The internet has managed to replace some of my misplaced happy hardcore, including a couple of tracks that were favorites of John Peel (or “Fat Jack” as he used, implausibly, to claim people called him). This reminds me that my sister gave me a copy of Peel’s autobiography a little while ago. It’s pretty good; or, rather, the first half, written by Peel himself, is good, particularly if you read it to yourself while doing a bad John Peel impersonation. His description of his time at school is interesting, and his account of living in America suggests, without being overly confessional or falsely modest, that he may have been a bit of a dick, sometimes. The second half, written by his wife, is not so good; while I was surprised to discover just how involved in the counter-culture Peel was, it’s hard to get enthusiastic about a book written in the style of one of those family newsletters that people send in to Simon Hoggart.