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‘The Rock and Roll Singer’: On tour with the legendary Gene Vincent in 1969

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Never underestimate the power of imitation.

Elvis Presley never toured Britain. The only time the King set foot in the UK was during a brief stopover to refuel the army plane that was taking him home at Prestwick Airport in 1960. With no Presley tours, ever, there was a wide open gap for homegrown talent to fill.

First there was Tommy Steele. Steele was good—but he had no edge. He was wholesome showbiz—the kind of rock ‘n’ roll singer mothers adored. He did stage shows, TV light entertainment shows and even made a movie with Benny Hill. Then came Marty Wilde, Billy Fury, Duffy Power, Vince Eager and Dickie Pride. Each one of these acts was managed by Larry Parnes, a pop impresario and manager known as the “Beat Svengali.” Parnes created his own homegrown roster of rock ‘n’ roll acts. He produced their records, booked their gigs and made a helluva lot of money. His stars? Not so much. Most of his singers never received any royalties—Parnes was able to do this by having power of attorney over his acts.

The fans screamed. The records sold. But the kids still craved real American rock ‘n’ roll stars. Bill Haley and the Comets toured—but they were old and not so hip. Buddy Holly hit it big with a tour in 1958. But when Holly died in a plane crash not long after, most American rockers weren’t so keen on flying to the UK to tour. Then came Gene Vincent. Finally the British fans would find their replacement for Elvis Presley.

Gene Vincent had the bad boy rep. He looked like trouble. He was known for trouble. He was said to have wrecked his leg in a bike crash which left him wearing a “steel sheath” for the rest of his life. His biggest hit was “Be-Bop-a-Lula” in 1956—which was the best Elvis song that Presley never recorded. It made Gene Vincent famous. He toured the US with his band the Blue Caps. He made TV and movie appearances but never quite followed up the success he had with “Be-Bop-a-Lula.” The taxman came after him. Vincent allegedly sold his band’s equipment to pay off the debt. It was the start of a pattern that was to frame the rest of his life.

Vincent was going nowhere fast when an offer came to tour England in 1959. TV producer Jack Good booked Vincent on to his pop show Boy Meets Girl. Good hated Vincent’s look. The singer arrived in his trademark green Teddy Boy jacket with “GV” emblazoned on the pockets. Good dressed him in black leather—leather trousers, leather jacket, leather gloves, jet black t-shirt. and sparkling medallion. It was the image that defined bad boy rock ‘n’ roll.

His appearance on Boy Meets Girl made Gene Vincent a legend. He was booked to tour the UK. Sell-out gigs across the country and then in Europe. The Brits couldn’t get enough of this Yankee rock ‘n’ roll singer.

Watch Gene Vincent on the road in 1969, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.23.2017
01:43 pm
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‘The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith’
03.09.2017
12:06 pm
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You might have seen the news item this past week reporting that, with the intention of congratulating Mark E. Smith on his 60th birthday (!—dude doesn’t look a day over 77), the BBC mistakenly tweeted an RIP notice instead. Which seems a thoroughly Mark E. Smith sort of occurrence.

Smith once explained the question of the Fall’s identity thus: “If it’s me an your granny on the bongos, it’s the Fall.” The cantankerous lead singer and songwriter has famously churned through literally dozens of bandmates, prompting the recent creation of a handy cross-stitch pattern documenting the lineup changes. And yet, most of you reading this probably think of Steve Hanley and Craig Scanlon as core Fall members—and yes, perhaps even Brix too.
 

John Peel clutching a beloved copy of ‘Hip Priest and Kamerads’
 
The Fall were famously the favorite band of legendary BBC DJ John Peel—the Fall recorded a whopping 24 Peel sessions, the most of any act, and the 2005 box set containing all of them is essential listening for any Fall devotee—the second disc in particular is fucking great.

The BBC documentary The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith obviously cribs its name from the Fall’s similarly titled album of 1984. The program documents the Fall’s origins, including their first recording session, which was financed by Buzzcocks manager Richard Boon, through their furtive (Brix-fueled) attempts at wider popularity in the 1980s, to their, or rather, his more or less current status as undeniably batshit punk elder.

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.09.2017
12:06 pm
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‘A for ABBA’: The story of the Swedish sensation as told by John Peel, 1993
02.23.2017
07:46 am
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International superstars though they may have been, the members of ABBA were not, individually, all that fascinating. If you think the group identity that emerges during, say, their medley of “Pick a Bale of Cotton,” “On Top of Old Smokey,” and “Midnight Special” is less than exciting, check out what Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid had to say when they met representatives of the press in their capacity as persons. I’m not just being snotty. As I understand it, the absence of personality is a key part of ABBA’s appeal, and I’m all for it. Zero subjectivity—let’s go! In the same way Kraftwerk audiences greet robotic simulacra of Ralf and Florian with ten times the enthusiasm they muster for the actual human beings in the group, I’m counting the days until I can buy tickets to hologram ABBA, even though I probably would not get out of my chair to see plain old meatbag ABBA reform. The collective, or in this case the brand, is everything.

But the ABBA brand itself could not talk to journalists, and compelling TV the meatbags’ interviews did not make. Into this void, BBC cast John Peel, duded up in smarter attire than wardrobe provided on other occasions. Enlivening the proceedings with Peel in this 1993 retrospective were Ray Davies, Elvis Costello, Roy Wood, and Ian McCulloch. Generous helpings of these and other interview subjects, plus clips of ABBA parodies from Not the Nine O’Clock News and French and Saunders, make A for ABBA (in homage to the 1985 TV special A for Agnetha?) the best encapsulation of the band’s story for those of us who are grouchy, impatient, and easily bored.
 

 
One thing we cultural anthropologists of the amazing future year 2017 know that contemporary viewers of this program did not: the lone ABBA LP in John Peel’s collection was their disco record, Voulez-Vous. An orthodox ABBA fan, Peel asserts in A for ABBA that Stig Anderson was the group’s fifth member, ignoring the heresy of the Tretowist deviation. Without discipline, the party of ABBA is nothing!

More ABBA after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
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02.23.2017
07:46 am
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Vintage documentary charts the rise of the Superstar DJ

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John Peel
 
Once upon a time, long, long before TV and computer technology made them all irrelevant, the radio disc jockey was the person millions turned to in order to hear the latest, hippest, grooviest tunes their earholes could handle.

Radio DJs were the arbiters of sound, music, information, gossip, jokes, fashion and news—a bit like the Internet, except far, far more cuddly—as some of those who got too close to them unfortunately found out.

In Britain during those promiscuous 1970s, millions of youngsters were shocking their parents by going to bed with John Peel and waking up with Tony Blackburn… and his dog Arnold. The sound of the DJs could be heard everywhere—from cars, shops, kitchens, homes, factories, schoolyards and those dinky little pocket radios that everyone and their Mom seemed to have, dangling from plastic wristbands.

The music revolution of the 1960s really began with the arrival of cheap polyvinyl chloride in the fifties which meant record companies could mass produce singles and albums. Previously record discs had been made of the far more expensive Bakelite. The PVC revolution tied in very neatly with the incredible flourishing of young musical talent—and so the Swinging Sixties were born.

Suddenly youngsters wanted to hear music before they bought it, or even if they didn’t buy it. This gave rise to Pirate Radio. At the time the BBC was the only organization in Britain with the license to transmit radio shows. However a small loophole in maritime law allowed DJs to broadcast from ships anchored just outside UK waters. And so pop-pickers Pirate Radio was born.
 
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Radio genius Kenny Everett.

In 1967 the BBC admitted defeat and launched Radio One—a youth radio station for pop music. Radio One became the biggest and most successful radio station in the country with generation after generation of youngsters learning their love of music or finding their inspiration to form bands from listening to the station’s DJs.

This BBC documentary from 1970 looks at the rise of the Radio One DJ and features Emperor Rosko, John Peel, Kenny Everett and Tony Blackburn—a rum bunch of four very different radio hosts. Condescending in tone throughout, the documentary voice over even has the temerity to suggest that sex with fans was one of the perks of working for the BBC—-shurely not:

Radio One belongs to the taxpayer and doesn’t splash princely salaries around for men like Emperor Rosko. He accepts the BBC’s shop policy of paying low wages as both sides know about the big big perks that can accompany the adulation of this new empire—British teeny boppers.

The interviewer then grills one poor little teenybopper about her infatuation with Emperor Rosko:

“I listen to him and I like listening to his voice and I get carried away” says one young besotted teenager about the subject of her adoration DJ Emperor Rosko:

“What do you mean you get carried away?” says Ms. Prim from the BBC

“I just hear his voice and I imagine him…” says adoring young fan.

“When you say you imagine him…you imagine him doing what?” continues our interrogator.

“Talking and smiling and…all the actions with it. It’s just good.”

“And where do you do your listen to this?”

“In the bedroom.”

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.02.2016
12:03 pm
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The Beginning of Doves: EARLY live Marc Bolan performance from 1967


 
John Peel intros this early on—and I do mean really early on, he’d just left John’s Children—performance by his chum Marc Bolan’s brand new “little group,” Tyrannosaurus Rex.

After a single disastrous gig with a four-piece rock group, Bolan slimmed the act down to just himself and wild-man bongo player Steve Peregrin Took.

The duo are seen here performing in the legendary psychedelic nightclub, Middle Earth in late 1967. Tyrannosaurus Rex were one of the most regular acts to play the club, along with Soft Machine, Tomorrow, The Deviants and the Graham Bond Organization.

The number, “Sarah Crazy Childe,” was a John’s Children b-side written by Marc.

If there’s an earlier clip of Tyrannosaurus Rex, I’ve not seen it.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.24.2014
07:58 pm
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Perverted by Language: John Peel introduces The Fall… over and over and over and over again
10.03.2014
12:49 pm
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“Apparently, there are some people out there who don’t love the Fall,” John Peel once said on his BBC Radio One program. “I spurn them with my toe.”

The Fall did 24 live sessions for legendary BBC Radio broadcaster John Peel, more than any other act. The group were his favorite band and he was a tireless champion of Mark E. Smith’s music, although apparently Smith was ambivalent about “Fuckin’ John Peel” in return, opining that he was “the fuckin’ worst, he’s worse than Tony Blackburn [Peel’s fellow BBC Radio 1 DJ] ever was. Bastard.”

Peel didn’t mind and brushed off the insult, noting that Smith was not perhaps “in perfect working order at the moment” (that was an understatement when Peel was still alive, and more true today) and adding that “the band have given me intense pleasure over the years, I still love ‘em madly.”

Here then, is an entire hour of John Peel introducing The Fall…

“The Fall, The Fall, Fall there, Mark E.Smith and The Fall, Fall, The Fall…”

It’s… hypnotic.
 

 
Via Holy Moly!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.03.2014
12:49 pm
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Hear the 1978 sampling record championed by John Peel, Throbbing Gristle and Julian Cope
07.16.2014
09:29 am
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The second release on the tiny English label Waldo’s Records was a 45 credited to one “Nigel Simpkins.” The three songs on X. ENC. (1978), Simpkins’ only record, organized alien found-sound collages around a single, insistent drum loop. In the single’s fold-out liner notes, beneath numerous shots of the pseudonymous musician with his face obscured, a note from Waldo himself alluded darkly to the mystery man’s recent troubles in the music biz: “Nigel,” whoever he was, was forced to record incognito “to avoid 3 years of lawyer trouble he’d just left behind him, after leaving his previous band.”

Waldo was goofing. As it turned out, the man behind the shades was Martin “Cally” Callomon, a member of The Bears (see Waldo’s first release) and the Tea Set (see Waldo’s third release), who would soon manage the mighty Julian Cope and, later, the estate of Nick Drake. Cope remembers the impact of the Nigel Simpkins 45 in his second memoir, Repossessed:

[...] Cally Callomon had a punk pedigree, an experimental pedigree, a Krautrock pedigree, the lot. He knew his music because he had lived it. For fuck’s sake—this man was Nigel Simpkins.

Nigel Simpkins had released the first ever sampling record in 1978, to tremendous applause from the underground scene. ‘Time’s Encounter’ [the A-side of X. ENC.] had taken a drum demonstration record and added snippets of every hip record in the world to its Krautrock stew. Neu! Can, Stockhausen, SAHB, Amon Duul 2, Meryl Fankauser [sic], Dr. Z, Soeur Sourire, Metal Urbain, Doctors of Madness, Runaways, Residents, George Harrison’s Wonderwall Music, Pierre Henry, Charles Ives, Dashiell Hedayat’s Obsolete, Hymie Kangaroo Downstein’s classic Australian glam album Forgotten Starboy, it was all on that record, even Godley & Cream’s [sic] Consequences and the T. Dream freakout from Sci-Finance, where Lulu finds the guy’s head on the hot beach. The sleeve featured “Nigel” as a guy with Madcap Laughs-period Syd Barrett hair, wearing seven pairs of shades at the same time—it was an image that Robyn Hitchcock would copy a year or so later.

‘Time’s Encounter’ had sold truckloads and never been off the John Peel show, though Cally treated it as an inspired joke at best. What? Throbbing Gristle had cited it as one of the most forward-looking 45s of its time and everybody had run to cop some of its trip. Planks all, said Cally.

Admittedly, even after narrowing Cope’s list of sources down to those that actually existed, I can’t identify note one when I listen to X. ENC. However, I don’t listen to this 36-year-old disc to hear familiar samples—I listen to it because it resembles a crude field recording from a society that does not yet exist, and so sounds more futuristic to my ears than any EDM.
 

X. ENC. side A: “Times Encounter”
 

X. ENC. side B: “Scattered Strategies” and “Oblique References”

Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.16.2014
09:29 am
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Anarchy in the UK (for real): British establishment’s fear of an ACTUAL punk rock revolution, 1977
11.14.2013
10:25 am
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If you want an idea just how seriously certain sections of the British Establishment feared Punk Rock then take a look at this incredible piece of archival television from 1977. It’s an edition of the BBC’s Brass Tacks—a current affairs series in which reporter Brian Trueman (perhaps better known now for those classic kids’ TV shows Chorlton and the Wheelies and Danger Mouse) introduced a brief film on Punk and then hosted a live studio debate between some of the youngsters featured in the piece—along with Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley and Radio One DJ John Peel—arguing the toss with a selection of crusty town councillors, from London, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow. These respectable citizens were out to ban Punk from various inner city venues. Add to this incendiary mix some comment from the press and a Pastor John Cooper, who wanted everyone to come to Jesus.

Okay, this all may sound like the comic ingredients to some grand mockumentary but these fears over the political aspect of Punk Rock and the potential for anarchy on the streets of Britain were very real at the time. As Brian Trueman says in his introduction:

“Punk Rock is more feared than Russian Communism.”

Why? What were these people thinking? What were they really scared of?

Well, to start at the beginning…

Britain in the 1970s was in a mess. It had high unemployment; three-day working weeks; nationwide power cuts that left everyone in the dark; taxation at astronomic levels; food shortages; endless strikes; and a crumbling infrastructure. All of this meant the Labour government feared a revolution was imminent.

To explain why this all came about let’s rewind the tape to a mass demonstration at Grosvenor Square, London, March 1968. This was where an anti-Vietnam War rally erupted into a pitched battle between protesters and police. Outside of the American Embassy 200 people were arrested; 86 were injured; 50 were taken to hospital, half of which were police officers. The Labour government were stunned that a group of protestors could cause such anarchy and disorder,—which (they believed) could have led to a mini-revolution on the streets of London.

In fear of revolution or such anarchy ever happening again, the government decided to take action. At first, ministers considered sending troops out into the streets. But after some reassuring words from Special Branch Chief Inspector Conrad Hepworth Dixon, they were convinced that the boys in blue could handle any civic disorder. Dixon was allowed to set up a new police force: the Special Demonstration Squad.

This was no ordinary police operation, the SDS had permission to be (quite literally) a law unto itself. Its officers could operate under deep cover. Infiltrate left-wing, fringe organizations and youth groups with the sole purpose of working as spies and agents provocateurs. Harold Wilson’s government agreed to pay for this operation directly out of Treasury funds.

The SDS carried on its undercover activities against any organization that they believed threatened Britain’s social order. This included unions, animal rights, anti-Nazi and anti-racist groups.

If that wasn’t worrying enough, the SDS were allegedly involved in the planting incendiary devices at branches of department store Debenhams in Luton, Harrow and Romford in 1987. It is also alleged, one member of the SDS was so deep undercover he was involved in writing the pamphlet that led to the famous “McLibel” trial of the 1990s.

The workings of the SDS were on a “need to know basis.” Only a handful of police knew exactly what this little club were up to. But their activities fuelled genuine fears amongst the British Establishment that there were “Reds under the beds,” and revolution was a literal stone’s throw away.

This was all going on behind-the-scenes. Out front, muppets like the councillors and journalists lined-up on this program, pushed the hysteria of Punk Rock riots and civil disobedience, that reflected the very genuine fears at the heart of the UK Establishment. (Note London councillor Bernard Brook-Partridge mention of “MI5 blacklists.”)

So, that’s the background to this fascinating archive of the year that politicians (and even the BBC) thought Punk Rock was a torch-bearer for bloody revolution.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.14.2013
10:25 am
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The Beginning of Doves: Live Marc Bolan performance from 1967
04.17.2013
09:08 pm
Topics:
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John Peel intros this early on—and I do mean really early on, he’d just left John’s Children—performance by his chum Marc Bolan’s brand new “little group,” Tyrannosaurus Rex.

After a single disastrous gig with a four-piece rock group, Bolan slimmed the act down to just himself and wild-man bongo player Steve Peregrin Took.

The duo are seen here performing in the legendary psychedelic nightclub, Middle Earth in late 1967. Tyrannosaurus Rex were one of the most regular acts to play the club, along with Soft Machine, Tomorrow, The Deviants and the Graham Bond Organization.

The number, “Sarah Crazy Childe,” was a John’s Children b-side written by Marc.

If there’s an earlier clip of Tyrannosaurus Rex, I’ve not seen it.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.17.2013
09:08 pm
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The Sheer Bloody Joy of Supergrass: Live in concert on Spanish TV from 1999

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It must have been brilliant to have been in Supergrass. No, not for the teeth ‘n’ smiles of their classic single “Alright”, but rather for the sheer bloody quality of their music between 1993 and 2010, as heard in performance, and over 26 singles and 6 superb studio albums. There was an energy and infectious joy about guitarist and lead singer, Gaz Coombes (who looked like he might be Jack Black’s handsome, younger brother); Mick Quinn, bass and vocals; and Danny Goffey, drums and vocals; and Rob Coombes, keyboards.

Like everyone else, I first heard Supergrass through John Peel, who played their opener “Caught by the Fuzz” with zealous dedication. He went on to list it at number 5 in his Festive Fifty for 1994. The song told the semi-autobiographical tale of Gaz being nicked for possession of marijuana, when he was 15. It happened when he driving home one night, and was pulled over by the police:

“I stuck the hash down my pants,but I had it in a little metal tin. I was standing on the pavement, and the tin just went all the way down my trousers and landed on the pavement with a ting. The copper went, ‘What’s that, son?’”

It was perfectly pitched, capturing teenage angst and its bravado brilliantly, and was “exactly what being a teenager sounds like.”

With a musical introduction like that, I knew Supergrass would never disappoint - and they never did. Well, until they split up, that is. (Though I still await the release of their Krautrock inspired 7th album…)

In 1999, Supergrass played a short gig on Spanish television’s Radio 3, introducing material from their third album, as well as previous hits.

01. “Mary
02. “Pumpin on Your Stereo
03. “Moving
04. “Alright
05. “Late in the Day
06. “Richard III
07. “Caught by the Fuzz

Gaz Coombes has just released his first solo album Here Comes the Bombs, which he describes as “11 little sonic explosions.”
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.25.2012
08:20 pm
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John Peel’s Record Collection: Online from tomorrow, May 1st

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John Peel’s Record Collection will go online tomorrow, 1st May. The John Peel Center for Creative Arts will start uploading details of the DJ’s famed collection. Each week 100 discs will be made available, covering every genre of music, and unveiling 2,600 albums over the coming 6 months.

Tom Barker, Director of the John Peel Center for Creative Arts explains:

Each of these releases of 100 records will be accompanied by one mini documentary video of a featured artiste for that week. These are pretty special, as the artistes have been chosen by Sheila, John’s wife, and their children - so they are all artistes who meant something to John and his family.

When you come to the website you will see John Peel’s home studio, from which you will be able to access the contents of the record collection as it is added each week, as well as other videos added each week, photos, peel sessions and radio shows. Once in the collection you will be able to move up and down the shelves of the record collection, picking out certain choice records and going through the first 100 as though you were standing in front of the shelves in John’s studio.

You will be able to see the hand-typed cards that John diligently typed for every album in the collection, the record sleeves, as well as listening to tracks via spotify and itunes where available.

And because we know that John meant a great deal to many people, we will be helping you to connect with other music lovers and Peel fans through our John Peel Archive social media accounts. Look out for never-before seen material, like letters to John, being exclusively released via social media. This will also be a great way to stay up to date with new material being released each week - so please do ‘follow’, ‘like’ and say hello - we want to hear from you and your stories of John.

In our heads throughout the planning process, has been making sure that we do John (and his fans) proud and ensure that the legacy of this legendary man lives on.

We hope you like the John Peel Archive - and that John would have done too.

Check the site from tomorrow on to see what goodies will be uploaded.

Updates will be tweeted on the John Peel Archive .

John Peel on Facebook, G Plus and Pinterest

Now here’s a John Peel Day Mix made by ttfb.

01. “Itchy Cut” - Cowcube
02. “New Rose”  - The Damned
03. “The Voice Of John Peel” - Delia Derbyshire
04. “O Superman” - Dan The Drummer
05. “Hard Row” - The Black Keys
06. “Cuntry Music” - Listen With Sarah
07. “Diddy Wah Diddy” - The Magic Band
08. “Shotgun Funeral” - Party Of One
09. “High Resolution” - Dj Rupture
10. “Two Sevens Clash” - Culture
11. “Death Letter” - Son House
12. “The Classical” - Pavement
13. “Groovin’ With Mr Bloe” / “Green Eyed Loco Man” - The Fall
14. “YMCA” - Galactic Symposium
15. “The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)” - Half Man Half Biscuit
16. “My Radio Sounds Different In The Dark”  - The Would Bes
17. “The Kill” - Napalm Death
18. “Live At Maida Vale” (Excerpt) - Jeff Mills
19. “Abridged Too Far” - People Like Us
20. “Speed” - Pico
21. “Roy Walker” - Belle And Sebastian
22. “Doctor ?” / “Chime” - Orbital
23. “Dr Dre Buys A Pint Of Milk” - Grandmaster Gareth
24. “Tokyo Registration Office” - Hyper Kinako
25. “Dracula Mountain” - Lightning Bolt
26. “The Nation Needs You” - The Cuban Boys
27. “John Peel Is Not Enough” - Clsm
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.30.2012
05:16 pm
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John Peel’s Record Collection to become on-line interactive museum

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John Peel’s record collection, described as “one of the most revered record collections in the world”, will soon be made available as part of an interactive online museum, funded by the BBC and the Arts Council. The John Peel Center for Creative Arts and its project partner Eye Film and Television have been granted funding for the project and given exclusive access by the family to Peel’s personal record collection, which includes over 25,000 LPs, 40,000 singles and many thousands of CDs.

Frank Prendergast of Eye Film and Television said in a press release:

“The idea is to digitally recreate John’s home studio and record collection, which users will be able to interact with and contribute to, whilst viewing Peel’s personal notes, archive performances and new filmed interviews with musicians.”

Sheila Ravenscroft, Peel’s wife and Patron of the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts said:

“We’re very happy that we’ve finally found a way to make John’s amazing collection available to his fans, as he would have wanted. This project is only the beginning of something very exciting.”

The project will run from May to October across PCs, smartphones, tablets, internet connected TVs and will also be available as a red button, video on demand service via Freeview HD. Read the full press release here.

While we look forward to hearing Mr Peel’s fine collection of discs, here is a little something he made earlier, Rock Bottom, a short and horrifying music show on the worst records/songs ever performed on Top of the Pops. Made as part of the BBC’s TV Hell night in 1992, this show reveals the horrific truth that these ghastly records (Jimmy Osmond, The Wurzels, Black Lace) represent the public’s taste in popular music more than Peel’s favored Captain Beefeheart, Frank Zappa or even his beloved Undertones ever did. O, the horror, the horror.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Happy John Peel Day!


 
Via Louder Than War
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.23.2012
06:34 pm
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‘The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart’ - the complete documentary

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Captain Beefheart t-shirt by Black And White T-shirts

This excellent documentary from 1997, narrated by John Peel and shown as part of a commemorative BBC Peel Night, has been online for a while but finally arrives in one 50 minute long piece thanks to uploader abrahamisagreatman. You may have seen this before, but it’s definitely worth another watch:

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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12.01.2011
06:06 pm
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Happy John Peel day!
10.25.2011
09:26 am
Topics:
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John Peel died seven years ago today.

As mainstream radio in the UK gets steadily worse, as exposure opportunities for the genuinely interesting and different quickly disappear, and as lowest common denominator fodder like X Factor begins to limit the power of music in the popular imagination, he is missed now more than ever.

In the absence of one unifying national media platform it’s unlikely that we will ever see his like again, though I feel that through his influence, and the proliferation of music websites and blogs, we are all a bit Peelie now. Proof of the man’s legacy is that the anniversary of his passing has become an annual day of celebration, with gigs, radio shows, record fairs and even specific releases happening in his honor, every 25th of October. And this is a good thing, a very good thing.

So in memoriam, here’s a clip from a 2005 BBC program where various artists and radio djs posthumously rifle through his (typically eclectic) record box:

John Peel’s Record Box
 

 

After the jump, John Peel’s ‘Sound of the Suburbs’, Jimi Hendrix playing a Radio 1 jingle for Peel’s show in the late 60s, Peel on the assassination of JFK (which he reported on from Dallas for the Liverpool Echo), and an interview where Peel talks about the influence of punk, how its natural home is in the suburbs, and how scenes get co-opted by a jaded music press…

READ ON
Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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10.25.2011
09:26 am
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Will there ever be another John Peel?
08.30.2011
01:52 pm
Topics:
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The great greatest British disc jockey, John Peel would have been 72-years-old today.

In the years since Peel’s death, there has been no one, absolutely no one, who has stepped into his shoes to do what he could do. You’d think that it would be the case that some new golden-eared music fanatic for a new generation would come along and tell us all what’s good to listen to, but clearly—and sadly—that’s not happened. This is a testament, of course, to just how culturally influential this one man truly was.

In the clip below, Jarvis Cocker tells a charming anecdote of a star-struck youthful meeting with Peel that led to a “Peel Session” for Pulp in 1982.
 

 
Via the awesome Sabotage Times

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.30.2011
01:52 pm
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