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Goodnight and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Britain is a social history, a diary of a nation's changing culture, and an in-depth appraisal of one of our greatest broadcasters, a man who can legitimately be called the most influential figure in post-war British popular music.Without the support of John Peel, it's unlikely that innuGoodnight and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Britain is a social history, a diary of a nation's changing culture, and an in-depth appraisal of one of our greatest broadcasters, a man who can legitimately be called the most influential figure in post-war British popular music.Without the support of John Peel, it's unlikely that innumerable artists - from David Bowie to Dizzee Rascal, Jethro Tull to Joy Division - would have received national radio exposure. But Peel's influence goes much deeper than this. Whether he was championing punk, reggae, jungle or grime, he had a unique relationship with his audience that was part taste-maker, part trusted friend.The book focuses on some 300 shows between 1967 and 2004, giving a thorough overview of Peel's broadcasting career and placing it in its cultural and social contexts. Peel comes alive for the reader, as do the key developments that kept him at the cutting edge - the changes in his tastes; the changes in his thinking. Just like a Peel show, Goodnight and Good Riddance is warm, informative and insightful, and wears its enthusiasm proudly....

Title : Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life
Author :
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ISBN : 9780571302475
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 640 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life Reviews

  • Mat Davies
    2018-11-07 08:43

    My music book of the year and a good shout for my overall book of the year. Cavanagh has constructed a book that is comprehensive, compelling and full of terrific anecdotes and insight. Far from being a hagiography, Cavanagh is a fair and fair minded narrator, critical of his subject where needed and similarly full of praise for Peel's passion and excitement about the power of music. This is a huge book but is hugely readable and essential for anyone with any interest in popular music and recent UK culture. Pretty fantastic, as it happens.

  • Steve Gillway
    2018-10-19 13:27

    I have a soft spot for Peel. Like many I listened to him religiously, for a specific time in my youth. He was hugely influential on me - in my records. I liked his counter culture without pretence attitude- He played stuff and didn't make a big deal out of it. I lost patience around the time of 15 min German thrash or 3 second noise creations, but I was glad Peel was there. This book distils the essence of Peel and the author has sage-like comments about what would happen. I am sure we will see his like again, but in the fractured media, it's hard to see them having the effect he did. 6 music is his legacy, which means I had my teeth cleaned while listening to Pretty Vacant by the Pistols at 12.15 on a Thursday afternoon.

  • Othniel
    2018-10-28 14:44

    I took my time reading "Good Night And Good Riddance"; I simply didn't want it to end.As a dedicated listener to the John Peel Show on Radio 1 from 1976 onwards (something of a newcomer, compared to some), this is a book which seems to have been written especially for me. The author, however, is careful to place the work of this unique music broadcaster in a broad national and international context.Cavanagh's meticulously researched work boasts an introduction which makes the compelling argument that through his patronage of certain musicians from the late 1960s onwards - e.g. The Velvet Underground, David Bowie, Roxy Music, The Ramones, Joy Division, Nirvana - he significantly helped to shape the modern world, since, if these artists had never been widely heard, and inspired hundreds of others, the cultural landscape would be considerably different.The rest of the book takes the form of a long series of close analyses of a particular Peel shows, each preceded by a partial listing of artists played and a summary of contemporaneous news item. The DJ's self-deprecating wit is foregrounded, as is his sometimes shoddy treatment by his BBC bosses - he is shifted around the schedules apparently at random. We learn that he gave early support to such unlikely figures as Wham! and Oasis (before losing interest as they became famous), as well having a huge role to play in the success of Marc Bolan, Mike Oldfield, The Undertones, The Smiths, The White Stripes, etc; not to mention the rise of reggae, music from Africa, and numerous dance music genres (drum'n'bass, techno, happy hardcore). And then there is his touching devotion to cult artists who remained marginal (in commercial terms, at least), such as Captain Beefheart and The Fall.Cavanagh's tone is irreverent, and not uncritical - Peel's capriciousness and inconsistency (especially in respect of musicianly sexism) is noted. And even as a dedicated listener, I have little memory of some of the bands whose work is highlighted (my apologies, Happy Flowers).Having been fortunate enough to meet John Peel once or twice, and discovered him to be every bit as decent as his radio persona implied, there is obviously bias on my part when it comes to assessing this book; and there is much herein which will baffle the casual reader. Nevertheless, I have no hesitation in declaring this to be a major achievement, and an essential read for anyone with even the slightest interest in vaguely left-field pop music.

  • Jo Coleman
    2018-10-28 07:40

    This was a lovely read and really brought the experience of listening to John Peel shows back to life. The author's a bit snooty at times but made me laugh a lot by repeatedly mentioning David Bowie's early mime career and being very sardonic about Hefner. When I got to the end of the book I tried to download 'Trout Mask Replica' in tribute but it wasn't available on iTunes! Well well.

  • Alister Betts
    2018-10-25 14:45

    Fantastic, just fantastic. Explains my record collection. Explains the world. Feel sad (again) that he has passed on. Read this book.

  • Davidg
    2018-10-24 06:38

    John Peel was always on too late and much of the music he played was too noisy or weird, so I didn't spend years of my life listening to him (until Home Truths). However, I know and admire the influence he had on music and in nurturing new talent. Of course, most of the groups he played didn't achieve much more, but many of the most famous musicians of the past 40 years got their first public exposure through his radio shows.David Cavanagh takes us through Peels's programmes over the decades, marking his changing tastes and accents. Sadly, though the performers are listed before each programme discussed, the actual songs performed are not given, unless included in the text. Obviously, he had access to the BBC programme sheets, so the song names were known but not given. It wouldn't have added much to the text and would have given a better idea and allowed the reader to play the programme they were reading about.At times, Cavanagh does fall into the muso's distate of popular tastes, so successful artists are disparaged, particularly after Peel starts playing Punk. I suspect that rather gives Cavanagh's age away. So, even though they were initially championed by Peel, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody is "a comedy record", because an old punk looks down on them. Though overplayed since, Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the strangest songs to be released as a single and that only happened because of another DJ giving it airplay. You can praise Peel without sniping at others.I was pleased that Cavanagh picks up on some of the songs that Peel played that would not be acceptable today, particularly the sexism of the 60s and 70s and the later rap songs of the 90s. So, this isn't such a hagiography as it might have been.An entertaining read.

  • Maarten Wagemakers
    2018-11-13 11:47

    This is a very strange one to put your finger on. It's not exactly a biography of John Peel, yet at the same time it is - it is a retelling more of Peel's on air adventures rather than the all-encompassing life's story that it could have been. David Cavanagh basically just picks a few of Peel's radio broadcasts from each year, framing them in the zeitgeist of contemporary news, and describes what he hears.Strangely enough, it works. It grounds Peel's story in his on-air-opinions (Cavanagh is not afraid to deal with contradictions in Peel's stubborn patterns either), remarkable tidbits, bands that debuted on radio months, years, sometimes even decades - like in the case of Pulp - before their big breakthrough, while dealing with his off-air-life in an breezy style that never gets too sentimental. A strange, yet compelling read.

  • Kay Smillie
    2018-11-10 13:35

    I am going to be honest and state that I didn't listen to John Peel regularly. Rarely listened to the wireless but when I did, it was nearly always tuning into one of his shows. His influence still hasn't waned even after his death. David Cavanagh has written a clever book looking back at a number of Peel's shows, who he played and adding a wee snippet of news from the time period of the date of the shows. I still haven't got over the Michael Miles anecdote. Time to listen to the Fall for the first time in ages.Ray Smillie

  • Phil
    2018-10-31 06:28

    John Peel was one of the most important people in my life - despite never having met him - as he was to many British youth between the late sixties and the nineties. Before you tube and especially if you lived outside v London, THIS was the only way you found out about the underground music of the era. I'd go as far as to say that it's impossible to overstate the importance of John Peel on UK music, he was the pivot around which everything moved. This book isn't a biography, it's a life story of the radio shows, cherry picking the important shows off each year. Such a rush down memory lane.

  • Tronikyouth
    2018-10-25 10:32

    great journey through the peel years

  • Ian
    2018-10-31 11:42

    Anybody interested in alternative music from late 60s to 2000s should read this book! Peel is responsible for so much and was treated quite badly by the Beeb ! I think they realised that in the late 90s

  • Derek Bell
    2018-10-19 08:25

    Not a biography of Peel, more a history of his place in music and his role on Radio One. Cavanagh documents 265 of Peel's shows placing them in the context of Britain at the time, the internal politics of the BBC and the music of the time - more to the point Peel was breaking and introducing to the nation. His role in many of the biggest musical revolutions and developments becomes very clear.This is no hagiography either Cavanagh doesn't hide Peel's blind spots, his complete ignoring of some bands, total support for others and his frequent disdain for his listeners when they wouldn't jump on board with some of the genres he supported. and especially when they made their Festive Fifty choices. It does show that the BBC really had no idea what to do with - messed around with his times, his shows but were unable to influence the most crucial element, the music. He was also treated quite badly by stars he supported long and hard through the early years, only to be abandoned when fame, fame, fatal fame struck - though he himself wasn't averse to dumping bands when they sold out.For someone who grew up with Peel during Punk, dipping in and out during the eighties before diving right back in at the end of the eighties/early nineties the book resonates. It probably also helps explain some of my attitudes to music though I never quite shared his wildly divergent taste.Reading the book leaves you in no doubt of the influence and impact he had in breaking new music and influencing the cultural landscape. I would never have thought almost forty years on from listening to him late at night under the covers, going over his show the next day with fellow devotees that almost forty years later the BBC would effectively have Radio Peel as a station of its own and that when they tried to close it down a groundswell of public opinion would save it

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-08 06:43

    I suppose I might conceivably be considered as indiscriminate and wide-ranging in my reading as John Peel could be regarded when it came to music, and I pounced magpie-like on this on the New Books shelf at the library. David Cavanagh seems to think that presenting a paragraph of a contemporary news item constitutes an explanation of how John Peel's work helped to shape modern life. It does not, so I felt sorely let down by the title. However, having quickly established that this was a great fat geek-fest of a book that I would be quite within my rights to abandon, I found it rather compelling reading. Possibly in the way that those TV countdown programmes can be, but it is an odd sort of nostalgia if so as I was never part of the Peel Radio 1 audience of my own choosing (second hand through a bedroom wall does not really count) I was surprised at just how many band names I recognised, but the appeal of John Peel for me was always listening to him talk and Cavanagh does convey that, along with all the politics of the music industry and the BBC. He is a music journalist, and the case for Peel's influence on music has been made before so perhaps the title is a reflection of his definition of what life means.

  • Brandon
    2018-10-27 12:26

    Great, great, great! Growing up in Texas I didn't know about John Peel until later when I would see his name all over import "Peel Session" cds. My childhood DJ was Casey Kasem with his "Amercian Top 40 Countdown". I always heard it on Sunday, completely fascinated by whatever current pop music was on each week.I wish that when I got older John Peel was (had stayed) in Texas playing his genre breaking independent music. I love that he wasn't just about following a formula to sell product. Not just another arm of the billion dollar majors.This book brings you through his amazing career and touches on the progression of culture through so many different trends within music. I love looking at who he played on specific dates and I am in awe about his ability to find (and break) so many gems at such an early time.Browsing the Sirius music channels on TV last night it is amazing how much "same old say mold" (I did that on purpose) crud is being forced through the airwaves. John Peel might have appreciated that at least I found an Edwyn Collins track (even though it was his most popular song "A Girl Like You")

  • Derek Baldwin
    2018-11-08 12:35

    Frequently interesting, and occasionally even insightful, account of John Peel's long career and the changed society his shows found themselves stranded in. The writer comes across as, I'll be frank, a supercilious dick a lot of the time. However I bestow a bonus star by virtue of the mid 90s show he describes so accurately that I was able, at last, to rediscover a once-heard track that stuck in my brain for all these years and I never knew the name of. I await the over priced second hand copy courtesy of a well known internet shop with growing impatience! That I can write this grudgingly positive review while a Chilean Krautrock combo plays in the background I owe to John Peel almost entirely. Great man. Mediocre book. But you might like it.Oh, since you asked: Sonic Subjunkies, on Digital Hardcore, Central Industrial 2: Lockdown. Equally memorably, but played on the radio a few more times, the same show premiered Common People by Pulp.

  • Dragan Nanic
    2018-10-23 07:40

    For a strict structure - every chapter consists of few chosen radio episodes from a particular year (or two years in more recent cases) where each contains representative list of bands played in that show, a brief characteristic note of political situation at the moment of emitting and an insight into particular music happenings delivered by John Peel - that extends to more than 600 pages, this is an incredible read!Basically, a trip down the musical memory lane for anyone who lived through the second half of the 20th century and the role of one particular person in shaping that lane. In tradition with Peel's show, it is completely unpretentious, showcasing author's choice of what he liked (mirroring Peel in that sense). Full of references, yet never boring.Book that makes you play music while you are reading it and investigate more on mentioned topics. One that you are sorry to finish. Best kind :)

  • James Lee
    2018-10-31 06:40

    Around 1980 I went to see Abba in concert at Bingley Hall in Stafford. They were promoting their Voulez vous album. I enjoyed it. I was ten years old. I know this not the same as claiming I had seen The Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, but the point is... I liked Abba because my parents liked Abba. John Peel, in his 10 'til 12 BBC1 programme in the early 80's played music that I grew to like and it was the first music that I liked because I liked it, not because my parents liked it! I loved John Peel like a wise affable uncle and this book captures the feelings I had and still have for him. Thank you Cavanagh for allowing me to relieve my memories of Peel.

  • Justin
    2018-10-20 10:23

    Excellent book -if you were into John Peel at all, he doesnt pull any punches either. It was obviously a labour of love, as a result has ended up being quite a tome!At the end it was interesting to think that although he had captured such a lot of material and insights into the man - there was still more stuff that I know he hadn't mentioned - either because he just decided to leave it out - or maybe he wasnt aware - such as JPs foray into cycling journalism.

  • Mark
    2018-11-11 09:34

    Fascinating book on the music of the past fifty years through the lens of John Peels radio programmes from pirate radio to his death in 2004 . A one off definitely and not really credited with just how many artistes he actually was the first to champion fascinating read for genuine music lovers of non mainstream genres that eventually get their day in the sun thanks to the Mavericks like John Peel RIP

  • Alan Hamilton
    2018-11-14 12:22

    Brilliant!You might think that a book describing a few of John Peel's shows from each year of his broadcasting career would be a bit uninspiring, but the author's view on the news at the time, the music that Peel was pioneering and the Radio 1 politics make this a fascinating read....I suspect it would a great read for those not into the music.

  • ROGER
    2018-11-11 14:34

    Greatest book on modern contemporary music I have ever read.Many of us know about modern music genres in Britain but have not understood john peel's involvement in most of them.That is the genius of this book.There is so much I want to say about this book you will have to read my review in the paperback version.

  • Jonathan Carr
    2018-11-09 09:25

    An absolutely enchanting read, bringing back many Peel memories and superbly capturing the essence of the great man. Undoubtedly one of the finest music/popular culture books it has been my pleasure to read.

  • Hugh Menzies
    2018-10-21 10:45

    Brilliant, without Peel we would have had virtually nothing to listen to, great read, jaw dropping information at times, and at last I now know I didn't imagine him playing Wham Rap months before anyone had ever heard of them!

  • Mark
    2018-11-05 14:23

    Chronicles various John Peel shows up until his death in 2004. The book centers around Peel's shows, but it really feels like a journey through underground music. From punk, hardcore, post punk, indie pop, indie rock, techno. A great book if you have any interesting in underground music at all.

  • Neil
    2018-10-29 09:39

    Quite simply the most enjoyable book (music or otherwise) I've read in a long, long time. Brilliant!

  • Michael
    2018-10-30 08:36

    Loved this book. Great chronicle of the music and interspersed with memorable news stories. Not a quick read by any means. Easy to dip in and out of though. Get It!