Keeping It Peel Podcast – Punk

Subtitled: “Teenage Kicks not included”

Punk’s not dead. It’s just resting. This is a three part pod in which you’ll find many familiar tunes. As well as a few forgotten bands which deserve to be remembered because they were also there and contributed to this new musical revolution.

You can’t pinpoint the exact moment that punk music exploded, but if you listened to John Peel you’d know that the 19th May 1976 was the spark. That was the date when Peel first played The Ramones – Judy Is A Punk.

That one minute and 30 seconds would have the same impact on John Peel as when he first heard rock n’ roll. He knew that nothing was going to be the same.

We don’t have the audio, just the tracklisting of that 19th May show so we’ll start from another significant date: 10th December 1976, also known as the “Punk Special”

Before we get under way with the pods the now usual mention and huge thanks to the chaps at the John Peel Wiki for the source material. Please take time to visit and have a wander around. It is an important music archive and you can help – If you’ve got any old tape recordings of a John Peel broadcast then get in touch. All contributions are welcome even if they have the audio already.
The more information we have, the better the archive becomes.

Of course the change to Peel’s programming didn’t happen overnight. If you look at his playlists from late ’76 onwards there’s still some Pink Floyd and the likes in there, but by the time the Festive 50 of 1977 came around, punk music was dominating.

Peel himself never liked to use the term “punk” to describe the music and never used it himself. As you will hear in one of the clips his listening audience didn’t like this new music and they contacted him demanding to change it back. He never did.

Keeping It Peel Podcast – Punk – 19(76)77

  1. The Damned – So Messed Up (Session) (10th December 1976) – Opening and first track from the special. “Well, I think you’ll find this programme is in rather marked contrast to the programme that has preceded it, because tonight we are going to have a look at punk rock….”
  2. Pere Ubu – Final Solution (10th December 1976) – “…I’m not saying that these bands are the new (The) Who’s, Rolling Stones, the Presley’s or Bill Haley’s, but I’m very glad that they’re there because they bring an injection of energy and crudity into a rock scene that’s been painfully smug and complacent in the last few years…”
  3. (4th January 1977 – Kid Jensen sat in for John who was feeling unwell)
  4. Chris Spedding & The Vibrators – Pogo Dancing – and – Get Out Of My Pagoda (Session) (4th January 1977)
  5. The Adverts – One Chord Wonders (Session) (25th April 1977)
  6. Generation X – Youth Youth Youth (BBC Live in concert) (11th May 1977)
  7. Desperate Bicycles – Smokescreen (2nd Punk Special – 29th August 1977)
  8. The Nosebleeds – Ain’t Been To No Music School (2nd Punk Special – 29th August 1977) – Previously known as Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds until Ed Banger left. Future members included Vini Reilly, the lead singer of The Smiths and Billy Duffy from The Cult.
  9. Chelsea – Right To Work (2nd Punk Special – 29th August 1977)
  10. Richard Hell & The Voidoids: Blank Generation (26th September 1977)
  11. Slaughter And The Dogs – Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone (29th September 1977) – Peel plays what he thought was a new Radio 1 jingle before the track, discovered during the song and announced afterwards that they were actually 10 year old ones. Goes on to advise not to look at the photograph of him in the special Radio 1 anniversary edition of the Radio Times.
  12. Killjoys – Recognition (Session) (18th October 1977) – Kevin Rowland, later of Dexy’s Midnight Runners, was the lead singer.
    (Significant event: 24th October 1977. John played the entire Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks album in full four days before release. Sadly the audio from that show is not available)
  13. Johnny Moped – Incendiary Device (No.16 Festive 50 – 27th December 1977)
  14. John Cooper Clarke – Suspended Sentence (No. 5 Festive 50 – 27th December 1977)
  15. Rezillos – I Can’t Stand My Baby (No.4 Festive 50 – 27th December 1977)
  16. Slits – Love And Romance (Session) (28th December 1977) – “It’s always very gratifying when you go along to see a band playing somewhere and the live performances you think, well, it’s not actually marvelous but if you put them into a studio it might turn out to be quite good. We got the Slits in… … and the session they did was remarkable and I’m given to understand that it’s been subsequently bootlegged which is rather annoying particularly as I haven’t got a copy of it…”

» Download (47MB / 51Mins)

Keeping It Peel Podcast – Punk – 1978

  1. Buzzcocks – I Don’t Mind (5th May 1978)
  2. The Skids – Test Tube Babies (18th May 1978)
  3. X-Ray Spex – Identity (7th July 1978) – AM/Medium wave recording.
  4. The Lurkers – It’s Quiet Here (10th July 1978) – “A record that Kate Bush liked very well on Roundtable last Friday. I wasn’t that keen meself, but I thought if she likes it, it must be good, eh?”
  5. Penetration – Stone Heroes (Session) (10th July 1978) – Medium wave broadcast/recording.
  6. Siouxsie And The Banshees: Hong Kong Garden (26th July 1978)
  7. Jilted John – Jilted John (27th July 1978) – Also known as the “Gordon is a moron” song. An early character from Graham (John Shuttleworth) Fellows. Originally released on the Rabid records label, but after Peel played it there was a high demand and it was re-released on EMI.
  8. Magazine – Boredom (Session) (31st July 1978) – A cover version of the Buzzcocks song.
  9. Stiff Little Fingers – Alternative Ulster (11th September 1978) – “Well, I don’t know if it’s cowardice or indolence that’s stopped any of the major record companies from signing any of the excellent bands from Northern Ireland, or perhaps it’s because places like Derry and Belfast may not immediately seem to be the kind of places where it’s worth going on record company expenses for a weekend…One of the best bands around, I think – and you’ll like that Undertones EP when I get round to playing it later on in the week as well.”
  10. Sham 69 – Hurry Up Harry (12th September 1978) – (Peel played three tracks from them and the intro to this is here, but only the first track is included)
  11. Tubeway Army – Bombers (25th September 1978) – This is the night when John played Teenage Kicks twice.
  12. Undertones – Emergency Cases (28th September 1978) – The B Side of Teenage Kicks. Wrong speed moment at the beginning.
  13. 999 – Feelin’ Alright With The Crew (31st October 1978) – AM radio recording.
  14. Cortinas – Heartache (2nd November 1978) – Peel mentions that he got a phone call from Siouxsie before the show to say the Banshees/Spizzoil gig in Liverpool the following evening has been cancelled.
  15. The Nips – All The Time In The World (2nd November 1978) – (Not the Louie Armstrong song) The band changed their name from the Nipple Erectors. The lead singer Shane MacGowan went on to form The Pogues.
  16. Subway Sect – Watching The Devil (Session) (4th December 1978)

» Download (47MB / 51Mins)

Keeping It Peel Podcast – Punk – 1978

  1. Intro to show (2nd January 1979) – “Well life’s not very easy if you’re Sid Vicious, is it?”
    (At the time of broadcast, Vicious was in a New York jail after being charged with assaulting Todd Smith, brother of Patti Smith.)
  2. Rudi – Big Time (2nd January 1979) – The first release on the Good Vibrations label.
  3. Ruts – Savage Circle (Peel Session) (23rd January 1979)
  4. Menace – I Need Nothing (5th February 1979) – (Produced by John Cale).   “I think it would be unseemly to let the programme pass without mentioning the death at the end of last week of Sid Vicious. Personally I’m dreading reading those rock writers who over the past six or nine months or so have presented the affairs of Sid Vicious as being either romantic or even amusing, which some of them have done. I’ve personally found them profoundly depressing and I would imagine that most of you will have done as well. And the exploitation of the situation has been thoroughly sinister.”
  5. V2 – Man In The Box (6th March 1979) – Glam punk.
  6. Shapes – (I Saw) Batman (In The Laundrette) (2nd April 1979) – followed by:
  7. Nicky And The Dots – Linoleum Walk (2nd April 1979)
  8. The Visitors – Electric Heat (21st May 1979) – Peel has received a letter from Gay Advert, asking him to play the Visitors’ single.
  9. Shoes For Industry – Falling In Love Again (24th May 1979) – (A cover version of the Marlene Dietrich song) The producer/s -‘Alfred O’Bonzo’ was a musical collective which included Richard O’Brien (Rocky Horror Show/Crystal Maze) who produced and appeared on a number of one-off singles, including this one.
  10. Crass – Shaved Women (26th June 1979)
  11. Angelic Upstarts – Teenage Warning (19th July 1979) – Produced by Jimmy Pursey (Medium wave/AM radio recording)
  12. The Buzzards – We Make A Noise (28th August 1979) – Formerly the Leyton Buzzards, two of the members went on to form Modern Romance.
  13. Dead Kennedys – California Uber Alles (12th September 1979)
  14. No Way – Breaking Point (31st October 1979) – Have you seen how much this single goes for ?
  15. The Dodgems – Lord Lucan Is Missing (Peel Session) (1st November 1979) – “If the Dodgems themselves had disappeared after writing that song, they’d have contributed more to our lives I think than most people do in a lifetime.”
  16. Adicts – Easy Way Out (12th November 1979)
  17. Peter & The Test Tube Babies – Elvis Is Dead (3rd December 1979)
  18. Cockney Rejects – I’m Not A Fool (18th December 1979)

» Download (55MB / 1Hr)

Please leave your “They weren’t punk/that’s not punk” comments below.

Further reading: Punk 77 – John Peel

Something to watch: John Peel on Brass Tacks discussing punk

Further watching: Don Letts – When Punk Met Reggae

5 thoughts on “Keeping It Peel Podcast – Punk

  1. Even without audio, the names, the titles, immediately kindle long ago. Excellent work.

  2. Sweet & angsty days past confirmed. Big thanks for compiling this.

    Do note that the download link for 1978 is not working.

    1. … not a prob though; worked it out by pasting embed in new tab and downloading from there.

  3. Sorry to see 14 July 1978 overlooked. I was on holiday in England (from the US) and heard punk on the radio for the first time. (This was on one of those hotel room radios stuck to the wall.) Clearly remember Peel’s typically dry introduction of the Rezillos’ “Someone’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight” because it made me and my brother laugh out loud. Was amazed to find the show online several years ago – lots of other punk tracks from Desparate Bicycles, La Peste, Lurkers, Wire, etc. alongside the only track he played that we were familiar with at the time (Allman Brothers, ha).

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