• 1979-11-20
  • XTC session features their spoof Grinderswitch intro and show preview, with a list of fictional bands. Peel's verdict? "Ooh, I do hate a smart alec... Do I say 'err' that often? I can't believe that I really do. I like the idea of the Blues Bastards, I must admit. I bet there's a band somewhere around the country that are called precisely that."
  • Peel complains of sounding too nasal due to having a cold, although he later comments, "My voice is enormously exciting isn't it? I bet there's hundreds and hundreds of young women with radios underneath their pillows as they lie in bed listening to the programme thinking, 'Peelie sounds great tonight'. Are there any? Write to me if you do!"
  • Multiple tracks are aired from from the Matumbi and PIL albums.
  • Mention is made of Peel's appearance on ITV's Star Games, something he seems to have kept to himself before transmission. Responding to a listener's letter he says, "I didn't mention the TV thing because it was deeply humiliating and I shan't tell you when the next round is either, because I don't want you to watch it."
  • Peel isn't very impressed with that week's Top 40 singles chart. "I was rather hoping that 'Eton Rifles' had gone to number one, but it hasn't. It's at number 3, up from 4. Dr Hook's still at number 1 and that frightful record by Queen (ie 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love') is at number 2. The rest of it was really fairly grim reading to be honest with you."
  • Rhyl band Seventeen later changed their name to the Alarm and went on to achieve some success.
  • DNV was fronted by Mike Scott, later of the Waterboys.



  • XTC: Opening Sig & Speech (session)
  • XTC: Real By Reel (session)
  • Damned: I Just Can't Be Happy Today (7") Chiswick
JP: "Co-written by Dadomo eh? We never use anything else on our woollens at home."
JP: "Of course with records like that you never know whether it's somebody being serious in a sense or whether it's somebody like Genesis being amusing." [1]
JP: "Pretty spotty in my experience and in need of a damn good wash."
(tape flip)
JP: "I have met young women of 17 myself, but I found them to be a little too mature for me."
JP: "If you weren't listening earlier on in the programme, don't forget to send your three favourite records of all time in to our festive fifty because it gives me something to do at the weekends, when otherwise I have nothing to do except sit and enjoy myself and watch television and eat and so forth like that."


  • 1979-11-20 John Peel BBC Radio 1.mp3
  • 01:57:29
  • T178 and T179 of the 400 Box
  • Complete show - missing a few minutes where the tapes change over.
  1. The Charlie Parkas single turned out to be a spoof release by a spin off from the group Alberto y Lost Paranoias. See [1].
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