Finally! An online version is now available for the touching and comprehensive obit for John Peel by Tom Roche, published originally by Atlanta's Stomp and Stammer. Jeez, talk about digi-phobia. Worse than the damn Beatles. Here's a taste, but you music geeks sit a spell and read in full here.
I (the writer, Tom) first wrote to John Peel nearly 20 years ago to just say thanks for the weekly BBC show he did on shortwave (received with barely passable reception in Atlanta.) I mentioned that some band he’d played doing a noisy Paul Simon cover was nothing new to Atlantans, home of the memorable all-Paul-Simon-punk-cover-band The Coolies. I didn’t expect a response, but he wrote back promptly. Apparently he didn’t get much international mail at all for his World Service shows other than “play-more-Hall-and-Oates” requests. So in the rare instance someone wrote to say they “got it,” he took note.
In his reply he said I should “tell (Atlanta record label entrepreneur) Danny Beard I played that Coolies record a lot.” He also asked to ship him any Atlanta and regional records he might enjoy. I sent off the 688 Records Compilation, (and he latched on to Dash Rip Rock briefly) and many other records over time. Once, he replied to a post card I’d sent about a great weird reggae record he had played (”Border Clash” by Ninjaman, look it up) by, surprisingly, sending along a copy of that record he’d bought himself. This correspondence went on for years, and we’d meet for a pint whenever I’d visit London. (His current BBC producer said recently that John still spent upwards of 200 pounds a month of his own money in London record shops purchasing records for his shows.
Rest of the pie here.