Friday, October 25, 2013

Keeping It Peel: The June Brides Edition

We lost BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel nine years ago today. Thanks to, among many other things, the more than 4,000 recorded "Peel Sessions," his contributions to music will never be forgotten. In his honor I got in touch with one of my favorite Peel Sessions' vets, Phil Wilson of the June Brides, to get a quick word on meeting the man who always had an ear to the ground and a band to tout.

Phil Wilson: As with most sessions, John Peel didn't attend the recording of ours for the show. But we did meet him prior to that: We did the classic thing of going up to Central London and hanging around outside Broadcasting House waiting for John to appear. We probably waited a couple of hours – but he did turn up eventually, and we thrust a copy of our debut single "In the Rain" into his hands. Amazingly, he actually played the song on his show that night, and made this young man's dream of being on the Peel show come true...

I was very proud of the fact that our Peel Session was released very early on by Strange Fruit: John, apparently, personally picked the sessions that he was keen on Strange Fruit releasing: to be one of the first that he chose was amazingly pleasing...

That four-track album released by Strange Fruit in 1987 was very special to me because it was the first record I ever owned by the June Brides. Being born and raised in the cow pastures of Illinois, I had few opportunities to buy those early (and quite rare) singles and EPs. I had read about the band in a UK music magazine and knew without ever actually hearing a note that I would love them. I mean, c'mon, trumpet and viola for God's sake! The point being I couldn't listen to BBC Radio 1 in Middle America, but Peel and his new label, Strange Fruit, still brought the Junies' Oct. 22, 1985 recording thousands of miles to me.

Man, I miss the thrill of the hunt. These days, all of those hard-to-find singles, EPs and even the BBC appearances can be found on the double CD 'Every Conversation: The Story of the June Brides & Phil Wilson.' Here is a little listen to get you to click "add to cart." You don't even have to get up. Thanks again to Phil Wilson. I imagine the feeling you had when Peel played your single was very close to how I felt this week when I got a reply from you. Oh, and in case you missed it, Wilson and the June Brides have been recording again.

The June Brides - Waiting For a Change (Peel Session) (mp3)

More on Keeping It Peel


Anonymous said...

Great stuff Brian.

Uncle E said...

I think most of us miss the hunt. Although born in Cupertino, California I was raised in rural Canada (well...kind of), and remember vividly riding my bike with a couple of friends to the train station and taking the rail all the way to Toronto where we would spend the day 'hunting'. Pecking around the internet can still be fascinating and blogs like yours have replaced mags like the NME MOJO, etc, where I used to get my import info. I do miss the whole routine of it all, though. Nice post, John Peel RIP.