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Pete Townsend gets it SO wrong

October 31, 2011

I’ve just listened to the inaugural annual BBC John Peel lecture, given by elderly rock dinosaur Pete Townsend.

Read a BBC report HERE

Watch the lecture HERE

I expected him to ramble on about how great the old record industry was and to whinge about piracy and modern distribution methods for music. Well, fortunately he don’t do quite what I expected. Unfortunately, though, he still delivered a rambling, incoherent and confused set of contradictions.

He went into some detail about how John Peel (pbuh) had acted as a filter, an introducer, a source of glorious random discovery of unexpected but brilliant music.

He then went on to assert that such a person or process didn’t exist in the modern digital music economy. He then went on to list many of the ways it actually DOES exist in the modern digital economy. Like I said, confused and contradictory.

He clearly had no real idea about podcasts or music blogs, despite talking about them. Like everyone from the dying music industry or the radio industry, he made no mention of netlabels. They are not mentioned so often in discussions about the music industry that it has to be deliberate.

Next year, let’s hope the BBC picks a speaker not because he was a member of some old band who made some good records 40 years ago but someone who actually has a finger on the pulse of emerging creative music. They’re out there, BBC. To use modern parlance, epic fail BBC! What a sadly wasted opportunity.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2011 10:40 pm

    I guess we won’t get fooled again.

  2. November 1, 2011 11:14 am

    Considering Townsend did do a series of video podcasts (sponsored by BTPodshow as they were called then) in which he jammed with up and coming bands at festivals, he IS aware of podcasts.

    However he obviously feels that unless there’s a degree of “authority” (presumably provided by the BBC) then the “worthy amateurs” (that’s us podcasters) are unable to carry on Peel’s legacy and be a listeners guide.

    Thownsend has now thrown down the gauntlett. Podcasters will respond.

    The next lecture needs to be waaaay better than this.

  3. November 1, 2011 2:36 pm

    Here’s a open letter to Mr Townsend from The Dark Compass Podcast:


  1. BBC Radio 6 Music, John Peel Lecture by Pete Townsend « Ginger Shinobi
  2. BBC 6Music John Peel Lecture: A lesson in disappointment | Pete Cogle's Podcast Factory
  3. BBC 6Music John Peel Lecture: A lesson in disappointment | Pete Cogle's Podcast Factory

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