RIP John Peel

Caught the news earlier this morning that John Peel, one of the most important formative influences throughout my teens and beyond, died suddenly of a heart attack while on holiday in Peru. So very sad.

Peel's late night radio show was a huge influence on me and so many of my friends throughout the 70s and 80s. I think even my Mum ended up a fan - after so many nights listening to Peel's gruff, quiet voice drifting downstairs from her teenage sons' bedrooms.

Unquestionably cool, without ever trying to be, and with a phenomenal appetite for all kinds of music from anywhere and everywhere; Peel introduced me and generations of kids like me to so much of the music that defined our adolescence.

I remember listening the night Peel played the Undertones' Teenage Kicks - then flipped the needle back to the start and played the darn thing all the way through again - commenting that it was possibly the best pop song ever recorded. I couldn't argue then, and I still can't disagree now.

As my friend Mark said, in email this morning - remembering this feels like yesterday but also a very long time ago.

I thought he'd always be there. I remember thinking how cool it was going to be to introduce my own kids to Peel at some point, assuming he'd still be on the radio into his 70s and beyond. It's like losing a friend.