Back in 2002 John Peel had a shed which, you will not be surprised to read, was full of records. He needed to empty this shed so he launched a competition in which 10 winners would get around 200-250 records each from the shed. The compo was to describe his radio programme in 20 words or less, for use in a possible Sony Award nomination.
In his show broadcast on 17th January 2002, Peel announced the winners and one of them was John Osborne.
The winning and the receiving of all these records inspired John to go on and write a book, record his own radio broadcast and eventually perform in a show with a live tour.
Let’s start with the book : Radio Head: Up and Down the Dial of British Radio which was published in 2009. And you can grab via that Amazon link for a seriously low price (no affiliates or anything, just buy the book).
The book starts with John (Osborne’s) memories of listening to Radio 1 and John (Peel). From here he goes on tangents of listening to other radio presenters and radio stations. Noting down his own observations and of those from these broadcasts. John’s anecdotes and humorous and warm. As I said, buy the book.
John eventually did something with the records and in 2010 he approached a local community radio station near him – Future Radio and talked to them about making his own radio show. From that came a five episode broadcast which he called John Peel’s Shed. In his shows John plays some of his favourite tracks and highlights others, telling the stories behind some of the recording artists and songs.
He then went on to create a stage show in which he talks about the record collection and tangentially other stories related to listening to the radio. An audio/visual version of his book if you like. He also named it John Peel’s Shed and in 2011 a version of this stage show aired on BBC Radio 4:
» Download (27.4MB/30 mins)
You can also find it on YouTube here.
John went on tour with that show and is back out again (early 2019). It’s a double show: John Peel’s Shed and then: Circled In The Radio Times.
You can find the dates and venues here.
(Additionally there’s a 10 minute doc/interview with John looking through the records, video on YouTube here.)
Back to those Future Radio broadcasts – They went out on 2010 and were also made available to download as podcast episodes. But sadly the Future Radio website was updated and they were not available any more. Luckily John uploaded them to Podomatic – but another but here: sadly episode 4 went missing.
A final but though… (so many but’s) – I decided to post an appeal on Twitter in the faint hope that somebody somewhere had downloaded that episode. And guess what – success ! It it with huge thanks to Keith Jackson (@HullKRJ that we have together again the full five episodes of:
Podcast: John Osborne – John Peel’s Shed
Episode 1 tracklist
1. Dislocation Dance – Bottle of red wine
2. Screaming Lord Sutch – Rockabilly Madman
3. The Maheer Shala Hash Baz – Street corner college
4. Direct Hits – Too shy
5. The Dirtbombs – Your love lives under a rock
6. Shyheim – Furious anger
7. Atom and his Package – Going to Georgia
8. Rock con los Sonambulos – Grandes bolas de fuego
9. Girls at our Best – Politics
10. Walter Ghoul’s Lavender Brigade – Hey Mary Jane
11. Oizone – Earth Song
12. Royal Trux – Call out the lions
13. Metabolics – Dawn of the dead
14. Anubian Lights – What a Bagdad had
15. Dusted – Always remember to honour and respect your mother.
» Download (54.4MB/59 mins)
Episode 2 tracklist
1. The Dirtshakes – 18th December 1984
2. Junior Delgado – Working the midnight blues
3. Electralane – Blue Straggler
4. Modest Mouse – Born a rat
5. The Iron Gate – Feelin’ bad
6. The Young Monkey Men – I believed you
7. Wackcat – All grrrl band
8. Hey O Hansen – d night out
9. Screaming Lord Sutch – Monster rock
10. Sylvester Boy – Sylvester boy
11. Seafood – Cloaking
12. Spot – Chelsea (is a horse)
13. Atom Rhumba – Gimme chaos
14. Joy Zipper – Check out my new Jesus
15. John Does – One kind favour
» Download (52.2MB/57 mins)
Episode 3 tracklist
1. Royal Trux – Fire Hill
2. Stereo de Luxe – Riddle me this
3. The Haywains – Just the job
4. Rudolf Brauer Sextett – Vorsorge
5. The Folk Implosion – Someone you love
6. Transistor 6 – Queenie King
7. The King Bees – I want my baby back
8. Oizone – Father and Son
9. Stereo Total – Schön von hintern
10. Bushman – Robbery aggravation
11. Ming – Ulysee
12. 54 Nude Honeys –
13. The Casswells – Elvis is dead
14. Hell on Wheels – Having one’s luggage labelled
15. Raz Ohara – Far’s song.
» Download (59MB/1 hr 4 mins)
Episode 4 tracklist
1. Stereo Total – Ushilo sugota a kilei
2. Kev Hopper – Lamalou les bains
3. Mercury – Ink
4. The Arousers – Goo goo muck
5. Calvin Don’t Jump – Crystal Clear Mississippi
6. Dot Allinson – Mo pop
7. Red Rot – Buddy she want
8. 1000 Violins – Poet
9. Pimlico – Me and Mr Lonely
10. Dusted – Always remember to honour your mother Part Two
11. Mystery Brinkman – Ride a bike
12. Oizone – You’re gorgeous
13. Chilly Gonzales
14. Soul Inc – You betta get a move on
15. Tarwater – All of the ants left Paris
16. First Born – Credo
» Download (23MB/56 mins)
Episode 5 tracklist
1. Walter Ghoul and his Lavender Brigade – Frumpy and the strange machine.
2. The Anubian Lights – Smoke and Mirrors
3. The Cavemanish Boys – Sunday Street
4. Distillers – Warriors
5. Hey O Hansen – Marie
6. Michael Sheehey – The Licensing Song.
7. The Now Time Delegation – Little Miss Fortune.
8. The Chesterfields – Ask Johnny Dee
9. Ai Phoenix – The carpet said hello
10. Shyheim – I declare war
11. Knoxville Girls – Baby wedding bells blues
12. Station Rose – Eclipse
13. Crabstick – Tourist
14. Bushman – Fire pona deadas
15. Oizone – Wannabe
16. Screaming Lord Sutch – Scream and Scream.
» Download (53 MB/56 mins)
Thank you John (Peel, of course) and to you John (Osborne) for creating these great shows. Again thanks to Keith Jackson for the invaluable help.