John Robert Parker Ravenscroft (aka John Peel)

John Peel
John Peel

What sad, sad news to learn that legendary DJ John Peel has died suddenly while on holiday in Peru. I was visiting our local Roman Catholic community when one of the priests, Fr John, returned home with the news that John Peel had died suddenly, of a heart-attack.

I discovered John Peel rather late on, but when I did any opportunity I had I would tune in to his late-night Radio 1 show. What I loved about him was his gentle, down-to-earth nature on the radio and his passionate love for music that spanned almost endless genres and styles and moods. I used to enjoy how he ended his show on a Tuesday night, leading into the Rock Show with a heavier-than-heavy track by someone like Nalpalm Death. Often that track would be heavier and ‘nastier’ than any of the Nu-Metal that was (sadly) offered up on the Rock Show.

I shall miss him on the radio; a familiar, comforting uncle of music who disturbed and challenged, and pushed boundaries to introduce me, and thousands of others, to all sorts of obscure and wonderful pieces of music. I only hope there will be someone to fill that void on radio, to keep challenging those who would reduce popular music to a narrow selection of manufactured artists.