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Blog: This Changes Everything

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I've just heard the news about John Peel... I can't quite grasp the hugeness of him dying, this is going to change everything in Alternative Music forever. As I'm sure everybody is going to be saying over and over again for the next few weeks it's impossible to overestimate the influence he's had on music in this country, and especially in the independent, or underground, or Alt, or whatever you want to call it end of the spectrum. Being in a band MEANS having a demo to send to John Peel, or later a single, and then listening in every night or checking the tracklistings to see if he's played you. Only the other week Chris T-T was saying how chuffed he was to get played on the show, and I think that's something that NEVER leaves ANYBODY in bands. Getting a Peel Session was something we ALL want to do, and now that's all gone.

Now there'll be no single GodHead Of Indie for EVERYBODY to send stuff to, indie kids will send things to indie DJs, Techno kids to Techno DJs, and all the other genres he played or was yet to play will now have to find somewhere else to go to. Radio 1 will probably replace him with a clueless twit who'll shout down the airwaves in an attempt to sound cool, but will never BE as utterly, effortlessly, brilliantly COOL as John Peel was. Literally HUNDREDS of bands will be deprived of the one big piece national radio play they were ever likely to get, and literally MILLIONS of people will now never hear the exciting, bizarre, rum and brilliant things he was going to play.

I saw him once, at The Phoenix Festival, walking through a crowd backstage. The crowd parted for him, and every now and then people would break into applause, because as well as all the above Actual Things He Did, everybody loved him, which really is a greater testament to a life lived than all the Achievements and Influence Had.

I still can't believe it though. What's going to happen now?

posted 26/10/2004 by MJ Hibbett

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