EDitorial ± 1-Nov-2004

Mr Peel Has Left The Building

A week away from work and the Net, and wandered into the newsagents at Niton (southern tip of the IoW) last Wednesday to be met with sad news: from a heart attack in darkest Peru, John Peel is dead, all the papers said.

Turned out he wasn't immortal after all, the poor chap. My Peel years go back to the mid 1980s when I was introduced to the delights of Stump, Half Man Half Biscuit, I Ludicrous, and many more. I've got fond memories too of filling up D90s with the annual Festive 50 — hit play and record NOW! — full of top tunes voted for by the listeners.

Then there were the Suffolk connections: Peel Acres was somewhere near Stowmarket, and his wife, The Pig, had become an ITFC season ticket holder; on the radio in the 10pm to midnight slot he'd quite deliberately play a longer track around half-eleven so that he could phone home for a quick chat.

So it wasn't that much of a surprise to find myself in the same crowd as the great man, once at the Film Theatre in Ipswich for a programme of short football films, and again at Cambridge Corn Exchange for a gig by his beloved Fall.

Listening to his Radio 1 show a year or two back, after he'd played a Captain Beefheart track, I sent him an email saying that this still sounded to me like so much noise. Ten minutes later he read this out, adding the comment, "education, dear boy, education." He will be missed.

Be seeing you!