“At the heart of anything good there should be a kernel of something undefinable, and if you can define it, or claim to be able to define it, then, in a sense, you’ve missed the point.”
“All I ever wanted to do was hear music that I like and play it to other people” — John Peel
John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, known professionally and to pretty well everyone as John Peel, was born in Heswall on the Wirral Peninsular, near Liverpool on the eve of WW2 almost to the day. He was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio One DJs and broadcasted for the station regularly from 1967 until he died in 2004. He was one of the most influential DJs in British musical history and in that regard it is doubtful anyone will ever take his place.
John Peel in 1968.
Mr Robin Scott, Controller, Light Programme, who heads the BBC’s new Radio 1 (Pop) and Radio 2 (Light) radio network, pictured (centre, background) at Broadcasting House, Portland Place with disc jockeys who will be in the spin of things on Radio 1, many of them were formerly with “pirate” radio stations. Left to right: Back row – Tony Blackburn, Jimmy Young, Kenny Everett, Duncan Johnson, David Rider, Dave Cash, Pete Brady and David Symonds. Middle row – Bob Holness, Terry Wogan, Barry Alldis, Mike Lennox, Keith Skues, Chris Denning and Johnny Moran. Front row – Pete Murray, Ed Stewart, Pete Drummond, Mike Raven, Mike A’Hern and John Peel.
16/9/70: Who Knows Where the Time Goes. DJ John Peel with his Melody Maker Top DJ prize with singer Sandy Denny who won best female vocalist.
A group of fifteen of radio’s best-known disc jockeys eating Christmas Lunch at Broadcasting House in 1980. Back L/R Simon Bates, Mike Read, Peter Powell, Tommy Vance, Adrian Love and Richard Skinner. Middle L/R Paul Burnett, Andy Peebles, John Peel, Steve Wright, Annie Nightingale, Paul Gambaccini, and Adrian Juste. Front L/R Dave Lee Travis and Jimmy Saville.
Princess Margaret chatting with John Peel at the Reform Club in 1992. They were there for the 50 year anniversary of Desert Island Discs.
John Peel at Glastonbury in 1999. A stage at the festival is now named after him.
John Peel at his home studio in 2002, two years before he died unexpectedly in Peru photo Jamie Beeden