I’m not John Peel …

October 13, 2010

and cannot emulate him, but i am forced to admire the attitude, well described by Steve Albini, that made him such a wonderful catalyst in the music world.

“One of the things that made John Peel so valuable was that he had decades of archived material and sessions of bands that had played live and were only ever heard on the John Peel show. His work ethic was absolutely incredible. He made it a point of pride to listen to every record that anyone sent him. He would listen literally to dozens of records a day. He said something once that I thought was really profound: He said that no one would bother making a record and sending it to him if they thought it was shitty. Obviously, to the people making those records, they are important. If he doesn’t get it as a listener, if he didn’t like it in some way, that’s his fault, not the fault of the people who did something important to them. That’s a pretty amazing, humble insight for someone like him to have. A lot of radio professionals kind of feel like they know the game, they know what’s good. His way of looking at it was much more selfless: there was this culture of bands creating music and he was getting to audition some of it. Then he could spread it out to the rest of the world if it struck his fancy. Just because he didn’t like something didn’t mean it was bad. He was just deaf to it.”

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