Thursday, October 13, 2005


We're reluctant to sound too much of a curmudgeon on John Peel Day - we don't want to spoil it, like we did with Love Day last year - but we listened to Peel shows for over two decades, and we don't really feel that the charity singles with Elton John and high-profile concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall really reflects anything much about what made Peel special, and why we felt like we'd been kicked in the guts when that BBC News Alert came in just under a year ago.

It seems we're not the only ones - Andy Kershaw's not entirely sure it's hitting the right note, either:

Andy Kershaw, his friend and former Radio 1 colleague, yesterday questioned whether Peel Day was a fitting memorial. "John wouldn't have liked it," he said. "He'd think it was maudlin. He would also object on the grounds it was nostalgia-driven. He'd think we ought to spend less time doing stuff like this, and more time ploughing through stacks of records looking for the next new band." Kershaw, who now hosts a world music programme on BBC Radio 3, described the event's organisers as hypocrites who ought to have appreciated Peel more when he was alive.

When Peel died, Kershaw gave Channel 4 News an interview recounting their last conversation. "I said to him [that] he didn't look too good. And he said, 'No, I feel terrible.' He had been diagnosed diabetic a couple of years ago, and he was also finding it really hard that Radio 1 had moved him even later into the night. Marginalised is the correct word. [It] pushed him from 11pm to one o'clock in the morning and he actually said, 'It's killing me.'" Yesterday Kershaw stood by the comments. "I'm not going to go down that road again," he said. "But it's all on public record. I don't retract a word of what I said because I was merely reporting what he said to me."

Perhaps the most charitable explanation is that Radio One didn't appreciate what it had until it was gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment

As a general rule, posts will only be deleted if they reek of spam.