Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Life Has Surface Noise"

As per today's earlier post I was unable to post anything yesterday for Keeping It Peel. So I thought I would take the opportunity tonight to post a few words about the great man. There are many reasons why we celebrate the life of John Peel and one of those reasons is because the love and passion that he had for the music he played is shared by each and every one of us that grew up listening to his shows on Radio 1.

I know that large parts of my musical tastes were, in some way, shaped by Peel and I am sure that is the same for anyone who reads my humble little blog. I may not have shared Peel's choice of music all the time but there is so much of my favourite music that I heard for the first time on his show between 10 and midnight.

Whether it was The Mary Chain, Pulp, James, The Fall or many, many others, Peel would undoubtedly have been my initial introduction to them. But, for me the damoscene moment in my musical enlightenment would have been mid '83 when I first heard, as a 13 year old,  "Reel Around The Fountain" for the first time. It is fairly safe to say that hearing The Smiths on Peel's show had a profound effect on my musical taste henceforth. The same thing would occur again about 18 months later when "Upside Down" was first aired. I had dived in and out of Peel's show for a couple of years prior to hearing The Smiths but when I heard that song I knew that I would be spending two hours, of what should have been my sleep time during the week, with my headphones in listening to Peel and then, at the weekend, heading to the nearest record store with my paper round money and my list of records to buy. Pretty much the only reason for traipsing round the dark streets of East Kilbride was to get enough money to head down to Impulse and buy what I had heard on Peel's show.

10 years on from his passing, his influence is still as strong today as it has ever been. No DJ before, or since, has shaped the taste of a generation as much as the great man himself.

Reel Around The Fountain (Peel Session)


  1. Impulse, now there is a blast from the past! Used to frequent to both the Hamilton and Motherwell shops as well as Round Sounds in Wishaw.

  2. Glad to see your posts again, Scott! Have been missing the disco series. ;-)

    Was initially mystified by the sight of "Peel" everywhere, but the fog is finally clearing.

  3. Very nice storytelling, Scott. Peel was special to so many.

  4. Drew - don't know Round Sounds. such fond memories of Impulse in EK and Hamilton.
    Marie - good to be back, Peel was such a huge influence on most of us over here in Blighty when we were growing up.
    Brain - thanks, he was a very special man. Much missed.