Scheduled for publication on October 1 by Faber & Faber, Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life is a new book by Select and Q feature writer David Cavanagh. The book focuses on 300 of John Peel’s shows between 1967 and 2004 in which he attempts to give a thorough overview of his broadcasting career and place it in its cultural and social contexts.
The author makes no secret of the fact that he’s a Peel enthusiast but he also attempts to focus on what made Peel so cutting-edge, as well as his changing tastes and thinking. As Ken Garner points out in ‘The Peel Sessions‘, a fantastic book that no Peel enthusiast should be without, it was Peel’s ‘longevity and range of enthusiasm that made them [The Peel Sessions] pre-eminent”.
To give a ‘thorough overview’ of Peels career in selecting just 300 sessions must have been a daunting task bearing in mind the 4,400 Peel Sessions on offer. Setting aside your own personal tastes and preferences you’d want to reflect that diversity in your choices as well as some of the favourites who were invited back time and again including the likes of the Incredible String Band (12), Michael Chapman (12), Martin Carthy (9) and John Martyn (7 sessions) on the folk spectrum. The Fall, along with David Gedge (The Wedding Present / Cinerama) recorded the most (24) with Ivor Cutler not far behind at 22 sessions. Ivor was also the most constant over the longest period of time. Others included Half Man Half Biscuit (12), Darren Heyman in Hefner and The French (12), Kevin Coyne (11) and Robert Wyatt in various guises (10).
And despite what you may pick up on the net: Coldplay, Oasis, The Sex Pistols, The Clash and Snow Patrol never did a Peel Session…
I confess to also being a John Peel fan so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into Goodnight and Good Riddance as it promises to be “warm, informative and insightful, and wears its enthusiasm proudly.”
Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life
Faber & Faber; Main edition (1 Oct. 2015)
Event: Rough Trade East, London
Join author David Cavanagh, DJ and presenter Jen Long, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, and former Fall member and presenter Brix Smith for a panel discussion on the legacy of John Peel.
Thursday September 24, 7:00pm (details here)
Watch: John Peel’s Turn That Racket Down
A profile of the life and career of the legendary D.J. John Peel, which was broadcast on BBC2 in 1999 during John Peel Night, to celebrate his 60th birthday.
Also Recommended: The Peel Sessions: A story of teenage dreams and one man’s love of new music by Ken Garner
Order it here