John Peel died from a heart attack last night while on holiday in Peru. Although I never met him I have always been a fan and not a day goes past when my life has not been enhanced by him. This is something that will never leave me, or any other music fan. Without John Peel we would never have heard music from the countless bands who, starved of an outlet for their music, would never have reached our ears. Imagine for a minute a world without Pink Floyd, where Punk never got going, no Pulp, and no Billy Bragg. Where would music be without The Fall, The Smiths, David Bowie, or Led Zeppelin?
In the years since he left pirate radio in ’67 and joined the BBC and began his career on Radio 1 he has been a source of new, exciting and cutting edge music. While he has become synonymous with independent rock over the years it shouldn’t be forgotten that he also championed hip-hop, reggae, electronica and artists from the UK and all over the world. John’s tastes were truly eclectic and he made a difference in the lives of countless musicians and listeners alike over the five decades that he broadcast.
Only slightly less famous than the myriad of music he played was his intimate, conversational style on the radio. He was a man with a clear passion for music that was plain to hear.
He will personally be greatly missed; and sadly for the world of music probably never truly replaced.
His legacy, in nearly 40 years worth of inspirational music, lives on. Enjoy it, like he did.