“What do you mean you’ve never heard of John Peel? Andrew! Are you aware that your seventeen year old son has never heard of Peel? And you claim to be a good father!”
The smile on my brother’s face as this torrent of jovial taunting broke forth confirmed that I was being brought to task for crimes against music; again. It was only twenty-five years since the greatest radio DJ the world has ever known had been taken from us; how was it that my son did not know his name? There were many, many bootlegs of his shows and sessions in the family’s audio library, and yet my son, who calls himself a music fan, had not noticed the aformentioned Margrave of the Marshes.
“You’re absolutely right. I’m a terrible disappointment as a parent. I feel ashamed”
I tried to keep a straight face, but before we knew it the room was filled with laughter.
“Andrew, you know that it came up because it’s Peel Day?”
I had forgotten, but on being reminded it seemed appropriate to put on some music;
“Teenage dreams, so hard to beat…”
This does not yet appear on ficlets.com due to a technical problem with that site and its OpenID login, i.e. I can’t get on the site, logged in.
Today was nominated as John Peel Day 2008 by the BBC, one of the keenest protectors of his legacy. The anniversary of his death is in a little over two weeks… I can still remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news, and I still feel the space left behind on Radio 1 & 4 with him gone – wherever you are John, thanks, so much, for everything that you did and said.