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