The Observer is a British Sunday newspaper first published in 1791. Since 1993 it has been the sister newspaper of The Guardian.

John Peel wrote regularly for The Observer in the second half of the 1980s, frequently reviews of live music events he had attended, but the relationship evidently turned sour: he once called them 'the Sunday newspaper that turned its back on me a few years ago, when I was their man in pop music' (01 March 1992 show). He was then briefly picked up by the newly-launched rival Independent on Sunday.

Peel Articles

Many pieces written by Peel for the newspaper were re-published in Olivetti Chronicles:

  • 1985-09-01, Top of the Pops, pg. 301-3
  • 1985-11-10, Cliff Richard, pg. 255-6
  • 1985-12-22, Turntable Mistress, pg. 314-5
  • 1986-01-19, Bottom Lines, pg. 30-31
  • 1986-01-26, Half Man Half Biscuit, pg. 108-9
  • 1986-03-09, Madonna, pg. 151-3
  • 1986-04-06, Captain Beefheart 1, pg. 36-8
  • 1986-05-11, Aural Vandalism, pg. 9-11
  • 1986-06-15, Misty in Roots, pg. 160-2
  • 1986-07-06, Wham!, pg. 333-5
  • 1986-07-27, UK Fresh 86, pg. 316-7
  • 1986-08-24, Fall, pg. 90-1
  • 1987-02-15, Bhundu Boys, pg. 25-26
  • 1987-02-22, Europe, pg. 64-5
  • 1987-03-08, Chicago House, pg. 42-3
  • 1987-03-22, Protest Songs, pg. 235-6
  • 1987-05-17, Eurovision, pg. 66-8
  • 1987-06-28, Bhangra, pg. 22-24
  • 1987-07-12, Billy Joel, pg. 125-6
  • 1987-07-26, Bemeya Jazz National, pg. 15-16
  • 1987-08-02, Smiths, pg. 276-7
  • 1987-08-16[1], Butthole Surfers, pg. 32-3
  • 1987-08-23, Madonna 2, pg. 154-5
  • 1987-10-04, Napalm Death, pg. 169-70
  • 1987-11-29, Public Enemy, pg. 237-8
  • 1988-02-07, New Age Music, pg. 171-2
  • 1988-03-06, USSR, pg. 318-9
  • 1988-05-01, Frankie Laine, pg. 139-40
  • 1988-06-05, Extreme Noise Terror, pg. 75-6
  • 1988-07-10, Kylie Minogue, pg. 158-9
  • 1988-07-17, Michael Jackson, pg. 122-4
  • 1988-07-31, Prince, pg. 233-4
  • 1988-10-02, Mancunian Music, pg. 41
  • 1988-10-30, Roy Orbison, pg. 195-6
  • 1988-12-04, Happy Mondays, pg. 110-1
  • 1989-01-22, Bryan Ferry, pg. 92-3
  • 1989-01-29, Sub Pop, pg. 290-1

Please add further information on Peel's articles for The Observer if known.


Those with a subscription (freely available from many libraries) can read Peel's Observer articles in their original form via the Guardian and Observer Digital Archive

The below articles can be read without such a subscription:


  • June 16: Open air rock Festivals have, with too few exceptions, been pretty beastly affairs. Repellent food, medieval toilet facilities, torpid bands and heavy handed security have been commonplace, and the survival of the ... (read more)
  • June 23: If life has prodded you on the nose at all in the recent past, may I recommend a sequence from the second programme of excerpts from Ready, Steady, Go!, to be shown on Channel 4 this Friday at 5.50 p.m., as a powerful ... (read more)
  • June 30: Recent trips to Europe have shown that our friends in Holland and Germany, not to mention Belgium and France, are even more persuaded of the greatness and goodness of Bruce Soringsteen than we are here in Britain. Only last night a telephone conversation with ... (read more)
  • July 21: There is something rather charming about 'Top of the Pops,' the clothes, the dancing and the often genuine atmosphere of a rumbustious adolescent party smacking more of the village hall than, let's say, London's Camden Palace. Last week the palace hosted the first ... (read more)
  • August 04: 'She will do the question and answer situation,' said Peter Stringfellow. 'Then there will be a photography shoot in the Star Bar.' He urged us to relax. In fact, he was positively insistent that we relax. 'Relax,' he said. Veterans of record company receptions smiled knowingly ... (read more)
  • August 11: An ICA audience really knows how to sit on the floor and look glum. On Wednesday, as part of the series of Rock Weeks, the diverting German combo Frei Willige Selbstkontrolle played to a largely floor-bound congregation, anxious not to allow the ghost of a ... (read more)
  • September 08: Students of black American life between the ward who derive their information from L.P. sleeve notes and television documentaries, will know that those men who were not semi permanently engaged in drinkin' and a-drinkin', pursuing big leg women, and catching that ... (read more)
  • October 27: Some of pop music's friskiest thinkers urge that for fresh and creative bands you must look overseas, to America and Australia and a new generation of guitar totin' suburbanites. I recommend three bands from Tucson, Arizona: ... (read more)
  • November 03: As the crowds drifted away from Wembley, the young woman clad all in white, shimmering samite perhaps, danced through the North Exit, through the drizzle, through the traffic and disappeared into the night, still dancing. To make someone feel that ... (read more)
  • December 01: 'My goodness, the Albert Hall,' observed Elaine Paige. The audience applauded this feat of recognition enthusiastically. Many years ago, I sat cross-legged on the same stage and read a by and large half baked story written by the late ... (read more)
  • December 29: In the autumn of 1976 and faced with producing a series of programmes with which to entrance the Radio 1 audience over the Christmas holiday, John Walters and I decided to invite listeners to list their three favourite records of all time. From their cards and ... (read more)


  • February 02: Towards the end of 1982 word seeped through to the major record labels from the dance floors of Britain that consumer interest in African music was growing. Working on the 'Mine ! Mine !' I saw them first principal, the companies hastened to sign an ... (read more)
  • February 16: The Corruption Collective, loosely based on Nottingham, are organisers of musical events, including performances on sites not traditionally associated with song and dance, and are currently assembling a package to include a record, a cassette, a magazine and what they describe as ... (read more)
  • February 23: Whenever I receive an unexpected invitation this year I accept without question, secretly believing that I am being tricked into attending a surprise banquet organised by a grateful society to celebrate my 25 years as a broadcaster. I have even rehearsed the affectingly modest ... (read more)
  • March 02: A year ago there were 15 Thetford Breakers. Now there are three. Andrew Saunders, whose street name - or perhaps, as this is rural East Anglia, that should be lane name - is Sherlock A, Daniel Lish, now Devious Dee, and Peter Hurt, whose doorbell in Ripon Way proclaims him a ... (read more)
  • March 23: If I live for ten thousand times ten thousand years I shall not forget We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It's a cappella version of 'Tutti Frutti.' Not so much etched on the memory as trampled into it. Fuzzbox, as we must learn to call them, are currently one of the bands to ... (read more)
  • March 30: On Tuesday the Yoko Ono Starpeace World Tour 1986 will be in Toronto at the start of the North American leg of an odyssey that has already taken her to 14 cities in Europe and on both sides of the Iron Curtain. This was, she said at a Press conference in London, only the first ... (read more)
  • April 13: Several months ago I listened with some astonishment to an LP by a Christian heavy metal band called Stryper, an LP which includes a version of the Battle Hymn of the Republic which would set a smile playing about the face of the sourest critic. On the sleeve, the members of Stryper, dressed in ... (read more)
  • April 20: Each year the magazine Smash Hits offers its readers an album into which they may stick full colour pictures which they acquire from consenting newsagents in packets of five. In the current album - I can't find a Feargal Sharkey anywhere, by the way - Depeche Mode take the whole of the ... (read more)
  • May 04: On 3 July Gary 'Gaz' Mayall celebrates six years of Gaz's Rockin' Blues, nights for the fervent reveller at Soho's Gossips niterie. With help from his sister Red and brothers Jason and Ben, Gaz has provided a platform for dozens of ... (read more)
  • May 18: Set before me a citizen who can list a favourite band, a favourite single or a favourite concert and I'll show you someone sorely lacking in flexibility, vision and wit. Having said that, my favourite band remains, despite several strong challenges, The Fall; my favourite record is still ... (read more)
  • May 25: To Camden's Electric Ballroom again, this time for Marc Riley and the Creepers and That Petrol Emotion, two bands still marginally bedevilled by consumer memories of previous associations; Marc Riley with The Fall, That Petrol Emotion's Sean and Damien O'Neill with the ... (read more)
  • June 01: You don't need me, I'm sure, to tell you that 'bhundu' is Shona for 'bush.' The Bhundu Boys, all in their early to mid-twenties, are from Zimbabwe and have this week completed their first tour of Britain, a tour promoted by the admirable Champion Doug Veitch and his ... (read more)
  • June 22: Over a crackly telephone lime I sought information. What, I roared, are recording studios like in Nicaragua? Is this the first LP Zinica have made? The answers to these admittedly dull questions were virtually unintelligible. I think I caught the word ... (read more)
  • June 29: A spirit of adventure has twice in recent weeks taken me to the Wag Club, Wardour Street, London. On the first occasion it was to bear witness on your behalf to a New York performance artist who, it was claimed, would beat herself senseless on stage to a musical ... (read more)
  • July 13: 'PLAID LAFUR CYMRU' read the banner over the stage. Beneath it Yr Anhrefn were nearing the end of what had been a strikingly informal sound check. 'I thought punk was supposed to do away with sound checks,' grumbled David Edwards of ... (read more)
  • July 20: 'Louder,' came the cry from the dance floor. 'Louder and faster.' The Wedding Present, fronted by David Gedge, a man with one of those pale, sad faces you see looking solemnly at you from photographs of First World War volunteers awaiting ... (read more)
  • August 03: 'Drop a bomb on Billy Bragg's knickers,' suggested singer Martin Degville. Quite why he wished us to do such a thing was never made clear, but this somewhat puzzling aside provided the most challenging moment in Sigue Sigue Sputnik's performance at the Camden Palace on ... (read more)
  • August 10: There are nights when I dream of demo cassettes, thousand upon thousand of them, glistening hard and black, cascading on to my bruised and broken body. On average 20 cassettes arrive at Radio 1 each day addressed either to producer John Walters or myself. Assuming 10 minutes of music on each, this ... (read more)
  • August 31: A disproportionate number of column inches in the music press have, over the past decade, been dedicated to the propositions that punk is dead, that rock is dead, even, in the more philosophical publications, that we are ... (read more)
  • September 07: On Thursday afternoon a van chartered by Radio One drew up at our ranch-styled home in the East Anglia badlands. Ten large boxes were offloaded and carried into the house. Each box contained a quantity of cassettes which have now been added to the ... (read more)
  • September 14: Plodding homeward from a New Order concert in 1983, I remarked to my companions that their music reminded me some what of the Pink Floyd - even, at times, of Duane Eddy. These observations were greeted with hoots of what can only be described as ... (read more)
  • September 21: 'You've still got a lovely bottom,' volunteered my companion wistfully as Rod Stewart took to the Wembley Arena stage on Thursday night. I wondered whether Rod would have retained the other characteristics that made him and the Faces our ... (read more)
  • October 05: 'ONE COPY ONLY - autographed - of the "Live in Athens" cassette,' cried the man behind the Nana Mouskouri ephemera stall as we shuffled into a Brighton Dome heated to a degree suitable for an audience deemed to be at risk from hypothermia. Inside, the air ... (read more)
  • November 02: The first World Popular Song Festival, in case you missed it, took place in Tokyo in 1970, when Israel's Hedva and David walked off - there can be no other words for it - with the Grand Prize. Israel was not represented at this year finals in the ... (read more)
  • November 23: 'Banjo players pluck with a stiff pick', reads one of the hand lettered notices on the bandstand. 'I'm not deaf - I'm ignoring you,' explains another. Around the walls are reproductions of newspaper stories with such headlines as ... (read more)
  • December 07: 'It's a shame to spoil the magic for the youngsters,' the woman said. Standing in the bar of the Gaumont, Ipswich, she was discussing a book written about Shakin' Stevens by his former manager Paul Barrett. 'A lot of bitterness there,' she suggested. Her family and a couple she had met at a ... (read more)
  • December 14: I have never been much of a dancing man. If cornered, I tap my knee in a conspiratorial way - not an easy thing to do and mutter - 'Korean War ... Shrapnel ... Official Secret ... sorry.' The truth is that the only dance of which I have ever been master is the ... (read more)
  • December 21: 'Hello London. How ya feeling?' The speaker was James Taylor, JT of Kool and the Gang. Before we had time to consider our replies, the band was into 'Emergency,' the Wembley Arena audience was on its feet and we were being advised by JT that tonight was the ... (read more)


  • January 11: Nineteen years ago, wearing loon pants and about a third of a bedspread imperfectly but expensively transformed into a kaftan, I stood on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall and cried 'Tomorrow they will be Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton. Tonight they are still ... (read more)
  • January 18: Still wide eyed with the excitement of having made, for the first time in my life, a telephone call from a men's toilet, and having brushed past Damien O'Neill, one of the Undertones and now of That Petrol Emotion, on the stairs, I took my place among those striking attitudes of ... (read more)
  • January 25: When Cath Carroll interviewed Divine for the New Musical Express in the spring of 1985, she was disconcerted to discover the richly proportioned entertainer, known to intimates as Divvy and to much of the rest of humankind either as the star of a series of ... (read more)
  • February 08: The enthusiasm of listeners for a recent Radio One session by The Stupids was generally expressed in terms more appropriate to the casualty ward than to music criticism. 'It rips,' suggested one writer. 'The Stupids shred,' enthused another. 'They truly maim,' volunteered a ... (read more)
  • March 29: The Oakland Tribune of 11 April 1933 carried a picture of a family of seven which had trecked across country from Boaz, Alabama, to Oakland in search of work. In the centre of the photograph stands a sad-faced child of seven, Rose Maddox, who sang at the ... (read more)
  • April 12: 'We haven't seen any protesters, shrilled the over dressed woman pushing into the queue. She was plainly disappointed. Earlier I had found someone shyly handling out Anti-Apartheid Movement leaflets which read, in part, 'Paul Simon chose to go to South Africa to record "Gracelands," a deliberate ... (read more)
  • May 03: On a recent voyage of discovery through sections of Scandinavia, during which we found that, by and large, Sweden is closed and that the most amusing thing to do in Denmark is to take lunch in the town of Middlefart, many hours were devoted to ... (read more)
  • May 24: Eight years ago I saw The Pretenders supporting Belfast punks Stiff Little Fingers at the Pavilion, West Runton. Since then their circumstances and line up have changed considerably, the former as the result of a succession of hit singles and L.P.'s and the latter, in part, as the result of two ... (read more)
  • May 31 (Excerpt): In a world which appears to regard the twentieth anniversary of Sergeant Pepper as the major musical event of the year, I would be dlighted to see the Gaye Bykers, their studied muckiness and dishevelled followers, take centre stage for a few ... (read more)
  • June 07: As we sat and waited for Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Wembley we were treated to a playing of - ah, you're ahead of me - 'Sergeant Pepper.' A bad, bad omen, I felt, and for about an hour of Thursday's concert it appeared that I was right. In 1979 Young and the band released a ... (read more)
  • June 19: ‘And a half a lager for me, please,’ I whispered. ‘Are you sure?’ asked the barman, plainly worried. This was the Metropole, Sunbridge Road, Bradford, serious pints territory where members of the long-established 1 in 12 Club were gathered in an upper room to hear, amongst other bands, Nottingham’s Heresy ... (read more). (See also 03 August 1987)
  • June 28: 'Ranjit to the stage please', urged the DJ, punching up the Nitro Deluxe record and thereby promoting substantial activity on the dance floor. Many of the dancers looked as though they should be at school. Their customers ranged from ... (read more)
  • July 05: A check through the programme for Luther Vandross's concerts in Britain reveals no mention of the singer's star sign nor, indeed, of God. This is a refreshing break with tradition. American soul stars are usually terrifically keen on ... (read more)
  • July 19: 'And a half a lager for me, please,' I whispered. 'Are you sure?' asked the barman, plainly worried. This was the Metropole, Sunbridge Road, Bradford, serious pints territory where members of the long established 1 in 12 Club were gathered in an upper room to hear amongst other bands, Nottingham's ... (read more)
  • August 30: Geezer Records of Barking, Essex, released 'Every Friday' by Riff Raff in 1977. Although 'Every Girl' failed to set the nation's toes furiously tapping, a second record, 'I Wanna Be A Cosmonaut,' was issued. Cosmonaut, too, died quietly on the hard shoulder of pop's highway. Yet this week Riff Raff ... (read more)
  • September 20: It is written in the 1985 'Smash Hits Collection' that Gary Numan, born Gary Anthony James Webb, is intensely patriotic, loves guns, and has had a hair transplant. It also claims, barely credibly that Gary 'loves the idea of nuclear war.' The ... (read more)
  • October 11: 'I'm still Don and I'm still the eldest,' said Don. During a late adolescence into which The Everly Brothers were inextricably woven, I never knew which was which. It did not seem to matter. Now I can tell you that Phil is the one who looks vaguely like Alan Alda and Don looks like ... (read more)
  • October 18: Nancy Bowling of Bryan Adams High School, Dallas, introduced me to the work of Bob Dylan and many was the night we heavy petted to the 'Freewheelin' LP. I wonder what Nancy would have made of Dylan's recent performances in ... (read more)
  • October 25: Naming a bar after the late Keith Moon would seem to indicate a willingness to lease fate comparable with, say, naming your car hire business after James Dean, or calling your band The Sid Presley Experience and thus summoning up the shades of ... (read more)
  • November 01: At the end of their perfervid days at the office, Japanese businessmen care for nothing as much as an hour or two in the karaoke bar singing their troubles away to pre-recorded backing tapes. Now karaoke is catching on in ... (read more)
  • November 15: Bochum's Zeche was constructed during that brief period when it was considered smart to leave ventilation ducts, scaffolding and other construction effects on public view. Spacious, with a restaurant, bars, pool room, and a theatre, the latter with a ... (read more)
  • December 06: It is with regret that I have had to abandon the opening paragraph I prepared earlier on the subject of Gary Glitter: something spiteful about oven-ready turkeys being stuffed for Christmas. For Gary, last spotted in Lilliputian scale as a bulky ... (read more)
  • December 20: 'What's it like here in the summer?' asks the Fatback Band's Bill Curtis. From the back of Tiffany's, Great Yarmouth, I murmured 'Wet,' but I do not imagine that Bill would have heard me clearly over the blowing of whistles from the ... (read more)


  • January 03: The Festive 50, you recall, is a chart lovingly handcrafted from the votes of my Radio 1 listeners for their three favourite tracks of the year. In 1986, as may have slipped your memory, the Festive 50 was made faintly ridiculous by the inclusion of seven tracks by the ... (read more)
  • January 10: Ian McCullough of Echo and the Bunnymen would, I think, have been unplaced in an Ian McCullough look-alike competition at the NEC Arena last Thursday. As a man who strove to look like Duane Eddy until I realised that only remedial surgery would make me ... (read more)
  • January 17: 'If anyone wants to know,' the woman by the door shouted to no one in particular, 'Glen Matlock's here.' Skully, 16 from Forest Hill, and Despair, 17, from Clapham Junction, later to write in my reporter's notebook, 'God help me. I've been polite to someone!', jumped up and ... (read more)
  • January 31: The conventions of heavy metal have been so frequently and so accurately parodied that you have to do something pretty different with them to avoid being merely laughable. Wolfsbane were not doing it and the audience remained uninvolved, despite much ... (read more)
  • February 14: The dance floor of London's Wag Club is no place for the fainthearted, especially if you are abandoned enough to be wearing, as I was, a bulbous jacket, of a type briefly in vogue four or five years ago, it's pockets heavy with the morning's change of socks and ... (read more)
  • March 06: Moscow's Olympinsky Village, internally clad with light coloured woods and boasting all the invitations of rock 'n' roll untidiness that one associates with the Purcell Room, was playing host - for one night only - to the local rock community, on this evidence ... (read more)
  • March 13: I have to admit that I do not always pay full attention to what is being said to me. So it was that we had come to the Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green, under the impression that we were going to see the Crickets and Marti Caine. Would they, I had asked of less than impressed ... (read more)
  • April 10: The officer on duty in the Zambian Immigration Office at Victoria Falls seemed quite pleased to see the three of us when we arrived, already glistening with spray, at his counter. Our purpose in entering his country was, we explained, the better to see the ... (read more)
  • April 17: 'Forget the endlessness,' urges someone, presumably tuneful Art himself, in the programme offered for sale at this week's Garfunkel-up in the Albert Hall. 'At best,' he continues, 'We're just a spalding in a mausoleum' I mused on this rather lovely thought as I ambled into the ... (read more)
  • May 15: Our BBC studios are currently resplendent with signs in pink and yellow dayglo announcing 'Radio 1 - Where Something's Always Happening!' Nowhere is this more true than on the Steve Wright programme. This week Steve - as we all call him - has delighted his listeners with tracks by Ipswich's ... (read more)
  • May 22: No, I don't pick u as many hitch-hikers as I used to. Well, there are so many, you know, weirdos about, aren't there? And there are those hikers whose eyes you see in the rear-view mirror, eyes that make you wish more than anything in the whole world that you had just kept driving. Guy Chadwick looks like ... (read more)
  • May 29: 'That Richard Morrissey from the Smiths is here,' trilled a man with a red plastic bow tie, raising my spirits considerably. Having squirmed through 50 minutes of Ted Rogers and Arab jokes, Joan Collins jokes, lesbian jokes, Arthur Scargill jokes, curry jokes, mother-in-law jokes, Gorbachov ... (read more)
  • June 12: Dire Straits have shifted 86,500,000 units worldwide. Advance sales of 1985's 'Brothers In Arms' netted 100,000,000 yen in Japan alone, with the LP going on to chart in a record 43 countries. Well, this may not all be absolutely true, probably is not, because I just made it up, but those are the ... (read more)
  • June 26: The toilets at the reknitted Alexandra Palace have been much improved since I was last there, which if memory serves, was for the 24-Hour Technicolour Dream in 1967, when I was more worried about missing Pink Floyd (I did) and seeing Brian Jones apparently just walking about (I didn't). The new urinals are ... (read more)
  • July 17: The last time I saw Michael Jackson at Wembley, he was a diminutive fifth of the Jackson 5, cute and precocious. On Thursday he returned as superhero, larger and appearing stranger than life, with a show I do not expect to see equalled in my lifetime ... (read more)
  • August 07: 'My children,' my correspondent wrote, 'attend Brockweir primary school, which is one of the smallest schools in Gloucestershire with 23 pupils. On July 12 the school had a real treat when the group Amayenge came and gave a dance and music workshop. The children had a ... (read more)
  • August 21: Ask Americans if they know Iowa City, Iowa, and they will look at you with the incredulity you might reserve for an immigration officer who insisted upon seeing the Escort XR 3-shaped birthmark your passport clams you have upon your hip. Iowa City, Iowa, their pleasing eyes tell you, is not the ... (read more)
  • August 28: My painstaking researches seldom take me to Dingwalls in London's Camden Lock because when I do go, I run the risk of being cornered by emaciated chaps, unsuitable moustaches flecked with lager, explaining how they played bass back in 1971 with ... (read more)
  • September 25: Cheekily half-inching something of the leaden prose style traditionally associated with Soviet bureaucracy, Stuart Adamson of Big Country, writing of his band's impending trip to Moscow, has equipped: 'This is a unique opportunity for us to make ... (read more)
  • October 02: As a man, who spent his formative on Merseyside, it has always been a source of irritation that so much of the music I prefer originates in Manchester, a city I was encouraged from an early age to believe was populated by the less than human. In the past decade ... (read more)
  • October 09: For over a year now I have had to endure the horrid taunts of acquaintances who did not, as I did, miss the final tour of Steve Albini's former band, Big Black, 'Revved-up youths on a thrill rampage,' they said. Since then Albini's reputation has ... (read more)
  • October 16: 'Are you still on Radio 1 then?' asked the man from the local paper brightly. We were in a dressing room at Totnes Civic Centre during a fund raising concert for the local constituency Labour Party. On stage, the previous occupants of the dressing room, the ... (read more)
  • October 23: A few weeks ago Delhi For Delhi were having a thoroughly bad time providing support for Siouxsie & The Banshees in Leicester. Crippled by equipment failure, they were unable to engage much other than the mild hostility of the ... (read more)
  • November 06: Dear old Walter had slipped away silently in his sleep; Nelson Gabriel, close to tears, had asked for a few moments alone with his father. This seemed like no time at all to be leaving the quiet luxury of the car for the rude streets of Finsbury Park and another night of ... (read more)
  • November 27: Since the release in 1985 of their first record, a seven inch EP called 'Feel Good About Your Body' which said a resounding 'No' to life with such titles as 'Die Bitch' and 'Constant Pain', Pussy Galore has taken not a single step along the bright pathway to ... (read more)
  • December 18: If we are to have pop stars - and we are - I would prefer them to be like Boy George, reasonably talented, irreverent, and occasionally just plain wrong. Earlier this year, George appeared at and drove in a celebrity stock car race at Wimbledon. Even though his star was in decline, George was the ... (read more)


  • January 01: EACH YEAR, as the 'days dwindle down to a precious few November, December,' I urge listeners to my programmes on Radio 1 FM to submit lists of their three favourite tracks from the previous 12 months. From these lists I hand tool ... (read more)
  • January 08: FOR those keen to see the wider range of pop music presented on television, most dawns have been false. Channel 4's 'The Tube' was not without merit, of course, but the deification of its presenters and their descent into ... (read more)


  • Aug 12: A lot of restaurants feel that they need to intimidate customers into believing that they are good, most people are too terrified of appearing uncool to ask what the hell they are eating. Whenever we go to the Brewers we get a good square meal and without too much fuss ... (read more)


  • Feb 23: This is the first Nick Hornby book I've read. Shocking, but true. Surely, people have said, you must have read Fever Pitch. 'But it's about Arsenal,' I have replied, remembering the pain of the 1950 Cup Final, when they beat Liverpool 2-0. Happily, 31 Songs is not about Arsenal. And, of course, it is a list ... (read more)
  • Apr 20: I'VE NEVER BEEN a one for autographs, I asked Sam Lightnin' Hopkins for his, Jimi Hendrix for his and I collected Billy Liddell's on a flyer for the Reynolds News before a match at Anfield in the Fifties. To behonest I don't remember the first Liverpool match I went to, although ... (read more)


  • Dec 12 (reprinted Introduction to 'Choosing Death - The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore'): "ENT (Extreme Noise Terror) were amazing. So were their fans. Any track more than 20 seconds long was greeted with derisive cries of "too long, too slow" or "fucking prog-rockers" from the faithful ... (read more)



  1. The actual article was published on 9th August 1987 rather than the 16th in the book.
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