I have been enjoying a few books on holiday, courtesy of Norfolk Library Service and WH Smiths of Norwich. The one I finished most recently is Margrave of the Marshes, the autobiography (in part) of the later John Peel, the DJ and music writer. I say part autobiography as he died unexpectedly in October 2004 and the book was completed by his family from his notes and their own knowledge.
His son describes his father as "immortalised in Pseuds Corner of Private Eye for writing that the music of Pink Floyd evoked the sound of dying galaxies." It was his Sunday afternoon show Top Gear that was responsible in 1969 for forming my musical taste and introducing me to the sound of Marc Bolan's Tyrannosaurus Rex, Pink Floyd and David Bowie. He also introduced reggae music to British radio.
His dry wit was a feature of his writing and later radio shows which were of more general interest. His wife described how he would attempt to assist their daughter Alexandra with her school essays, with hints on how to hold a reader's interest.
"Dad" she reasoned "it's about female genital mutilation. There's not a great deal of scope there for humour". All credit to her school for raising the subject, and to her parents for discussing it, and being prepared to mention it.
I can recommend the book and not just to music lovers.
Very sad that he died relatively young. I always liked his dry wit, even in the much slated "Home Truths". Talking of Pseuds Corner, it's Tuesday - must find a pseud.