When I was in college I wa a radio DJ at a couple of college stations. The hours were good, I could be on air after class, get off before the bars closed and still make it to art school the following day with a minor hangover, and whole lot of musical inspiration to push me forward.
One of the things I looked forward to, were the latest releases from the John Peel sessions that used to arrive at the station. These were live recordings made at the BBC studios, and they usually featured a cutting edge band that was bound to influence musical tastes into the future.
For those of you that don’t know, John peel was a very influential radio DJ that introduced so many new bands to the radio waves it is hard to count them all. He had an amazing ear, hearing things that others dismissed knowing that they would be great. Over the course of his career, he collected more than 26,000 LP’s an almost equal number of 45’s, and CD’s. When he died in 2004 his wife helped to create the “John Peel Centre for Creative Arts. 7 plus years after his death, The Centre has begun digitizing a portion of the 26,000 LP’s and singles which will be made available in the future.
To help showcase his immense library of music, they have created a really nice website that invites you to explore the virtual stacks of albums from the archives, and experience Peel’s diverse and immense musical taste.
Do yourself a favor, go to the site and look around.
John Peel was a hugely respected member of the local, national and international communities and always gave support to worthwhile local initiatives. He was renowned for encouraging new music from unlikely sources and for many people he embodied the “punk” ethos of people just doing it for themselves.
John Peel Centre for Creative Arts.