R.I.P. John Peel

BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel passed away today.


Even in the USA, John Peel was a broadcasting legend. We didn’t quite understand who he was, but the “Peel Sessions” that appeared for every obscure British (and American) band gave many of us our first taste of The Fall, of Siousxie and The Banshees, of Wire, or Joy Division. These amazing grey EPs and LPs weren’t played on some obscure left-of-the-dial station, but on the government-sponsored radio station accessible to everyone in the nation. Those of us who cared eventually became college radio DJs, started writing for magazines, or blogging.

When I moved to the UK, I remember thinking how exciting it would be to actually listen to John Peel live, but I admit I only rarely took advantage, listening more often instead to Radio 3 or watching the news (or worse) on TV. And now it’s too late.