May 07, 2016

Stripping the Peel: strange revisionism of an underground icon...?!

JP in '60's ("The Word" Magazine Nov. 2015)
I realize it's difficult to accept when one decreases a cult figure of the underground culture as the late John Peel, but now I think it can be a necessary act.
On this "John Peel Wiki" at I've read, along with a valid reconstruction of the band presence at the JP's radio programmes, these unexpected judgments on the Third Ear Band:

"(...) But the band was beginning to lose impetus amidst a wave of personnel changes and eventually split in 1974. Revived versions of the band in the late 1970s and 1980s did not attract Peel's interest.
Later, indeed, he seemed to regard them as one of the less enduring acts of their time; their first Top Gear session was soon after John Walters had become Peel's producer and to judge by their conversation in "Peeling Back The Years" one can infer that Walters was not entirely convinced by them, although he was less critical than Peel: 

JW: Well, frankly, if we are talking about intolerable music, what about the other sorts of new music that I remember having to record and we had to listen to at that time? The Third Ear Band, for instance.
JP: Well, yes. I mean…
JW: It wasn’t really intolerable; it was hypnotic.
JP: Yes, difficult to defend really in a way, except that I played jew’s harp on one track on their debut LP, but that isn’t the reason why they got on the programme. It was just that they again, I suppose, were the sort of band that turned up interminably at benefits and so forth, and when I went down to the various clubs, whether Pink Floyd or Arthur Brown or Hendrix and people were playing, the Third Ear Band would always be on the bill in some capacity, along with another band that we never did actually record, Exploding Galaxies or something…".

John Walters
OK, just licit opinions, but I remember when Glen used to talk about Peel he was always grateful with him and his extraordinary importance in the underground, so it sounds quite strange to me that Peel claimed to have introduced the TEB so many times on his radio programmes just because they were always around...
If you listen to the few BBC radio recordings still available it's a fact their music was totally out of their time, sometimes maybe too naive, but absolutely great and imaginative, creative and unique. For myself very enduring...
So why a so great underground icon could repudiate his choises?

no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)    

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