I remember listening to Ultravox's excellent song 'Artificial life' - in the late 70's (I'm talking about John Foxx here, not that waste of space, Midge Blurrgh!). The track blew my mind - I was amazed that such music existed, and have been addicted to listening to mich explorative and edgy music since. I think that this moment of hearing Ultravox, was probably my 1st experience of John Peel programme on Radio 1. I was hooked, it was a revelation. He changed my life in fact. I have been listening to his shows for years, taping many of the them - in fact a I have about 150 tapes, that I listen to every now and then. He was the father that I never had...and needed.
I cried when he died, because of the gap that he has left behind, I know that it will not be filled - in fact, I feel that no one else has the vision or depth to fill that gap - it will probably remain a chasm, for many are either too narrow in their conceptions or lack the generosity for such a task. Which is actually quite frightening.
I have various strange and confusing feelings regarding this sad episode, with all the enforced (sadistic) ugliness that is currently dominating our world. In contrast, John Peel, to me was one of those who knew something which was essential and beyond the corporate void of dead-beat, nothingness that was and is always being shoved down our mediated throats. He gave us grass roots music and its creative essence, he gave it a voice, a chance for others to change things just by being part of something that was not handed down by the state or corporate scheming. A nurturing soul, with a sharp mind keen in exploring contemporary sound and people's quirky, and damn right noisy screams, on its own terms. He was authentic...
He has been a valuable role model for me for years in respect of his open-mindedness towards many hopeful explorative musicians - and I feel that furtherfield has followed in his foot steps, in spirit.
I will miss his presence terribly...
Andy Kershaw's tribute programme to John Peel had a wonderful playlist.