JOHN PEEL CONNECTION
any shadow of a doubt, the Cuban Boys exist and continue to
exist because of the legendary DJ, John Peel.
He was the first person to champion the band, and he remained
a loyal supporter before, during and after the Cuban Boys
gatecrashed the UK Charts. During the period from 1998 to
2001, any listener of the John Peel Show would be all to aware
that the Cuban Boys were a regular feature on the show whether
just simply having an email read out, a track played or a
Peel and the Cuban Boys were so closely connected that John
considered the band as an extended part of his own family,
often inviting them along to the live shows at BBC Maida Vale.
of the Festive 50 in 1999
Probably the proudest moment for the Cuban Boys was in 1999
when Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia was voted as the most popular
tune by the listeners of the John Peel Show in the annual
Festive 50 poll. For the band, it was an honour far more precious
to them than the dizzy feeling of a Top 5 UK Chart Hit. By
sheer chance, it also meant that the Cuban Boys were the last
band to be played on BBC Radio 1 in the the 20th Century.
Apart from that poll-winning entry, the Cuban Boys have also
graced the Festive 50 on several occasions - usually with
tracks which have never been commercially released. That simply
explains the relationship the band had with John and his listeners
- no great distinction between their an entry which sold over
250,000 copies and one which only existed as a one-off cdr
burnt just for John Peel.
Cuban Boys' last entry was their tribute to John Peel, the
much-appreciated noise-fest called 'The Nation Needs You'
which featured John himself.
Oh My God! They Killed Kenny - No.6
Vs Intelligentsia - No.1
Flossie's Alarming Clock - No.28
Countdown - No.29
Theme From Prim & Proper - No.34
Drink Drink - No.23
The Nation Needs You - No.33
Visit The BBC Radio 1 Session Pages:
Session 1 - Dec 1998
2 - March 2000
125 Peel Sessions
Cuban Boys recorded two sessions for the John Peel Show, the
first of these was voted one of the Top 125 Peel Sessions
of all time by the people who knew John best - his family,
friends, studio engineers, producers and musicians.:
Oh My God! They Killed Kenny
Stardust (Part 3 - Ariana In Space)
Hanging On The Telephone
(Let's Get) Raunchier
Producer - Mike Engles
Engineer - George Thomas
Studio - Maida Vale 3
From Out Of Nowhere
The Number One Song In Heaven
The Laughing Gnome
Producer - Mike Robinson
Studio - Maida Vale 4
BIRTHDAY TV PROGRAMME
1999, the Cuban Boys' enduring popularity with John Peel and
his listeners resulted in the band being invited to appear
on a special BBC TV documentary which was produced to celebrate
John's 60th Birthday.
documentary featured on BBC2 as part of an entire evening
of programmes devoted to John. For their part, the Cuban Boys
were interviewed about their special relationship with John
and were also shown performing their soon-to-be-famous track
Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia. This appearance also marked
the Cuban Boys first ever tv exposure.
Alongside this, the band were also invited to appear in the
John Peel 60th Birthday book, which depicted a host of close
family, friends and bands wearing special John Peel Birthday
PEEL ALBUM SLEEVENOTES
the massive success of the 'Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia'
single, the Cuban Boys released their debut album 'Eastwood'.
The band asked John Peel if he would mind writing some sleevenotes
for the album and, naturally, he was only too happy to oblige.
John's words, typed by him on his infamous typewriter, reflected
the close bond he had with the band, and also showed how much
he understood what they did and why.
Cuban Boys first met John in the flesh when they went to his
wonderful 60th Birthday Party at Peel Acres. The band presented
him with a one-off cdr of music as a 'gift of music'. Although
pleased with his present, John was somewhat more enthusiastic
about having received the framed, hand-written lyrics to 'Teenage
Kicks' from the Undertones.
During the party the band also met Sheila and the family,
including Flossie who seemed fairly unmoved to meet the band
who had created a track, Flossie's Alarming Clock, which sampled
the sound of her alarm-clock.
to the John Peel Day Documentary
The BBC Radio 1 John Peel Site
Peel Day Tracklisting
the first anniversary of John Peel's last ever radio show,
BBC Radio 1 marked the occasion with 'John Peel Day'. Once
again the Cuban Boys were asked to provide some input and,
amongst other things, Ricardo was interviewed for a radio
documentary which was broadcast as part of the Steve Lamacq
Show. Radio 1 also devised a new John Peel web area to celebrate
the history of the show, again the Cuban Boys provided some
Vs Intelligentsia featured in the tracklisting for John Peel
Cuban Boys also instigated their own campaign to get listeners
to download and play their John Peel Tribute 'The Nation Needs
You' during John Peel Day.
July 2003, the John Peel Show ran a competition for listeners
to design a badge for the show. Within about an hour, much
to the amusement of the Peel Team, Skreen from the Cuban Boys
had designed and submitted an entire set of badges.
Much later, in October 2003, Skreen's 'Right Time, Right Place,
Wrong Speed' badge was voted the winning design and is even
mentioned by John in his autobiography 'Margrave of the Marshes'.
Skreen was sent a complete set of all the badges. Woohoo!
NATION NEEDS YOU - TRIBUTE SONG
2005, the Cuban Boys returned from an extended sabbatical
to record a special tribute to their friend and champion,
John Peel - a track called 'The Nation Needs You'.
The track was very well-received by listeners, fans and DJs
across the world - but probably the most touching moment was
when Phill Jupitus from 6Music described playing it to Emily
Eavis on Sunday night at the Glastonbury Festival from his
jeep stereo. John Peel would have loved that......
'The Nation Needs You' Page