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PEEL
BIOGRAPHY

 

1969 - Flower power, Beefheart and a new producer

John Pee and John WalterslAlthough Night Ride was off air, the BBC kept Top Gear in its regular Sunday afternoon slot. In April, Bernie Andrews produced his last show for John, having taken on another programme for Radio 2. Bernie was replaced by John Walters, whose partnership with Peel lasted more than 20 years.

Another big event of the year was when John volunteered to chauffer Captain Beefheart and his band of crazies on their UK tour, driving them to gigs in a hired Mini. Beefheart remained a friend of John's throughout his life. Not content with hanging out with rock stars, Peel found himself pressing vinyl when he started his own record label, Dandelion, named after one of his pet hamsters.

Eighteen artists released 27 albums (plus one compilation) during Dandelion's three-year existence. Among the acts were Gene Vincent, Tractor, Stackwaddy, Siren and, bizarrely, Bill Oddie.

"I ran Dandelion really just to record a friend, Bridget St. John. It went through CBS, Warner Brothers and Polydor - using their money. The only hit single was Medicine Head's 'Pictures in the Sky'. Though we had a number one in the Lebanon, by an artist called Beau."


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