Germany (German: Deutschland), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is a federal parliamentary republic in central-west Europe. It includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. Its capital and largest city is Berlin. With about 81.8 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union.
In 1871 most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The establishment of the national socialist dictatorship in 1933 led to World War II and systematic genocide. After a period of Allied occupation, two German states were founded: the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. In 1990, the country was reunified. (Read more at Wikipedia.)
Links To Peel
Peel's formative first experience of rock & roll arrived from West Germany when he was 16, in the form of 'Rip It Up' by Little Richard, "drifting over the airwaves rather indistinctly from American Forces Network, Stuttgart."
During his time on Radio London, Peel's shows attracted listeners from Germany, and this continued throughout his BBC career. Peel maintained a close connection with Germany through his broadcasts on BFBS, BBC World Service and various German radio stations including FSK, as well as by regular personal visits. One perhaps unexpected result of his locally heard shows – all in English – was that he often finished high in German polls for top radio DJ. In October 1992, he presented his Radio One show live from Berlin as part of a public service campaign for young people on work and travel in the EU.
The country was also a regular source of music for Peel, from the first "krautrock" and "kosmische musik" records of the 1970s until the 2000s. German band Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle (FSK) did seven Peel sessions between 1985 and 2004, the most by any overseas artist. German music played by Peel came to have a major influence on many session artists, with David Bowie, Eno, Birthday Party and Kevin Coyne among those who spent extended periods in the country. Less happily, in the punk era, Peel spoke out against the "unpleasant flirtation" with Nazi imagery of some UK performers. In October 1998, a special live techno DJ night was arranged at Maida Vale to celebrate 100 releases on Berlin's Tresor label.
As Peel recalled in the 1996 TV documentary Travels With My Camera: Autobahn Blues, his first direct contact with German people went back to his childhood and the prisoners of war who worked on farms near his home on Merseyside:
”They were always really nice to my brother and me, yet there we were in Cheshire while our father was tussling with "the Hun" in North Africa. We were taught to hate Germans – still are by some politicians – but I couldn't really believe in the wickedness of an entire nation. So years ago, when I was asked to do radio programmes here, it seemed like a chance to make a small contribution to a healing process.”
His fondness for Germany is apparent elsewhere in the programme, as he travels around the country in his old Mercedes from Hanover to Berlin, visiting old friends and sites including Colditz Castle. Around the same time, Peel was interviewed by German TV documentary makers for Störung Ost, whilst travelling on a boat trip up the Spree river with former East German punks. In the 1983 NME feature Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer, he had listed Berlin among his favourite places, alongside Liverpool and Norwich.
After Peel's death, German label Trikont released The Pig's Big 78s: A Beginner's Guide, a compilation of vintage records played on his Radio One shows. A German edition of his Margrave Of The Marshes autobiography, translated by Christoph Hahn, was published in 2006.
- (Main article: Germany: Sessions)
The following artists from Germany had Festive Fifty entries for the John Peel Show:
- Atari Teenage Riot: Revolution Action #39 (1999 Festive Fifty)
- Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle: I Wish I Could Sprechen Sie Deutsch #33 (1986 Festive Fifty)
- LSG: Hearts #06 (1994 Festive Fifty)
- Propaganda: Dr. Mabuse #31 (1984 Festive Fifty)
- Schneider TM vs KPT michi.gan: The Light 3000 #08 (2000 Festive Fifty)
- Sonic Subjunkies: Do You Even Know Who You Are? #16 (1999 Festive Fifty)
- Unknown Cases: Masima Bele #26 (1984 Festive Fifty)
- Xmal Deutschland: Qual #32 (1983 Festive Fifty) / Incubus Succubus II #13 (1983 Festive Fifty)
- BBC World Service
- FSK (Free Station Kombinat)
- Radio Eins
- Radio Bremen
- Travels With My Camera: Autobahn Blues
- Störung Ost
- Nina Hagen
- Obernkirchen Children's Choir: Peel's first-ever live gig was to see the choir of German war orphans who had an international hit with 'The Happy Wanderer' perform at Liverpool Stadium in 1954.
- Liverpool (city): A generation of Merseybeat bands honed their skills in Germany before finding fame, including the Beatles in Hamburg.
- Desert Island Discs: Peel's eight musical choices included 'Zadok the Priest' by German-born, British Baroque composer Handel.
- Meltdown: The lineup selected by Peel for the 1998 edition of the annual arts festival included both FSK and XOL Dog 400 from Germany.
- Peeling Back The Years 3 (Transcript): "[German] bands like Neu in particular and then a few years later Tangerine Dream seemed to be taking that kind of spirit [of early Pink Floyd] just perhaps a little further, and stripping it down rather than adding anything to it."
- Listener: In an article on "Kosmische Musik", published 1973-04-12 (and later reprinted in Olivetti Chronicles), Peel wrote: "It would not be stretching the truth to say that the most interesting and genuinely progressive music anywhere in the world is coming from Germany."
- Peel On Record Cover Sleevenotes: JP penned sleevenotes for LPs by German bands Faust (The Faust Tapes, 1973) and FSK (Continental Breakfast, 1987).
- Football: In Germany, Peel appeared to favour Hamburg-based FC St Pauli.
- 19 May 1986: Peel plays snippets of three German football songs, one in English, the other two in German. Can also be heard at YouTube.
- Football Compilations: From the ‘Bend It' series, Peel twice played both 'Du Allein' and '1-0 Für Deine Liebe (1-0 For Your Love)' by German football legend Franz Beckenbauer. Also played twice was the Billy Sanders track 'Gib Dem Ball Zu Uwe Seeler' (Give The Ball To Uwe Seeler).
- Record Boxes: Brian Eno: The record box Eno selected from Peel's record collection in 2015 included the 'Velvet Underground & Nico' LP (Verve, 1966), featuring German vocalist Nico, and Neu's 'Super' single (United Artists, 1972).
- Label Specials: Included nights celebrating Berlin Electronic Music labels Tresor and Shitkatapult.
- Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer: Peel's favourite places included Berlin.
- ↑ "The impact was extraordinary," he later remembered. See 15 October 1997.
- ↑ On 12 July 1967, he played a track from the Blues Project LP 'Projections' sent to him by a "beautiful German lady doctor psychologist person".
- ↑ On 05 September 1990, he noted receiving a disturbing birthday card from from "a German woman living in Egypt".
- ↑ He was happy to admit to poor German-language skills.
- ↑ See 09 October 1992 and 10 October 1992. As noted by Ken Garner in The Peel Sessions (pg143), the trip also took the show to Budapest and Sweden.
- ↑ Julian Cope even wrote a book on the German music of the late 60s and early 70s that he first heard on Top Gear (Krautrocksampler, Head Heritage, 1995), while David Stubbs, author of Future Days: Krautrock And The Building of Modern Germany (Faber & Faber, 2014), describes Stereolab as "the most significant group to popularise the motorik beat" (associated with Krautrock bands such as Neu and Can). Peel himself was keen to talk up the enduring influence of Tangerine Dream (see 23 May 1997 (BFBS)), compared with the more widely acknowledged impact of Can, whose (Japanese) singer was namechecked by the Fall on 'I Am Damo Suzuki'. Kraftwerk, whose first album Peel played in 1973, were generally recognised as pioneers by artists over a range of genres, while celebrated krautrock producer Conny Plank went on to work with non-German bands including Ultravox and Killing Joke (and turned down U2).
- ↑ This took place on 08 October 1998.
- ↑ He also recalls the POWs in the 2002 documentary Going Home, as well as a German plane flying overhead when he was in the garden and watching Liverpool burning at night after war-time bombing raids.