John Peel Wiki


  • 1968-10-20
  • More than half a century after this Top Gear hit the ether it has now returned to earth courtesy of Warwick Johns
  • John's favourite 1960s filling words "nice" and "you see" are well in evidence here, along with the odd "amazing"
  • He is in good spirits, claims it’s been a “magic week” and says he’s spent a lot of time travelling on trains.
  • He plays two tracks from Captain Beefheart’s Strictly Personal LP, which has just arrived in this country, and one from the upcoming Tyrannosaurus Rex LP. Marc Bolan is sitting quietly in the studio but Peel asks him what the album title is and he whispers a reply.
  • The Olympic Games are due to begin later that day; Peel doesn’t sound too enthusiastic.



  • intro; authentic Radio 1 jingle (“music loving John Peel”), followed by spoof news from JP
  • Eric Andersen: Hello Sun (album - More Hits From Tin Can Alley) Vanguard VSD 79271
  • Idle Race: Pie In The Sky (session)
  • Eclection: Please (7") Elektra EKSN 45042 Peel saw them perform in Newcastle earlier in the week (see Gigography 1968)
  • John heard the Bakerloo Line in Birmingham the other week and he came back told Bernie and they booked them in for a session
  • Bakerloo Line: Rock Me (session)
  • John has been supplied with "earphones" that finally fit his enormous and ever growing head
  • Donovan: The Entertaining Of A Shy Girl (album - The Hurdy Gurdy Man) Epic (US import)
  • Tim Rose: Long-Haired Boy (session)
  • Jimi Hendrix Experience: All Along The Watchtower (7") Track 604025 (JP: “the single from the LP, but no-one seems to be playing it, which is very sad")
  • Bonzo Dog Band: Shirt (session)
  • Captain Beefheart & Magic Band: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (album - Strictly Personal) Liberty LBS 83172 (LP has just arrived in this country, says JP – only 2 copies, one for Bernie and one for him)
  • Idle Race: Follow Me Follow (session)
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex: Conesuala (album - Prophets, Seers and Sages, The Angels of the Ages) Regal Zonophone SLRZ 1005 JP asks “Marc” (in the studio with him) for the album title – it's not yet released yet.
  • JP complains about lack of public transport in London at 3 a.m.; and says London Airport only has three taxis
  • Bakerloo Line: Don't Know Which Way To Go (session)
  • Squeaking noise in studio distracts Peel – the John Fahey LP played next “has finally been released” in the UK, he says (it was the first Fahey LP to get a British release).
  • John Fahey: Brenda's Blues (album - The Transfiguration Of Blind Joe Death) Transatlantic TRA 173
  • Describes sitting in a broken down train staring at cows and sheep for an hour and sympathising with them
  • Tim Rose: Dim Light (session)
  • In response to listeners’ letters, Peel says that Love Sculpture “may” record “Sabre Dance” this week, and in the meantime plays a track from their LP
  • Love Sculpture: Shake Your Hips (album - Blues Helping) Parlophone PCS 7059
  • Bonzo Dog Band: I'm The Urban Spaceman Baby (session) ("Baby" wasn't part of the record title but JP uses it in both the intro and outro)
  • Peel tells producer Bernie Andrews that he (JP) has cued up the wrong record (on purpose) and plays another Beefheart track
  • Captain Beefheart & Magic Band: Kandy Korn (album - Strictly Personal) Liberty LBS 83172 (“I’m not going to play another one, Bernie, don’t worry…”)
  • Idle Race: Told You Twice (session)
  • Ars Nova: Pavan For My Lady (album - Ars Nova) Elektra EKS-74020
  • JP: “I think this afternoon I could levitate St. Pancras station by myself actually, and throw in Notting Hill tube station as a bonus"
  • Bakerloo Line: Smokestack Lightnin' (session) Long guitar workout with quotes from Cream/Eric Clapton tracks;  "Spoonful", "Cat’s Squirrel" and "Steppin’ Out" (JP: “hey, that’s really incredible…”)
  • Appletree Theatre: Barefoot Boy (album - Playback) Verve Forecast FTS 3042
  • Tim Rose: Angela (session)
  • JP says he saw Roy Harper at benefit for Birmingham Arts Lab, at Moseley and Balsall Heath Institute) – also the Gods, who impressed him
  • Gods: Radio Show (album - Genesis) Columbia SCX 6286
  • Bonzo Dog Band: The Bride Stripped Bare ‘by The Bachelors’ (session)
  • Tim Hardin: Black Sheep Boy (album - Tim Hardin 3 Live In Concert) Verve Forecast VLP 6010
  • 4:30pm news - Group of people escape from East Germany to the West,  but one shot down by border guards; Former Labour minister Ray Gunter criticises Anthony Wedgwood Benn’s statement on broadcasting (“too important to be left to the broadcasters”;  Bud Flanagan of the Crazy Gang has died;  engineering strike postponed for 2 weeks
  • Gun: Race With The Devil (7") CBS 3764
  • Bakerloo Line: Eleanor Rigby (session)
  • Between two songs with lyrics about lonely people, JP mentions his recent International Times column on loneliness and poverty among old people [[1]] and urges his listeners to talk to them and say hello
  • Idle Race: The Birthday (session)
  • antiviolence thoughts regarding next week's demonstration in London - for more details see 27 October 1968 page
  • Country Joe And The Fish: An Untitled Protest (album - Together) Vanguard VSD-79277
  • Tim Rose: When I Was A Young Man (session)
  • John refers to going to an upcoming event this Friday the 18th October at the Great Hall at Aston University to benefit the Birmingham Arts Lab, with Joe Cocker, Tim Hollier and the Foresters (Forest before they changed their name?),, but the date is wrong. He gives the correct date (25th October) in his outro to the next track
  • Pentangle: In Your Mind (album - Sweet Child) Transatantic TRA 178
  • Bonzo Dog Band: Excerpt From 'Brain Opera' (session)
  • JP: "America has the Mothers of Invention and we have the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band..."
  • End of show and closing remarks: Says there’s no Night Ride on Wednesday because there can’t be a channel not covering the Olympics, and that next week’s Top Gear will be recorded – “I hope you’ll be somewhere to listen to that….”


  • TG 20-10-68.mp3
  • 1:58:52