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Teenage dreams, so hard to beat

Alright, so there's not much of it left, but it's worth marking the fact that today is John Peel Day.

It's hard to convey the feelings that went through the head of every true music lover in this country when Peel died. He was without doubt the most significant non-musician figure that the last 50 years of British music have ever seen. There are those who say he wasn't always the nicest guy in his personal life, particularly in his younger years, and maybe they're right. There are those who say, even, that particularly in his later years he showed some examples of staggeringly bad music taste, and they're sometimes right as well. But what cannot be denied is that what he stood for was the greatest underlying principle of modern music - constantly striving to discover something small and wonderful amongst a vast sea of mediocrity.

So tonight, for John, play something special. It needn't necessarily be something that you wouldn't have discovered without him (although I'm sure plenty of us have got at least one song or artist that this is true of). It could be something that only you and the friend who first played you it ever seem to be aware of. It could be something that, above everything else, just stirs something in you. It could be your pet band, the band the rest of the world hates but that you can't help but love. But honour, somehow, a great man, and the principles he stood for, the idea that music could and should matter.

(by the way, the just-posted review of the new Half Man Half Biscuit album is also my way of marking the day)

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