Someone on a forum I’m in asked that question earlier today. In fact, there were SIX ‘first Peel sessions’… and they were all actually John Peel/Pete Drummond sessions. I’ve compiled a snapshot of that first 1/10/67 ‘Top Gear’ and the following few shows in a montage.
The six ‘first Peel sessions’ were by The Move, Big Maybelle & the Senate, Tomorrow (featuring Keith West), Tim Rose, Traffic and Pink Floyd. All were broadcast on ‘Top Gear’ on 1/10/67. The first three of those acts recorded their sessions on 21/9/67, the other three on 25/9/67.
Strictly speaking, ‘Top Gear’ didn’t become ‘John Peel’s Top Gear’ until 4/2/68. Between 12/11/67 – 28/1/68 John co-presented the show, and thereby its exclusive session recordings, with Tommy Vance. There were six shows between 1/10/67 (the first episode) and 5/11/67, and these were co-presented by a pool of presenters. John Peel and Pete Drummond did the first one. John co-presented two of the other five with Drummond, while Drummond co-presented the other three with Tommy Vance, Mike Ahern and Rick Vane. Yes, a case could be made that several legendary early ‘Peel sessions’ were actually ‘Drummond sessions’.
In this montage, I’ve assembled tracks from three of the first five session guests plus four LP tracks with brief presenter intros/outros – from John, Pete Drummond and Tommy Vance – to give a flavour of the show in it’s first few weeks. All come from a couple of uncirculated off-air reels.
1. Traffic – Coloured Rain (session)
2. Tomorrow – My White Bicycle (session)
3. Tomorrow – Three Little Dwarfs (session)
4. Pink Floyd – Flaming (session)
5. Pink Floyd – The Gnome (session)
6. John Fahey – Sail Away Ladies (LP track, with John Peel outro)
7. James & Bobby Purify – I’m Your Puppet (single, with Pete Drummond intro)
8. Donovan – Sand & Foam (LP track, with John Peel outro)
9. Tim Rose – Hey Joe (LP track, with Tommy Vance outro)