Thursday, January 24, 2008

Margrave of the Marshes (John Peel and Sheila Ravenscroft)


This was fascinating, although it must be confessed that my musical taste is probably the polar opposite of John Peel's. There's a very funny (for me) moment in the book when Sheila is recounting his dislike for Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits and U2 and I'm thinking 'they're all the ones I really like!' On top of which I have never heard 'Teenage Kicks' which seems to have represented everything he liked. Totally different worlds. (Actually, scratch that - I also went to boarding school so I could recognise a lot of what he described, and I could really relate to his shyness.)

However, the most interesting aspect of Peel's life seems to be the way in which, through pursuing his own interests (= his vocation) he fostered a community and enabled them to experience a sense of belonging, overcoming alienation and loneliness in the process. That seems a holy task. (It also seems to be what Mad Priest has accomplished in a different medium. I'm sure he has a copy of 'Teenage Kicks' ;-)

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