John Peel Wiki


  • 1969-06-22
  • The phrase "fast and bulbous" from Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band's LP "Trout Mask Replica" (recently obtained by JP as a US import) becomes the theme of the show. Peel thinks it may become a catchphrase (like "safe as milk" in 1967-8), but it never caught on.
  • Peel plugs the upcoming Hyde Park free concert by the Rolling Stones, but gets the date wrong, and later in the show says that many listeners have called in to point this out.
  • Repeat of debut session from King Crimson, who (according to JP) hadn't yet recorded. They too would perform at the Stones' Hyde Park concert.
  • Peel plays a rare Robert Johnson track as an educational touch, he says, for the increasing numbers who believe that the blues was born among people in Chelsea who wear velvet trousers.
  • There is a blues feel to much of the playlist, with Chicken Shack and John Fahey in session and records by Johnny Winter and Velvet Opera, the latter a cover of Blind Wille McTell's "Statesboro Blues", which Peel is enthusiastic about. The Michael Chapman track doesn't sound like a twelve-bar blues, but its lyrics mostly consist of traditional blues verses.
  • He also praises the new Fairport Convention LP - which (like the Velvet Opera track) he has on a pre-release acetate.
  • JP is looking for books by "the great prophet Beachcomber", especially “Sideways Through Borneo", and for a copy of Pink Floyd's single "Arnold Layne"
  • Peel mentions meeting Chris Barber ("one of my great heroes about 10 years ago") several times recently and being pleased to find "he was a really nice guy".
  • He's no longer over-using "nice", but uses “very excellent" twice in the outro to the Grateful Dead track – once to describe bass player Bruce Barthol who advised him to listen to the LP again after he hadn’t liked it very much on first hearing; and also describes Michael Chapman's Rainmaker LP as "very excellent".



  • Fairport Convention: Si Tu Dois Partir (acetate)
  • urgent travel info from Devon, enunciated carefully by JP. He says the suggested diversion is "a much prettier road anyway".
  • Jethro Tull: A New Day Yesterday (session)
  • Procol Harum: A Salty Dog (7”  Regal Zonophone RZ 3019
  • Chicken Shack: Midnight Hour (session) (JP: "Clarence Brown’s Midnight Hour...")
  • John Fahey: Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Philip XV (session)
  • Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Hair Pie: Bake 2 (album - Trout Mask Replica) Straight STS 1053
  • Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Pena (Fast And Bulbous intro only) (album - Trout Mask Replica) Straight STS 1053
  • John isn't sure that Trout Mask Replica will be released here - “there seems to be a certain amount of indecision…”
  • Lonnie Mack: Why (album - Glad I'm In the Band) Elektra EKL 4040
  • 7:30pm news at 25:30 on file (edited out)
  • Steve Miller Band: My Dark Hour (album - Brave New World) Capitol EST-184
  • John lists the lineup on Trout Mask Replica, in a halting style reminiscent of Fast And Bulbous
  • King Crimson: 21st Century Schizoid Man (session) (JP: Hey, they really know how to play those people, don’t they...")
  • Mentions Roy Guest will be on Wednesday’s Night Ride to talk about the upcoming Pop Proms he’s promoting at the Albert Hall
  • Robert Johnson: Sweet Home Chicago (track not yet available on an official Robert Johnson LP release, so possibly from v/a album issued in 1969: The Mississippi Blues, No.3: Transition, 1926-1937) Origin Jazz Library OJL-17
  • "Leaping rather boldly into Mike Raven's territory"
  • Earth Opera: Sanctuary From The Law (album - The Great American Eagle Tragedy) Elektra EKS 74038 (JP: “if you find any, write and tell me, and maybe we’ll publish a newspaper….”)
  • Flying Burrito Brothers: The Train Song (7") A&M AMS 756
  • tape flip during above
  • John dedicates the next track to John Walters
  • Jethro Tull: Fat Man (session)
  • Principal Edwards Magic Theatre are looking for a large abode “preferably in Berkshire or Oxfordshire”, after being “banned” from Exeter.
  • Johnny Winter: Leland Mississippi Blues (album - Johnny Winter) CBS S 63619
  • John Fahey: Some Summer Day (session)
  • Gordon Jackson: The Journey (album - Thinking Back) Marmalade 608 012
  • Chicken Shack: Look Ma I'm Crying (session)...
  • ...who I see are playing at the Festival Of The Blues in Bath this Saturday
  • Grateful Dead: St. Stephen (album - Aoxomoxoa) Warner Bros. WS 1790
  • JP: "this is, curiously, the Chris Barber Band….and it’s very good"
  • Chris Barber & His Band: Battersea Rain Dance (album - Battersea Rain Dance) Marmalade 608 009
  • King Crimson: In The Court Of The Crimson King (session) JP: "If I don’t have a record by King Crimson within a week, heads will roll…”
  • Michael Chapman: No-one Left To Care (album - Rainmaker) Harvest SHVL 755
  • John has to repeat the Travel Unit's bulletin about the mayhem in Devon caused by the spillage of aviation fuel into the River Yarty. It then sounds like John Walters, or, more probably, the taper, fades John out to interject irreverent sound effects or comments ("shh-t"), presumably his way of objecting to the use of the show for this purpose
  • Jethro Tull: Nothing Is Easy (session)
  • "...their last number on this afternoon's Top Gear..." (although the show is now broadcast in the evening)
  • Paupers: South Down Road (7") Verve VS 1520
  • Fast And Bulbous is set to become a catchphrase
  • Chicken Shack: Things You Put Me Through (session)
  • John Fahey: Poor Boy (session) (JP: composition "credited to Bukka White")
  • Velvet Opera: Statesboro Blues (acetate “sent to exciting teenage producer John Walters and myself”) JP thinks "they should release it as a single – instantly…" It was eventually issued, but only as a B-side[1]
  • Pink Floyd: Main Theme (album - Soundtrack From The Film "More") Columbia SCX 6346 / 1E 062 ○ 04096
  • End of show - "produced with flair and excitement by John Walters"...Peel says “fast and bulbous" again, then tape cuts out


  • J P Top Gear 22 June 1969.mp3
  • 1:53:03
  • Many thanks to Tim for acquisition and digitisation.
  • AM with slight dropouts noticeable, but in general very good quality for a late 60s AM tape recording