niina.amniisia » bits, pieces and photos from sydney, australia and elsewhere

is that all there is? (Wednesday October 27th, 2004 - 14:12)

category: mmhuh?

John Peel, BBC eclectic DJ and story telling genius, has died of a heart attack at only the age of 65. I haven’t a clue when I first heard his voice but I knew of him through the Jesus and Mary Chain’s Peel Sessions cd (live recording), and mentions about the legend were all over the place as I was growing up.

In the UK I listened to him on Radio 1, grinned widely one night as he played Sister Vanilla’s “Pastel Blue”, enjoyed more of his peel sessions, heard plenty of bands for the first time that are now my favourites, loved the voice and the way he spoke to move from one tune to another. Cold Saturday mornings in bed listening to Home Truths on Radio 4 were an eye-opener to the man who discussed his family openly and spoke about the quirks of life, sadness, and joy with guests.

Back in Australia I have still been tuning in to Home Truths over the net – his manner and voice are so unique.

A few times I wondered what would happen to music when he retired but he didn’t show any signs of intending to step aside so I decided he would keep at it for years to come. At the back of my mind I knew that the one day would arrive however where he’d hang up his headphones and continue his influence in other ways. It was a comforting thought. But that’s not to be. The work he’s done bringing bands to the forefront will never be forgotten – he changed music history for the better and that won’t ever change.

3 comments to “is that all there is?”
retoxed said on October 27th, 2004 at 6:49 pm:

Amen. It’s weird sitting here at my PC this morning thinking the UK (and more than likely the world’s) musicial landscape has changed for the worse forever. The day the music died indeed. And Home Truths always without fail lit up my Saturday mornings. Genuinely sad. It’s weird listening to the radio and hearing the people who knew him trying to quantify what he did for music. I can’t quantify it but I know I am going to miss it.

voitech said on October 29th, 2004 at 9:47 am:

Got the news in the middle of making an interview with the band Ash. I guess it will remain one of the strongest music-related moments in my life.

Dan said on December 10th, 2004 at 2:57 am:

Truly sad, and I think the first event since 9/11 that seems to have got a mention on every blog I know of. I feel a bit bad about slagging off Home Truths on my own site, to be honest I did enjoy it from time to time, but I tried to avoid it. The Radio 4 show he did before Home Truths (I think it was called “Parenthood” or something) was excellent, but Home Truths always struck me as being filled with people who have little better to do with their lives than to write/phone/email gushingly to Home Truths. You know, the kind of people who are apocryphally (at least, it’s never happened to me) supposed to send out Christmas “round robins” detailing every microscopically dull detail of their lives.

Who am I to talk? Blogging? Huh! Well, yeah, but at least I don’t do it just to get on Radio 4. Oh, OK, I’m a hypocrite and I know it. Who cares?