One of my heroes died today.

John Peel of the BBC died of a heart attack on a working trip to Peru. He was 65.

His show was one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard, and managed to expose me to so many new bands and styles of music. He broadcast for more than 40 years, and in the twelve years I’ve been listening to it on the BBC World Service here in Prague, there was always at least one song every week that gave me that manic pop thrill.

I’ve often said that when I get to be older, I hope to have as open a mind about music as he had. That’d be the best way to remember him.

Update 16:33 261004: Listener tributes can be found here. What’s striking is how many of the comments are of the “thanks to John Peel I first heard … ” and that list is like a who’s who of music. From the Sex Pistols to King Crimson, and that’s just in the comments.

UPDATE 2 20:34 261004: iDnes posts a good tribute on their site, and reminds us that Peel was one of the early champions of the Ecstasy of St. Theresa.