25 ottobre 2004. Quindici anni sono passati dalla dolorosa scomparsa. Quindici anni durante i quali l’opera quarantennale di John Peel è stata celebrata, tributata, festeggiata, analizzata. Un’influenza senza pari. Nel 2009 usciva infatti il quadruplo box set ‘Kats Karavan’ a tagliare trasversalmente decadi e epoche, raccontando il meglio delle leggendarie BBC Sessions e delle altrettanto imprescindibili Festive 50. Successivamente la sua personale collezione è stata messa on line grazie all’opera dell’Arts Council. A tutto questo si sono poi aggiunte testimonianze preziose come quella di Jack White, che intervistato da Mojo ha ricordato come “the most important DJ who has ever lived” avesse sempre avuto parole di elogio e stima nei confronti dei White Stripes, sin da quando nel 2001 il duo arrivò per la prima volta in UK (“the most exciting band since punk or Jimi Hendrix”). White continua: “It was mind-boggling to us, because we thought the only people who liked us were a few hundred people in America. When he started playing our songs we were, like, ‘That’s unbelievable!’”. L’artista di Detroit non è però il solo che ha speso parole d’amore e stima verso Peel.
Ecco Iggy Pop: “I get the feeling that John was the kind of guy who would have done his job for nothing, as long as he felt great about it. So we have that in common. I was interested to learn that he found his voice in large part through his wanderings in America. Sometimes it takes strange circumstances to provide a mirror in which to find yourself. Anyway, he’s done a lot to give others a voice, and that’s the most important gift you can give. Here was a person with strong opinions and enthusiasms who wasn’t defined by any system, because of that his show became an exciting location, kind of like a shop that’s a good hang. So it was a social as well as a musical phenomenon”.
Non meno toccanti sono le parole di David Gedge leader dei The Wedding Present: “People still try and emulate John Peel. His work as a musicologist put everything into context. Peel was one of the best radio presenters that this country’s ever had. He played our first single about 10 times and got the ball rolling for us. We were lucky, but the funny thing is I’d spent the previous 10 years listening to his show, so what he was playing was actually influencing and guiding me anyway. So we were destined to be a John Peel band”. Di Gedge e della sua band John Peel una volta disse: “the boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of the rock ‘n’ roll era. You may dispute this, but I’m right and you’re wrong”. Quanta verità.
Nel 2005 usciva l’autobiografia “Margrave of the Marshes” scritta a quattro mani dalla moglie Sheila Ravenscroft e da Ryan Gilbey. Tre anni dopo è stata la volta del libro “The Olivetti Chronicles: Three Decades of Life and Music” che raccoglie scritti vari dello stesso Peel.