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'Keeping It Peel' Documentary

John in the studio This documentary will be broadcast on BBC Radio 1 during Lamacq Live on October 17th 2005.

Please be aware that this documentary contains some strong language!

Listen to the documentary
Have your say

To mark the first anniversary of the death of John Peel, we remember the man by talking to the ordinary people whose lives he touched - the fans, the obscure record labels, and the struggling musicians.

We hear from the network of loyal Peel listeners who swap cassette recordings of shows from the seventies, the musicians doing their bit to honour John, the DJs and record-label owners on the very fringes of musical taste that Peel championed.

Not the Jarvis Cockers and the PJ Harveys, but the happy hardcore DJs and the death metal labels.

All over the UK, and in fact round the world, people are doing their bit, small or large, to honour john's memory. From the red tulip being named in his honour, to the Cuban Boys tribute track, to the young listeners determined to become radio presenters so they can seek out unsigned bands the way John did.

They are are united in their determination to keep the spirit of John alive - to keep it Peel.

The presenters of the programme are Johnny Walker and Benjamin Swank, otherwise known as the Soledad Brothers, a big favourite of John's, and contributors to the 'Ever Fallen in Love' tribute track that's been made.

What's the best way of keeping John's musical legacy alive?

so many memories, thanks john you will be sadly missed,BBC make all the sessions availible on mp3 the instution that john created has to live on !!!!!!

John used to despise daytime radio 1 for its strict never changing playlist the 70s and 80s radio 1 had the power to make or break acts so this playlist style radio wasnt so much providing a public service for its listeners but more providing free promotion for record companies all at the licence payers expense!

Kitti Yanukovitch
Thank you and God Bless you.

Please let us all listen to his shows again on MP3 NOT real player

Paul Snell at the top has a great idea. There is so much music that I imagine even avid listeners would have missed out on. Phil a little further down had an even better point. DJs need scope and playlists restrict that. A few Radio 1 DJs have gone a bit too 'mainstream' for lack of a better description. The BBC easily offers a brilliant range of dynamic music but it needs to inject more character. The BBC is an entity on its own. Carve out more niches, don't just try to fit in them.

paul snell
broadcast his old shows - let's here the man and his music again

The best way would be to set up a trust for new bands or people wanting to get into music

Keely Herriman
do a regular, more-than-weekly, show where listeners' musical efforts are the main ingredient. do not select the tunes based on how professional they sound, but on how unlikely they are to be played on radio 2. play only tunes that are made out of a personal need to create that music.

slinen fiennes
play uncommercial music

Rubén Barros (ECUADOR)
Here in Southamerica The Peel Sessions was the introduction for a lot of people into the Extreme Music. Thanks John !!!!

Trust your DJ's. Give them more time to play stuff not on the playlist. It's as simple as that.

how many people listen to the radio 1
Develop a show and website showcasing artists with free music downloads leading to a yearly award dedicated to musicians of all persuasions based upon their creativity and originality. no money incentives involved just for the love and recognition.

Rinaldomoraes de oliveira
Hello,friends of BBC Radio 1,here is one fan of the plent of time of BBC Radio 1 I am a fan from john peel,I am fan from BBC radio 1 since 1985 when I lisyed Big beat the top 40,now i am very sad with the deat of john peel,but here i let one poem to all of BBC RADIO 1.(a friend is a treasure) a friend is someone,that we trust to,when our,spirits,need,from,a lift,a friend is someone,that we treasure,for our friendship,that mean a gift, a friend is someone,that fills,our life,with beauty,joy,and, make the world that we live in better and a happier place to live,with LOVE, and friendship,to the man that have dedicate all your life talkinkin with million of listener like me,best wishes,fan of BBC Radio one in Rio de Janeiro brasil,

lilak@ berlin
wait until he is reborn and then give him another show. until then put his shows online, out of sheer gratitude for what he did for all of us.

Nigel Richardson
John was a kindly sort of guy and he would always go to sleep with is feet upon the desk of the Radio 1 studio and when you all went down the Radio 1 corridor he would walk passed all the Radio 1 Djs and they would say to John how are things with you and I remember John gettng into the studio and putting is feet upon the desk and going to sleep with is feet on top of the desk rest in peace John

Steve Pateman
Make all of the Peel tracklistings available on John's homepage!

To keep the legacy of John Peel alive, the bands, labels, radio stations and internet should play their roles to continue promoting unknown underground artists/bands from all over the world. At the same time, I would like to suggest to BBC to convert all of the radio sessions of the beloved late John Peel into MP3 format and allow listeners to download them. To reach the mass public from all over the world, I believe MP3 is the way (not Real Player)

Ask Andy Kershaw. He'll probably have a good idea. Or Sheila.

Scott Sinfield
John opened so many doors for so many people. Everyone involved in music, whether they be artists, labels, DJs or listeners should strive to keep those doors open by supporting new, original and exciting music.

Listen With Sarah
PS. If like John, you want to hear something you've never heard before, I heartily recommend this internet radio show: 'ANOTHER NICE MESS,' which you'll see listed below under 'Relevant Links'. Very much inspired by Peel, this show's DJ, Marcelle van Hoof, has been seeking out new music from independent and unsigned artists, and featuring it on her show for nearly 20 years. She possesses a great ear for original sounds, along with a very large appetite for new music.

Mike H
Don't get rid of DJ's like Andy Kershaw

Mark Young
1) Be honest, not smarmy. 2) Play what you know and love, or what you don't know and thinks others might like 3) Embrace the web as a way of listening to new, little bands, not just ripping of big bands I really miss him, he is irreplacable

John B-S
Just continue to be brave enough to feature lots of good new music...don't be scared to play anything whether it is fast and furious or slow and laconic. John Peel cut across all boundaries, reggae,ska, rock, heavy drum and bass, heavy metal, punk, new wave, jazz, soul,folk, country, poetry 78rpms ...anything could appear on John's show...often at the wrong speed!!! He was the perfect antidote to bland radio dominated by playlists and the charts. He didn't wallow in nostalgia but was genuinely looking round the corner for something new. He was really rather wonderful - we still miss you John. John B-S, Middx

Listen With Sarah
Think for yourself. Throw fashion to the wind. Question authority. Explore strange new music, seek out new sounds and new artists, and go boldly where no ears have gone before. Here's to The Great DJ In The Sky!

Treat every email, every telephone call and every letter as important. Make Radio 1 inclusive for that was the spirit of JP.

By facilitating Mr. Lamacq in carrying on the legacy of promoting decent music and musicians in it for the long haul - a non-superficial, proper music machine ...really admire the sense of individuality and the promotion of that in music - no band-waggoning here! To be honest, I'd even suggest more coverage of indie/self-starter labels to help the organic process of helping these labels to build and then take on acts they are passionate about to help them get the recognition they need - the opportunity to be heard - before resources run out for them and they have to call it a day. Respect for both Mr. Peel and Mr. Lamacq....

Iolo Price
Make all of John's shows available online and broadcast one a week. Start from the start and include the whole show unedited. The joy of listening to John's shows was two fold; the music he played and his stories and comments he made. Rob da Bank and Huw Stephens have the same quality about them, you really feel like they're talking to you. I'm 29 and listened to John for years, but there's so many shows that I've never heard. What better use could there be for the internet.

Craig Lapsley
John Peel was the only reason I listened to Radio 1 With little exception the station is purile scheduled nonsense. 6music is now the way forward.

Giving all types of music a fair shout on Radio 1 - these days it seems that there's an imbalance which needs to be corrected, especially on Radio 1.

leonard lee
writing from malaysia, my friends and i were listening to john peel back in the 70s on bbc world service. it was the perfect antidote to the prefab top 20. his philosophy of searching for new and interesting music and sharing it has a profound influence on us all. do keep his legacy alive with podcasts, archives and an annual peel day. god bless peel.

chris hallam
john peel day should become a festival for new bands and old

phil xs
Glad to see that John has been rembered on this sad day. Make sure that Radio1 keeps its appeal by keeping it Peel. R.I.P John

stream his old shows uncut online

Kenneth McLaughlin
I want to hear the music that I never got a chance or had the money to buy from John's show online. I wish every session and every song played on the show could be accessed online. A sort of iPeel version of iTunes.

John Harris
Broadcast some of Johns past programs with his unique presentation style.

Rob Medwedeff
Repeat Peel shows in their entirety as often as possible...

The legacy will survive as long as musicians and artists continue to push limits with what is considered the norm because there will always be some of us waiting to hear them and there will always be someone somewhere wanting to play them....And they will!

Bez @ The Brickyard
The best and only way to keep JP's legacy alive is to continue to seek out and publicise new music in all its forms - Rob Da Bank and Huw Stephens are doing a great job, but give them more shows! Maybe go down a similar route to MTV2 by putting on regular hours showcasing new acts - but try to avoid the blatant mainstream selection of acts!

The Peel day broadcast was great. What a contrast to the normal radio scheduling, Radio 1 DJs should follow John's example and not worry too much about being cool or finding the "next big thing". Keep it Peel - bring us the next small thing. How else will we find the next Ivor Culter, Half Man Half Biscuit or Extreme Noise Terror? And didn't it make you smile hearing them again?

living in n ireland john peel show took me away from all the crap that was happening over here well for a few hours .music great .just think there are alot of bands out there now who wont get the break because john play everything rest in peace jonh

DJ's listening to new things and deciding what they like for themselves, not working out whether or not something is 'cool' before they could think of playing it would be a very good start. People often sniggered about John Peel's choices, and they were wrong to. There's a better chance that what someone genuinely likes will be good music than what they think might be 'cool'.

Mark Warren
Steer clear of the pomp and over inflated egos in music. An Evertonian presenter would be nice as well.

Des O'Loughlin
The best way to keep Peel's legacy alive would be for you to get some decent DJs for your station.

God Bless JP... Keep it Peel by keeping faithful to his ethos... "...'cause it's important to them!"

Felix Carrasco
This last year has been such a hard one without Peely, never know which bands wouldve broken through thanks to him or even to listen to some obscure music. enjoy a glass of red for him tho. cheers john

Sheikh Ahmed
I've thought long and hard about this since John died. And I've decided you can't. It's impossible. He was a unique one-off. There's no replicating.

Roland (Germany)
John reminds me about my youth, and this will last for ever. Thank you, John Peel.

Mattie Jones
Who should try to take his place .Any Suggestions?

wrist bands seem popular these days maybe set 8up an international music charity?

Attie Dhubh
If Beeb 1 and 2 can repeat rubbish T.V., why can't BBC Radio repeat entire Peel shows? I missed hundreds, thousands, and could happily listen again for the next 2 decades..

Make available some of the Peel sessions available as pod casts.

corrina donegan
Dear Shiela and Mr. Peel JUNIOR (!?) I am the daughter of Lonnie Donegan and I have been trying to get in touch, tonight has been wonderful, I thank you so much for remembering not only your wonderful father, but mine too.. . theyboth would be so proud.. Thank you so much..

Neil Riley
Utilise your "Listen again" feature on the BBC website allowing us to once again enjoy this great man's shows going back over the years, much like Radio 4 has done with his 'Home Truths' programme. Why not re-issue more of his Peel Session CD's. Id buy them !!

You will never find another dj with the same appetite, desire for music or anyone who is willing to put the time and effort into listening to demos and championing new music. Remember the influence John has had on music and keep playlists fresh and unique.

andy e
Keep an open heart to all music.He did.

moses presley
kill Robbie Wiliams and cut the balls off all members of Coldplay!

Marc Abraham
1) Be yourself, and don't be afraid to stick your neck and try new things. 2) To have your own unique artistic vision, whatever that might be. 3) Play things at the wrong speed! 4) Have fun doing all the above, and stuff pigeon holing!

Doug Read
Two things...firstly play 'When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease' on Radio 1 and secondly encourage all your children to search out truly great music and new bands rather than simply being satisfied with the faceless, souless and unimaginative 'products' who churn out the sort of noise that record companies seem to think passes for good music.

Put all the sessions in full on this website, would be the best collection of music anywhere in the world and free for anyone to hear, I'm sure John himself would love that.

third generation (unsigned)
he was going to make me famous....... now what???? and he IS STILL the KING..............

Alastair Price
Make it the rule that every Dj throughout the day on Radio 1 is obliged to include something new, not just what the pluggers are giving them, not just whats made it to the play list, something a bit uncomfortable, something a bit Peel;

Philip Jackson
Repeat his old shows on Radio 1 so newer and younger listeners can hear what they missed about how legendary he was.

keep the Peel sessions going-just becuse he aint here nomore doesnt mean the name and music policy cant live on! my fondest memory of him was filling in for Jakki Brambles one afternoon,did he stick to the playlist did he s**te i remember him reading out complaints from afternoon listeners,PURE CLASS!

Gabor Kovacs
listen to independent music podcasts. There are guys out there playing unsigned and independent bands, following in John Peel's footsteps. I recommend the tartanpodcast ( and three from leith ( in particular.

Tane Piper
Podcasting is a new way to keep John's legacy alive, no commerical control, we can play what unsigned music we like, in the way John did. The BBC should support playing unsigned bands on the radio more, and following it up with a podcast of the show.

james bradley
Hi guys, any chance we could have a couple of shows a week online to listen to? Be a shame not to...

Mark Roberts
by enjoying new music, by being open to music of all being enthusiastic and passionate about remembering John and what he represented.

Gavin Smith
Devote a daytime show to new bands that have never been played on Radio 1 daytime before.

Danny Neill
Keep listening to ONEMUSIC, they're doing a great job at keeping the Peel legacy alive. The only small problem is that each of the 3 DJs shows can have their own distinct flavour and it would be better if they mixed the genres up a bit more to give it that Peel-like "anything could happen next" feel. Also two important Peel philosophies were that cool old music can stretch back 100 years not just 5, and that sometimes even uncool can be good - as he reminded us only last year after playing a Status Quo track!

Riotbrain - Sweden
Gone but not forgot. Not even up here in cold Sweden. The world need more people like John Peel!

I've just listened to the docu on the net here in Kuwait. Tears streaming down my face - laughing and crying like an eejit. Many, many thanks.

Keep his style going on Radio One.....You know what he was all about...don't let all his dedication to what's new and needs to be heard die with him. He wouldn't want that...You know it, I know it...Keep Johns quirky style and his great eclectic tastes woven in the heart and soul of BBC Radio 1 !! He'll never be forgotten our Peelie.

What an amazing life an inspiration, make us all realise theres one thing before the other sex
He was and is the 'ghost in the machine'.That's the way he is and will be rememberd.............

John Peel
Yes my name is actually John Peel. Not sure if im related, but he kinda looks like my uncle did before he passed.

continue doing what you are doing now - allowing talent to get on the radio. Commercial stations will never do it - John Peel was a legend and what he achieved should never be forgotten

Just find a weekly slot during which you broadcast one of his shows, from all eras, until the end of time. That way, all future generations will learn about the man. And I mean, ALL OF THE SHOW! The man's comments included, of course. Cause they cannot be dissociated from the music he played. And NO ONE can top his sense of humour, ok??? PEEL IS ALIVE!!!!!!!

Chris Nesbitt
A dedicated weekly programme to air all the Peel sessions again over next couple of years.

Have the most popular Home Truths hosted by John, played on Saturday morning every now and then.

Forget all that just play new music?

Sean Carolan
Simple: keep playing music by people who *have* to make music, not just people who *want* to...

Jan Ole (Berlin, Germany)
Try to discover new music even if it is old - or if you are old. do not stand still and rest in a fixed musical taste. john did not do that and i admire him for that.

daniel lyons
make a website with all his old radio shows and his favorite music.

Re-release all his sessions, remastered onto CD.

Bob Price
Create a musical network with the aid of your BBC local stations around the country. Each would have it own programme devoted to new music and supporting the local music scene, Give them the resources to record local session. These sessions would be fed to Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music for broadcast to a national audience. Keep the John Peel Festive 50 running and created an annual compilation of it. Let's build on his legacy.

Don't forget the man who brought, to the mass, some of the best bands around. Get someone, who can't replace him but can be as open minded to new bands.

Ken Roberts
John already in the sixties intraduced me to Zappa, Fugs Pink Floyed, Nice,Doors,Who, new about woody Guthrie before John.Captain Beefheart,Good Bands and The Band Dr John.Sometimes not for your ear's but who cares at least we had a chance of listening to exciting music that had go, away from lovy dovey mainstream,The Winter Brother's, Donavon, john Renbourne,,John Martyn.excalent musician's that had talant and a lot to say, He brought big star's to us in forgotten south Wales, from a teenager to a grumpy old man he was alway's an inspireing point of vew. well loved and well missed. from a sunday afternoon listener of the mid sixties.

Paul George
Keep the type music that John championed over the years central to Radio 1. Remember the memories he gave us all through the music he played.

Paul Knibbs
We want to hear someting we've never heard before .... really really want. It's essential and nescessary and we demand it. As long as there are people who think like us then John will never be far away.

Jackie Spriggs
My husband and I were guests on Home Truths. We had done several TV programmes, but our morning recording with John and his team was by far the best. when my husband died sevedral months later John sent a card of condolence. A true gentleman.

Lynn Hobbs
First heard John under the bedclothes at my all-girls boarding school in 1968, fell in love with him + his music then + listened ever since. Miss him so much, GREAT to hear his voice again, please play JOHN every John Peel day.

Grow old, get fat, be happy and keep your mind open. Don't worry about being grumpy and having an opinion that others don't share

Beverley Waltham Abbey
Always keep remembering what he stood for and the music he played. Air his old shows at least one day a year. Keep it Peel. He was great.

colleen bray
Play some of the sessions that he did and also play new bands so as to give them a chance, that would be the best way of keeping John's legacy going!!!! Peel was a special guy, he is sadly missed by all :(

James (Manchester)
Support the other specialist music DJs who can only try to fill his shoes between them, from Radio 1 to pirate stations - it's what John Peel would have wanted.

Graham P
Just have a "The John Peel Show" with guest dj's filling in

Neil Murray
Just never forget him,,,I wont

Sites like this... Although you should've gone all out and provided us with the full songs and not just 30 clips of sessions from the archives.

dave walker (dundee, scotland)
the best way to keeps john's legacy alive is to keep the kind of show that john did on air... championing all kinds of new music from all kinds of bands... as the quote goes "i want to hear something i've never heard before". By doing so you're keeping at least some music credibility for radio 1.

Simon Robertshaw
Setting up an agency to track down new talent

Be open to new music and new cultures and keep an open mind, this is what made John Peel so special he wanted to hear every song and every story from anyone.

Neil Jenkins
Keep your mind open, be adventurous, absorb, share ... and keep it Peel.

Giving airtime to interesting new (unsigned) bands and styles.

nick williams
lock up the controller of radio one!!

Thank you for your comments. The BBC reserves the right to modify any messages before appearing on this web page which we will normally update twice daily.

What's the best way of keeping John's musical legacy alive?



Relevant Links:
Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat - the John Peel story
WFMU Radio
Another Nice Mess

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