The Peel sessions where he championed new music lasted for 25 years. Here new bands were previewed after a day of recording live at the BBC studios in Maida Vale. Its astounding looking back at the last 10 years yet alone the last 25 that with the commercialisation of Radio they lasted so long. The sessions gave much needed exposure to many of the real bands which enliven and influence our lives today. From the Clash and Blur to Pulp (a few times) to Supergrass, Bowie and the White Stripes, they all started or maintained their credibility here.
“The thing is that you get a lot of credit for putting these bands on the radio, but the fact is that it’s like being the editor of a newspaper – you don’t claim credit for the news. It’s my job to listen to bands and listen for musicians from around the world and put them on the radio, and this is not something that I would wish to be applauded for really, because I’m just doing what I’m paid to do. They discover themselves, it’s not up to me to discover them, bands discover themselves – they make the records, the records arrive; I think, ‘let’s play it on the radio,’ and when they come over here I think, ‘let’s book them for a session.’ That’s how the process works. It’s very little to do with me to be honest.”
- John Peel
When it came to forecasting, John Peel was quite simply magnificent.