John Peel Wiki


  • 1967-10-01
  • Peel's first-ever appearance on Radio One, co-presenting Top Gear with Pete Drummond, produced by Bernie Andrews and Bev Phillips, Sunday 2-5pm.
  • More on this historic show at Kats Karavan and at
  • The show was positively received in Disc & Music Echo. "The programme did have a definite theme - the new sounds from Britain and America - and it seemed to be approached seriously and intelligently. I felt that John and Pete Drummond believed in the music they were playing and made an admirable partnership"[1]. The BBC didn't seem to agree, ignoring Peel and pairing Drummond with other DJs for the next few episodes of Top Gear.
  • On the final Top Gear on 25 September 1975, Peel said (correctly) the first record ever played on the programme back in 1967 was Lovebug, Leave My Heart Alone by Martha & The Vandellas. This does not appear in this extract.
  • At least part of this show was recorded and kept by the BBC. A 45 minute section was rebroadcast on 6Music in late 2005, consisting of a 17 minute section from near the middle of the show, and 28 minutes from near the end. This was captured by Duff Paddy at Kat's Karavan in fairly low quality "crappy" streaming, but a better quality off-air recording from DAB was also made by Pinball and linked to from Kat's Karavan. It's not clear which version is available on the Mooo, as streaming artifacts are noticeable, especially in the chat between the DJs.
  • Another 45 minutes has now come to light, on the reverse of a tape Bernie Andrews gave to Ken Garner. "I don't think Bernie would mind now if this were shared," says Ken, "and in truth I had forgotten I had more than the well-known 45 mins circulated here, which was on the other side of this cassette. But, I have checked now, and I have no more! I have used the ragged PasB from archives which I still have to complete the full running order now, below".
  • Side 1 of this tape from Bernie is File A below, amounting to almost 48 minutes. Side 2 on File B features the same content as the earlier shared File C, including the gap between portions of the show, but there are an extra few minutes, including the end of the track that started on File A, and more of the last track. This was faded out for the 6Music rebroadcast. Bernie's cassette must be a tape copy of the original BBC tape, but it does not feature the digital artefacts.
  • On 06 February 1993 John mentions that he received a call from Peel Acres, where they were gathered round listening to a tape of this show, which had been discovered by Pinky. This may have been another taped copy, or the one that ended up back with Ken.
  • Whole show is likely to exist though not circulating, as excellent quality copies of several tracks including Tomorrow featuring Keith West: My White Bicycle (session) and Move: So You Wanna Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star? (session) have been commercially released.
  • Least familiar session artist to 1960s listeners was Big Maybelle (1924-1972), whose best-known track was the original version of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On"[2]


All sessions were debuts on Top Gear, although not necessarily on the BBC.


(Courtesy Duff Paddy & Ken Garner)

All BBC origination session tracks except where indicated

  • Sounds Incorporated: Top Gear (single) Columbia SED 8360 (sig.)
  • Martha and the Vandellas: Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone (single) Tamla Motown TMG621
  • Tomorrow featuring Keith West: Three Jolly Little Dwarfs (session)
  • Big Maybelle and the Senate: Mellow Yellow (session)
  • Donovan: There Is A Mountain (single) Pye 7N 17403
  • Country Joe and the Fish: Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine (album - Electric Music For The Mind And Body) Vanguard VSD79244
  • Move: Cherry Blossom Clinic (session)
  • Tim Rose: Hey Joe (You Shot Your Woman Down) (session)
  • Peter and the Wolves: Little Girl Lost And Found (single) MGM 1352
  • Doors: People Are Strange (single) Elektra EKSN 4 5017
  • Traffic: Smiling Phases (session)
  • Pink Floyd: The Gnome (session)
  • Senate: Top Gear (session)
  • Senate: Show Me (session)
  • Procol Harum: Homburg (single) Regal Zonophone RZ 3003
  • Tomorrow featuring Keith West: My White Bicycle (session)

recording Tape A begins:

  • Move: Hey Grandma (session)
  • Felice Taylor: I Feel Love Comin' On (single) President PT155

(interview with Tim Rose)

(JP: "Traffic now, and a song that might be dedicated to festive Peel Acres. It’s called A House For Everyone – hobbits, elves, sparrows, dibblers and assorted creatures.")
(PD: "Peel Acres? You must be joking.")
  • Traffic: A House For Everyone (session)
  • Idle Race: Here We Go Round The Lemon Tree (single) Liberty 55997
  • Idle Race: Imposters Of Life's Magazine (single) Liberty LBF15026
  • Big Maybelle and the Senate: Mean To Me (session)
  • Pink Floyd: Scarecrow (session)
  • Mothers of Invention: Big Leg Emma( single) Verve VS 557
  • Canned Heat: Rolling and Tumblin' (album - Canned Heat) Liberty LBF 83059
  • Senate: Skate (session)
  • Tim Rose: You're Slipping Away From Me (session)
  • Tomorrow Featuring Keith West: Revolution (session) E1 to 4:15
  • Roy Redmond: Good Day Sunshine (single) Warner Bros. WS 2075
(JP introduces the next track: "You’ll notice if you’re particularly perceptive that in the middle of this record there is a spoken bit in which they mention Mr Leitch. And of course Mr Leitch is Donovan.")
(JP: That was one of my favourite records actually – a song for you to pick and plant in your minds, so to speak.”)
  • Move: Stephanie Knows Who (session)
  • Traffic : Hole In My Shoe (session)
  • Billy Fury: Suzanne In The Mirror (single) Parlophone R 5634

File A ends and B begins during above track.

File C begins at start of next track.

(JP: "I might mention that Arthur Brown and myself will be appearing at Middle Earth tonight. In fact I shall be wearing my latest rather daring ensemble of hand-laminated rice paper, which I had whipped up over the weekend.")
(JP: "Actually, before MI5 transferred me from California, I attended the recording session at which this was made, and it’s very beautiful too. I’d like to play it for a very special person this afternoon – the bailiff who sits in the sitting room of Peel Acres 24 hours a day.")

pause on B and C

  • Blossom Toes: What On Earth (single) Marmalade 59800
  • Move: Flowers In The Rain (Single)
  • Big Maybelle and the Senate: Baby Please Don't Go
  • Traffic: Coloured Rain (session) @
  • Four Tops: You Keep Running Away (single) Tamla Motown TMG 623
  • Bee Gees: Massachusetts (single) Polydor 56192
  • Tomorrow featuring Keith West: Shy Boy (session)
  • Vanilla Fudge: Eleanor Rigby, Part 1 (single) Atlantic 584139
  • Pink Floyd: Matilda Mother (session)
  • Kinks: Autumn Almanac (single) Pye 7N 17400
  • Sweet Inspirations: Let It Be Me (single) Atlantic 584132
  • Move: So You Wanna Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star? (session)
  • Senate: Sweet Thing (session)

 B and C resume:

(JP: "Another Peel exclusive there, so to speak, and I hope they are going to come over here sometime before the end of the year.")

edit for 4.30pm news:

(JP: "I’d like to play this next record especially for Clive, who is sitting out there somewhere listening, without whom neither Peter nor myself would be here.")
(JP: ""One of my favourite groups in the whole world, probably a great many people have never heard of – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band. And I’d like to play this one especially for Shirley, with whom I saw this group in Los Angeles.")

File C fades out near start of above track. File B continues a little further before cutting out.

  • Love: The Castle (single - B-side of Softly to Me) Elektra EKSN 45016
  • Sounds Incorporated: Top Gear (single) Columbia SED 8360 (sig.)

end of show

Track marked @ available on File D


  • (Duff Paddy) Looks like the date is wrong in the filename, as apparently the show was broadcast on the 1st., not the 11th. of October '67.
  • A) top gear 1967-10-01a.mp3
  • B) top gear 1967-10-01b.mp3
  • C) John Peel & Pete Drummond Top Gear Radio 1 (Incomplete).mp3
  • D1) Traffic - Peel sessions - Top Gear 1967
  • D2) 1967-10-01 TG 1.10.67 Traffic Coloured Rain w. Peel outro.mp3
  • E) Tomorrrow-Top-Gear-Session-Sept-21-1967
  • A) 47:45
  • B) 47:49
  • C) 44:35
  • D1) 10:30 (to 2:44)
  • D2) 2:45
  • E) 15:45 (to 9:28) File continues with record versions of another couple of session tracks with Brian Matthews introducing
  • C) File shared via Kat's Karavan
  • Thanks to Duff Paddy
  • D) Many thanks to Colin Harper. D2 has centred audio.
  • E) Many thanks to Gordon Skene