Since the Eighties he has, and continues, to inform me on music and politics (and the rest!) and it was recently announced that he will be giving the John Peel Lecture at the 2012 Radio Festival in Salford on Monday 12 November 2012.
Now John Peel was another guy from my youth who set me straight with music. When I wasn’t under the bed clothes with a torch, I was under there with a long wave radio listening to his BBC1 shows. It was there that I heard the eclectic sounds of the Bhundu Boys, Ted Hawkins, Half Man Half Biscuit and of course, Billy Bragg. John Peel was one of Britain’s most loved broadcasters. He had a dry and quick wit, a disregard for authority and a love of music in every forms.
I won’t be in Salford to hear the actual lecture (I’ll be too busy reading John Berger in class of course!) but it’ll be straight onto my iPhone once the podcast is available. I’m old enough to listen to the radio all night now too! Honey, I’m a big boy now!
Bragg, as with too many artists and bands to mention, owes an awful lot to Peel. In 1983, the unsigned artist Billy Bragg drove to the BBC Radio studios with a mushroom biryani and a copy of his newly pressed record after hearing Peel say on air that he was hungry. It was the subsequent airplay that launching Bragg’s career.
Pete Townshend of The Who, gave last year’s lecture on music and the Internet and stated,
“This is the dilemma for every creative soul. He or she would prefer to starve and be heard, than to eat well and be ignored.”
which is something that will no doubt surface during my photography studies!