Sunday, October 07, 2007

Top Gear Shows - Repost

Yay, I'm back! But before commencing with our scheduled programme, allow me to draw your attention to a new book from Ken Garner, author of legendary BBC Session tome In Session Tonight. You may be aware that In Session Tonight goes for silly money on eBay these days, so it's great to see Ken take time out from lecturing on journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University to produce a book that not only completes the Peel session picture but is affordable to us mere mortals. And on first glance it's a thoroughly good read, combining a fan's obsessive enthusiasm with an academic study of the subject. And if you can make Glasgow Waterstone's on Peel Day (this Thursday), Ken will be there signing copies.

Right! The rest of this post is a response to the many requests I've had to repost the eight Top Gear shows from 1969/70, as most of them have now expired on sendspace. For convenience it's a bittorrent download this time, so if you're unsure how that works, look it up. And please be sure to keep the torrent seeded once you've downloaded it.

Download (2.08Gb)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

John Peel - Nameless Show (Night Ride) - 28th. May 1969

(AKA "The one where John created a furore by admitting he'd had VD")

Many thanks to Sam for this one.

You'll have heard Peelie mention his Wednesday night 'nameless shows' if you've listened to very many of the Top Gears below. As explained in this previous post, these programmes were essentially JP's bit of the post-midnight multi-format Night Ride shows, extracted and moved to a bit earlier in the evening. And these Night Rides/nameless shows/whatever, featuring BBC archive tracks from all over the world, studio guests and discussions mixed in with contemporary Peel favourites, are probably the most free-form, eclectic radio Peel ever did. And if you have the slightest idea about the bloke you'll realise that's a hell of a statement. In my opinion, having enjoyed Peel shows from all eras, I'd say these are probably the best he ever made. I really wish there were more out there.

OK, on to this particular show. The session is from John Fahey (above and/or right, depending on your browser and screen res) and the studio guest is the poet Pete Roche. There are also interviews with Theresa Lever, about the Youth Drama Centre in Euston, and Tony Vandenberg about Radio 4's upcoming report on Venereal Disease. This latter interview has acquired some notoriety as it's the one where Peel reveals that he contracted the disease earlier that year. From Wikipedia (which seems slightly wrong, as it suggests Peel is still suffering from the disease at the time of broadcast):
During 1969, after hosting a trailer for a BBC programme on VD on his Night Ride programme, Peel received significant media attention because of admitting on air to be suffering from a sexually transmitted disease. This admission was later used in an attempt to discredit him when he appeared as a defence witness in the 1971 OZ obscenity trial. The judge in that case even instructed that a glass of water he had drunk from be thrown out.
[EDIT: Looks like that entry has been corrected now. One of the editors reading this blog, perchance?]

Whatever controversy the VD comment was to generate, John P, a notoriously inept interviewer, actually handles the chat with Vandenberg very well. But on to the details:

Download (83Mb, 192Kbps MP3)

(Quality's slightly dodgy for the first minute or two, but settles down after that.)

  • Jeff Beck Group - Plinth
  • John Fahey - Bucktown Stomp (session)
  • Pete Roche - A Thing Apart (live poem)
  • Indian classical music - Whistled and played on a bowed string instrument and accompanied on drum and drone (from BBC archives)
  • Choir of the Krakow Philharmonic - Apotheosis (from "Dies Irae: The Oratorio in Memoriam for the Victims of Auschwitz" by Krzysztof Penderecki)
  • John Fahey - The Death Of The Clayton Peacock (session)
  • Peel chats with Tony Vandenberg about Radio 4's upcoming report on Venereal Disease.
  • John Hiseman's Colosseum - Plenty Hard Luck (from "Those Who Are About To Die Salute You")
  • John Fahey - Sunflower River Blues (session)
  • Pete Roche - To See How Far It Is (live poem)
  • Radio Ceylon Orchestra - Wind, String Instruments and Percussion (from BBC Archives)
  • Peel chats to Theresa Lever about the Youth Drama Centre in Euston
  • Phil Ochs - I Kill, Therefore I Am (from "Rehearsals for Retirement")
  • John Fahey - In Christ There Is No East or West (session)
  • Romanian Radio and Television Folk Orchestra [pipes: Dumitru Zamfira] - The Hora (from BBC archives)
  • Peel chats to Jon Curle about his part of Night Ride
  • Pete Roche - The Skin Diver (live poem)
  • Shirley and Dolly Collins - Nellie The Milkmaid (from "Anthems in Eden")
  • John Fahey - Steel Guitar Rag (session)
  • Terry Riley - In C (part)
  • Intro to Jazz Workshop

Friday, July 20, 2007

John Peel's Top Gear - 11th. July 1970

It's John Walters' birthday and Peel says that this Top Gear is "the nicest we've had for as long as I can remember". Sessions this week come from Son House (left), Kevin Ayers and East of Eden.

JP seems both astonished and delighted to have Son House on the programme. And I remember him saying a few years back that Jack White was pretty well incredulous when he told him Son had recorded a Peel session. But Jack's reaction is not that surprising; after all, how many contemporary British DJs in the 00s would have been able to say that they'd had one of the legendary delta bluesmen on their show? I reckon John P, who was developing a good friendship with Jack, was pretty proud to have been able to tell him that.

OK, that's it for the eight recently-unearthed Top Gears, so thanks again to hills1902, John and Phil for making them available. Hope you've enjoyed them.

Session Details

Son House
Kevin Ayers
(No details for the East of Eden session on the BBC pages)

Download (270Mb, 320Kbps MP3)

  • Top Gear Theme
  • Doug Kershaw - Mama Rita in Hollywood
  • Kevin Ayers - Derby Day (session)
  • East of Eden - Nymphenburger (session)
  • Steeleye Span - The Blackleg Miner
  • Traffic - Stranger to Himself
  • Fotheringay - Nothing More
  • News
  • Poco - Hurry Up
  • Son House - My Good Gal (session)
  • John Simon - Davey's On The Road Again
  • Kevin Ayers - The Interview (session)
  • Kevin Ayers - We Did It Again (session)
  • Jellybread - Rockin' Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu
  • East of Eden - Sphynx (session)
  • Son House - Spoken Word 1 (session)
  • Son House - Death Letter (session)
  • Son House - Spoken Word 2 (session)
  • Son House - Don't You Mind People Grinnin' In Your Face (session)
  • [News Edit]
  • East of Eden - Jig-a-Jig (session)
  • Ronnie Lane - Evolution (Stone)
  • Fairport Convention - Doctor of Physics
  • Kevin Ayers - Lunatic's Lament (session)
  • Matthew's Southern Comfort - Something In The Way She Moves
  • Top Gear Theme

Sunday, July 15, 2007

John Peel's Top Gear - 4th. July 1970

We fast-forward nearly a year from the previous post to mid-1970, and find music-loving Johnny Plee introducing sessions from Country Joe McDonald (right), Fotheringay and Cochise. It all gets a bit Pete Frame at this point, because Country Joe had recently stopped working with The Fish (as he told John Walters while recording the session), Fotheringay was Sandy Denny's project after leaving Fairport and Cochise are probably best known for being Mick Grabham's main band before joining Procol Harum. By coincidence, Peel even plays a Procol Harum track right before one of Cochise's session tracks. Hope you're all taking notes; there'll be a test after class.

The next upload on Kat's Karavan will be the 11th. July 1970 show (i.e. the very next show after this one), featuring sessions from Son House, Kevin Ayers and East of Eden.

Download (269Mb, 320Kbps MP3)

Further Browsing

Country Joe Session Details
Country Joe McDonald Live at Cropredy Festival on 2005-08-11
(includes a Peel mention)

  • Free - Mr. Big
  • The American Dream - Credamphels
  • Fotheringay - The Sea (session)
  • Wilbert Harrison - Blue Monday
  • Cochise - Woodland Light Irons (session)
  • The Pretty Things - Scene One/The Good Mr.Square/She Was Tall, She Was High
  • News
  • Fotheringay - The Ballad of Ned Kelly (session)
  • David Bowie - Memory of a Free Festival
  • Country Joe McDonald - Hold On It's Coming (session)
  • Country Joe McDonald - Balancing On The Edge Of Time (session)
  • Country Joe McDonald - It's So Nice To Have Love (session)
  • Country Joe McDonald - Maria (session)
  • Country Joe McDonald - Tell Me Where You're Bound (session)
  • Medicine Head - Coast To Coast (And Shore To Shore)
  • Fotheringay - Banks of The Nile (session)
  • Procol Harum - Your Own Choice
  • Cochise - Past Loves (session)
  • Wild Man Fisher - The Wild Man Fisher Story ("cadet edition")
  • Mike Cooper - Watching You Fall
  • News
  • Grateful Dead- New Speedway Boogie
  • American Tourist photo competition
  • "Disinterred 33 1/3": Soft Machine - We Did It Again
  • Fotheringay - The Way I Feel (session)
  • Cochise - Velvet Mountain (session)
  • Mississippi Fred McDowell - 61 Highway
  • Malaysian Girls - Hydro Percussion (from "John Peel's Archive Things")
  • Chickenshack - Never Ever

Friday, July 13, 2007

John Peel's Top Gear - 27th. July 1969

Crosby, Stills and Nash - Helplessly Hoping

OK, sorry about the delay. But we pick up the story 3 weeks after the last show I posted, finding Peel in an unusually showbiz mood, with a handover from Alan 'Fluff' Freeman and a bit of banter with his erstwhile Top Gear co-presenter Pete Drummond. Peel also chats about an upcoming holiday to France with his brother Alan and a recent visit to Birmingham, taking in Handsworth market and The Diskery. Sessions tonight come from Roy Harper, Ten Years After and Third Ear Band.

This one is missing the last 22-25 minutes and once again starts a little slowly. It also gets a little crackly towards the end; maybe it was the end of the reel, hence the truncated recording.

Download (225Mb, 320Kbps MP3)

  • Ten Years After - Woke Up This Morning (session)
  • Crosby Stills and Nash - Helplessly Hoping
  • Fairport Convention - Si Tu Dois Partir
  • Roy Harper - (It's Tomorrow And) Today Is Yesterday (session)
  • Chicago Transit Authority - Listen
  • Third Ear Band - Hyde Park Raga (session)
  • McKenna Mendelsohn Mainline - Beltmaker
  • News
  • Steve Miller Band - My Dark Hour
  • David Bowie - Space Oddity
  • Ten Years After - Crossroads (session)
  • Roy Harper - Hell's Angels (session)
  • Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - Pachuco Cadaver
  • Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - Pachuco Cadaver (brief reprise)
  • Johnny Winter - Black Cat Bone
  • Third Ear Band - Druid (session)
  • The Glass Menagerie - Watching The World Pass By
  • Roy Harper - She's The One (session)
  • Blodwyn Pig - The Change Song
  • Tim Hardin - Simple Song of Freedom
  • Ten Years After - Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
  • Roy Harper - Hey Francesca (session)
  • Bizarre applause - end of tape

Saturday, June 30, 2007

John Peel's Top Gear - 6th. July 1969

Just like the previous week, Peel arrives for Top Gear the day after attending an outdoor show, this time the Stones' famous Hyde Park concert. In session tonight: Jon Hiseman's Colosseum, The Pretty Things, Ustad Imrat Khan (left) and the John Dummer Blues Band.

The John Dummer Blues Band session is a repeat of the one broadcast on the 18th. May show, but this time there's an extra track, A Few Short Lines. Again, there's very little info out there about most of these sessions, so I've done the best I can. In particular, Indian readers will probably burst out laughing at my woeful efforts to transcribe Imrat Khan's tracks. If anyone can help me with proper track titles though, please drop a line in the Comments section below. I know next to nothing about Indian classical music, but this session sounds like an absolute stormer to me. So I'd like to get it right.

What else do I have to tell you? Oh yes, it's clear that the Peel/Walters relationship is developing nicely here, as there's several quips from John P about his new mate. And Peel bemoans the fact that David Bowie's new single is obviously not bound for the charts. Something called Space Oddity, apparently; whatever happened to that?

There appear to be a few speed issues here again; it seems a little slow at times. Also, it sounds like Peelie has trouble cueing up some of the recordings, as they often start too slowly.

Download (279Mb, 320Kbps MP3)

Further Browsing

Imrat Khan
The Pretty Things
John Dummer Blues Band
Jon Hiseman

  • Fairport Convention - Si Tu Dois Partir
  • Third Ear Band - Druid One
  • Colosseum - Elegy (session)
  • The Pretty Things - No More Spring (session)
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash - Pre-Road Downs
  • Imrat Khan (tabla: Mahapurush Misra) - Alap N'gat from Rag Kalabati (session)
  • [News edit]
  • Colosseum - Grass is Greener (session)
  • John Dummer Blues Band - A Few Short Lines (session)
  • The Pretty Things - Alexander (session)
  • David Bowie - Space Oddity
  • Steamhammer - Even The Clock
  • Colosseum - Jon Hiseman's Condensed History of Mankind (session)
  • Dave Kelly (John Dummer Blues Band) - Hard Times (session)
  • McKenna Mendelsohn Mainline - Better Watch Out
  • Imrat Khan - Rag Tori (session)
  • Mothers of Invention - Mr. Green Genes
  • The Pretty Things - Marilyn (session)
  • Blossom Toes - Kiss of Confusion
  • Colosseum - February's Valentine (session)
  • Edgar Broughton Band - Love in The Rain
  • John Dummer Blues Band - Jungle Blues (session)
  • Johnny Winter - I'm Yours And I'm Hers
  • The Pretty Things - Send You With Loving (session)
  • Top Gear Theme (snippet)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

John Peel's Top Gear - 29th. June 1969

Fresh from the previous day's Bath Festival (right), Peelie introduces us to more fab 'n groovy Top Gear sounds. This one features sessions from Led Zeppelin, Pentangle, early Jeff Lynne band The Idle Race and the Savoy Brown Blues Band. The Pentangle session seems to be a repeat of the one in the previous post, but this time "I Got a Feeling", an extra song you won't have heard last time, is included.

Also features West Bromwich blues, strange things happening in Lewisham, an early 'wrong speed moment' and the Appletree Theatre using the term WWW 22 years before Tim Berners-Lee. Oh, and some nascent Peel/Walters banter, where JP has a go at his new producer for mixing up the Idle Race running order.

This one starts out veeeery sloooow, hence it's a bit longer than normal. Judging by the length of Honky Tonk Women, I'd say it's about 5% too slow at the start, but it settles down after about 15 minutes.

Download (284Mb, 320 Kbps MP3)

Further Browsing

Why No Success For The Idle Race?
Wikipedia - The Misunderstood
Amazon (UK) - Led Zeppelin - The BBC Sessions
Amazon (US) - Led Zeppelin - The BBC Sessions
Led Zep Session Details

  • The Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Women
  • Led Zeppelin - What Is And What Should Never Be (session)
  • The Appletree Theatre - Sorry State of Staying Awake
  • Pentangle - Bruton Town (session)
  • Free - I'll Be Creeping
  • The Idle Race - Someone Knocking (session)
  • Savoy Brown Blues Band - Train To Nowhere (session)
  • [News edit]
  • Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love (session)
  • Billy Preston - That's The Way God Planned It
  • Pentangle - I Got a Feeling (session)
  • The Misunderstood - Never Had a Girl
  • The Idle Race - Please, No More Sad Songs (session)
  • Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - Neon Meate Dream of A Octofish
  • Savoy Brown Blues Band - She's Got a Ring In Her Nose And A Ring On Her Hand (session)
  • Chicago Transit Authority - South California Purples
  • Pentangle - Hunting Song (session)
  • Led Zeppelin - Travelling Riverside Blues '69 (session)
  • Andromeda - Go Your Way
  • The Idle Race - Sea of Dreams (session)
  • Savoy Brown Blues Band - Life's One Act Play (session)
  • Fairport Convention - Genesis Hall
  • BB King - Sweet Thing
  • The Idle Race - Reminds Me Of You (session)
  • Martha Velez - I'm Gonna Leave You
  • Led Zeppelin - Communication Breakdown (session)
  • The Plastic Ono Band - Give Peace a Chance

Saturday, June 23, 2007

John Peel's Top Gear, 18th. May 1969

OK folks, here we go with show three of the eight recently-discovered Top Gears. Tonight there's sessions from Pentangle, Blodwyn Pig, Mandrake Paddle Steamer and the John Dummer Blues Band.

Session Details

There's not much I can really say about this one. Unfortunately, the BBC pages don't have details for a single one of these sessions!

Download (265Mb, 320Kbps MP3)

  • The Mooch - Hot Smoke and Sassafras
  • The Idle Race - Days of the Broken Arrows
  • Pentangle - Once I Had A Sweetheart (session)
  • John Dummer Blues Band - The Big Feeling Blues (session)
  • Bob Dylan - One More Night
  • Blodwyn Pig - Ain'tcha Comin' Home, Babe? (session)
  • Mandrake Paddle Steamer - The Ivory Castle Of Solitaire Huske (session)
  • Credence Clearwater Revival - Penthouse Pauper
  • [News edit]
  • Sons of Champlin - 1982A
  • Pentangle - Hunting Song (session)
  • Van Morrison - Sweet Thing
  • Blodwyn Pig - Change Song (session)
  • John Dummer Blues Band - Skin Game (session)
  • Mandrake Paddle Steamer - Coogar and Dark (session)
  • The Famous Jug Band - The Only Friend I Own
  • Pentangle - Bruton Town (session)
  • Leonard Cohen - The Butcher
  • Blodwyn Pig - It's Only Love (session)
  • John Dummer Blues Band - Jungle Blues (session)
  • Dave Kelly (John Dummer Blues Band) - Hard Times (session)
  • John Fahey - Sail Away Ladies
  • Mandrake Paddle Steamer - Senlak Lament (session)
  • Spooky Tooth - Waitin' For The Wind
  • Blodwyn Pig - The Modern Alchemist (session)
  • Pentangle - Sally Go Round The Roses (session)
  • The Who - We're Not Gonna Take It
  • Vilayat Khan & Shanta Prasad - Concert in the Haunted Palace
  • Top Gear Theme

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

John Peel's Top Gear, 11th. May 1969

King Crimson, 1969

I know I said I'd post one of these a week, but as I'm home tonight I thought I'd put up the second one now. I may be a bit quicker with the rest as well. So here's another full 2-hour Top Gear show from 1969. And in a packed programme tonight, Ronnie, there's sessions from Fleetwood Mac, King Crimson, Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Bonzo Dog Band.

Session Details

Fleetwood Mac
King Crimson
The Bonzo Dog Band

(The Beeb has no details of this Tyrannosaurus Rex session on its Peel pages. Also, eagle-eyed readers may notice that the Bonzos' "Brain Opera" is not included here, possibly because it's a repeat session.)

Download (267Mb, 320Kbps MP3)

  • Top Gear Theme
  • The Edwin Hawkins Singers - Oh Happy Day
  • Tim Rose - Roanoke
  • Fleetwood Mac - Tallahassee Lassie (session)
  • Bonzo Dog Band - Mr. Apollo (session)
  • Chicken Shack - I'd Rather Go Blind
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex - Once Upon the Seas of Abyssinia (session)
  • King Crimson - The Court of the Crimson King (session)
  • [Edit to cut out news]
  • Martha Velez - It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry
  • Credence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising
  • Bonzo Dog Band - Look At Me I'm Wonderful (session)
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex - Nijinsky Hind (session)
  • Fleetwood Mac - Heavenly (session)
  • Jefferson Airplane - It's No Secret
  • King Crimson - 21st Century Schizoid Man (session)
  • Mike Cooper - Poor Little Annie
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex - The Misty Coast of Albany (session)
  • Neil Young - The Loner
  • Pentangle - Once I Had A Sweetheart
  • Fleetwood Mac - Early Morning Come (session)
  • The Glass Menagerie - Have You Forgotten Who You Are?
  • Canned Heat - Low Down
  • Bonzo Dog Band - Quiet Talks And Summer Walks (session)
  • Johnny Shines - Baby Don't You Think I Know
  • Fleetwood Mac - You'll Never Know What You're Missing Till You Try (session)
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex - Chariots of Silk (session)
  • King Crimson - Talk To The Wind (session)
  • Kak - Golgotha
  • Leviathan - Time
  • Fleetwood Mac - Blues With A Feeling (session)
  • Bob Dylan - I Threw It All Away
  • Colosseum - Walking In The Park
  • Top Gear Theme

Friday, June 15, 2007

John Peel's Top Gear - 27th. April 1969

Principal Edwards Magic Theatre

Probably the post of the year on the peel group was from user hills1902, who announced a couple of months back:
I have some old 7 inch reel-to-reel tapes of eight Top Gear
programmes that I recorded in 1969 and 1970, with sessions from the following bands:

26 Apr 69 - Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, Eclection, Family
11 May 69? - Fleetwood Mac, King Crimson, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Bonzo Dog Band
Date unknown - Pentangle, Blodwyn Pig, Mandrake Paddle Steamer, John Dummer Blues Band
Date unknown - Ten Years After, Roy Harper, Third Ear Band
29 Jun 69 - Led Zeppelin, Pentangle, Idle Race,
6 Jul 69 - John Dummer Blues Band, Colosseum, Pretty Things, Imrat Khan
4 Jul 70 - Country Joe Macdonald, Fotheringay, Cochise
11 Jul 70? - Kevin Ayers, East of Eden, Son House
Well, the tapes have now been encoded and properly dated, and they're absolute gems, giving a real flavour of the Top Gear experience for those of us too young to have been there (well, I was technically 'there', but at 8½, hardly 'hip and happening' enough to set the dial for this). So over the next 8 weeks I'll be uploading these classic shows to the Karavan, starting with this one, which features sessions from, as stated above, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, Eclection and (The) Family. There's only a slight glitch in Mr. Apollo, as indicated below, but otherwise this is a full two-hour show in very reasonable nick for its age. Manna for Peeliacs.

Many thanks to hills1902 for supplying these, to John for ripping and encoding them and to Phil for hosting them on his server.

Download (273Mb, 320Kbps MP3)

The file's too big for divshare, so I've switched to sendspace this week. Hope everyone's OK with that.

Session details

The Eclection

(The BBC's Peel pages have no details for this particular PEMT session, but I expect Ken Garner's upcoming book will put that right. Oh, and while we're at it, the BBC lists the group as Principal Edward's Magic Theatre, but I'm reasonably sure that's wrong.)

Further Reading

Dandelion Records
Principal Edwards Magic Theatre
(This site includes an article by Peel about the band published in "Disc and Music Echo" earlier that month.)

  • Top Gear Theme
  • The Byrds - Old Blue
  • Canned Heat - Time Was
  • The Eclection - Both Sides Now (session)
  • Chicken Shack - I'd Rather Go Blind
  • The Family - A Song For Me (session)
  • Bonzo Dog Band - Mr. Apollo [skips back to end of the Family track, then continues and jumps a bit further into Mr. Apollo]
  • News at 7:30
  • The Eclection - Restitution (session)
  • Bob Dylan - Country Pie
  • Principal Edwards Magic Theatre - Lament For The Earth (session)
  • The Family - Bring It On Home (session)
  • Pentangle - Once I Had A Sweetheart
  • Credence Clearwater Revival - Proud Mary
  • Principal Edwards Magic Theatre - Ballad of a Big Girl Now (session)
  • The Eclection - Charity (session)
  • Leonard Cohen - Seems So Long Ago Nancy
  • BB King - Sweet Little Angel
  • The Family - Love Is A Sleeper (session)
  • Coliseum (Colosseum) - Those About To Die
  • Principal Edwards Magic Theatre - Third Sonnet To Sundry Notes Of Music (session)
  • The Eclection - Earth (session)
  • The Moody Blues - Send Me No Wine
  • Gordon Smith - Instrumental No. 2 [Interrupted by a motoring flash]
  • The Family - I Sung 'Um The Way I Feel (session)
  • Principal Edwards Magic Theatre - Pinky: A Mystery Cycle (session)
  • Doctor John - The Lonesome Guitar Strangler
  • The Eclection - Put On Your Face (session)
  • Top Gear Theme

Sunday, June 10, 2007

John Peel's Perfumed Garden - 12th. July 1967

Peel on the Galaxy

I'm indebted once again to Colin Ellis for this one.

This is the first two thirds (80min) of a Perfumed Garden show that I'd not heard before. Here, we find John refreshed from a week's shore leave and armed with "all kinds of beautiful records for you". Also features Peel reading the weather and discussing entries to the "Zodiac Cosmic Sounds" contest. A very beautiful thing, you see.

If you like this sort of thing, you might like to know that my upload of Guy Brown's reconstruction of the final Perfumed Garden is still being seeded here after more than 18 months. (You'll need to be bittorrent-literate to get it.)

Play/Download (72.8MB, 79:31, MP3)

  • All You Need Is Love - The Beatles (fades in)
  • Epistle to Dippy - Donovan
  • Meet Me In The Bottom - Howlin' Wolf
  • Granny Takes A Trip - The Purple Gang
  • You Don't Have To Go - The Misunderstood
  • European Son to Delmore Schwartz - Velvet Underground
  • Sparrow - Simon and Garfunkel
  • Big Boss Man - Jimmy Reed
  • Sagittarius - Zodiac Cosmic Sounds
  • Fly Away - Blues Project
  • Rock My Plimsoul - Jeff Beck
  • White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
  • Mother, There's A Strange Man Waiting At the Door - Roger McGough
  • Foxy Lady - Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • 1.00 Weather
  • February Sunshine - Giant Sunflower
  • America Drinks, Status Back Baby, Uncle Bernie's Farm, Son of Suzy Creamcheese - The Mothers of Invention
  • Dust My Blues - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
  • Fixing a Hole - The Beatles

Sunday, June 03, 2007

John Walters - Room 101 - 4th. September 1992

Peel, Walters and some wee lass

No Peel site worth its bytes could fail to mention the massive contribution made to JP's legacy by his great friend and long-time producer John Walters. If you're unaware of the importance of Walters in Peel's life, you could do a lot worse than peruse this article, which also concentrates on Beefheart.

Here, Walters can be heard opposite Nick Hancock on the original radio version of Room 101, a show where guests would argue why their least favourite things in life deserved to be banished forever. Peel would appear on the show over a decade later, by which time it had moved to television and was being hosted by Paul Merton. If I can seek it out in time, I'll upload that one next week.

Play/Download (50.5 Mb, 256Kbps, 27:36)

Monday, May 28, 2007

John Peel and Pete Drummond - Top Gear - 1st. October 1967

That original Radio 1 lineup in full.
Drummond front row, third from left, Peel front row, extreme right.

To bookend the recent posting of the final Top Gear, we rewind eight years to the very first of Peel's Top Gears. This is not quite the first ever Top Gear, but it is the first on which Peel appeared. In fact this show, which Peel co-DJed with Pete Drummond, was Peel's first ever show on Radio 1, having played his last show on Radio London a couple of months earlier.

The Beeb really put the boat out for this one, as the session guests were (The) Pink Floyd, Traffic and Tomorrow.

This will probably be the most "DJ-ish" Peel you've ever heard, as he attempts at times embarrassing Smashie and Nicey-style "matey DJ chat" with co-host Drummond: very un-Peel. But its worth bearing in mind that John was only on a 6-week contract at this stage (only employed by the Beeb at all thanks to the championing of Bernie Andrews), so probably felt he had to toe the party line. At least to start with...

Interesting to hear JP refer to his current abode as 'Peel Acres' about 15 minutes in, as he was yet to move to Suffolk at this stage, and was currently living in a London flat.

Download (60.5Mb, 44 mins, 192K)
Recorded from 6music's rebroadcast about 18 months ago (from DAB). From memory, I believe I owe thanks to Pinball at Cook'd and Bomb'd for this MP3. Far better than my own crappy stream capture.

  • The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - Devil's Grip
  • Tomorrow - Real Life Permanent Dream (session)
  • Nirvana - Pentecost Hotel
  • The Pink Floyd - Set The Controls (session)
  • Tim Rose - Morning Dew
  • Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
  • The Velvet Underground & Nico - Sunday Morning
  • The Pink Floyd - Reaction in G (session) [fades after 30 seconds]
  • [**Edit**]
  • Tomorrow - Colonel Brown (session)
  • Amen Corner - World of Broken Hearts
  • Traffic - Paper Sun (session)
  • Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Yellow Brick Road
  • Big Maybelle - Every Day I Have The Blues
  • The Move - Kilroy Was Here
  • Skip Bifferty - On Love
  • The Pink Floyd - Flaming (session)
  • Tim Rose - Fare Thee Well [fades after 1 minute]
Note: Looks like the date is wrong in the filename, as apparently the show was broadcast on the 1st., not the 11th. of October '67. And you can't seem to rename your uploaded files with divshare, so I'm trusting you, gentle reader, to rename it after download. I care about these things, you know.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

John Peel, 18th. January 1982

Another request, this time by Entrailicus at the excellent new Fades in Slowly blog: here's 30 minutes of a Peel show from early '82.

An interesting one historically, this, as Peel recounts the impact Elvis, Little Richard and Captain Beefheart had on him when he first heard them. In fact John plays three tracks in a row to celebrate Beefheart's recent birthday and deadpans, "I'm sure that all of my [Radio 1] colleagues paid him fulsome tribute".

Play/Download (27.5 Mb)

  • Trailer for Adrian Love's Talkabout
  • Cornerstone - Progressive News
  • Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Diddy Wah Diddy
  • Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Grow Fins
  • Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Dirty Blue Gene
  • The Lone Ranger - Collie Dub
  • The Milkshakes - Bull's Nose
  • Pink Industry - Tomorrow (session)

Festive 50, 1983

JP shares a joke with his great mates from Radio 1

In response to a couple of requests, here's a repost of the Festive 50 from 1983. One of my own personal favourites, this one.

Nearly all Peel links are intact.

Download Part 1 (50-28)
(95.0 Mb)
Download Part 2 (27-1) (115Mb)


Note: DivShare seems to have truncated the filenames. They should be called "John Peel's Festive 50 1983 - Part 1 - 50 to 28.mp3" and "John Peel's Festive 50 1983 - Part 2 - 27 to 1.mp3" respectively. Not that it really matters, I suppose.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

John Peel's Top Gear, September 1975 (final show)

Peelie presents the final "Top Gear" show, before moving to the night time show the following week. There's session tracks from the various acts to have graced the show over the eight years it's been on the air, and plenty of Peel memories, reminiscences and regrets. (Fortunately, Peel turned out to be wrong about the Bonzos and Pink Floyd sessions being lost, as they're now very much out there.)

Weighing in at about 54½ minutes, this is a longer version than the MP3 that's been doing the rounds, and I think, slightly better quality. It's a new encode, from a tape supplied by Colin Ellis, that I put together last week. Colin's C90 had about 45 minutes of the show, and I've spliced in the 9 minutes or so from the previous MP3 that were not on the tape. You'll notice the join a couple of times, where the sound quality goes from tinny (tape) to muddy (the old MP3) and back again.

In this version, you get to find out what the first record ever played on Top Gear was, as Peel reprises it at the end of the show. You'll have heard him announce that on the previous version, but you never got to find it out as the recording ran out too soon. Oh, and I've no idea whether that intro was just something left on the tape or what, but I've left it on as I quite like it!

There should be more to come on the Karavan this weekend, including a repost of the '83 Festive 50 (by request).

Play/Download (50Mb, 128K MP3, 54:35)

  • [WTF?]
  • Peel Intro
  • Led Zeppelin - Communication Breakdown
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex - Ride a White Swan
  • Joe Cocker - Delta Lady
  • Peel recalls the history of Top Gear and looks forward to his new nighttime show
  • Pink Floyd - Daybreak
  • Randy Newman - Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear
  • Peel bemoans the BBC's wiping policy and has a rant about Gardeners' Question Time (!)
  • Bonzo Dog Band - Monster Mash
  • Fairport Convention - Percy's Song
  • Jethro Tull - Bouree
  • Maggie Bell/Stone the Crows - Hollis Brown
  • Led Zeppelin - Traveling Riverside Blues '69
  • Technical problems
  • Brief Snippet of Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • Bonzo Dog Band - Tent
  • Bob Marley & the Wailers - Concrete Jungle
  • Fairport Convention - Si Tu Dois Partir (AKA "If You Gotta Go, Go Now")
  • Peel thanks everyone and divulges the first record ever played on Top Gear.
  • [That first record, which I won't spoil]
  • Peel signoff
  • Keith Emerson and the Nice - Top Gear Theme
  • Pips