JOHN PEEL R.I.P.
This really is a sad day. We shall never again hear (live) that most beautiful of voices, never see that scrunching up of his face, never witness his Glastonbury commentary; never see him on Grumpy Old Men; or on that program about big trucks.
He's an "institution" for all those things, but of course he's an institution for more than that. He's an institution for having been the only original Radio 1 DJ still working on the station; and for still being the best one on there (admittedly not hard these days). He's an institution for bringing new and exciting music to an eager audience, for playing many a demo tape by an unsigned band and helping them on the way to success, for making many a listener rush to their local record shop and order that album by that obscure band they'd heard the night before. For the sake of completeness; the one of mine I remember was "Things I Hate to Admit" by Victim's Family - sigh. I don't have it any more. It probably wasn't that good after all. Maybe I should buy it again. Or maybe, like many other people over the next few days, that Undertones best of.
Two things: First: I went to see Billy Connolly last night. Literally his first lines were "John Peel is dead". Sceond: the Metro is, as we all know, a poor quality advertisement magazine masquerading as a newspaper. This morning, however, everyone who was reading a copy was showing the face of Mr Peel under a headline "The Day the Music Died". It was a more moving tube journey than most.