nostrangerer (wrayb) wrote,

I'll try and make this quick.

Recently read John Peel auto/bio book. It was unfinished when he died of heart failure while on holiday in Peru, it was finished by his wife writing and his kids pitching in somehow.

Peel's first person narrative ends with him unhappily married to young woman he had met in Dallas TX and working as a DJ in Oklahoma City. He had got his start in radio when his phone calls to Russ Knight, the Weird Beard, led to his becoming for a time the token Liverpoolian on Dallas radio. Seems anyone young with Brit accent and passing knowledge of Liverpool or even of just anything English could easily become a minor fleeting celebrity or at least a busy cocksman to the Beatles crazed young people, particularly young females. Peel made a go at being US DJ, including a stint in city near Los Angeles, during which time he became a fan of and friend with Beefheart. The L.A. info is provided by wife and family. As I mentioned Peel's own narrative only got so far as Oklahoma.

So except for many small digressions in the first part of the book where Peel shares little anecdotes of his life among the pop music elite, the stories of Peel in swinging London are told by wife Sheila, sometimes assisted by diary that Peel kept. So a book that is a portrait in general of the man, and he took all those cool pop music moments to the grave with him. That is unless there is another book worth of such anecdotes from his diaries. Well, don't think so, it's been 7 years since he passed and we only have the one book. I think so, let me check. No, I'm wrong. There is a book of collected writings from his various articles, reviews, miscellany writings edited by his wife. Good, looking forward to reading that as well. The bio I'm kinda reviewing here is a worthwhile read, if you like English dry wit (in some parts, it feels he is channeling Vivian Stanshall) and a willfully observed life.

Oh, the book. It's JOHN PEEL, MULGRAVE OF THE MARSHES, and appears to be available used from various sources for from $.01 to $64.97. I found mine in a second hand book store that is run by friends of the library here in NYC.
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