Posted in SHOFT on Tuesday 26th October 2004 at 10:55pm
Today I have a button on my radio I won't need to press any more.
Many years ago, I had a book. I used to write down the names of records, the obscure labels and just about every detail I could glean about the records John Peel played. Later, when I discovered Neil at Bubblegum, and then made direct contact with labels in the US I managed to finally track down most of them. I spent huge amounts of money on many obscure records, and I still own quite a collection of strange and wonderful music.
Occasionally, even now I will stumble across something from the book which I didn't managed to find back then. The record is eleven years to finally find an Ed's Redeeming Qualities cassette called 'More Bad Things'. Nowadays, in this remarkable internet age, I've even got a recording of the very night John Peel played the track, back in 1991. Times change. I probably wouldn't have a book nowadays, just a good connection and file sharing software...
And so farewell then John Peel, groundbreaking DJ, consummate family man and antidote to banal radio. The news arrived in the office late this afternoon. Didn't quite believe it at first - he is one of those people who has always been around, and seemed like he always would be. The few of us still around later talked a bit about his shows and the music he played. We're a diverse bunch, and perhaps the most remarkable thing was that everyone from 18-50 had a memory, an opinion, or some music which somehow was related to him. Some mentioned his unashamed pride and love for his family, which he expressed so strongly and frankly during his 'Home Truths' programmes, an unusual trait in these cynically detached days.
Thanks John, for opening my ears to lots of things I'd never have otherwise heard, and for one brief mention of a certain tape label a long time ago.
I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.
I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.