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Jon Philpot
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John Peel
« : 30.10.04 at 14:56 »
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Given the news of his sad death, thought it was worth acknowledging the part that Peel played in supporting Pete & Clive in the early 70's. This was sparked off by a thread on the 'Andy Kershaw' Radio 3 message board where people have been requesting tracks that Peel played on his show, for a special edition of the AK show tomorrow. Someone mentions 'Wristwatch for a drummer' and someone else responds:  
"And did he really play 'Wristwatch for a drummer? Top man! Words by Clive James, of course. One of the great words & music combinations. I saw Pete Atkins & his band several times in the 70s - such snappy rhythms."
This led me to check the Ken Garner book 'In Session Tonight', where I found that Peel had 9 sessions from Pete between '72 & '75! He will be sadly missed.
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Mike Walters
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Re: John Peel
« Reply #1: 31.10.04 at 14:59 »
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Just to echo Jon's sentiments.  I was first introduced to Pete's music, along with so much else, through one of those Peel sessions.  And of course John Peel narrated the Radio 2 documentary on Pete and Clive not so long ago.  
 
I don't normally have a lot of truck with outpourings of grief for public figures, but I did feel a genuine sense of loss at John Peel's demise, as clearly so did many others -  I guess partly because many of us had grown up and grown old(er) with him.  Okay, he was 'only' a DJ, but Peel introduced me to music that I might well never have heard elsewhere, Pete's included, and my life is richer as a result.  
 
And, while I've no idea what I was doing when Kennedy was shot (unlike Peel, who was there), I will remember what I was doing when I heard that John Peel had died - trawling the racks in the Virgin Megastore in Piccadilly. Without Peel's influence 25-30 years ago, I probably wouldn't have been in there.  
 
Mike
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S J Birkill
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Re: John Peel
« Reply #2: 31.10.04 at 23:36 »
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on 30.10.04 at 14:56, Jon Philpot wrote:
This led me to check the Ken Garner book 'In Session Tonight', where I found that Peel had 9 sessions from Pete between '72 & '75! He will be sadly missed.

Smash Flops lists 13 BBC radio sessions by Pete between 1970 and 1977, details here and here -- Steve
 
[PS: although I'd heard Pete first on Kenny Everett's show, it was Peel's broadcast of No Dice (off the album) which prompted me to make the first purchase -- SJB]
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Seán Kelly
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Re: John Peel
« Reply #3: 01.11.04 at 16:51 »
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and I remember being just about stunned by a version of "Thirty Year Man" on one of Pete's sessions for Radio 1 which memory tells me was broadcast on a John Peel show (yes I'm almost sure it was Peel) - whilst listening to a tranny under the bedcovers!  Very memorable !
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Leslie Moss
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Pete's recollections of John Peel
« Reply #4: 10.11.04 at 18:53 »
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I would have liked to have asked Pete at PoD for his recollections of the Peel Sessions but having already had one question answered felt I ought to keep shtum. But I would be most interested in any anecdotes that Pete might have on those experiences. Like several of us I suspect, I listened to these sessions in the early hours - in my case while huddling in a freezing college bedroom at Uni.
 
Reading through the tributes to JP on the BBC website, one is struck by the sense of personal loss and deep affection for someone most of us knew only over the airwaves. It reminds me of the reaction to Douglas Adams' death a few years ago. I recently read Richard Dawkins' two eulogies - the first written hours after learning of the news - and would recommend these to anyone who loved DA's books and irrreverent persona.
 
Leslie
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S J Birkill
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Re: John Peel
« Reply #5: 10.11.04 at 21:16 »
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In Pete's session days it wasn't so much a jaunt down to Nan True's Hole (a.k.a. Peel Acres) in Great Finborough, Suffolk, as a cab to Maida Vale, Ken Ho, BH or the Langham, where the likes of John Walters or Bernie Andrews would oversee the session, and Chris Lycett (did he really become boss of R1?) rig the mics and do the mixing. But I expect Pete must have met Peelie at some time. I remember Peel from one of Harvey Goldsmith's 'Garden Party' gigs I assisted with at Crystal Palace in the early '70s, when he was compère (not this one ('73), or this ('72), at which Pete Drummond MC'd): a quiet, thoughtful man was John, who'd busy himself with sorting his records rather than ligging with the stars -- we were both so shy it didn't make for much conversation, I still regret.
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Ian Chippett
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Re: John Peel
« Reply #6: 10.11.04 at 23:01 »
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Steve wrote!
 
<<In Pete's session days it wasn't so much a jaunt down to Nan True's Hole (a.k.a. Peel Acres) in Great Finborough, Suffolk>>
 
but on the Calyx site we read:
 
<<"Nan True's Hole" - Robert Wyatt : "It is the name of a house, that a friend of mine owns, in Sussex. And the origin of the name, I imagine, is that it was the home or hovel of a woman with special powers, perhaps, who lived on her own, called Nan True, who was perhaps a fortune teller, a witch of sorts who lived in this house... My friend had inherited this house, and I just thought, this name is too good to waste on a house! Phil Miller agreed, and it turned into a piece of music". >>
 
It's a great song with one of the all-time unforgettable guitar riffs but I'd love to know whose version is correct! Or perhaps they both are!
 
Ian C
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Re: John Peel
« Reply #7: 10.11.04 at 23:17 »
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on 10.11.04 at 21:16, S J Birkill wrote:
I remember Peel from one of Harvey Goldsmith's 'Garden Party' gigs I assisted with at Crystal Palace in the early '70s, when he was compère (not this one ('73), or this ('72), at which Pete Drummond MC'd): a quiet, thoughtful man was John, who'd busy himself with sorting his records rather than ligging with the stars -- we were both so shy it didn't make for much conversation, I still regret.

 
[OT] If we're on the subject of personal memories of John Peel, I met him a few times when he MC'd some Sunday night gigs at UCL's CCB (now the Bloomsbury Theatre) in the early 1970s. I forget any of the artists or bands involved, for the mo'. But my main memory is of him giving me (a penniless student then) a lift up the M1 in his posh new Range Rover from London to Sheffield, with a pre-release tape of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon on his 8-track machine (or was it a cassette?). Luxury! Sadly, after all this time I can't recall much of the conversation except that a large part of it was about Liverpool FC's recent performance. A really nice chap indeed.
 
Cheers
 
Paul
 
p.s. sorry for the OT-ness of this posting!
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S J Birkill
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Re: John Peel
« Reply #8: 10.11.04 at 23:49 »
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on 10.11.04 at 23:01, Ian Chippett wrote:
but I'd love to know whose version is correct! Or perhaps they both are!

And you didn't realise Wyatt's 'friend' was Peelie? Wink IIRC JP left listeners in little doubt when he introduced the MM session. I think 'inherited' may be the fanciful bit.
 
Later edit: Oops, I didn't spot the deliberate mistake! Robert Wyatt's account swapped Suffolk (the real location) for "Sussex" in the Calyx write-up! An editorial slip?
 
SJB
« Last Edit: 11.11.04 at 07:57 by S J Birkill » IP logged
Ian Chippett
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Re: John Peel
« Reply #9: 11.11.04 at 17:18 »
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Steve wrote:
 
<<And you didn't realise Wyatt's 'friend' was Peelie?  IIRC JP left listeners in little doubt when he introduced the MM session. I think 'inherited' may be the fanciful bit. >>
 
I should have realised: was this on the (fairly) recently released live Matching Mole CD? I was lucky enough to hear this before it was released but I may not have been listening too carefully. FWIW there's a rather funny trailer for John Peel's Top Gear recorded by Hatfield and the North which will on their forthcoming live CD. If this record is the same as an early copy I got direct from one of the horses' mouths as it were, then there's a treat for Robert Wyatt fans as it features him singing on a previously-unreleased track.
 
Ian C
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Mike Walters
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Re: John Peel
« Reply #10: 11.11.04 at 17:54 »
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Probably this tread isn't the right place for this aside, but, speaking of Robert Wyatt (as we seemed to be), it occurred to me on Saturday, not for the first time, that I'd love to hear RW covering 'Trophies of my Lovers Gone'...
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S J Birkill
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Re: John Peel [seriously OT, sorry!]
« Reply #11: 11.11.04 at 23:48 »
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on 11.11.04 at 17:18, Ian Chippett wrote:
was this on the (fairly) recently released live Matching Mole CD? I was lucky enough to hear this before it was released but I may not have been listening too carefully.

Can't be sure Ian. I'd remembered it as a session, but looking through my lists I see on 10-1/2-inch 3-3/4ips mono reel 44, October 72, I have Peel playing "Nan True's Hole (Peel Acres)" by Matching Mole, without my usual comment as to whether it's a disc or session source. Unfortunately my copy of Ken Garner's book seems to have disappeared in the chaos of my unsorted (since the move to Sheffield) library, so I can't confirm.
 
Sorry all -- this is absolutely my last word on Matching Mole here.
 
SJB
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