If you subscribe to my PODCAST, you may have already heard my interview with Undertones bassist Mickey Bradley. They were in the states in May for a few dates on each coast. I hope some of you did get to see them. To this day I will attest that the Undertones have consistently been one of the best live bands ever, and the two shows in New York: Le Poisson Rouge and Gramercy Theater just reinforced what I knew already! I got leg cramps both nights from pogoing so much, and I’d gladly have them again to see another performance! Prior to the Gramercy (the 2nd of the NYC shows) performance, Mickey was kind enough to grant a bit of time to us rockers! Here is a transcription of a teeny bit of our talk. Now go here at anytime to check out the podcast!
RockerForLife: Was Teenage Kicks played at John Peel’s funeral?
Mickey Bradley: It was, actually it was. It was the last song played at his funeral – which is a bizarre statement to make. Headlined John Peel’s funeral – yes, as John’s coffin was being brought down, they played Teenage Kicks, which was quite moving. There was a great playlist they had – I’m pretty sure Howlin Wolf was on it. So, yeah it was, AND – the first line of it is inscribed on his tombstone. “Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat”… He always said that he wanted it, and obviously the family carried out that wish, y’know? They took it seriously, which was quite moving as well, from our point of view.
RFL: As far as I’m concerned, and in terms of the underground music world, he’s the most important person radio has ever had.
MB:I think you’re right, you know! Maybe Alan Freed as well, but certainly in terms of England, and people forget the number of bands got their first radio play through John Peel. And it’s not even the usual ones – the punk bands – or Marc Bolan – there were unusual ones as well. I think he was the first one to play- in England anyway, he constantly played Laurel and Hardy singing the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia on his radio show. Eventually it got wider airplay and it became a hit in the 1970’s.