Peeling Back The Years

There are a good few items on the BBC website to help mark the first anniversary of John Peel’s death this week. Most notable are:

  • A chance to hear John Peel’s first ever broadcast for BBC Radio 1 on Monday’s edition of 6 Music Plays It Again, further tributes follow on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday editions featuring extended conversations with John Walters recorded in 1987 which are simply essential listening – many Beefheart references are included.
  • Peel’s autobiography, Margrave of the Marshes, is Radio 4’s book of the week – you can listen to an abridged version online. Regrettably I couldn’t cope with what appeared to be a very poor Ringo impersonation on the part of the reader so only listened to about two minutes of what is a great story.
  • A special Peel tribute edition of Home Truths visits the Ravenscroft family at Peel acres to hear their side of the story.

How pleasing it is to discover that Peel played Beefheart on his first ever BBC broadcast, introducing “Yellow Brick Road” as being by “ of my favourite bands in the whole world that you probably haven’t heard of.”

BBC radio shows generally remain online for one week, however Home Truths and Peeling Back The Years are permanently archived.

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