Friday, November 05, 2004

Old school to New FADS and beyond

The thing about John Peel was his relevance, whether it was dad’s Elvis and Beatles generation or my indie pop and acid house generation Peelo was all over it. The announcement of his death appears to have been greeted with uniform shock. Peel was hardly old, but he wasn’t young either, he was omnipotent in music terms and rather like the music he championed, I suppose we all assumed he would last forever.

Peel was unique, able to traverse the musical generations without effort or embarrassment. The musical tastemakers of today – Pete Tong and Tim Westwood, for example, have had their moments, but as their favoured genres become marginalised, so will they. This never worried Peel, his ability to avoid getting sucked into the industry side of music (and it’s inevitable trends and fads) meant it’s always been about the music. The industry outputs may dip and peak, but there is always good music available somewhere – Peel knew that and had a voracious appetite for finding it.

The news was broken by our Nervy Cerebral Manager who had heard it on the radio in the car. He, like everyone reacted by positioning himself in a Peel context announcing that he was a punk at University (one, we teased, who supported Anarchy in the UK as long as it was within a structured community and observed the rule of law – “Of course” he replied going crimson). In tribute, he then burst into a chorus of Uptown Top Rankin’.


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