Teenage Kicks (And Others)

– I sometimes used to worry that they’d sack him. I imagined him looking glumly through records he wouldn’t get the chance to play on the radio. It honestly never occurred to me he might die first.

– Mowing my Gran’s lawn when I was 15, the drone of the Flymo and the strum of “Take Me!” merging – taped, of course, off Peel.

– “Pacific State” – the first ‘dance music’ I liked. My habit of taping the whole Festive 50 meant that I had to take the rough with the smooth, until the rough became smooth.

– The first time I taped a Peel session was the House Of Love. They debuted “In A Room”, which became my favourite song by them. It’s hard to exaggerate how much all this stuff felt like a rite of passage – actually it’s not hard, you only have to listen to 6 Music, staffed by people who went through the same rites, a station Peel made possible (though he was always much more adventurous), a station I don’t want to listen to right now.

– Peel’s 50th Birthday as featured in the NME, a glimpse of a world were musicians were mates, the intersection of Peel-the-advocate and Peel-the-good-bloke. And in some ways that’s an important legacy – he was into music without any pretensions that it made him unusual or superior, he showed that the worlds of Extreme Noise Terror or Where’s The Beach? and of going and buying a pint of milk were no different. Unromantic? Maybe. Good.

– The Fall

– The last time I listened to the Festive 50 was with Alex T, in 1995 or so, sitting in his kitchen drinking beer. All the songs sounded rubbish, Peel – as usual – seemed faintly disappointed with his listeners (but also terribly proud), I guessed it was the end of my listening to him (of course now I wish I’d listened more) but I knew that I’d always be grateful, and I will.