Margrave of the Marshes (John Peel and Sheila Ravenscroft)

This was fascinating, although it must be confessed that my musical taste is probably the polar opposite of John Peel’s. There’s a very funny (for me) moment in the book when Sheila is recounting his dislike for Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits and U2 and I’m thinking ‘they’re all the ones I really like!’ On top of which I have never heard ‘Teenage Kicks’ which seems to have represented everything he liked. Totally different worlds. (Actually, scratch that – I also went to boarding school so I could recognise a lot of what he described, and I could really relate to his shyness.)

However, the most interesting aspect of Peel’s life seems to be the way in which, through pursuing his own interests (= his vocation) he fostered a community and enabled them to experience a sense of belonging, overcoming alienation and loneliness in the process. That seems a holy task. (It also seems to be what Mad Priest has accomplished in a different medium. I’m sure he has a copy of ‘Teenage Kicks’ 😉