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PEEL
BIOGRAPHY

 

1967 Part Two - Top Gear!

Radio 1 DJs outside All Souls Church, LondonJohn's first show for BBC Radio 1 was called Top Gear, which he co-presented with former Radio London DJ Pete Drummond. It went to air at 2pm on Sunday October 1st, 1967, and it promised sessions with some of the hottest names in the music business. John Peel got the job by the skin of his teeth as BBC bigwigs thought he was too much of a loose cannon. But Top Gear producer, and BBC veteran of 10 years, Bernie Andrews, had his eye on Peel and demanded that he present the show. Andrews became John's advocate, convincing BBC bosses to give John the opportunity to stay at the station - albeit on a six-week contract - even though his style was at odds with the "stuffy establishmentarianism" of the BBC.

Immediately, John and Bernie started to book sessions from artists John thought worthy of recognition. The Peel Sessions on Top Gear attracted the likes of Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Captain Beefheart and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

The Peel sessions, now as famous as the man himself, were born.

John adopted Top Gear as his own programme, complete with solo billing which came with new-found freedom to play whatever he liked, whenever he liked.



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