Remembering John Peel

When he wasn’t on-air, championing the music of previously unheard bands to an adoring audience, the late, great John Peel could often be found responding personally to the warm mountain of feedback his pioneering broadcasts generated. Below is one such reply: a brief and typically charming letter, typed in 1985 below a picture of a tractor cab and sent to Daniel Williams, a young devoted listener who wished to interview two obscure bands – Sudden Sway and John Hegley‘s Popticians – for his as-yet-unpublished fanzine; unable to locate contact details for either group, Williams naturally, pre-Google, decided to ask the forever-gracious Mr. Peel for assistance.

John Peel passed away exactly six years ago, on October 25th of 2004. His legacy lives on.

Transcript follows. Image courtesy of Daniel Williams.



Dear Daniel,

sorry it has taken me so long to get around to answering your letter. I was imagining that I might find myself cycling through downtown Langham at some stage and could pop in with the (lack of) information. A combination of indolence, weather and work (pause to allow gales of laughter to subside) prevented me.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to contact the two bands you’re after. If you send letters addressed to each to me at wunnerful Radio 1, I’ll send them on though. Someone in the contract department will know their addresses. Ok?

(Signed, ‘John (Peel)’)