There Is No Cat

Hollering into the void since 2002

Friday, December 17, 2004

Keeping it Peel

Last night, BBC Radio One devoted eight hours to the memory of John Peel. They had live bands and DJs, and the whole thing started out with an hour long documentary about Peel's life put together by Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. Listening to it got me all upset again. They've got the whole thing available online if you missed listening to it.

Interestingly, even with eight hours to play with, it seemed to me that they missed covering the entire breadth of John's interest in music. They touched on the hippie period and the Beatlemania thing when he was in Dallas, and of course punk rock and indie got major coverage, and they even had a lengthy section of the electronic dance music he championed in recent years. But there was very little about his interest in world music. There was a bit about him being the first DJ in Britain to play reggae on the radio, and one nice tribute from a couple of Asian DJs on the Beeb who talked about how Peel played bhangra on the radio when they were just kids, but they almost totally missed his interest in African music, and really gave short shrift to his interest in world music as a whole, where he was, again, a real pioneer. As it happens, yesterday a friend of mine passed me a copy of the show Andy Kershaw did for BBC Radio Three on October 31 in tribute to his good friend. Kershaw, of course, was Peel's partner in crime when it came to world and roots music. But even if you look at Kershaw's playlist, he limited himself to old school punk rock and world and roots music, totally skipping indie rock of the 90s and 00s and electronica. Kershaw only had an hour and three-quarters to play with, and his show is on Radio Three, which is a bit more genteel than Radio One, so I can't really say I blame him, but still, I find it interesting that nobody at the BBC seems to be able to cover the entire range of music that Peel played. I think that says something significant about just how irreplaceable John Peel is.

Posted at 11:46 AM

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Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

I don't suppose by some minor miracle you have a tracklist? or could point me in the direction of one?

Posted by Andy L at 6:07 AM, July 28, 2005 [Link]

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


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[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

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