Pete Townshend For Inaugural John Peel Lecture

Guitarist to speak at BBC event

The Who’s Pete Townshend is set to give the inaugural John Peel Lecture at a special BBC event.

More than five years on from his death, John Peel remains a legend. The broadcaster’s wit, his eclectic taste and his obvious devotion to new music helped turn him into one of the most important tastemakers in British music.

An impossible figure to replace, John Peel has been honoured with a number of tributes including a stage at Glastonbury.

Now the presenter’s legacy will be examined via a series of lectures. Organised by BBC 6Music, the John Peel Lectures will provide insight into the state of broadcasting in the 21st century.

Part of this year’s Radio Festival, the inaugural John Peel Lecture will be given by The Who’s Pete Townshend. Taking place at the Lowry Theatre, Salford, the lecture is inspired by the impact of internet on traditional broadcasting means.

A press release contains the following questions: “Can John Peelism survive the Internet? In an age of free downloads and a disposable attitude to music, can creative people earn a living, and without radio how can the ‘unpolished’ music that John Peel championed find an audience?”

Paying tribute to John Peel, The Who’s Pete Townshend said: “I am honoured to be invited to deliver Radio 6 Music’s John Peel Lecture. Through John’s shows I first heard artists like The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Undertones, The Proclaimers before they had record contracts. John didn’t just listen to music, he played it on air and let his audience decide. He was a listener first, and an activist second, and I am happy to have a chance to honour him and examine how his legacy might extend into the future.”

In a heart-warming move, the John Peel Lecture will be introduced by Tom Ravenscroft – the late presenter’s son, himself now a fixture on 6Music. Looking ahead to the event, Ravenscroft was understandably excited to be involved.

“We have in the past few years had trains, housing estates and a restaurant named after dad and so I think he’d have been both bemused and delighted to see he now has a lecture and that Pete Townshend will be delivering the first of them. I’m really happy that 6 Music are honouring him in this way and that the people who kindly agree to participate will help ensure that his legacy will continue into the future.”

The John Peel Lecture series opens at the Lowry Theatre, Salford on October 31st.

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