John and I shared a love of listening to the radio. We both had ‘transmitters’ on our computers, allowing us to listen to radio broadcasts from each other’s PCs. I’ll never forget how excited we were when we could get online and listen to different BBC stations. We both loved John Peele’s Home Truths, Top of the Pops, The Bradshaws, and other BBC favourites. We were always calling each other, saying “Hey, tune in to Radio 2, there is a really good documentary about….”
We had our weekly favourite shows, one of which was CFRA’s “Middle-aged bald guys taling rock and roll.” I even went as far as getting John a ‘guest appearance’ on that show, in honour of his 60th birthday. The hosts were incredibly accommodating, and it gave John the opportunity to get behind a mic once again.
Things got really interesting when we both subscribed to satellite radio; John subscribing to XM Radio and me subscribing to Sirius. We were constantly comparing notes and discovering new shows and stations. We often tuned in to the same shows and had great discussions over what we had heard. In honour of John’s 64th birthday, I contacted the famous Cousin Brucie, and had him play “When I’m 64” by the Beatles.
John had been a radio veteran, having done several shows in his native England. Upon coming to Canada, he did many shows on disability issues. John and Susan provided much-needed feedback, advice and support when we proposed our own disabilities show, Welcome To My World. We were privileged to have John as a guest on our program to talk about his love of radio and music.
How were we to know that only one short week after that interview that John would no longer be with us. He leaves behind a great legacy for me and all those who were fortunate to know him.