The record collection of legendary broadcaster John Peel is to be sold today by auction house Bonhams. However, buyers have been put off bidding for many of the rare items on finding that nearly all of it is amateurish crap.
Early bidders, most of whom had never listened to his radio show, were ecstatic at winning rare grooves from across 40 years of broadcasting, though joy soon turned to horror after hearing the songs, which included examples of dirge-like indie, ear-splitting experimental electronica, apoplectic fit-inducing rave, and country.
A representative of Bonhams said: “Over 40 years, John Peel was an incredible curator across such a wide spectrum of music – there was hardly anything he wouldn’t play. He had an incredibly knack for finding bands you’ve never heard of before and never hear of again. We’ll never forget how he turned people on to new and challenging kinds of tunelessness, proving that just because something isn’t mainstream, it doesn’t mean it’s any good.”
On his BBC shows, Peel was famous for breaking the careers of band such as The Undertones, The Fall and Joy Division, as well as discovering several new genres of pop music, usually by accidentally playing the records at the wrong speed.
It was said that while his listening figures were low by Radio 1 standards, for those who did tune in it ‘lowered the bar’, inspiring many to go out and start their own bands, despite having no discernible musical talent, safe in the knowledge that at least one DJ would play it. However, Oasis went on to sell many thousands of records across the 1990’s.