I’ve mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of the recent spate of “Oh, John Peel is gone, woe betide the nation” that was going on last week. Sure, he was a great DJ, and he pushed many great bands, and he didn’t rate Oasis*. He’ll be missed. Radio has moved to the point where it would be nigh on impossible for another like him to emerge. So lets leave it and move on, shall we?
And others seem to be thinking in a similiar fashion. Specificially, on the false nature of some of the tributes.
From the Rockall Times:
Has my legacy taught them nothing?” Peel allegedly said via his Romany conduit this afternoon. “Everyone knows Teenage Kicks is my favourite single. Unfortunately, I’ve heard it 317 times since 2pm last Tuesday and — it pains me to say this — I’m beginning to go off it a bit. There are thousands of records you could play to pay me tribute — not that I entirely deserve all this, mind, it’s all a bit embarrassing — from Beefheart to the White Stripes. Or the Fall. I really like the Fall.”
While Madame Gabor rolled her eyes heavenwards, Peel continued: “It’s nice to be recognised by my peers for discovering so many groundbreaking acts. Then what? I hear the opening chords to a song I never thought I’d find remotely tiresome for the umpteenth chuffing time. Show some imagination folks — take it from one who knows: It’s what I would want. By the way, if you’re thinking of playing that tune Kershaw, I shall haunt you, your children, and your children’s children.”
Radio 1 Associate Programmer Kenny Smarm retorted in a statement: “Teenage Kicks is an uplifting, poppy tune which not only serves as an homage to John, but fits in with our broader demographic. If we paid tribute to Mr Peel’s wonderful eclecticism with The Limp Chickens or somesuch, research tells us 78 per cent of our ABC1 consumers would be turned off. Listener figures are our currency, and The Fall sound like a tramp having an argument with a vending machine, for Christ’s sake.”
Unsurprisingly, the world of politics has not been slow in eulogising Peel’s legacy to popular culture. When asked whether Peel’s championing of Progressive Rock, Belgian Techno, Grindcore, Gabba, Lithuanian speed garage and world music had influenced their formative musical tastes, every MP we quizzed replied “Er… yes, absolutely. Did I mention how much I like Teenage Kicks by the Buzzcocks?”
* – Which is obviously a plus for him, as Oasis suck like a Dyson stuck on full…