Book Report: John Peel: Margrave of the Marshes

I picked this up at a bookshop in Berlin for reading material, since I was sort of out of reading material, and it seemed like a good read. It was pretty entertaining. It was supposed to be an autobiography, though the final 50% or so was finished by his wife after Peel’s death in 2005.

I won’t bother going into who he was, that is what wikipedia is for.

What I came away feeling was that there’s just not a place in the current media universe for someone like that. Despite how little choice we get from the tepid, bland mediocrity of coast-to-coast ClearChannel and Infinity stations, despite how much infinite and overwhelming variety we get from the internet, there’s nobody out there who has a pulpit, and an audience big enough to make the pulpit credible, where they can challenge people to listen to things they might not otherwise have listened to. You can get more of what you already know, you can spend all your time trying to find new things on your own, or you can listen to the same 10 songs everybody else is listening to.

Also, he was an extremely clever writer; was not surprised to hear him say that he admired Wodehouse.

One thought on “Book Report: John Peel: Margrave of the Marshes”

  1. Apart from Peel, Symphony Sid, Alan Freed, Wolfman Jack and Murray the K, how many DJs became household names outside of the cities they broadcast from? How many continued breaking new acts and programing music based on their own tastes and not some corporate play list? Not too many, I’d wager.

    One of the casualties from the great vinyl purge of the late 90′s was my copy of Siouxsie and the Banshees:The Complete Peel Sessions.

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