2004


.
posted by asok at 3:34 PM on October 26, 2004


It's like my favourite uncle (you know, the cool one, with all the far-out records) died.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:41 PM on October 26, 2004


Peel was the Alpha and Omega of freethinking radio for decades. He wasn't the only important DJ, but he had the Gar-dam BBC to broadcast from. Millions of listeners. The Beeb got lucky choosing him and sticking with him.

Years after others were cowed into commercial crap formats he still had the bullocks to pave the way. His recent BBC World shows showed that he hadn't lost it a bit. Listened every week, never got bored, the man's taste was amazing.

He rambled til the butcher cut him down.

RIP.
posted by zaelic at 3:46 PM on October 26, 2004


Having just watched the BBC HARDtalk interview with him, I'd forgotten just how happy he was with his life. It's always sad to lose someone still so young and seemingly full of life, but I hope that I die having lived a fulfilling life and happy with every aspect of my life.

My thoughts are with his family.
posted by daveg at 4:02 PM on October 26, 2004


what an enormous and shattering loss. i am currently inconsolable.

robert kilroy silk: alive
john peel: dead

where's the justice in that?
posted by nylon at 4:05 PM on October 26, 2004


.
posted by litlnemo at 4:20 PM on October 26, 2004


a real hero.
posted by amberglow at 4:46 PM on October 26, 2004


Fuck

Fuck

Fuck

I've never been affected by the death of someone I've not known before.

But this

fuck

fuck

fuck

This hurts, more than I can say.

I'm so sorry
posted by ZippityBuddha at 5:24 PM on October 26, 2004


Fuck.
I had the pleasure of buying him a pint once - a lovely man who just had the most tremendous taste in music. I remember listening to him Mondays through Thursdays on radio 1 in the early eighties. Even at that bleak and empty time for music he consistently found stuff worth listening to . After a while I realised that if I didn't like something he played and enthused about, the fault was almost certainly mine.
Anyone else remember him playing the whole "Live At The Counter Eurovision" LP by "Misty in Roots" in the late seventies? Then doing it again the next night - or am I misremembering?
It's damm sad.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:21 PM on October 26, 2004


this is just horrible.
posted by girlinblack at 7:35 PM on October 26, 2004


Being from the US, I've never heard the man's radio show, but he had such impeccable taste and gave so many amazing groundbreaking bands a leg-up. Hearing his name mentioned in the same sentence as some unknown muscian or going into a music store, if I saw a "John Peel Sessions" disc from a band that I had never heard of meant I'd likely give them a chance on the strength of the man's reputation alone.

This is a sad day for music lovers everywhere.
posted by echolalia67 at 7:59 PM on October 26, 2004


Americans know Peel from the sessions. Brits know him from the radio show. There's a difference.

As others have mentioned, for generations of kids growing up in hideous towns across Britain with no music scene and daytime Smashie and Nicey, Peel offered an insight to new artists and entirely new styles of music that you'd never have discovered otherwise. African music, Jamaican dancehall, European electronica, Ivor Cutler. At the same time, he gave people a vital leg-up.

He helped many people define their musical tastes in their formative years, but never fell into the trap of being defined himself. While his contemporaries shuffled off to Radio 2 or 6music, he stayed at R1, sticking out like an old terraced house in the middle of a new development, where the owner has refused to take the money and leave, even though the rest of the terrace has been demolished.

Radio's the most intimate thing, especially at night. People listened to Peel at home, usually alone or in close company -- intensely, with the lights off, diving in the darkness for the 'record' button on their midi systems. And that intimacy was shared, paradoxically, by millions across generations.

Though the collective nous of mp3bloggers and file-sharers makes it a bit easier for us to start walking on our own two feet... damn. Just damn. It's not the fucking same. As bonaldi said, it's like losing the shipping forecast.

You just know that wherever the great man is now, there's a stack of demos that have been waiting for him, that will take an eternity to sort through. There's no hurry. Take your time.
posted by holgate at 11:19 PM on October 26, 2004


My bad, rbrwr.
posted by nthdegx at 2:13 AM on October 27, 2004


No problem, nthdegx. I just wanted to point out the Wikipedia version as it was already being updated to reflect the sad news, while the GFDL mirrors are (as ever) left behind. It has been improved further over the last 24 hours.
posted by rbrwr at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2004


John Peel dead just doesn't make any sense.

Exactly. And I loved waking up to Home Truths too.
posted by penguin pie at 3:53 PM on October 27, 2004


This entire world just doesn't make any sense.

John Peel gone, Bush about to be re-elected.

Sorry about the Bush reference. I seem to be having a pre-election nervous breakdown.

Bless you, John Peel, and thank you.
posted by jokeefe at 5:11 PM on October 27, 2004




Americans know Peel from the sessions. Brits know him from the radio show. There's a difference.

As others have mentioned, for generations of kids growing up in hideous towns across Britain with no music scene and daytime Smashie and Nicey, Peel offered an insight to new artists and entirely new styles of music that you'd never have discovered otherwise. African music, Jamaican dancehall, European electronica, Ivor Cutler. At the same time, he gave people a vital leg-up.

He helped many people define their musical tastes in their formative years, but never fell into the trap of being defined himself. While his contemporaries shuffled off to Radio 2 or 6music, he stayed at R1, sticking out like an old terraced house in the middle of a new development, where the owner has refused to take the money and leave, even though the rest of the terrace has been demolished.

Radio's the most intimate thing, especially at night. People listened to Peel at home, usually alone or in close company -- intensely, with the lights off, diving in the darkness for the 'record' button on their midi systems. And that intimacy was shared, paradoxically, by millions across generations.

Though the collective nous of mp3bloggers and file-sharers makes it a bit easier for us to start walking on our own two feet... damn. Just damn. It's not the fucking same. As bonaldi said, it's like losing the shipping forecast.

You just know that wherever the great man is now, there's a stack of demos that have been waiting for him, that will take an eternity to sort through. There's no hurry. Take your time.


How noble and fitting that one of MetaFilter's best writers and posters (in my opinion the best of all) should return to leave a tribute to John Peel. Makes me miss him even more (Peel of course, not bloody holgate).

P.S. I waited a couple of days to post this here, so as not to call attention to what was clearly (and fondly) meant as nonobstrusive.

Good on you, Doctor.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:38 PM on October 28, 2004


In English, unobtrusive.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:46 PM on October 28, 2004


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