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The Who’s Pete Townshend To Give Inaugural John Peel Lecture

Dave Hogan/Len Trievnor, Hulton Archives

Pete Townshend is set to launch the first John Peel lecture, in honor of the late British DJ, later this month. The Who guitarist will discuss the future of the music industry during his talk, which is dedicated to the memory of Peel, who spent more than 30 years on BBC Radio 1.

The lecture is formally titled “Can John Peelism survive the internet?” The heart of Townshend’s speech will take a serious look at the impact of free downloads and the music that Peel stood for and question, can it survive in the cyber world?

John Peel had the ear of a champion, clearly setting him apart from his peers. Not only would he play bands before most listeners had heard of them, he also typically did it before the acts even had a record contract.

Townshend explains, “John didn’t just listen to music, he played it on air and let his audience decide. He was a listener first and an activist second, and I’m happy to have a chance to honor him and examine how his legacy might extend into the future.”

The lecture will be given at the Radio Academy Radio Festival on Oct.31 in the Lowry Theatre, Salford, England.

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