Hans Knot's International Radio Report - October 2008
Hello and welcome to a
bumper edition of the Hans Knot International Report and thanks for the
many e mails and memories. In last issue we had the very sad news of the
passing away from Peace fighter
Abe Nathan. Many of the former crewmembers and deejays reflected
and we have chosen some to publish in the report. First an e mail sent
by Noam Tal, who has
cared a lot for Abe during the past years:
Abie Nathan was laid to rest last Friday, August 29th, in Tel Aviv. At 9:30 am, his coffin was placed on the stage in the Tzavta theatre in Tel Aviv. In the background, there was a presentation which included pictures and voices from various stages in his life. Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv eulogized Nathan saying: “Abie was a symbol of the brotherhood of man who was quick to bring aid to the starving population of Africa and to people who were struck by disaster throughout the world. He had a vision and like every prophet he paid the price, which he knew he would pay”. Amikam Gurevitz, an old friend talked about Abie’s generosity and kind heart. The singers Ozi and Miri sang the song “Eli Eli” (“My God”) which Abie loved and Henry Elkaslassi spoke on behalf of Abie’s friends. The crowd passed by Abie’s coffin paying him their last respect, and stopped for minute of reflection. Later, they left for the cemetery.
Shimon Peres, the president of Israel led the eulogies. He was followed by Israel Lau, the chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, and then by Abie’s physiotherapist Itay Ben Shaushan, who took care of him during his final years. Shaushan talked about the bravery Abie displayed during his illness. I spoke on behalf of the family and thanked all the people who helped Abie including the Rechtman family who were very close to Abie.
Abie Nathan (Photo Archive Freewave)
Sayid Nathan, his nephew said the “kaddish” prayer and the service moved to the burial plot. Amikam Gurevitz read from the book of “Psalms” and Shlomit Aharon sang the song ‘Veoli” [``was it only a dream . . .”] – the first Hebrew song Abie learned in his Jewish school in India. Finally, a final word from me to all of Abie’s friends worldwide. We have all come from different places and have met Abie at different stages of his life but meeting this special man has united us all and in a sense enabled us to become a part of his rich life. We depart from Abie in sorrow but also with some relief that at long last he has been released from his suffering. May he rest in Peace
Noam Tal, Israel.
The special internet site for condolences and your personal thoughts can be found at www.abie-nathan.com
Thanks a lot for this very special report Noam and we keep in touch.
The next email came from Australia: ‘Hi Hans. Sorry to hear about Abie Nathan’s dead. I only heard about Keith Ashton passing a couple of weeks ago as well. Here is a photo of Keith and myself in our younger days onboard the VOP. Cheers Frans de Wolff Australia
Photo Archive Frans de Wolff
Next one comes from Far Asia:
‘Dear Hans, I am very sorry to hear of the death of Abe Nathan, truly a unique person. I am currently living and working in China and do not expect to be returning to the West, but I appreciate your regular updates and will never forget my days on Caroline or the other people who were there. Warm regards, Fergie McNeil.’
From England is the next one: ‘Abe has gone to a better place now, his reward for a lifetime of selfless dedication to improving the lives of the poor, the frightened and the stateless. He was often their only voice, their only friend. Now Abe may rest in peace, his time now, but leaving a great legacy of courage for his family and friends, a proud record of service to humanity. We will never his like again. Thank you for the news Hans, it has sobered my evening. Don Stevens.’
I will come back to Don as we discussed together why it went financially wrong for a period in the seventies.
Next one comes from Holland from Hassan Mousavie, whose roots are in Iran, where Abie Nathan was born: ‘A couple of days ago I heard the sad news that Abie Nathan died. Directly you were on my mind and remembered the talks we had about Abie in the past. If we would have more people in the world like Abie we should have certainly a better and a more peaceful world. The name ‘Abie’ means ‘Brother’ in Turkey and I think it’s not for nothing that Nathan got that name. Let’s hope that there will be more Peace, friendship and restful feelings between the different groups in the world. With lots of respect and warm greetings Hasan Mousavie.‘
One of the crewmembers, who worked a long time for Abie on the Peaceship is Bill Danse: ‘Hi Hans, thanks for your sad message about Abie Nathan. As for me a lot of memories came directly back about Abe. It was more than four years I worked together with him and during that period a lot of things happened.‘
From England another mail came in: ‘Hello Hans. It was such sad news about Abie Nathan. I must admit, until a couple of years ago, his was merely a name in the history of offshore radio. When I went to my first Offshore Radio Day, a couple of years ago, the main topic was the Voice of Peace. I got to learn more about this man and to respect him for his beliefs and what he stood for and his tenacity in getting across his message for peace. My parents' lives were ruined because of World War 2 and even growing up in my teens I was aware of the continuing conflicts in the world that brought misery to those unfortunate people caught up in them. It's ironic, that tonight I posted on my new blog a PowerPoint presentation I was sent by an old friend - it's John Lennon's "Imagine" and it's accompanied by some stunning photographs. I have to dedicate that to Abe. I salute a great man, may he rest in peace and may his memory live on in future generations. So sad but let us be thankful for him and his contribution. Alan Milewczyk.’
Back to Israel this came in from Mike Brand: Hi Hans, I was also very sad to hear about Abie yesterday, but as you know, it came as no surprise to me. When I heard the news, I was on my way back from a recording of the VOP Show on Radius 100FM. Tim Shepherd who presents the show a couple of times a week, had as his special guest Linda Mayson, one of the few female presenters on the VOP. As I know Linda for a few years now, as well as Tim, I was also invited to the studios to see the recording. Here are a picture I took of the recording – sorry for the quality; it was taken with my mobile phone. All the best, Mike Brand
Linda Mayson and Tim Sheppard Photo Mike Brand
On the evening Abie died the international press as well as the people who worked for the station were informed and had the possibility to download the book on Abie’s work and the Voice of Peace from www.hansknot.com
One of the former deejays reflected from Italy: ‘Dear Hans, Many thanks for very generously supplying a free copy of your book. I'm sorry that I've not been in contact before but, you know how things get busy in the radio world! I just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your newsletters as they provide a great way of keeping up-to-date on the movements of old colleagues! Once again, thanks for the book. It'll be a great way to remember Abie and look back over our past. Peace. Grant Benson.’
Another already mentioned deejay from the Voice of Peace is nowadays working in Israel, Tim Sheppard: ‘Hi Hans, I wanted to thank you for your kind gesture in opening up the Voice of Peace book for download. The last few days have been quite hectic. On Wednesday evening, Hillel Abramovitch, my producer at Radius 100FM called to tell me about Abie's passing. I'd just finished recording the Voice of Peace show for Friday August 29th. It was clear that it would not be at all appropriate to broadcast it. Hillel and the Radius team went into overdrive. A few hours after Abie's death was announced, the station switched over to Voice of Peace-style music, and a shortened version of the Sunset clip was broadcast each hour. Listeners were able to call in during the night with their memories of Abie. Already on the same evening we were getting calls from the press, TV and local websites for interviews and comments.
On Thursday afternoon from 1500-1700 we put on a special afternoon show. The regular host is Yakir Aviv - he was actually on the Peace Ship during the Suez Canal voyage. Yakir led a discussion with former VoP DJs Gil Katzir, Gad Bitton and myself. We were joined by the MD of Radius David Ben Bassat - who also knew Abie well, and operated the amateur radio link that kept Israel in touch with the ship as it sailed through Suez. We had so many stories to tell about Abie that there was scarcely any time for music.
Tim Sheppard on the Peaceship (Archive Tim Sheppard)
On Friday, the regular VoP show was live for a change. We played many of Abie's favourite songs, and recordings from speeches made during the funeral earlier that afternoon - including those of the Israel's president Shimon Peres, and a former Chief Rabbi. Rabbi Lau was a good friend of Abie's as they'd worked together on disaster relief projects. Noam Tal, Gil and myself explained why each song was relevant for Abie and why he liked them. It's clear from the press and feedback we've been getting that Abie was much loved across a wide spectrum of Israeli society - not just the political left. He's going to be sorely missed. As a footnote, Radius has broadcast a hour of Twilight Time-type music at 1700 for many years. Starting today, that will be rebranded as Twilight Time on the Voice of Peace, with a new jingle voiced by Robbie Owen. Abie's famous Sunset clip will be broadcast every day at the start of Twilight Time. Here's a scan from Ha'aretz newspaper from Friday morning. In the left hand picture (L-R) are Yakir Aviv, Gil Katzir, Tim Shepherd, and David Ben Bassat (MD of Radius). This was taken during Thursday's tribute show. All the best,
The internet for Radius 100 FM is: http://www.100fm.co.il
On Sunday October 11th at 19.30 CET Dutch Radio 5 there will be a special documentary on the Jewish Broadcasting Society about the humanitarian work of Abie Nathan and the history of the Voice of Peace that was on the air between 1973 and 1993 off the Israeli coast. The station transmitted musical programmes as well as messages for Peace for listeners in the Middle East. Freelance producer Peter Kroon will go back in this 60 minute long documentary to the roots of the Voice of Peace, which led him to the city of Groningen where he interviewed Hans Knot about the idea behind the Voice of Peace, the buying of the ship in Groningen in the late sixties and talked about the many difficulties Abie had getting the station on the air as well as staying on the air. The ship was bought in Groningen with the financial help from many Dutch people. Later the ship stayed for 3 years in New York as there was no money enough to get the equipment on the ship. Other people who will be in the documentary and all live in the Netherlands are Rabbi Soetendorp, Kas Collins and Bob Noakes. Rabbi Soetendorp was one of the clergies who wished the ship a good farewell when it left Holland and will be talking about his memories to Abie. Kas Collins is a Dutch deejay who worked for two years as a deejay on the Peaceship and will tell about his work and living in a small community aboard the radio ship. Bob Noakes is one of the main technicians, who have worked on the station and will tell his memories as well tell about another site of Abie. Of course all the humanitarian work Abe did around the world will not be forgotten in this documentary, which will be aired on Radio 5 on October 11th at 19.30 CET. Of course it will be mixed with recordings of the station, which closed down exactly 15 years ago. You can tune in on internet at the button ‘luister live’ at http://radio5.omroep.nl
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Do you want to see a lot of very interesting inside photographs taken aboard the MV MEBO II in the seventies? Newsreader and deejay Hans ten Hooge made them and you can see them at:
And now it’s Bob LeRoi time again:
Red Sands Radio 2008
‘Back on shore and with sea legs almost adjusted to terra firma, through your newsletter may I personally thank our ‘Army’ of listeners for their enthusiastic response to Red Sands Radio. Though our programmes I’ve tried to demonstrate that you can produce a great and varied station, even if at times not whole-heartedly embraced by all.
With a small crew of three working and living in Spartan conditions aboard, it’s not an easy undertaking, 20 hour long days were hard and the norm. Things we all take for granted ashore are not so easily achieved at sea, particularly on a 65 year old Fort; fresh water, mains electricity, washing and keeping clean are all difficult to achieve. Maintaining a supply of crucial materials, fuel and foodstuffs is expensive to convey and often prevented in high winds. We had plenty of F7 and 8’s this year and whilst the Fort trembles in gales, as it’s intended too it did prevent Tendering so we did actually run out of drinking water at one stage. However buoyed up by live web cam pictures and Internet audio links from the Fort, for the 1st time listeners have been able to enjoy high quality listening and live pictures of the antics aboard. In tandem with our popular programmes, we also provided the 1st ever World Wide amateur radio transmissions from the Fort. After a 2nd year on-air and feedback exceeding our wildest expectations, Plans are already forging ahead for the next phase of Red Sands Radio, the only real local radio station for Whitstable, the Thames Estuary and North Kent Coast.
Thanks to everyone for listening, without you, our efforts would be in vain
Bob Le-Roi – Programme Director.’
Thanks a lot Bob, who has a site update too:
‘Welcome to the September 2008 Update: ‘Scrapbook’ has the 1st of the batch of pictures and audio from Red Sands Radio 2008 as the feature reaches part 10. ‘One Subject One Link’ looks at the Global Economy and points out, that radio was already on the slide? We’ve added more titles to the Record Store with a range of summer albums from the Beach Boys and the completion of the excellent ‘Yesterdays Gold’ CD’s in the CD Store. Whilst we’ll continue to run trips as long as the weather holds it very close to the close of the 2008 summer sailing season, if you want to come out book now. Enjoy Your Visits www.bobleroi.co.uk
From Bob to Bill is a small step: ‘Dear Hans, It has been several years since I last e-mailed you, and most probably you will have forgotten who I am, and possibly the radio project I’m involved with. But I have a small update which may be of interest to you. The station I broadcast with is called Celtica Radio, and we have been working for several years to create a viable broadcasting company. My station soft launched on the internet on June 21st 2000, and since that time we have slowly progressed for initially getting a handful of listeners, though to a registered limited company, paying tax to the UK Exchequer, and pulling in around a million listeners per year and around 25,000 podcast downloads. At the beginning of this month we secured two hours a week airtime with Radio Waddenzee/ Seagull, and this programme, called the Underground Edition and we will be broadcasting this show [as Celtica Radio] for at least the next three months. We hope it will be successful, and that Celtica Radio will be able to secure more airtime to mutually benefit both us and Radio Waddenzee/ Seagull. For those who missed the show when it went out on 1602kHz, Celtica Radio makes it available as a Listen Again and a podcast download from the Celtica Radio Website at www.celticaradio.com Thanks for reading this Hans, and I wish you well. Best regards, Bill Everatt.’
Well Bill good luck and hope your Dutch adventure will be a lucky one!
And now going back from Bill to a Bob: ‘Hello Hans. Next time that you are updating your fantastic website's 'offshore programme names' page, here is an addition for it: On Radio Caroline North the 'Midnight Surf Party' was on weekdays, but became the 'Midnight Rave Party' on Saturday nights. On the Radio Scotland list, there's a couple of spelling changes needed - Ken & Alan Haynes (not Heyes) and the difficult gaelic word CEILIDH (MacLaughlin's Celildh). Ken Haynes still does a ceildh program for Edinburgh station Radio Forth on Sunday evenings, but I don't know where Jack MacLaughlin is now. I looked up the Dutch description for ceilidh and it is: feestelijke bijeenkomst. Slainte (cheers)! Bob Baird.’
Thanks a lot Bob. He did find a the program listings of the offshore stations, that’s as far as we know them up till now at www.hansknot.com
Next to this several interesting stories, reviews and photo pages other lists could be found like Radio London commercials, Female deejays and nicknames. A most interesting update has been made by webmaster Martin van der Ven. From the collection of Hans ten Hooge, former deejay and newsreader onboard the MEBO II, 164 unique photos are now too on www.hansknot.com
Giant from the Wonderful Isle of Man
The story of Radio Caroline North
Author: Andy Wint
Publisher: Chesterfield Publications
Year of publication: 2008
Pages: 116, richly illustrated
The history of Offshore Radio of the British coast started in March 1964 with the first transmissions from the now world wide known Radio Caroline, in May that year followed by Radio Atlanta. Two companies, two stations and one harbour, Greenore, were both radio ships were rebuilt into a floating radio station. One of the reasons to start was the fact that the BBC, the public broadcaster in Britain, was very regulated and had needle time. So there were less records and a lot of live transmissions. No space for material from smaller record companies and many new artists who had no change to explore in the industry. A group of people in Scandinavia and Holland already had made it on the air with an offshore radio station with the aim to break the monopoly of the public radio and so Ronan O’Rahilly and his backers for Radio Caroline and Alan Crawford had their own radio ships rebuilt in which was then the harbour from Ronan’s father. No question of course which ship went into international water as the first to transmit: Radio Caroline. After a couple of weeks, when both Radio Atlanta and Radio Caroline were on the air, both parties saw that the commercial interest from potential advertisers was always none. Talks between two boards resulted in a merger between two stations. Both stations transmitting under the name Radio Caroline. The MV Mi Amigo, the former home of Radio Atlanta, in the South becoming Radio Caroline South and the MV Fredericia as Radio Caroline off the Isle of Man. On July 2nd 1964 the merger was officially announced to the backers as well as the press in London.
In my radio archive is a hours long recording, featuring Tom Lodge, who was assisted by the captain of the ship – Abraham Langeveld, in which the voyage from the South of England to the Isle of Man was intensely reported. A wonderful program in which we were regular informed about the position from the ship, mentioning many places around the coast of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Devon and along the Cornish and Welsh coast. On regular base the recording comes out of the archive for a re-listening as – in my ears – this was the start of a wonderful period. Two times Radio Caroline – South and North, whereby I and other people in the part of Holland where I live, had the luck that we could tune in to both stations. Caroline North had some quick paces forwards as it was more glorious in my ears and had also more regional music in the programs than Caroline Sound.
This year the Isle of Man is host to a wonderful exhibition featuring the role of the Radio Caroline North story for the Isle of Man. Also a Convention takes place late September, where many former Caroline North deejays, executives and personalities will join in with fans for a weekend of memories and a tribute to such a wonderful radio station as Radio Caroline North was in the period July 1964 till early March 1968. This all was the reason for Andy White to write a marvelous book, where he had the help of several people involved as well as some people who followed the station in those mentioned days. It not only a marvelous story on a radio station, which attracted millions of listeners, but gives also a wonderful insight with photographs and other illustrations – including promotional material.
There are, however, two failures in the book, which I’ve to mention. On page 35 is a photo of a captain which has got the name ‘Baeker’. However the real name is Bunninga. He was one of the two official captains on the Caroline North ship, who both were hired from the Wijsmuller Company in Baarn, Holland. Maybe when a reprint of the book will be made, this can be altered. Another mistake, which reappears over and over again, is the mentioning that in the period before Radio Caroline started, Georgie Fame was managed by Ronan O’Rahilly. Intensive research leaded in 2005 to the result that Ronan O’Rahilly never managed Georgie Fame. He was only a club owner who had Georgie playing a lot in his club and wanted to help him getting his records on the radio. In a 3 cd’s box, released in 2003 by Polydor in Germany, the real name of Georgies manager during the period from 1963 on is mentioned. Also on the rare LP ‘Rhytmn and Blues at the Flamingo’, released on the Columbia label in 1964 in the USA, the name reappears at the one and only manager: Rick Gunell.
The book is 15 Pound and more information is on: http://www.manxgiant.com/buy.html
To Russia, With Love
Radio Free Europe and the Cold War
Director: Christian Bauer
Genre: Geschichte & Wissenschaft
Broadcaster: MDR /BR /arte /History TV /ERT /TSR / u. a.
World Distribution: Telepool GmbH München
Year: in production
Duration: 90 / 52 / 45 min
About the film:
2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. "To Russia, With Love" tells the story of the Cold War from a most unusual perspective: Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. A radio station for the countries behind the Iron Curtain. Conceived as a propaganda instrument and financed by the CIA, RFE over the years changed its face and provided the people under Soviet rule with information and news not available to them in any other form. Like any broadcaster in a democratic country. Today the radio station is seen as one of the most successful enterprises of the CIA. And some claim that the peaceful end of the cold war is largely due to RFE/RL's broadcasts.
"To Russia, With Love" takes us back to the time when World War III seemed imminent, shows the political machinations behind RFE and movingly captures the memories of its listeners. "Sometimes I'm looking at my kids and I'm trying to think how can I explain them what I went through, how it was", remembers one of the listeners, "and in all honesty, I'm happy. I'm happy that they cannot understand that! Because it means that they live in a world without this pressure, without this constraint of thinking about one thing and talking about another one."
At last the long-awaited film about RFE will be shown in September at a trade fair in Los Angeles. Then, apparently, it will be shown on TV. With thanks to Ingo Paternoster.
With thanks to Roel Jager who sent in Mark Dezzani's report on the Caroline Mailinglist: ‘It is with enormous sadness that I inform you of the death of my great friend and top radio personality Duncan Larkin. He has been fighting Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and heart disease for many years now and passed away in hospital in Vienna, Austria. Duncan loved broadcasting on Radio Caroline and was always looking forward to making more programmes. Caroline turned him onto radio in the 60s, and he was a great supporter of its raison d'etre today for the freedom it gives its presenters. Duncan was a non-compromising broadcaster, always challenging when he encountered restrictive convention. He had the talent to do this successfully. His last shift was with FM4 in Austria where he presented the morning show. The station is highly respected and emulated throughout Europe, and Duncan's founding role in the station (as it transformed from Blue Danube Radio) is very highly regarded. Duncan was a wonderful, colourful and talented character who was much loved and loved much. He will stand-up in my esteem against other loved and missed broadcasters, pioneers and buccaneers such as Tony Allan, Kenny Everett, John Peel, Spangles Muldoon and many others.
As a tribute I will broadcast Duncan's first Caroline programme next Sunday night, 28th September in which he chronicles his musical 'firsts.' You can read a brief biography of his career here: www.carolinesouth.com/duncan.htm
Keep Rockin' the establishment mate! With much love and admiration,
Someone in the former East Europe is happy with my readers: ‘Dear Hans. As you will see from the message below, we are starting in English again. I am sure some of your readers will appreciate the feelings I had when this started and regrettably many of those that have fought for freedom radio in the past will not understand how I am feeling now. That said, your support meant a great deal to me - again THANK YOU! Kind Regards Eric Wiltshire.
The RTI 2008 Winter Schedule starts 08 September 2008. The new RTI schedule includes an even stronger line up of English DJs. Most have or are working for the BBC. Others worked for the legendary Radio Luxembourg or Radio Caroline. RTI will simulcast on Sky Digital 0195, 94.2 & 94.8 FM in Slovakia and around the world digitally. Schedule here http://rtischedule.blogspot.com
Well Eric, congratulations to you and your team and keep us informed. And now a very interesting subject from Caroline presenter (You have to listen to his program, it’s a must!) Mark Stafford: ‘Hans. Many thanks for the monthly Radio Reports. I always find them fascinating. I wonder if anyone can fill in any information on this mystery, concerning the former Radio Caroline offices at 6 Chesterfield Gardens in London. We were in London, last weekend and found ourselves by pure coincidence in Curzon Street. Having spotted Chesterfield Gardens, I dragged my good lady Angie down to look at the old Caroline Offices. There are now very smart new offices on the inside. However, standing outside of No 6, was a "walking tour guide" who was talking to around 20 foreign tourists. At first I thought he was talking about Radio Caroline. But, he was talking about the British Spy, Kim Philby. Kim Philby was a double agent and defected to the Russians in 1963. A bit of research on the internet, found this bit of information "Number 6 Chesterfield Gardens (the home of MI5's Thomas Harris), the drawing room of which was the scene of roisterous wartime bashes, attended by exactly the same people!" So, it would appear that 6 Chesterfield Gardens has a double life and is famous for being the home of MI5 agents. I can't find out about the Kim Philby link but I did find that this Thomas Harris chap mysteriously died in 1964 in strange circumstances. Probably explains how the building was empty in 1964 or do we have another spying for the communists/MI5 story here a bit like the Mebo/RNI one! Maybe Chesterfield Gardens were bugged back in the 60's! Anyone know any more about this? All the best, Mark Stafford.’
I think this is a very interesting one and your bugging conclusion could be one of truth too. Anyway if there’s anyone out in the readership to comment on this subject, feel free to write to HKnot@home.nl
Anyone to read more on the spy Philby, try to get a copy of this book
Now to Martin van der Ven webmaster from www.hansknot.com and the man behind www.offshore-radio.de
Some days ago my 80-year-old mother made me a surprising birthday gift when she donated me a magnificent self-made painting of the Mebo II, which she had produced only a few weeks before. It made me wonder if there were many more paintings of the offshore radio ships which might have been collected during the years gone by. I do remember having seen only a few paintings of the radio ships on the web. Maybe there is anyone of your readers who can present us another painting of a radio ship? Please if so send info to HKnot@home.nl
Photos collection Martin van der Ven
Check out this link lots of photos of radio Merlin 1991 2008 http://www.freeradio.de/drtim/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=36
The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame has been updated.
New for September:
• Last month we published two articles that Simon Dee wrote in 1966 about his time on Radio Caroline. This month we add the third part to complete the series, courtesy of Colin Nicol;
• we celebrate the 70th birthday of Radio London's Duncan Johnson;
• we have some memorabilia provided by Harry Putnam (aka Johnny Dark), broadcaster and airtime salesman for Radio Essex & Britain Radio;
• we have a local newspaper cutting from Keith Martin's collection;
• we hear from Caroline North's “Lord” Charles Brown;
• we reveal that a production company is looking for Kenny Everett aircheck-collectors for a BBC Radio 4 documentary;
• we report on an excellent new book about Radio Caroline North;
• and, sadly, we record the death of Abie Nathan, founder of the Israeli offshore station, The Voice of Peace. The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame www.offshoreradio.co.uk
This year's Radio Day in Amsterdam is only one months away. Hans Knot, Rob Olthof and Martin van der Ven have been busily planning this year's event which will be held on Saturday 8th November 2008 again in Amsterdam's Hotel Casa 400 near the Amstel railway station (James Wattstraat 75) from 11:00 till 17:00 CET (which is Dutch local time). Doors will be open from 10:30. Admission is 12,50 €.
This year's event will have "Radio Caroline in the late seventies (1977-80)" as a main topic. We are planning three panels to discuss that exciting era just before the MV Mi Amigo sank in March 1980. This will include all English and Dutch colleagues who worked for the legendary offshore radio station around thirty years ago. You see that this will again become a big class reunion...
At the moment, we are still exchanging e-mails but have been getting positive response from the following people to told us they will be take part: Paul de Wit, Marc Jacobs, Peter de Vries, Wim Robijn, Ad Roberts, Wilfred de Jong, Kees Borrell, Carl de Jong (Peter Teekamp, still uncertain), Stephen Bishop (Johnny Lewis), Robb Eden, Cliff Osbourne, Martin Fisher, Richard Thompson, Stuart Russel (Nigel Harris), Peter Chicago, Dickie Allen, Jeremy Chartham, Nick Richards and Roger Matthews.
And there is excellent news from Belgium: We are proud to announce that Adriaan van Landschoot will tell us his memories of his fascinating station Radio Atlantis in 1973 and 1974. Last but not least Sietse Brouwer will present an update on his station Radio Waddenzee which is broadcasting from the radioship Jenni Baynton.
More details on this year's programme and our invited guests will be announced on www.offshore-radio.de/radioday
What! I’m on page 18 of this month report and finally it’s time for The Emperor Rosko with his monthly show: ‘Hi O King of all Offshore reporting. Hans I must take Ambridge at the suggestion I am publicity minded! It is not my fault. The secret is: be seen with your mates when possible. Luxembourg reunion was fun, we did an OB (well hung over) at 10 a.m.
Most of the lads made it and there was little time for music!’ Thank you for my three name checks in one news letter, must be my continuing good looks! EMP.’
He good rocking Emperor, there on your chair in California, why didn’t you mention the next news: ‘Hi Hans, You may be interested in this news from Ayia Napa,Cyprus. (with thanks to Mark). http://famagustagazette.com/default.asp?smenu=69&sdetail=4991
In last report as well on www.mediapages.nl there was a question from someone who asked us where the former Radio Mi Amigo 272 deejay Daniel Boolen is nowadays. It’s 29 years ago we heard him for the last time on the radio. An answer was received: ‘I was aboard on Radio Mi Amigo 272 in the same period. Summer 1979 and his real name was Daniel Dekker. Don’t think it’s the same person as the Daniel Dekker at Dutch Radio 2. Sometimes Daniel Boolen was named ‘Jan’. After the ship stranded and was towed into harbour I’ve never heard anything from him. Maybe Ferry Eden knows more. He came from Utrecht. As founder of Radio Mercurius and Unique FM I had, now and then, contact with the VRA (Free Radio Amsterdam and not Radio Amstelland as mentioned in an earlier report). His name was Henk Kooiman. This AM pirate had the luck it could be on the air for many years without Dutch authorities got them. Until today I don’t know how this was possible. Should there be more questions from those days relating the Amsterdam scene, don’t hesitate to get in contact. With best greetings from Louis Stuster, aka Johan Vermeer on Radio Mi Amigo 272.’
Louis is working nowadays as music producer at Dutch Radio 5, a station which has at daytime a format for people 50plus. When receiving and reading his mail my ears went ringing. This year it’s celebrated that it’s 30 years ago that I became the final Editor of the Freewave Media Magazine in Holland. And I still am the final editor. When starting it we let produce commercials for the Freewave Magazine as well as our Production Company Park Radio Productions. One of the editors of the Freewave Media Magazine, Ton van Draanen, knew a guy with voice over skills and he made the spots. Yes, it was Johan Vermeer. The world is small but after he made the commercials in 1978 I’ve never been in contact with him. I wrote him about the coincidence and he came back with: ‘Hmmm the connection with Groningen was gone totally, I know remember it. Times flies.’
Mark Kaeble with the next search for…. ‘Excellent report as always and reading through I suddenly thought of a name from the past who I haven't heard mentioned in recent years. I used o really enjoy Mark Lawrence's programmes on the Lady.... Does anyone know what happened to him? I was down at Shotley recently and saw the LV18 resplendent in her new colours
Best wishes, Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine.’
Well Mark honestly I don’t know the answer cause he doesn’t appear in my list of connections so anyone knowing where Mark Lawrence is nowadays, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next from the Provence of Friesland, Henk: ‘This morning I had a small talk with a colleague who originates from The Hague. He told me that in the past he had a lot of pleasure with the land based pirate station Radio Verona from the Hague. No, he wasn’t a presenter but listened a lot, asked a lot of requests and enjoyed going to the Bingo Evenings, which were organised by the station. He also told me that Radio Verona was caught up by the authorities a lot in the seventies of last century. It was possible, with thanks to some backers, to go on and on. Also the bingo brought a lot of money to run the station. Now the question: Is there anyone out there who knows more about the history of this station?’
Well, Henk, hopefully someone will reflect.
Next a sad photograph, send in by Leendert Vingerling from France. He received it from an English friend and it shows the sad last part of what was once the famous radioship MV Communicator from Laser 558, Laser Hot Hits and more.
If you have some time please spent some on the next internetsite. www.ideajocks.co.uk
This time we have an historic tshirt from my own archive. It’s decorating a wall on the loft. The shirt has never been worn as it was too small for me. It’s from 1970, so 38 years old now. The poster on the right is one from a Caroline RSL in 1995. Do you want to show your old t-shirt, related to radio, please send info to HKnot@home.nl
I promised already to come back with Don Stevens about the Voice of Peace. Thank you Hans for Alan Roberts interesting piece in last report. He has the chronology out of time, for example, Kas Collins was on the Ship after mid 1978, and the flat he mentions was not a feature of Peace Ship life for the staff until 1979, maybe late 1978. I never stayed in the flat, in fact, from 1980, all the Peace Ship staff stayed at my apartment in South Tel Aviv, near Allenby Beach. During 1976, I was at The Sheraton Hotel until the Summer, when I then stayed in the city of Holon with Ronit (the Mother of my recently discovered daughter) at her families home, this I did up until March 1977. His recollection of Jordan TV on Channel 9 is bizarre, the station ran its own programmes out of Amman with advertising sourced from Arab advertising agencies, and, the service was quite good. It certainly was not a rag tag of programme clips from English TV. My last programmes in 1976 from the Peace Ship took place in December 1976, when, thankfully, my third contract was completed and I refused to resign for a fourth tour of duty. I wished to return to Europe for Christmas (all of this is in your book).
I don't recall Alan Roberts as being a stand out member of staff on the Ship, but I do remember his name, and his 'swopped notes and stories at the flat' is pure fantasy. As for going out to the Ship to collect my belongings, that would never happen, when a member of staff left the Ship, no matter who you were, you cleared out your cabin on your last day. This is what we all did, none of this having a jolly trip out to pick up your kit, Abe would never tolerate that risk to the station's security.
His wages recollections are incredible.....first of all, we were paid in US Dollars (well, I was, I assumed everybody else was) and nobody got paid in Sterling, it was worthless in Israel. If he got paid £15 a week he must have been living on bread and water. My first three month contract included accommodation at The Sheraton and $600 for my 5 day shore leave (you know me Hans, I always get paid a reasonable amount for my services), I was not paid for Ship board duty, only spending money of $600 for my shore leave. This increased on my second three month contract, and increased again on my third three month contract. When I returned to the Ship in 1978, Abe paid me in accordance with my status as Israel's Top International Disc Jockey, a rate that bore no resemblance to the usual wages. In 1985, the rate was different again.....but £60, £15? crazy talk.
Reading Alan's letter he seems to be distilling events from 1976 through to 1980 as if it was all from 1977, very confusing to me as to why he would recall events in this way. I noted how Alan Roberts virtually admitted all that I have stated since time immemorial. The 'new' breed of British DJ's aboard the VOP wee so busy doing Abe's thing, that they destroyed Abie's station. The Aussies did what was essential to keep the station profitable, yet, Alan Roberts admits, for the first time on record, that the British gave in to Abie on all fronts. So, they became part of the problem, as Keith Ashton had foreseen, they would destroy the station by their love of compromise.
If the Brits had stood by their professional credentials then the VOP would have gone from strength to strength, but, by compromise, they started the process of slow degradation that Keith had foreseen, saved, for a while by Keith York and Don Stevens in 1985, and, even then, we faced the same problems from an office staff, terrified of official response. I still do not recall Alan, his name yes, his face no, but, he is dead right regarding the direction the VOP was taking, a direction he knew to be suicidal and against the interest of the group. Reference his comment regarding the change from the Keith Ashton school to the regime he worked under, clearly a torment self imposed by the crew. Don Stevens.’
After reading the long e mail from Don I wrote him: ‘How can a team of young enthusiastic radio makers be so naive to let them make a format so 'cold' and impersonal under pressure of Abe,. Of course Abie did a lot of very good work with his humanitarian work and needed the Nobel Prize for that, but he wasn't a person who knows a lot of formatting radio. A cold format never works out, especially not on the Peace Ship.’
And Don came back with: ‘A lot of the radio guys went out to get radio experience on the VOP, and they needed to stay 'in' with Abe. I, and others like me, were fascinated by radio, the jingles, formats, the history, and we had served our time on other stations, implementing our passion, and experimenting. Abe stood no chance when faced with our love of radio, our expertise, and our ability to turn our passion into a music machine that made millions for Abe's good causes. Your thoughts on the British naivety are accurate and clarifies the whole sad VOP story, which you got right in your book on Abe. You were the first journalist to publish the truth about the VOP, and the first to reveal the era of Ashton and the Aussies. You, Hans, set the record straight, and finally revealed the British fiasco on the VOP.
This is why I am proud you are a friend, an honour, I enjoy. You do our industry great justice by your journalism and your integrity. Strange how Alan Roberts did not understand what he was writing, revealing the stupidity of the British era on the Peace Ship, couple that to Abe's enemies within the Israeli establishment and it is amazing the Ship survived to 1993.
It is a pity Abe did not stand firm in May 1976 and take on Reshet Gimel, the new pop replacement service, he would have become stronger and more powerful had he done so. Peace and long Life!’
And as always anyone within the VoP family can reflect on this issue.
Jingle time and someone has some phrases but from which jingle?
‘I believe that it was heard in 1973 or 1974 on Caroline and wonder if you have any more info. Two of the lines were "the summer came and the summer went and so did one or two of our gents" and I believe that Andy Archer appears saying "What's going on?". With all best wishes, Robin Richardson.’
I asked Andy Archer if he remembered it.
‘Sadly not! "What's going on" is certainly Johnny Jason - not me. He was always saying that - and still does! It sounds as though it was from the period after the MV Mi Amigo left Scheveningen for the British coast. Could be Tony Allan - he was very poetic! Best wishes, Andy Archer.’
Of course, after Andy brought in Johnny Jason, who is also a reader of the Hans Knot International Radio Report, I asked him the same question: ‘Hans, I have to say this is a bit of a mystery! The "What's going on"? was probably me, rather than Andy, but as to the actual rap lines, well, they could I suppose have been from Graham Gill in one of his unforgettable "Way back home" renditions, but this is simply a wild guess! Kind regards and hope to see you sometime soon...JJ’
Thanks to Andy and Johnny and if there’s someone who knows the real answer, please let me know.
There is a new update from Chris Edwards and his friends with many offshore radio themes on their internet site. Visit the Offshore radio themes pages at: www.offshoreechos.com
Peter Kint from Waalsoorden mentioned me that on September 11th there was a special on Zeeland TV regarding the former REM isle. He could not record it and now asked me to see if there’s anyone out within the readership in Zeeland who did record it, so he could get a copy. As always HKnot@home.nl if you have recorded it.
It’s seems that this report should have another name this time. Maybe the VOP report? Here’s another of the family: ‘I just thought you might be interested to know I'm going back to my roots The Voice of Peace (from Radius 100FM) after over 25 years with a regular show from Saturday 1st of November. 10-00 till 12-00 U.K. time, 11-00 till 13-00 Dutch time, 12-00 till 14-00 Israel time. I recently did a couple of stand inn shows and it went so well I'm back for the foreseeable future. VOP programmes can be heard on Radius 100 fm at www.100fm.co.il/broadcast_table.asp a down load is also on the site. Many thanks Hans. Talk to you soon. Doug Wood.’
Next Steve time: ‘Hi Hans, I help out with a very good IRC server and have made a chatroom for us all to anorak in. Anonymity is 100% guaranteed.
Two ways to connect and chat:
1] The easy way: go to http://www.exilenet.org/anorak
Enter a nickname (it can be anything!) and hit connect to chatroom.
2] For the more tech savvy:
Download Mirc or Xchat (google them!) Add server irc.exilenet.org then type /join #anorak. If nobody is there chatting don't just leave after a minute or two - hang around for a while and someone will turn up. Hopefully we'll have a good laugh and share some free radio stories. Hope to see you all there!
Merseyland Alternative Radio:
Thanks Steve. I hope people want to join you there, although you won’t see me as I dislike the fact people work in anonymity.
Next Graeme from Scotland who wrote: There is a new online publication: Manual of analogue audio restoration techniques, by Peter Copeland. Peter Copeland, Conservation Manager at the British Library Sound Archive from 1986 until his retirement in 2002, worked for many years on a manual of analogue audio restoration techniques, designed as an aid to audio engineers and audio archivists. Peter died in 2006 after a lifetime dedicated to understanding the history and complexity of analogue audio technology, and his manual was left incomplete. The British Library is making the work freely available as it stands, as a service to professional audiovisual engineers and archivists, and as a testament to a life dedicated to the care of audiovisual heritage. As a snapshot of Peter's viewpoint at a certain time, some parts have inevitably dated. The core of the work however, is unlikely to date. Focussing in unparalleled depth on the correct playback of analogue sound recordings, the result of detailed research into the history of audio technology, it will be an essential guide for audio historians and for technicians working in digitisation programmes. The manual is freely downloadable as a 2.25MB pdf here: http://www.bl.uk/collections/sound-archive/manual.html
Chris McBrien asked me if I would publish something about television in the report. He’s on the search for a very old television commercial: This ESSO advert, where I’m looking for, was for paraffin as used for domestic heating. Late 1950's was it when I would have seen it. Chris Mc Brien.’
If anyone has the answer, please write to HKnot@home.nl
Two internet tips: www.radiotalent.co.uk
From Rob in Amsterdam who writes: In 1997 there was a radiostation on Astra, called EKR (Europeaan Klassik Rock). The station is back on internet next month. So please have a listen: www.ekr.net
Well that’s all for this month. Hope to see a lot of you on the International Radio Day in Amsterdam. Till somewhere next month with more from the Hans Knot International Radio Report.
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Radio London Commercials
Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990
Read Hans Knot's former report