Geoffrey Prowse was a British painter, writer, musician and composer born in Tottenham, London in 1942. He was the oldest of 3 children, a brother, Robert (Bobby, Bob) and a sister, Rita. He went to Bruce Grove Junior school and then to Tottenham County School. He left there when he was 14 to study at the Hornsey School of Art, where he met and became close friends with Ray Davies, who later on became singer and songwriter of The Kinks. According to Ray Davies in his biography, Geoffrey tragically died in 1972 of lead poisoning while sucking a pen [1], but according to his sister, whose profile on Peel wikia is Bravethewaves, his death was caused by an overdose of drugs, probably accidental, due to him experimenting with them and suffering from depression. 

Links To Peel

An avid John Peel fan, Geoffrey Prowse composed "The Perfumed Garden Blues, or John Peel's Lament" on his mother's piano, recorded it on a home tape and sent it to Peel in July 1967. The song was inspired by the announcement that Radio London would soon be closing down due to the Marine Offences Act which outlawed the pirate radio ships, and was regularly played by Peel in the final weeks of his Perfumed Garden show on the station. Its lyrics mentioned some of the artists Peel had played regularly on the shows, including Jefferson Airplane, the Mothers of Invention, the Velvet Underground and the Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds, and lamented that such music would no longer be heard on the radio when the station had closed down. Geoffrey Prowse's song inspired some of Peel's dedicated listeners to found the Perfumed Garden listeners' group. This aimed to keep the spirit of the programme alive after it had gone off the air, and organised letter-writing campaigns in support of Peel during his early months at the BBC, when he was one of several Top Gear presenters and wasn't sure that Radio 1 wanted to keep him on. Some members of the "list", as it was known[2], published a poetry magazine, Sol, in which drawings and poems by Geoffrey Prowse appeared.

Geoffrey met John Peel on at least one occasion in the late 1960s, when he took his two daughters, Sophie and Lelia, to Peel Acres for tea. He was also mentioned in Peel's International Times column in the issue of 15 December 1967, with the DJ advising his readers to "Go to the Geoffrey Prowse exhibition, although I've forgotten where and when it is..." [3]

Shows Played


John Peel's Geoffrey Prowse - The Perfumed Garden Blues

  • 22 July 1967: Perfumed Garden Blues or John Peel's Lament (home recording) (JP [laughs]: "Isn't that classic, I think that's marvellous......")
  • 07 August 1967: Perfumed Garden Blues or John Peel's Lament
  • 14 August 1967: The Perfumed Garden Blues or John Peel's Lament (JP: "One of the things I shall be able to do as a result of this is to go and see Geoffrey and talk to him, and visit him somewhere in Hertfordshire. And that will be very beautiful, something nice to be able to do. And very possibly I hope there’s a chance that I’ll be able to come and visit you or meet you or something, because you must understand that I love you.")

External Links

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