The Peerless Peel

John Peel died today.

I blame him (more precisely his late night BBC Radio One show) for my poor performance at ‘A’ – Level! I used to use the excuse that I’m off to do some revision to disappear upto my bedroom and switch the radio on in order to hear (amongst many others), the Undertones, the Fall, U2, the Jam, the Sugercubes, the Smiths and indeed my pre-Kylie pop love object, Claire Grogan .

These were in the days before MP3s, Napster and infact even before compact discs (yes I’m that old!). So I still remember forgoing the undoubtable pleasures of the Mike Yarwood Xmas Show in order to record religiously, onto cassette tapes (remember them!?), Peel’s countdown of each year’s top 100 tracks (as determined by the votes of the fans of his show). Which was just as well; as sometimes the quality music on those tapes was my only consolation as I subsequently embarked upon underachieving spectacularly at an 80’s Polytechnic somewhere in South East London.

But I wouldn’t swap a single second-rate second of it if that meant I’d have had to forget the music. So, from an old indie fan — thanks Peelie.

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