Perfumed Garden" was originally the title of a
sixteenth century Tunisian sex manual that devoted an entire chapter
to "The Sundry Names Given to the Sexual Parts of Man," of which
"the expectorant," "the one-eyed," "the odd headed" and "the
extinguisher of passion" are a few of the more
colorful ones. But that's not why I chose the name.
For three months in the Spring of 1967 in Swinging London, a young
disk jockey by the name of John Peel did an overnight radio show on
a pirate radio station called Radio London aboard a ship off the
coast of Essex. He called his program "The Perfumed Garden" and was
among the first to champion adventurous, underground, psychedelic
music by the likes of Jefferson Airplane, Pink
Floyd, T. Rex, Velvet Underground, Traffic, The Dead and numerous
other fledgling artists who have since become household names. After
the British government shut down the pirate stations, Peel joined
the BBC, where he continued to champion new, unusual, and
independent artists until his untimely death on October 25, 2004.
One of my favorite Peel quotes: "Somebody was
trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don't
have any surface noise. I said, 'Listen, mate, life has
In my many years of jockeying disks, I have always
yearned to be able to help bring little or unknown artists to a
wider audience; the premise being that folks might like to step
outside the MTV-fed fodder and journalistic (hype)rventilations
masquerading as best sellers. You know what I mean: the Quantity
(number of units sold) = Quality (so they must be great) mentality.
John Peel rose above that. So, in tribute to my favorite DJ and
biggest inspiration, I've decided to respectfully borrow the title
of his show as my own.
also recently discovered that one of my favourite
singer/songwriters, Nick Drake's first band was called The
Perfumed Gardeners. That clinched it for me!
Each week, we'll dip into rock and roll's illustrious history and
bring you some of my favorite selections from the sixties to the
"naught"ies. For those of you who don't think that "classic rock" is
all that bad, we'll feature some recognizable names that you
probably have buried in the secret "guilty pleasure" section of your
record collection down in the basement. We'll listen to psychedelic
treasures, prog monsters, lost AM-radio faves and new stuff from
artists you may never have heard of, but we'll check them out
together and maybe discover some new favorites. We'll also travel
back in time to celebrate the birthdays and death anniversaries of
The Perfumed Garden
for more information about my insane lifestyle, check out my Site
for Sore Eyes.
for The Perfumed Garden