I was travelling outside the UK yesterday when I heard of John Peel’s death. Part of the furniture of British culture for my lifetime I was shocked to find a collegue who had never heard of him.
He will live on in those early Radio 1 Sounds of the 70’s broadcasts and recorded sessions, and the bands and tunes he introduced me to. Also in that even earlier image of him as a Liverpool Echo journalist who just happened to be in Dallas in 1963, captured on film in the footage of the Jack Ruby shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, right through to the regular habit of the past decade of lying in bed on a Saturday morning to catch Radio 4 Home Truths. Made it acceptable too, to have a passion for football, which included loyal support of one team, Liverpool, but equally transferrable to the team of his adopted Suffolk home, Ipswich. A true gent, one of very few.
Correction – actually JP was at one of the Lee Harvey Oswald press conferences in the same police station a day or so before the shooting by Jack Ruby, and appears in the background of some film / photos. He wasn’t actually there at the time time of the shooting. Memory playing tricks.