John Peel Wiki


  • 1968-04-03
  • Peel sounds a little nervous in his show intro but then relaxes; his public school accent still shows. Towards the end of the show he speeds up his links and says before the final session track that he’s “pressed for time".
  • Peel has poet Carlyle Reedy (Ken Garner’s The Peel Sessions book mislabels her as Carlysle Reed), accompanied on some session tracks by Tim Walker, a classical guitarist who also did folk club gigs, and Mick Farren in the studio.
  • Peel mentions that he once had a "10 minute non-conversation" with Lightnin' Hopkins, as both men could not understand each other, and also says that he has 25 albums by the bluesman. (Oddly, despite his lifelong admiration for Hopkins, he doesn’t appear to have referred to this meeting again.) The Hopkins track that opens the show is mentioned as reaching #2 in the local Dallas charts when Peel lived there, and later turned up among the treasured singles in John Peel's Record Box.
  • Studio guest Mick Farren discusses the upcoming Deviants LP ("Ptooff!"), which they will be releasing independently (on their own Underground Impresarios label, with sleevenotes by Peel). He also muses on the state of pop and its relation to other music.
  • After listening to Farren’s interview, Robert Chapman commented (in his book Selling The Sixties, p.268-9): “Mick Farren, the International Times journalist, and member of the Social Deviants politico-rock group, ponderously informed listeners on an early programme that ‘pop music as such is ceasing to exist’, that rock was making politics obsolete, and that Pete Townsend propelling his arms while playing his guitar had a definitive dialectical meaning which ‘the kids’ intuitively understood”.
  • Session band Mabel Greer's Toyshop featured Chris Squire and later evolved into prog rock titans Yes, who failed to find favour with Peel.
  • Among the records, the only current material comes from the first “very strange” LP by Dr. John, then obscure and only available on import, and the Incredible String Band, whose album The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter made the top five of the LP charts. Peel says the ISB produce “sung poems”, although he slightly miscues the track played here.
  • He follows it with a recording of South Indian Buddhist temple music, which sounds like it too might come from a 1968 ISB album or concert, but Peel thinks it sounds like avant-garde jazz from New York.
  • Playlist also includes a story read by Professor J.R.R. Tolkien.




  • NR 03-04-68.mp3
  • 56:48
  • Many thanks to Warwick Johns