- This page is one of a series related to Peel and the International Times, an underground newspaper published regularly in London between 1966 and 1973, and appearing irregularly therafter.. For others, please see the main page for the magazine or the International Times category at the bottom of this page.
IT 17, 1967-07-28, p.10 ("Sauce Box")
Radio London is worth saving, simply because of John Peel's two hour show, "The Perfumed Garden" which is just about the hippies own radio show. "The Perfumed Garden" runs from 12 midnight till two every night during Peel's two-week spells on the ship.
IT 18, 1967-08-31, p. 6 (Anonymous "unclassified advertisement" prompted by final Perfumed Garden and closedown of Radio London)
In Memoriam Jon [sic] Peel. Murdered - August 15th 1967. "Beautiful beyond belief, but his love shall live in our minds, hearts and deeds". (To a dead sparrow.)
IT 23, 1968-01-05, p.2 Article by Miles on "a new Renaissance which will mark the end of our historical era....you may even find it in IT, or on record, as John Peel did..."
IT 23, 1968-01-05, p.14 Ad from Tony Elliott for "poems, short stories, and other creative fantasia" for publication in impending (1968-02-01) edition of UNIT that will include Peel, Hendrix and others.
IT 32 Unobtrusive ad from Elektra (at foot of page headed by "Stable Diet" and other music features). Artists mentioned; Eclection and the Doors - "Only John Peel plays 'The Unknown Soldier'" (the Doors single of which had either been banned or deemed unsuitable for Radio One's playlist)
IT 33, 1968-06-14, p. 3 REX SET - critical report by "Kip" of Whit Monday concert advertised in previous issue. "What a bringdown from the Tyrannosaurus Rex" (sic) - their performance was disappointing, and JP "seemed to have been turning on with lagers".
IT 33, 1968-06-14, p. 18 "Guerilla Pop" article by Mick Farren (Deviants): "If a record does get released, BBC radio devotes only three hours a week to new wave pop (John Peel), and there is no TV time at all."
IT 40, 1968-09-20, p. 11 Centre-spread of poetry and prose written by JP's then favourites, the unrecorded student group Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, with photos and artwork. Concludes "Thank you, John Peel, for everything".
IT 48, 1969-01-17, p. 14 (Simon Stable column) Two mentions: on Tony Palmer's film about Cream's farewell concert, "And what happened to John Peel? The three encores after the last performance were entirely his doing. Surely he deserves a 'credit'; re Bridget St. John live set, "John Peel mentioned her a lot on Night Ride and Top Gear. He's quite right, she is very nice."
IT 55, 1969-04-25, p.11 Two mentions here; Simon Stable in his "Droppings from the Stable" column says: "In spite of what you may have heard, John Peel is not leaving the BBC, but will continue Night Riding and Top Gearing forever" (this was just after JP's producer Bernie Andrews had been taken off Top Gear by the BBC); the "Snide Comments, Vicious Rumours and Downright Lies" column explains the absence of a Peel column in this issue: "John Peel getting hustled by so many people for so many things that he really didn't need IT on his back as well..."
IT 55, 1969-04-25, pp.14-15 Article by Mick Farren on "John Peel's Midnight Court" concerts at Lyceum accuses the promoters of commercial exploitation of the audience and lack of sympathy for the hippy community; "I feel that John Peel's name is being used greatly in vain". (Subsequent gigs are promoted as simply "Midnight Court".)
IT 56, 1969-05-09, p.11 Two single-paragraph items in "Snide Comments, Vicious Rumours and Downright Lies" page:
"Peel's Progress"; Apart from the fact that John hasn't been able to get his piece ready in time for this issue, a few words are worth scribing about this gent. It might well seem to the naive Radio 1 listener (such as me) that the Beeb's moguls are trying to gradually "run-down" Peel's popularity in the age-old broadcasting fashion. By putting on Peel's programmes at times when most people are doing other things....:
"More Peel"; Apparently John Peel was in the middle of talking about IT's bust whilst recording Top Gear when the producer (this was presumably John Walters, who had just started working with JP) cut in and told him that he wasn't allowed to talk about such things on the radio....
IT 58, 1969-06-11, p. 12. Review of Richie Havens concert "at the Albert Shed on Thursday June 7th": "In between the acts, John Peel (you know, the famed Radio Drag dde-jay) amused us all with his youthful chat (why is is that truth always makes the British laugh and yet leaves them lethargic?) and the first part of a joke that appeared to embarrass him so much that he wouldn't repeat the punch-line.....",
IT 60, 1969-07-18, p.9 "Free Radio - The Brain Police are Winning". Article on the state of radio (the BBC and elsewhere) with extensive quotes from Peel, who is critical of his employers ("a lot of beaten men who've already conceded defeat to TV years ago and who just want to settle back, see their time out and get the gold watch"). He mentions that he did a pilot TV show for Granada, which "was turned down because of 'insufficient popular appeal'". The writer (Mark Williams) comments that the changes of broadcast time Peel has suffered, with Top Gear moved to Sunday evenings and Night Ride moved "to an awkward hour for all but the hardiest Peel adherents", show that the BBC are hoping that his listening figures will drop, giving them an excuse to phase him out.
IT 60, 1969-07-18, p.10 Conclusion of above article and news of "the first underground rock station" Radio Andorra (later Radio Geronimo). Apart from the station's regular presenters, "some programmes will be put together by John Peel and Mick Farren" - although in the end neither Peel nor Farren broadcast on the station.
IT 60, 1969-07-18, p.16 Snide column: "John Peel's Dandelion record label Issues its first three releases next week. They're all singles and Bridget St. John, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre and Beau are responsible for them, so they'll be good. Unfortunately missed his macro press reception but wish him luck anyway."
IT 62, 1969-08-15, p.17 Letter from reader Tratissa Dogimed (?): "Everyhead I know who's met John Peel, and more besides, tell me nothing but bad about him. Someone who heard his show (which I never get the chance to) even said that he had broadcast my poem "Worthing Travelling Library" - I hope this is not true as the directions for perfomance are critical, and have never been committed to paper"... (Goes on to praise Bridget St John)
IT 64, 1969-09-12, p.15 Letter from reader (David Green); "Since the BBC seem determined in their efforts to deprive John Peel of his listeners by moving his programmes around, we - the listeners - must thwart these efforts. We must simply KEEP LISTENING...."
IT 64, 1969-09-12, p.18 Ad for "A Seance - The Crab and the Crescent Moon" with the Third Ear Band and Bridget St. John. Guests John Peel (Jews Harp) and Sam Hutt (sitar). Presented by Blackhill Enterprises at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, but no date given.
IT 64, 1969-09-12, p.20 "Pop Press - Is It Rubbish?" Survey of the pop and rock press; On Disc ("the most pretentious of the weeklies") ; "The really strange thing about the magazine is the never-ending flow of effort to get on terms with (to use a Disc word) the underground. A few months ago John Peel was enlisted in an effort to win over new readers but his 2 pages dwindled and finally disappeared."
IT 65, 1969-09-26, p.20 Long, slightly ranting letter from reader David Adams, responding to "Free Radio" article, argues that BBC's musical output (especially Radio 3) is more varied and superior to that of the pirate atations, says that IT itself is a victim of music industry commercialism ("You're conning us and you in turn are being conned") and attacks supporters of commercial radio; "Search your memories. Big L was terrible....John Peel was shoved into a nadir-listening spot, after midnight, when the lack of commercial didn't matter..." .
IT 65, 1969-09-26, p.26 "Scoring On The Record Scene". A survey of London record shops, including Peel favourites Musicland, One Stop and Chris Wellard. Writer Dave Williams also visits the specialist shop Soul City: "Robert Blackmore [....] complained that soul enthusiasts suffer from an abominable lack of airplay on Radio One (shades of John Peel devotees moaning all the way back from the Isle of Wight)"
IT 66, 1969-10-10, p.26 "Output": "Gene Vincent Bops Again". The scene is that John Peel heard him recently whilst in the States and got Clive Selwood to agree to signing him up for the Dandelion label...
IT 66, 1969-10-10, p.27 Letter: "John Peel is doing a hell of a lot of good for music in general - he has been doing so for a number of years..." (Mentions how JP commented on air "in his best sarcasitc way" on Sunday newspaper shock-horror articles on the underground.) "So let's show John a bit of gratitude by kicking the BBC up the backside and demanding his full reinstatement plus bonuses..."
IT 67, 1969-11-06, p. 14 Two letters responding to David Adams' criticisms of commercial/pirate radio in issue 65: "As far as the music is concerned, Mr Adams says "Underground" music is a minority taste.... This is a load of bullshit because John Peel and his show have recently been voted top of the (dare I say it) Melody Maker pop poll.."; " If you have more than the BBC you at least have a choice. Also, the type of people who read IT are/were intelligent enough to enjoy John Peel's Perfumed Garden and not get conned into spending their money on a Big L teeshirt or Aqua Velva".
IT 68, 1969-11-21, p.10 Article on history of rock'n'roll by Mick Farren ends with a section on Gene Vincent's career: "...his injured leg became more and more troublesome, and he returned to the U.S. for extensive medical care, and for a while there was talk of amputation. After five years of treatment and comparative anonymity he signed a deal this year with John Peel's Dandelion label...."
IT 69, 1969-12-05, p.15 Review of BBC Records LP "John Peel Presents Top Gear" ("highly satisfying"), by IT music editor Mark Williams, who says JP is "a man who has been very good to me, even to the extent of scriving lauding sleeve notes of late". (Wlliams managed Peel favourites Forest and introduced the banf to him; JP wrote the liner notes for thier fist LP).
IT 70, 1969-12-18, p.17 Page of extracts and quotes from earlier years includes part of unidentified article from December 1967; John Peel, 28 years old, Radio Onederful's gentle Underground Deejay. The week the pirate stations closed he got 3,000 letters about the demise of his late-night show "The Perfumed Garden". Will relentlessly swinging Auntie let him continue to play blues alongside Scarlatti, read poetry, encourage unknown groups?...
IT 71, 1970-01-14, p. 17. Review of first LP by Rare Bird. "Side 1 features Graham Field's organ work prominently, with "Melanie" and "You Went Away" coming across as bright, bouncy numbers that would not seem out of place if played by John Peel or on Tony Blackburn's morning freakouts".
IT 72, 1970-01-28, p.21 "Some news from the country". Letter from Joe Hill (?), founder of a "small independent library" (location not mentioned) which "some had even called "Swinging"". - until it was "taken over by the County authorities under the 1964 Libraries Act... I can't even have the Spinners in my record library, let alone the Stones". But still, "whenever John Peel recommends a record it often finds its way into the collection."
IT 73, 1970-02-12, p.13 "A Day with Principal Edwards Magic Theatre". Article by Dave Williams on JP's favourites, with a review of their first album on [Dandelion Records]. After a couple of frantic phone conversations with John Peel I finally managed to contact them in their secluded country hideaway, and was sworn to keep its location secret. A visit to the group's recording session for Top Gear was hastily arranged....
IT 75, 1970-03-13, p.17 Full-page article on Caravan by Mark (Williams); ...having heard them perform on one of the "golden era" of Peel's Top Gear shows, I decided it would be anticlimactical to purchase their album...
IT 76, 1970-03-27, p.8 "The Reality-Makers". Long article reflecting a new, critical tone in IT. After three years of celebrating the underground, with few attempts at self-analysis, "criticising underground trendiness is the new underground trend..." Far from representing a true alternative to conventional society, the underground is, according to this argument, equally obsessed with status, consumerism and cultural snobbery. Some leading cult figures are taken to task for their "banal" atatements, but JP is only mentioned in passing: The straight impresses his girlfriend by quoting from Milton & humming the lesser known works of Monteverdi; the hip makes blondes & influences people by his "When I bumped into Ronnie/Mick/Peelie in Marakesh" & "As I was saying to Yoko..."; by his intimate knowledge of Astrology, Zen & the more obscure brands of hash; by the quantity of his pre-releases & the quality of his stereo...
IT 76, 1970-03-27, p.25 "Arthur Pitt Column". Piece critical of Radio One's magazine programme "Scene and Heard", with its alleged habit of "regularly poking cynical fun at the Underground" - in this case by highlighting differences in reviews of Richard Neville's book "Play Power" in IT and Disc (the latter by JP). Neither the Spark nor IT has any grudge against John Peel or Richard Neville, both of whom have helped the paper on numerous occasions. In fact Mark will be eternally grateful to Peel for his help when the latter got involved with the embryonic Birmingham Arts Lab which he (Spark) was co-ordinating...
IT 79, 1970-05-08, p.14 Review of CBS Records' "Sounds of the Seventies" concerts at the Royal Albert Hall (April 17/18)....Steamhammer suffered most from the mismanaged Altec p.a. of the three Friday night bands. Hardly any bass and no treble and they were struggling to be heard. Swearing at the roadies, quipies and even John Peel I think, over the p.a. just don't make it unless you are in a position to feel insulted by a temperamental piece of equipment and a few cock-ups, and I don't think Steamhammer are - yet.
IT 79, 1970-05-08, p.15 Review of "Pop Proms" concerts at Roundhouse. ...Andy Dunkley, John Peel and (Roy) Guest himself took dee-jaying honours instead. John seemed very despondent, particularly that people didn't seem to notice or care much what music was being played - someone told me he played Lulu's latest record or somesuch and no-one noticed!
IT 79, 1970-05-08, p. 18 Letter commenting on financial aspects of Pop Proms: Twenty Five Shillings per night/Times Two Thousand Times Six/Equals/TWENTY ONE THOUSAND POUNDS STERLING!/Food and Drink will be on Sale &/Roy Guest may get to feel/John Peel/But don't despair,Special Guest artists may be seen, namely/Her Majesty the Queen?/BYE BYE UNDERGROUND,/YOU'RE ON TOP NOW
IT 80, 1970-08-05, pp.12-13 "Third Ear". Article by Hugh Nolan (Radio Geronimo) on the evolution of free radio, the threat of commercialisation and the idea of Radio Geronimo becoming a listener-sponsored station based on a US model (WBAI, New York). 1967, music turned sideways, looked at itself, became (plus acid) communication, recreation and sacrament all in one. At almost the same time, Britain's last gunboat action gallantly scuttled the pirates, incidentally taking with them John Peel's Perfumed Garden Show on Radio London, a programme which communicated directly with the new consciousness & probably contributed not a little towards its evolvement in England.....
IT 89, 1970-10-08, p.8 More Music News. Danish group Burnin' Red Ivanhoe set for a November tour of Britain...Their first British album, produced by Tony Reeves and John Peel, is due for release on the Dandelion label in November.
IT 89, 1970-10-08, p.23 Letter about Isle of Wight Festival, criticising promoters Fiery Creations and praising spirit of festival-goers who stayed behind to clear up the rubbish; Not exactly the sunday supplement way of doing your own thing, heavily laden with johnpeel-recommended l.p.'s.....
IT 93, 1970-12-03 p.11 Big Brother at the BBC. An IT Enquiry into the Extent of Censorship Kenny Everett: ZAPPED. David Symonds:: SPLITS OUT, BLASTS OUT. John Peel: SELF-CENSORED...... Article continued on pp.12-13, criticising hierarchical structure of BBC at the time and listing instances of censorship. Quotes from, among others, JP ("Any censorship is really self-imposed, you know that if you say certain things you'll get into trouble") and Tony Palmer ("...HOW IT IS. They wanted to take it off after programme 1 because it was full of long-haired ruffians - Richard Neville and John Peel.....")
IT 93 1970-12-03, p. 19 Palatial bopping: A new "West End night club for progressive music" opens on the site of the old Lyons Corner House in Coventry Street on December 4th. John Peel DJ's every Monday, & as an indication of the club's 'progressive' policy. First few bands booked: Barry Ryan, Black Widow, Gentle Giant & Chicken Shack.
IT 106, 1971-06-16, p.4 Article on wave of censorship of schools programmes at BBC: One of the first victims was amiable John Peel who in autumn 1969 introduced "Inquiry", a series of programmes for non-GCE schoolkids about "individual freedom and responsibility". Peel, who not long before that had trouble with his programme "Nightride", is now under a special contract which forbids him making comment on the radio, and also forbids him commenting elsewhere about the BBC or even his special contract.
IT 124, 1972-02-24, p.13 "Final Issue" of IT before transformation from tabloid to magazine format. Centre-page features extracts from 1966-68 articles, including short piece from Perfumed Garden column in IT 41, October 1968 in which JP talks about his hamsters: Biscuit and Duffle are well. Biscuit is entering her middle age without stifling graces. She ruthlessly expels sawdust from her cage into my underpants. ...The sky is overcast but the clouds are leaving my thoughts. Let us exchange sunshine soon. It is good to be part of you.
IT 129, 1972-05-04, p.31 Rock news and gossip page: John Peel complains that Bolan now ignores him.
IT 131, 1972-06-01, p.25 "Holyground". Article by Simon Frith on group who recorded album in home studio in Wakefield and released it with no music business support.They had to rely on low key hustling: Yorkshire's alternative paper, Styng, ran ads for them free; John Peel and Pete Drummond both gave the record some air time; Radios Leeds and Blackburn used it as local colour; a Styng write-up was reproduced in Ink.
IT 132,1972-06-19, p.28 "Stanley Baker's Barbed Wire Circus". Report by Richard Neville on Bardney Festival, famously muddy event whose organisers included actor Baker. The backstage marquee for stars, press and Lord Harlech's party would have withstood a typhoon, and was cosily immune from Bardney's puffs and drizzle. It was a Tory Festival, with everyone doing their jolly well best amidst jolly bad luck and could we ask jolly John Peel to thank the kids who have been absolutely marvellous... As usual the plum position was carved out by the press enclosure, those within oblivious to the rights of those without, being compelled to sit down only by the sarcastic urgings of John Peel - who throughout laboured to restore priorities.
IT Vol. 2, Issue 2, 1974-07-01, pp.33-34 Review of Robin Trower's LP "Bridge of Sighs". Reviewer (Michael J.) is surprised at Trower's lack of success in the UK; "even the mighty influence of John Peel has had little effect..."
IT Vol. 3, Issue 4, 1975-11-01, p.6 Simon Stable comments critically on overcrowding at Knebworth Festival; talking on the phone to Wendy Bannister (wife of Fred, festival organiser), he asks "Why then...did your husband ask the DJs, Drummond and Peel, to move the audience up so that more people could get in?" There was a click and a bang on the telephone and onto the line came the worthy Fred....
IT Vol. 76, Issue 2, 1976-01-01, p.15 Interview by Simon Stable with Alvin Lee: I certainly feel that television can help to break a band, but lots of bands have made it without the help of TV or Whispering Bob, the John Peel of BBC2, I mean "When did you last see Led Zeppelin on television?"