duranorak: "Excuse me miss, but is this your dream?" - Grin with cat attached
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duranorak: "Excuse me miss, but is this your dream?" Oct. 27th, 2004 08:17 am

ION: those of you who've posted tributes to the great JP in your journals might wish to cross-post them to john_peel. I also note that the number of people listing him as an interest has risen about 10% in the last 24 hours.

Having made various posts on this topic you may be wondering what I have to say about the man. Not much, I have to admit; I was never really much of either a TV viewer or radio listener, and certainly never tuned in to a particular station at a particular time for a scheduled program. The few times I did hear his show, I didn't find the music particularly to my taste. But to some extent, that was really the point. It wasn't the sort of music everyone was supposed to like; the assembly-line insipid pop that's designed to offend no-one and thus irritates anyone with any sort of musical taste; it was real music with character and personality, played by genuine people who really cared about it. And the same sort of comment can be made about John. He had a particular attitude to music; DJing wasn't really a job, and wasn't a calling. It just *was*. John was a fact of life, like the British weather or the geography of the country. It was like your mate the music expert - whose music and knowledge you could never really keep up with - had randomly been given a prime slot on national radio. Somewhere, in the background, the world was working that much better because of him. And now there's just a void.

I can't claim I was ever a "great John Peel fan", but I appreciated what he was doing. His effects, and the respect he earned were so pervasive that it filtered through your friends into you, probably because, even if you didn't like the music you heard on any particular show, you were vaguely aware that much of what you did like - both the bands and the genres - owed a large part of their sucess to him. It's probably only now that most of us have occasion to recognise the massive debt we owe him.

It may be accurate to say that he'd become part of the national psyche. I suspect that anyone who knew of him even as a background figure will have felt the subtle and unpleasant shift in the world that his passing has left.