Author(s): David Cavanagh
Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Britain is a social history, a diary of a nation's changing culture -- a man who can legitimately be called the most influential figure in post-war British popular music. Without the support of John Peel, it's unlikely that innumerable artists -- from David Bowie to Dizzee Rascal, Jethro Tull to Joy Division -- would have received national radio exposure. But Peel's influence goes much deeper than this. Whether he was championing punk, reggae, jungle or grime, he had a unique relationship with his audience that was part taste-maker, part trusted friend.
The book focuses on some 300 shows between 1967 and 2004, giving a thorough overview of Peel's broadcasting career and placing it in its cultural and social contexts. Peel comes alive for the reader, as do the key developments that kept him at the cutting edge -- the changes in his tastes; the changes in his thinking. Just like a Peel show, Good Night and Good Riddance is warm, informative and insightful, and wears its enthusiasm proudly.
The first major book on the most colossal tastemaker in British pop history since Margrave of the Marshes
'Good Night and Good Riddance is a bravura work of close listening, scholarship and writing.' "Sukhdev Sandhu The Observer" 'A fabulously readable and deeply rewarding book: a musical travelogue, a cultural history of Britain, a radio diary, even a personal drama...Good Night and Good Riddance is like reuniting with a old friend, and realising you miss them more than ever' "Keith Cameron Mojo" 'Good Night and Good Riddance is a brilliant tribute to someone you probably owe at least half your record collection to' "Uncut" 'An amazing hybrid of social history and easy to dip into facts. Peel would be proud' "Classic Pop" 'Explaining in lovingly crafted prose just exactly how Peel charted and mapped the tastes of at least two generations (possibly three) of music lovers. This book isn't just diverting, it's essential' "Dylan Jones GQ" 'For a long number of years and for a great many people the John Peel Show was a kind of underground university, providing not just a free education in popular (and unpopular!) music but a gateway to independent thinking and alternative culture. This isn't just a re-telling, it's re-living, song by song, link by link.' "Simon Armitage"
David Cavanagh has written for Select, Q, Mojo and Uncut and is the author of the acclaimed history of Creation Records My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry for the Prize.