Welcome to my blog. My name is Steve, and I hope to be your host for as long as I can keep posting to work out my obsession.
My obsession is: John Peel’s Festive 50.
It all goes back to an article I saw in Melody Maker, back in 1979. I was living in Chichester, and had moved from playing nothing but Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin to the Clash and the Sex Pistols. The article published Peel’s Festive 50s from 1976 and 1978 to show how much music had changed in the intervening years. There was music I had never heard of: Magazine? Legendary Stardust Cowboy?? Captain Beefeart???? But something in me, probably the need to be collecting something, decided to persevere.
Very quickly, obtaining all the tracks became something of a treasure hunt for me. Now, over 30 years on, my dream is complete. Peel himself has, sadly, passed on: but this annual list has become some kind of urban folklore.
My journey, exploring the tracks one (or two) at a time, will, I hope, map out the lay of the land for us. The very first track is what Peel used as his signature tune for as long as I can remember. Grinderswitch (Festive 50, hereinafter FF, of 1976, #27) were bad ol’ southern boys, as you can see from the picture, taken from their website. They were made up of roadies for the Allman Brothers (of whom more anon), and came from Georgia. This track, unusually for the Fifty, is instrumental, but there’s some smokin’ slide guitar in there. It’s from the Macon Tracks LP.
Grinderswitch, Pickin’ The Blues