DAVID PEEL (musician)



Birth name David Michael Rosario
Born August 1, 1943
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

Died April 6, 2017 (aged 73)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.

Genres Protopunk, folk rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar

Birth name:  David Michael Rosario

Origin:  Lower East Side, U.S.

Genre: Protopunk, folk rock

Web Site:  David Peel’s homepage

Other Links: See above:



David Peel (born David Michael Rosario) is a New York-based musician who first recorded in the late 1960s with Harold Black, Billy Joe White, George Cori and Larry Adam performing as David Peel and The Lower East Side Band. His raw, acoustic “street rock” with lyrics about marijuana and “bad cops” appealed mostly to hippies.

In 1968, Peel was contracted by Elektra Records when he was first discovered and recorded two “envelope pushers” for the label. His album Have a Marijuana peaked at 186 on the Billboard Charts.

Peel was rediscovered by John Lennon in 1971 as the early seventies continued its swing towards the youth revolution. Lennon befriended Peel when David was playing with his ragtag hippie band in New York’s Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. Lennon produced The Pope Smokes Dope for Peel. This album was banned in many countries and since has been sought after by collectors worldwide.

In the summer of 1970, Peel performed at Washington Square Park along with Ira Gewirtz.

Peel appeared with Lennon at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in Ann Arbor, Michigan on December, 1971.

In 1976 the independent labels Orange Records and Auravox Records released An Evening With David Peel. The LP was hailed as being a breakthrough recording by capturing the tumultuous mid-1970s American underground movement as well as the bubbling under of live recordings that have become a mainstay of the recording arts. Mix was finalized by Ron St. Germain (of Band 311 fame) at Ultrasonic recording studios in Hempstead, NY.

In 1995, the vinyl LP tracks from An Evening With David Peel were combined with two new multi-tracked studio recordings: “Junk Rock” and “I Hate You” (recorded at Right Track Studios, NYC) for a CD release Up Against The Wall. In the additional studio recordings on the CD, Muruga Brooker (of Genesis fame) played his “electric talking drum” on the comeback hit “Junk Rock”.


1968: Have a Marijuana
1970: The American Revolution
1972: The Pope Smokes Dope
1974: Santa Claus Rooftop Junkie
1976: An Evening with David Peel
1977: Bring Back the Beatles
1978: King of Punk
1979: Junk Rock / I Hate You (45 rpm single released under David Peel and Death)
1980: Death to Disco
1980: John Lennon for President
1984: 1984
1986: Search to Destroy
1987: John Lennon Forever
1987: World War III
1993: Anarchy in New York City
1994: Battle for New York
1994: War and Anarchy
1995: Noiseville
1995: Up Against the Wall
2002: Legalize Marijuana
2002: Long Live the Grateful Dead
2002: Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw
2004: Jirokichi Live at Koenji
2008: Marijuana Christmas

Peel has appeared as himself in various films, including Please Stand By (1972), Rude Awakening (1989), High Times’ Potluck (2004) and The U.S. vs. John Lennon (2006).

In Jack Milton’s film Please Stand By, Peel portrays and stars as a media hippie revolutionary, who hijacks a network television van and jams the airwaves with unauthorized radical broadcasts to the nation.