November 15th, 2005

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John Peel Is Still Dead (RIP)

I just saw a TV programme about John Peel. Apparently as well as his rooms and rooms of records, he had one smallish box that contained his favourite singles. So the programme was about that - delving into the box to see what they found. Some of them were predictable - 3 copies of "Teenage Kicks" (which also got played at his funeral!) - others were really weird & obscure. There weren't any explanations, because he hadn't intended to die when he did, so even his wife & kids are unsure of the significance of some of them. Lots of people from the music industry passing judgement, including Elton John, who I actually really like as a commentator on music - he's very knowledgeable even about styles of music different from his own. (I even have a secret fondness for some of his songs *watches the tattered remains of her goth credentials finally wither up and burn*). Some of them, such as Ronnie Wood, were suffering quite badly from Ozzy Syndrome. Ah well.

For some reason, there were 20 White Stripes singles in the box, and so Jack White was a major feature of the programme, perhaps in an attempt to attract The Kids. The irony that John Peel's radio show had the largest teenage audience on Radio One, despite him being old enough to be their granddad, was obviously lost on the producers. While I have nothing against the White Stripes, 20 of their singles seems a bit much. I commented that perhaps he put singles in there that he was currently listening to, and hadn't got round to taking them out yet :)

I think I want "Teenage Kicks" played at my funeral, or something equally noisy that's meaningful to me. *sobs a bit*

Also, it strikes me that I learned John Peel's lesson way too late in life. John Peel played whatever the hell he thought was good - regardless of whether it was trendy. I outgrew the pop charts in my early teens, but then clung resolutely to music by genre. I didn't listen to Erasure for nearly 14 years because they were Pop and I liked Hard Rock & Heavy Metal! What was I thinking?! Now I have punk rock, US indie, synthpop, heavy metal & lounge all rubbing shoulders with each other on the MP3 server. If teenage kiddies think I'm not a proper fan of "insert band X" because I listen to other bands that sound nothing like them, screw 'em.

Further explanation for non-Brits: The John Peel Sweet-Eating Game. No. 10 was the one that had me laughing - I remember that Only Too Well.
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    because what British person who loves music didn't love John Peel?
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