I started all of this madness in a naive and humanitarian desire to do what I thought nobody else was doing: celebrating John Peel’s legacy, and trawling through the entire Festive Fifty back catalogue. It mushroomed slightly from there of course: now sessions, old Festive Fifty shows and even podcasts have come into play. The happiest time was when I was doing mega posts with all the tracks by a particular band: I sat back and basked in the glow of self-satisfaction that such a philanthropic venture can bring.
Now what’s happened? Call it writer’s block if you’re feeling charitable, but I call it pure laziness and resting on my laurels. You see, things like this cannot organically sprout from within: they have to be fed, and the lifeblood of the blog is quite simply the people who read it. I have always regarded the recordings offered as the icing on the cake, a sprat to catch the mackerel, if you don’t mind such an invidious comparison.
Well. enough is enough. Self-pity and selfishness are to come to an end. I personally regarded the post about not meeting John as one of the finest things I have ever written. It was also paradoxically self-abuse of the highest order, and this is not what I came here for. I came to praise Caesar, not to mourn him, and to give the Internet community, ungrateful and self-serving though it may occasionally be, something back for everything it’s given me.
Which brings me back to that little word from vegetableman. He said something along the lines of ‘I didn’t even know this page existed’. And that shocked me. I thought, ‘Since my move from Blogger, how many others can say the same thing?’ Yes, I did it to escape from the likes of the Web Sheriff and the DMCA. What I’m going to do is revisit my old posts and restore the links that those among you who are new here or who joined late did not get the chance to enjoy. It’s likely to bring more retribution down on me in different forms, but you know what? I’ve stopped caring about that, and I’m damned well going to get my ass back in gear. So there. Bluster over.
Starting now, the blog is going to be reshaped from the ground up. Why not rewrite? Nothing’s writen in stone, and some of the things I said two years ago make me cringe now. So: visit any page you like, and very soon there will be fresh information, songs and links to enjoy. Oh yes, and I’m finally going to put those bloody videos back. It will take a lot of work, and the brand new stuff will be sporadic for a while. But the end product will hopefully be something really worth having. I can only apologise if I’ve caused you any frustration: let’s hope this will be a new dawn that doesn’t fade. (Sounds like the cue for a song…)
One thing that my ostrich-like behaviour was useful for was refashioning some of the John Peel Wikia pages (1981-4 contain contributions from me). Below are the links for the first ten years, all of which except the first contain references to the dates and, once you’re there, download links for the (in some cases) complete shows. Note that this serves as a complement to the songs, not as a replacement for them (especially in the case of the 1977 chart). So, happy hunting, and let’s hope I can repair some of the damage I’ve done. With your help, of course.
P.S. If any of you mourn the passing of ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’, my ill-fated attempt to bring you Yuletide music all year round, see what Santa has in store.