Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I can't believe that John Peel died. Today, it seems, a heart attack on holiday. I'm very sad.

My teenage years were spent listening to John Peel on late night Radio One (when it was still cool), discovering new bands, feeling on the inside track of the latest music, from under my duvet in a suburban Manchester bedroom. Listening to John was like having a buddy in the business with great taste and broad-ranging influences, who everytime they gave you a CD and said "you must listen to this" you knew they were right.

And I guess your listeners grow old with you (although I don't actually think 65 is old at all) - in recent years, I've been practically addicted to Home Truths on Radio 4; hearing John's unique take on life, families, and whatever quirky item he laid his humour on that week. And of course, that voice: you'd place it anywhere, at once comforting, quirky, regional, masterful, knowing, and with a slightly subversive edge to it.

I often think it's worse for the people left behind when someone dies suddenly; no time for goodbyes or saying those things you always meant to say but never had time for. Of course it's easier for the people who die: no pain, no gradual decline, people remembering you as you were. But, even then, you know. I feel very, very sad that British music has lost one of its great ambassadors, and that radio has lost one of the greatest broadcasters of a generation, and both too soon.

My thoughts are with his family, friends, and, of course, huge fan base (of which I am, clearly, one).

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