• John Peel - Fire Engines
  • BBC Radio One
  • 1981
  • Another in a small but select series of Peel compilations from Mark.
  • Mark: "Lenny Henry in his Tiswas phase opens the show with a bizarre offering. Was this the start of a period when Peel asked a series of bands to record the Heaven 17 anti-fascist anthem … or is that an urban myth? Peel is name checked in The Skids session track from 1978. Is anyone compiling a list/mix of songs that mention the great man … [1] I am a bit bemused that I have The Lucys doing No Door twice on the same tape – did he play it twice by mistake or did I record the repeat later in the month …"
  • Sessions featured:
Fire Engines, #1. Recorded 1981-02-23, first TX 09 March 1981. No known commercial release.
Lucy's, one and only session. Recorded 1981-03-03, first TX 11 March 1981, repeated 01 April 1981. No known commercial release.
Frames, one and only session. Recorded 1981-02-24, first TX 02 March 1981, this repeat 17 March 1981. No known commercial release.
Penetration, #1. Recorded 1978-07-05, first TX 10 July 1978, this repeat 11 March 1981. No known commercial release.
Skids, #1. Recorded 1978-05-16, first TX 19 May 1978. No known commercial release.


(JP: 'A thing of rare beauty … someone told me it was the Beat providing the backing music.')
(JP: 'I had to leave home earlier this evening drive away from the mountain fastness of Peel Acres with the flood waters lapping at the door but this is the price you have to pay if you are in show business… so this is for the pig who is stuck there probably by now the flood waters are up to the second storey.')
(JP: and that's from the Wild Boys, who come from wherever has the dial code of 0203. And our engineer Phil tells me that 0222 is Cardiff, but that's not terribly helpful.')
(JP: There’s more work on this show than there is on Merseyside.')
(JP: 'Destined for number one in the pale and interesting chart, I think.')(at handful of malcontents and fly-by-nightsh that objects to me playing those old R'n'B records are going to thrill with horror when I tell them that Charly records are going to issue another torrent of the stuff....'
(JP: 'You know, I’m secretly rather glad that these old music hall songs are coming back again.')
(JP: 'There are few things that irritate me more and I expect you are the same than people who come on the radio and use long words and say things like laburnum and then say whatever that means the assumption being that they don’t want to embarrass their audience by appearing cleverer then them this seems to me to be to patronizing in the extreme I say all this as I have to confess that I am not exactly sure what Zeitgeist means even though I have had it explained to me on a number of occasions – probably something like the isness of being.')
(JP: 'I think we’ll rebook those boys.')
tape edit


  • John Peel - Fire Engines
  • 01:31:15
  1. See Peel On Record.
  2. A Wire side project by Bruce Gilbert & Graham Lewis.

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