Time is a bit of an arse, it is also a wonderful thing. Time can make you better and it can heal you. Or it can make you bitter and cold. It can ruin you or it can make you into something positive. Use your time wisely and don’t let time use you. Patience is a wonderful thing, but time and patience are quite different. Everything depends on how you use it; never let it use you.
We all experience moments in our lives that we can remember where we were, who was there, the time and how we found out. It may have happened years and years ago; but the moment is still crystal clear. Sometimes it is a joyful moment but sometimes it is utterly painful to even think about. It happens to us all, and we have choice but to go through it and hope. Hope is all we have I guess. Don’t let anyone crush you and the hope you cling onto. It keeps you warm, maybe safe. It’s yours- keep it.
I remember where I was 8 years ago. I was at work. It was half term, so I was sadly at a place I disliked immensely. I always had the radio on because it got me through. I cannot remember the time, but I remember feeling like someone had told me a family member had died. When they announced that John Peel had died, I felt my heart metaphorically break. This wave of sadness took over and everything seemed like a blur. The man who was responsible for my obsession and passion for music was no longer around. How does that even work? How could it even happen? 8 years have passed, and I still cannot make any sense of it. I don’t think I ever could. I guess it goes beyond being understood by a human. Who knows.
I used to stay up late listening to his show when I was younger. Fall asleep with the duvet over my head cuddling up to the radio with the volume low down so I wouldn’t get told off for being up so late on a school night. Thing is, my mum always knew. She knew that music was (and always will be) my greatest love. Music has always been the thing I go to for everything. I lack courage with mentioning what sometimes bothers me; I’d much rather stick some music on and go for a walk. I like the inner peace I feel when I do this. In time, maybe I’ll change that. I wouldn’t bet on it though. It was because of John Peel I developed a massive love for The White Stripes, The Fall and PJ Harvey. He brought bands like Captain Beefheart and The Jesus And Mary Chain to the airwaves. If it wasn’t for him, would all these bands (and more) have ever been heard? He thrived off bringing us the weird and wonderful. The kind of music that makes your stomach flip and your ears prick up. He went beyond just being a DJ.
I sometimes listen to bands and think, “If John was still alive he’d love them.” Bands such as Warpaint, The xx, Beach House and The Horrors. I cannot help but think he’d love them as much as I do. He truly believed in the power of music; the sheer passion he had is no longer around on certain radio stations and I think the art of radio may have died with him. Maybe hints of music did too. Imagine hearing the likes of Crocodiles, Dum Dum Girls, Zola Jesus and Dirty Beaches all doing a Peel Session. It’d just be bloody incredible.
Music is a safety net, but when the one who gave you the music is no longer around- it is utterly painful, but you carry a part of them and all they gave you inside of you. I probably sound mental writing like this, but there are two people who basically made me realise that I had to write about music in whatever capacity I could. Lester Bangs and John Peel. Lester died before I was born. The love and passion they had for music was enough for me to know that music would become my life. Everything music gives me, well..I can only hope maybe one day I could give that to a person. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I honestly have no idea.
We all have words to live by. Some are serious, some are a little bit silly. A quote by John Peel is one that is constantly on my mind when I look for new music, “I just want to hear something I haven’t heard before.”
There will never ever be anyone like John Peel. There will always be a massive void but the legacy he left behind is enough to get us through. Playing records at the wrong speed and ranting never sounded so good. He made you feel as if was just talking to you, and you alone. Yet he made you feel part of something.
R.I.P. John. You are forever missed xx