I was trying to explain to a friend the other day how important British DJ John Peel was to several generations of music fans, and how gutting it was when he died in 2004 of a heart attack. I recently discovered that there’s a still-growing, very rough John Peel Wiki that is eventually going to, I assume, list all his shows with track lists and corresponding mp3s. That’s sounds exactly like something the Internet is good for. I know I have a few cassettes myself that I could transfer and upload. But nothing like the 500 Box that the wiki talks about.
I was trying to explain to said friend that it was Peel’s in between song banter that made the show. You knew that no matter how out there the music got, Peel would come back in with a friendly chat. I can’t think of any other DJ who maintained such a conversational, humane tone behind the mic. I went looking on YouTube and found this audio (with user graphics) that gives one a good idea of the style.
And this is also funny, a compilation of John Peel’s appearances on BBC pop music shows. You can tell he loathed most of this music.
Is that Claire Grogan at the end of the clip?