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".