Back in 2001, I responded to a friend who asked where to find out about new music. Where? Answer #1 - Listening to the John Peel show.
Shortly before I got involved in LiveJournal, I was doing a lot of work on creating a personal site. The practicality of using LiveJournal distracted me, which was both good and a shame, because there were a few special sites I was going to create. One was a US-oriented site for fans of John Peel.
Back in '98, I gave another friend the same advice I gave in 2001. Listen to John Peel. He has the best track record for playing that which will become important of any other deejay in the world.
Back in '91, I sold hard-to-find imported Peel Session recordings to people at Underground Records. Usually, just playing them in the store was enough to get people to buy. The top artists on John Peel's Phantom 50 included Nirvana, PJ Harvey, The Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Moose, and Bongwater. The Seattle bands broke on John Peel's program a few months before they seriously broke over in the US.
In '87, I started deejaying myself, and I played a lot of the Peel recordings.
Around '86, I got my first Peel Session recording... a tape of Siouxsie and the Banshees.
In '84, I heard the John Peel for the first time on my old Grundig transistor shortwave radio. No less than six songs from the Smiths made it into his top-50 that year, along with This Mortal Coil, The Sisters of Mercy, and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
In '82, John Peel's Festive 50 included New Order, Grandmaster Flash, Echo & The Bunnymen, Tears for Fears, The Clash, The Jam, Yazoo, Bauhaus, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Cure, The Psychedelic Furs, The Cocteau Twins, The Chameleons, and the Fall.
In '78, The Festive 50 included The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, The Buzzcocks, The Undertones, The Damned, and Elvis Costello. It also included Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, The Who, and Neil Young.
In '76, the Festive 50 had "Stairway to Heaven" as the #1 song, and featured old songs by artists such as Bob Dylan, the Doors, and Jefferson Airplane. It also featured previously unknown songs, however, such as Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry" and Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner". About a year later, the Sex Pistols would form. Roadrunner would be the first song they learned how to play, and it would arguably form the basis for their sound.
In '72, Peel helped launch the success of glam rock, and stars such as Mark Bolan and David Bowie.
In 1967, John Peel would start DJing for BBC Radio 1. He used his extensive knowledge of US music to his advantage, helping start the careers of dozens of bands during the late '60s and '70s
In the early '60s, Peel DJed in California for several years,
learning much about the music which was popular back then in America.
John Peel was born in 1939. Despite not having any great technical skill with the turntable, his future would be a very promising one. He would grow up to be the world's most famous DJ ever. More than that, however, he profoundly effected the lives of those who he touched, no matter how remotely.