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The Peel Sessions: A story of teenage dreams and one man's love of new music

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This is a story of teenage dreams, which, as any Peel fan knows, are hard to beat. Between 1967 and 2004 John Peel picked over 2000 bands to come and record over 4000 sessions to be played on his radio show. Many were young and had never been in a recording studio before, for some it was the start of an illustrious career, for others it was the only recognition their music This is a story of teenage dreams, which, as any Peel fan knows, are hard to beat. Between 1967 and 2004 John Peel picked over 2000 bands to come and record over 4000 sessions to be played on his radio show. Many were young and had never been in a recording studio before, for some it was the start of an illustrious career, for others it was the only recognition their musical talent ever got. For over 35 years the cream of British musical talent made the journey to the BBC's studio in Maida Vale, from Pink Floyd to Pulp, the Small Faces to the Smiths. And because John Peel was so respected his sessions took on a legendary status - they were a rite of passage that every new band wanted to go through. Unfettered by commerical pressure the Peel Sessions were a unique British institution - an archive of music that reflects one man's passion for finding and encouraging new music. Includes a full sessionography listing songs, band members and broadcast dates. Jarvis Cocker writing about his first Peel Session aged 18 (Wayne the drummer was 15): 'We travelled down to Maida Vale in a van driven by a very strange man we'd contacted via a card pinned to the Virgin record shop noticeboard. We'd had to borrow lots of equipment from a band called The Naughtiest Girl Was a Monitor 'cause we didn't have enough stuff of our own. The session was to be produced by Dale Griffin, who used to be the drummer in Mott the Hoople; I seem to remember that he was wearing cowboy boots. I think the crisis point came when Wayne was attempting to get a home-made synth-drum to work that a friend of his at school had made out of a rubber burglar-alarm mat and an old electronic calculator - Dale Griffin looked at this 15-year-old kid crouching on the floor bashing what looked like a doormat with some wires coming out of it and just put his head in his hands. But to his credit, the session did get finished and after it, everything else started for me...'


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This is a story of teenage dreams, which, as any Peel fan knows, are hard to beat. Between 1967 and 2004 John Peel picked over 2000 bands to come and record over 4000 sessions to be played on his radio show. Many were young and had never been in a recording studio before, for some it was the start of an illustrious career, for others it was the only recognition their music This is a story of teenage dreams, which, as any Peel fan knows, are hard to beat. Between 1967 and 2004 John Peel picked over 2000 bands to come and record over 4000 sessions to be played on his radio show. Many were young and had never been in a recording studio before, for some it was the start of an illustrious career, for others it was the only recognition their musical talent ever got. For over 35 years the cream of British musical talent made the journey to the BBC's studio in Maida Vale, from Pink Floyd to Pulp, the Small Faces to the Smiths. And because John Peel was so respected his sessions took on a legendary status - they were a rite of passage that every new band wanted to go through. Unfettered by commerical pressure the Peel Sessions were a unique British institution - an archive of music that reflects one man's passion for finding and encouraging new music. Includes a full sessionography listing songs, band members and broadcast dates. Jarvis Cocker writing about his first Peel Session aged 18 (Wayne the drummer was 15): 'We travelled down to Maida Vale in a van driven by a very strange man we'd contacted via a card pinned to the Virgin record shop noticeboard. We'd had to borrow lots of equipment from a band called The Naughtiest Girl Was a Monitor 'cause we didn't have enough stuff of our own. The session was to be produced by Dale Griffin, who used to be the drummer in Mott the Hoople; I seem to remember that he was wearing cowboy boots. I think the crisis point came when Wayne was attempting to get a home-made synth-drum to work that a friend of his at school had made out of a rubber burglar-alarm mat and an old electronic calculator - Dale Griffin looked at this 15-year-old kid crouching on the floor bashing what looked like a doormat with some wires coming out of it and just put his head in his hands. But to his credit, the session did get finished and after it, everything else started for me...'

30 review for The Peel Sessions: A story of teenage dreams and one man's love of new music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Farley

    To say that John Peel was an inspiration to millions is an understatement and this republished work is a great addition to the post-death archives of Peel and the details of which are therein. As well as a great accompanying story to the 'Margrave of the Marshes' book, it details all of the sessions, what people played, contributions from a lot of the bands that partook and gives a really interesting insight to the Maida Vale studios. Personally, I never listened to a lot of his radio show (I tu To say that John Peel was an inspiration to millions is an understatement and this republished work is a great addition to the post-death archives of Peel and the details of which are therein. As well as a great accompanying story to the 'Margrave of the Marshes' book, it details all of the sessions, what people played, contributions from a lot of the bands that partook and gives a really interesting insight to the Maida Vale studios. Personally, I never listened to a lot of his radio show (I turned off after Whiley and Lamacq) but I appreciate his legacy, loved his Glastonbury appearances and with hindsight wished I had listened to him more.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Martinxo

    Ah, this book brought back happy memories of taping John Peel shows late at night as a 15 year old. Gosh, the first time I heard Teenage Kicks, In A Rut, California Uber Alles, all on Peel's show. I'd tape it all and walk around school the next day with my boogie box playing the tunes. Thanks John. My only complaint with the book is that the Ruts great first JP session was not included under the 'Classic Sessions' heading. Pah! Ah, this book brought back happy memories of taping John Peel shows late at night as a 15 year old. Gosh, the first time I heard Teenage Kicks, In A Rut, California Uber Alles, all on Peel's show. I'd tape it all and walk around school the next day with my boogie box playing the tunes. Thanks John. My only complaint with the book is that the Ruts great first JP session was not included under the 'Classic Sessions' heading. Pah!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steve Gillway

    Very nostalgic. I was a listener over a 10 year stretch. He was a DJ who would always keep me listening. I did tape a few programmes and they made a lasting impression on me. This book is great, once you get past all the technical stuff and the internecine politics. This back can, for a short time, take you back to your carefree youth and those inescapable educational tunes. Just like B Springsteen I learnt more from a 3 minute record than I ever learnt in school.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Not really a "reading" book, more of a fantastic reference that any serious Peel-head will wear out in no time. The complete list of shows and sessions at the end is phenomenal. We miss you, John! Not really a "reading" book, more of a fantastic reference that any serious Peel-head will wear out in no time. The complete list of shows and sessions at the end is phenomenal. We miss you, John!

  5. 5 out of 5

    David Brown

  6. 5 out of 5

    Goran Remborg

  7. 5 out of 5

    Edwina

  8. 4 out of 5

    Roque

  9. 5 out of 5

    Les Sheldon

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Raab

  12. 4 out of 5

    Martin Cole

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vikki

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susie Mortimore

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alan Simmons

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robert Swan

  17. 4 out of 5

    jake

  18. 4 out of 5

    Massedgadget

  19. 4 out of 5

    Trev

  20. 5 out of 5

    L.J. van Krzysztof-Tiphereth

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tony Hill

  22. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Smith

  23. 5 out of 5

    David

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rob Frisco

  25. 4 out of 5

    James

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cara

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vítor

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris Bond

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Hirst

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