In October of 2004, I received the sad news from The Magic Band's booking agent, Dan Silver, that John Peel had passed away. The Magic Band had just done his live show at Maida Vale in July and it had been a very pleasant reunion for me, as I recalled John quite well from the first Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band tour. He personally gave a tearful introduction to us at the Middle Earth before our first performance in the UK. Renting a Mini-Cooper, he and his wife drove Don and I to several of the venues.
I read the news as I was just starting to work on another composition for my CD, "City of Refuge." It became through inspiration a bittersweet instrumental tribute to John "Ravenscroft" Peel, and I titled it "To the Loft of Ravenscroft."
It's a piece with several sections and features bass solos in the style of Mark "Rockette Morton" Boston in the first half, then goes into a simple chordal pattern overlaid by a guitar solo, and finishes in a slightly-chaotic AABA type pattern with a soprano sax solo over the top. I worked hard to make it a listenable piece yet allowed myself to break the music rules so that it could soar away in a victorious flight that ends rather abruptly. The silence at the end is the real statement. An historic life is behind us.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album - right here!