He was one of those people you imagined would always be around, just because he had always seemed to have been around; there when I was getting my first teenage kicks; there when I dreamt of playing my guitar for people outside my bedroom; there when I danced around the house in West Africa, happy in the knowledge of getting divorced!
He was like the voice of God on the radio, mumbling away late at night about bands that only their members cared about – them and Peely. He could be boring as hell but was always good for name-checking, “Yeah I heard their first session on John Peel 4 years ago.” Some nights it seemed like The Fall were the permanent resident band.
For what it’s worth …
I’ve got a T-Rex album with Peel reading a fairy story for Marc Bolan and Peregrine whatsizname; also an Undertones’ session with Feargal Sharkey reading Noddy and Big Ears.
Anyone suggest Peel’s playlist for his first heavenly gig?