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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All Aboard the John Peel Train

I have to admit, late October always makes me a little melancholy as I remember my singular greatest musical influence and the reason why I truly love the art form to this day. That huge personal influence was famed BBC DJ John Peel. On Thursday of this week, Peel will be honoured with a lasting memorial in the form of a train bearing his name that travels to his native city of Liverpool.

The train is intended as a lasting memorial for Peel, who grew up in the area. "We are very proud of the man John was and of his connection with Merseyside," councillor Mark Dowd, chair of Merseytravel, said in a press release.

The train will be inaugurated at around 3pm on Thursday, leaving Merseytravel's Liverpool South Parkway station. Sheila Ravenscroft, Peel's wife, will be present for a ceremony and will travel on the train's first journey to Liverpool. "We are just really delighted that John is being honoured with this train," Ravenscroft said. "He would have loved it!"

The train's inauguration comes just two days before the fourth anniversary of Peel's death.

Guests at the event will be treated to a special performance of Does This Train Stop on Merseyside? by Amsterdam's Ian Prowse. The song was cherished by Peel, who once called it his second-favourite track. "[John] wasn't capable of playing [the song] without crying," his wife told BBC Radio 1 in a tribute special.

"If he played it on the radio he'd have to put something on straight afterwards because he wouldn't be able to speak. When he played it at home, he'd always need a cuddle afterwards."

My world would be complete now if the Joe Strummer train and John Peel train were to pass on the rails. A fitting tribute indeed methinks.

John Peel died of a heart attack at the age of 65 on October 25, 2004.


dd said...

You remind me of Peel with your love for music.

The video you attached is really great as well.

Good posting.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I hadn't heard about the John Peel train, but how very lovely that is. Music owes him so much, as do all of us who love music. Bless him.

Sean Wraight said...

Well thank you Dave that's a very nice compliment. (I will wire the funds later this week.) ;-)

So true Barb. I really miss his show, it used to be a real highlight for me and my sole excuse for owning a shortwave radio.


bloody awful poetry said...

I have never listened to an entire John Peel show, but I do have a whole massive bunch of recordings (my favourite being The Smiths' sessions) and like Ms. Barb says, music lovers do indeed owe him lot =)