Tonight, I am going to dig this out and give it a good, loud listen. And I think I'll have a pint while doing it. R.I.P., John--you're the patron saint of my profession even if you never made your living at it (though Peel did write some criticism that I've seen--maybe there'll be a book at some point? wouldn't surprise me). I long harbored a fantasy of sitting him down with Robert Christgau for a dialogue to run in some magazine to be determined--their tastes didn't necessarily coincide all that much but the hardcore commitment and breadth of both would have been fascinating to see intermingle. That won't happen now, sadly. And it's just as sad that Peel won't be able to make anymore compilations like Fabriclive 07--though he may not need to, since his wide-open ears and eternal curiosity is a shadow presence to anyone who loves music and wants to connect as many dots as they can hear. The difference is that John Peel heard more--more music, more connections--than just about anyone else.
I used to sell hologram bolo ties at the Mall of America