Hans Knot's International Radio Report - August 2009
A warm welcome to you all in the August Edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. Thanks a lot for all e mails and some of them will be part of the contributions this month. I hope for those who where on the annual summer holiday, had nice weather and time to relaxation.
First we go to
an e mail from Australia where Jack Curtiss from Olga Patricia/ Laissez
Faire days is very happy after a trip to the USA.
‘But yes, indeed, Pirate ‘shipmates’ Harry Putnam (Johnny Dark) and Jack
Curtiss did reunite after a separation of 42 years on the very shores of
the bay that the ‘Old Olga’ (now Earl Conrad Jr.) still plies today as a
fishing vessel. The idea of actually meeting at the ship yielded to
logistical considerations and the lukewarmth of the present owners to
fresh publicity...Chesapeake sports fishermen strongly object to the
operation. The meeting took place close to the 43rd anniversary of
Swinging Radio England itself.
Joining the two of us for the dockside luncheon near Annapolis were
Harry's second wife Cherl and his daughter Michele Trankovich. Together
we scanned the waters that sunny Maryland afternoon but caught no
glimpse of the one-time twin-tower radio marvel of the North Sea. The
crab cakes were delicious however. Best Regards to all, Jack Curtiss.’
Jack and Harry in 2009 to reunite after more than four decades. Photo: collection Jack Curtiss.
Next to England and Steve England, who wrote: ‘Hi Hans, Can you thank Bill Green for his comments about the show Dave Owen and I did on Pirate BBC Essex. It was great fun, and the first time Pirate BBC Essex had strayed into the 1970's rather than the 1960's. I wanted to make sure it had the real flavor of Radio Atlantis so quite a bit of preparation work was done for it. My wife Barbara captured it on video and Steve Butler, our lead singer at S2Blue recorded the Web Cam at his home in Altrincham, also Peter Vrakking recorded the audio off the internet in Holland. So with all this material we were able to put a DVD together of the show. If anyone would like a copy send me a return envelope or jiffy bag with the postage and I'll send a copy free. The address is Steve England Studios, Overton Bank House, Overton Bank, Leek, ST13 5ES England. I will be putting some parts of it up on YouTube when I get a moment. Rosko said: "You guys are having way too much fun" and he was right. Incidentally, Rosko spoke to me about a project he wants to do about jingles. If he reads this, he can get in touch with me by e mail at: Steve@s2blue.com Take care and don't forget to dance on the Round Table. All the best, Steve England.
Hans Knot, Martin Kok and Steve England February 1973. Photo: Rob Olthof.
Thanks a lot Steve for the congratulations. It’s a long time we met for the first time way back in early 1973 on board the MV Mi Amigo. It was a sunny, but cold day in February of that year. On the way backwards I went for the first time to the then office at the Zeekant in Scheveningen, where single one Pound notes were covering the room, sent in by the listeners. I sat down on a chair, which lasted three seconds before the chair legs broke down and I found myself back on the Caroline floor. Well just a small memory but related to our first meeting 36 years ago.
Steve came back with: ‘Hi Hans That sounds like Caroline! Recently I went over to Amsterdam with Barbara to do a video for the company she freelances for, the Amsterdam in flight catering unit of a company called "Alpha", (strangely enough.) I went to find 16 Hogendorp Street, where the Caroline offices were on a later stage in 1973, but I couldn't recognize the building, so much had changed. So you know what happened to the offices - was the area redeveloped? All the best, Steve England.’
Well indeed the surroundings of the van Hogendorp Street was redeveloped, like more parts of the old The Hague. Also the old Hotel at the Zeekant, where first the Caroline office was in 1972, early 1973 has long time gone. Scheveningen, in my opinion, has not the flair anymore from the days we like to remember so much. Too much new buildings, high hotels and exclusive flats and too much commercial business have taken over. By the way Steve, as you can see on the photo above is that you’ve a Marlboro Jacket on. The day the photo was taken a promotion team from the company went out with us to the Mi Amigo to bring a lot of clothes to the people on the ship. Strange thing is that I don’t really can remember if Caroline made time free for commercials for the company in those days. Thanks by the way Steve that you did mention Rosko, elsewhere we should have forgot him this time. Anyway he responded himself too with:
‘Hi Hans, you came out at the same time Michael Jackson passed away. There is correlation. We here at Rosko World Syndications are submerged in specials and the fielding phone calls from around the world. The Hans Knot International Radio Report is, as always, a masterpiece in historic remembrances from an era that will be so special to all who were involved. I suspect an encyclopedia might be step two for you! EMP.’
Thanks Rosko for responding again. I was almost forgotten you were a reader too. I will try to bring more interesting things in the future to respond on. By the way, anyone who wants to respond can write to me at HKnot@home.nl and send the photos and other materials to Hans.Knot@gmail.com
Remember Look Boden on Radio Dolfijn and later on Radio 227. He has already his own radiostation in Holland, Radio 227, which can be received on a lot of cable systems in the Netherlands. He tells me that from August 30th each Sunday afternoon from 12 till 14 CET the station will have a new presenter, Andries Korthuis. The program is called ‘Van 12 tot 227’. Also presenter Dick Zuydwijck, who disappeared some months ago, will be back on August 30th. From then on he will present ‘Zuydwijck on Sundays’. Also it’s a good thing to tune in to Radio 227 each Saturday Evening when Fred van Veen is on air. www.radio227.nl
From Dutch radio 227 to Martin in England: Here’s Martin Smith, hello all
I’ve updated the website with a link to You Tube and with some new jingles on the Jingle Jangle page and keep up to date with Red Sands Radio, which started 1st July 2009. http://www.smiffyradio.webs.com/
Well once again memories from the Voice of Peace and it really does me really good so many former deejays and listeners to Abie Nathan's station are readers of the Hans Knot International Radio Report:
‘Dear Hans, well my VOP memories go back to the end of the 70's, when I was a high school student. I had to do an essay in English on a subject of my choice. Since I loved the Voice of Peace, I thought it would be a good subject to write about, and Kas Collins letter, I got from him, was read in front of the class. My teacher was impressed and gave me an A. My interest just grew bigger and I kept on writing to every DJ who came aboard and welcomed him with lots of thanks, as I really did appreciate what they did for us the listeners. I realized how difficult Abie was to deal with. I heard from the DJ's how difficult it was for them during the winter time. I really felt sorry for them. Then one day, I was supposed to call Kenny Page at the office at a certain time and he didn't make it to the office yet, and Abie grabbed the phone from the secretary, and asked me what did I want? I said I wanted to speak to Kenny. He said Kenny is not here, and you can't talk to the DJ's. It happened once again with another DJ. I don't remember who, that's when I realized Abie didn't allow the DJ's to be in touch with listeners. As in the second or third phone call he asked me not to call the office anymore. I was insulted, but kept on writing to the DJ's as they told me they don't know if anybody listens to the station as they don't get many letters out on the ship. Well, by then Abie knew my name and some of my letters were not transferred to the ship, so I stopped writing my name and address in the back as suggested by one of the DJ's. I understood that my letters were a great feedback to the DJ's and for me it was a great practice for my English. I met some of the DJ's in Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv, and it was great. I met special people that are good friends to this day. So for this, I say thanks to Abie, even though he didn't approve. Somebody had to say thanks for the great job the DJ's did on the Voice of Peace. The ship is gone, but its memory will stay forever in my heart. I am enclosing a scan of some of the interesting stuff you can use in your next reports. All the best! Tami Tzabari
Well Tami most appreciated for the documents, from which I publish one in this issue. Also your honestly about the other side of Abie is most appreciated. Of course we all know he did a lot of good charity work and brought the station, after a lot of difficulties on the air. We loved him very much about his many work for people in need. But, as many of the deejays and ship’s staff will agree with you there was another side, in which he wanted all attention to himself. Anyway at the end of this month there will be on the 27th the special memory day to Abie and I will think a lot of all of you together in Tel Aviv. I would love to be at your company but other commitments are there that day. Thanks a lot for the invitation to come to Israel.
From Israel, where the VOP had an anti Coca Cola spot featuring Tony Allan asking us to drink cool refreshing water, we go to John Wesley with another ‘water question’, so whoever can help him can write to me HKnot@home.nl
Hi, Hans, in the latter days of the Ross Revenge being at sea (1988/1990), Radio Caroline was running a promo for 'water'. It was recorded by a American/Canadian man and was played at the 'top' of each hour....have you any idea where I can obtain a copy? Cheers, John Wesley.
During the past weeks I’ve been thinking a lot of the problems the guys of the MV Communicator had in late 1983 and early 1984, when they tried to get on the air with the help of a special areal system. They used a special balloon, like the American Army used when they got the MV Courier on the air. Suddenly there was, the same week, an email coming in stating another station in the seventies was using balloons. Reading the attachment I saw that the reason had nothing to do with their transmissions but all with getting the Mi Amigo fans their eyes in the same direction. Thanks a lot to Theo van Halsema to send in this special balloon game card from Radio Mi Amigo.
From Theo in Holland to Jon in London is just a second away:
Hi, I have just carried out the July update to The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.
What's new this month? As you know, we recently heard from Colin Dale, one of the original DJs on Radio Sutch. This month he has very kindly written a fascinating account of his time with the station www.offshoreradio.co.uk/album83.htm Also I have added another page to the steadily expanding ‘Seventies Supplement’. This time we look at those offshore broadcasters from the era whose names began with the letter L www.offshoreradio.co.uk/djs7l.htm and there is also news of two interesting books and a petition for Downing Street. As ever, my grateful thanks to everyone who has contributed. More nest month. With best wishes, Jon Myer www.offshoreradio.co.uk
An Englishman working and living in Holland since many years and who is a very loyal visitor to the Annual Radio Day is Brian Keith from Schiedam. He still visits his native country as he did recently visiting his mother. He wrote to me: ‘Hello Sir Hans. As usual when visiting my mother I’ve listened to Manx Radio on AM. Saturday June 27th the whole day the people at the radiostation paid attention to the fact Manx Radio was 45 years on air. People on the isle are very happy that many program material has been saved, this compared to other stations like Radio Luxembourg. In the program ‘Carnaby Street’, in which mostly attention is played to the music of the sixties, it was former Caroline deejay Alan Turner to be on of the guests. He told something which was unknown to me to this day. There are plans to celebrate on the isle of Man in 2014 that it’s 50 years ago that the MV Fredericia was anchored to transmit as Radio Caroline North. I will be curious what they will be bringing to celebrate that occasion. By the way, former Caroline deejay Rob Charles still doing the breakfast program on Magic 999 in Preston.’
Thanks Brian as always for your information and good to know there are stations in the world that have knowledge of their own history. I know that Luxembourg doesn’t have too much and on their request I made a long list of the many hours I’ve from the sixties up till mid eighties. And I sent this list almost two years ago to the people at the radio station. And you may guess what? I never heard anything back. And of course we will ‘shake hands’ again in Amsterdam on the annual Radio Day.
Next from Scotland an e mail from Bob Baird who wrote:
‘Hello Hans, on the BBC Radio Scotland website is a presenter memory. When you take a look at the photo of Tony Currie in his school blazer (jacket) from 1963, you know that radio was in his blood at an early age! An audio of his memories of the sixties is available to listen to:
As always, the programmes are available on the web for seven days after transmission, www.bbc.co.uk/radioscotland
Thanks again for compiling the reports - what would we do without them. Kind regards, Bob Baird.
Thanks a lot Bob and keep enjoying the Hans Knot International Radio Reports. Next we go to Hilversum and see what Andy Sennit has sent to us:
‘From my Media Network blog: Ian MacRae worked on Radio Caroline during 1966 and 1967 when British offshore radio was at the height of its popularity. In a recent review of "The Boat that Rocked", he took issue with how the movie portrayed this famous pirate broadcasting operation. Today he's a "floater" for 2UE radio in Sydney, Australia and runs the Ian MacRae Radio School. Read the interview with Corey Deitz of
Thanks Andy and as always most appreciated that you also think about my readership. Now we go over to Ian Bigger: ‘Hi Hans, A few lines for the next report, if you have space. I was just thinking of July 1979 and the excitement on the offshore radio scene. I remember not knowing that Radio Mi Amigo had been testing on 272 metres and receiving a phone call that Sunday night, July 1st, to say that Mi Amigo was back from a new ship. I could hardly believe it! I tuned to 1100 kHz around 8pm local time and already at that hour the signal was coming in complete with a heterodyne! The reason I could hardly believe it was that it was mid summer and I was living on the west coast of Scotland so continental signals did not skywave in until later in the evening, but here was Radio Mi Amigo 272 coming in stronger than Radio Caroline.
MV Magdalena off the Belgian coast 1979 Photo: Freewave Media Magazine Archive.
I listened to them over the next few months and was pleased to hear Ferry Eden back on the ship as he was the only name that I recognised from the old days. Sometimes they closed at 9pm, other nights they were on past midnight. At times it was non stop music then some days live programmes could be heard. I remember Ferry Eden doing a couple of late night shows and really enjoying those at the time. Later they changed frequency to the EBU channel of 1098 kHz. The heterodyne was gone but the signal seemed poorer for me in Scotland! I was always amazed though how strong their signal was with a 10kw transmitter and a T aerial.
I supposed it never really captured the magic of the old Mi Amigo and unknown to us the background operation was having some problems. Suddenly in September I could not hear it anymore and found out the Magdalena has dragged its anchor and was eventually arrested. It was the end to another great offshore radio adventure. Ian Bigger’.
Thank you for this memory Ian and think about the fact the station was only on the air for a very short period from this ship and that still after 30 years the memories are coming back to you.
From Scotland we go over to the USA to give another plug away for AFN/AFRTS lover Thomas Wheston: ‘I hope all's going well. Recently there's been a bunch of great new material. http://thomas.whetston.googlepages.com
Peter Wyatt at AFN 1972, Wolfman on the air from when he was visiting AFN Munich, Tom Campbell Stateside 1975, Monte Jones at FEN 1969. FEN's initial reporting of the Gulf of Tonkin 1964, Roland Bynum 1983, And the last time we lost a big star, Thom Whetston the night after John Lennon died 1980. The weekend is here, time to barbeque and crank the tunes. If you like the website, please tell a friend. http://thomas.whetston.googlepages.com
Next from the USA to Canada and a person we missed a long time in the report Mick Luvzit from Caroline Days. ‘Hi Hans and thanks for all your interesting reports. Well as you know back in Nov 9 2007 I had a quadruple open heart surgery which didn't go that good and when they went back in on July 26 2007 they found a few loose wires which had given me constant pain and I had to take a lot of Morphine to help. I have finally gotten better and am now off morphine for 4 weeks and feeling a lot better. Only wish I could have made it out for the reunion last year on the Isle of Man, but the Doctor didn't want me to go and I had to get to the hospital twice a day for an hour each, of intervenes for 8 weeks to combat the bacteria in my chest after the surgery. Anyway, it's great to be alive and I am feeling so much better so should be back doing some radio shows again and will send you some plus a few pictures of the great and fun Caroline Days. Cheers my friend Mick Luvzit. ‘
Thanks a lot Mick and it is good to hear your condition is far much better now. Of course a very strange mistake the people have done to you to forget those wires which gave you too much pain and that on a far too long period. Hope joy may come back into life and you may enjoy our memories for many other years.
We have a memory from Holland from a guy called Nico Fintelman: ‘Hello Hans, with a lot of pleasure I read your reports versus internet already many years. My compliments for that work on the report. In one of the last issues also the name Delta Radio appeared in the report when the subject Nannel was mentioned. Because you’ve written more about the Nannel, even in one of your books, I would love to react on that. My name is Nico Fintelman and I was in the eighties one of the persons behind Delta Radio, a commercial pirate radio station. I worked under the name Nico Smits and already many years I’ve an internet site which brings back the memories to the station:
On the web site all kind of memories to Delta Radio and in chapter 12 even the Nannell has been mentioned.
Thanks a lot Nico to bring us this information. Of course the website is in Dutch, but there are also many photos to see, so you get an impression who the young lads enjoyed to run a very popular pirate radio station from land. And guess what? I traced down on the photo pages a very young Herbie the Fish, who we know from Ross Revenge Days.
I found this interesting site about radio and television tunes on a Belgian site: http://users.telenet.be/chris.de.cleyn/de.htm
I got some very interesting recordings from Israel lately and there were also many production materials from the Voice of Peace on the DVD. From that I learned another nickname from an offshore deejay: Kas Collins he’s like a Tulip from Amsterdam
Our monthly e mail from our friend Ian Godfrey is here: ‘Dear Hans, Thanks a lot for the July Newsletter, received a couple of weeks ago. It's taken me a bit longer than usual to reply to it but I suppose one advantage is that it's about midway between the July and August editions! Thanks also for the radio uploads you sent me lately, the most interesting of which for me was the Alan West clip from RNI/Caroline International. As I spent three-quarters of each year at boarding-school, in a part of the country where reception of the offshore stations was only possible after dark, and I never heard anyone making any reference too the stations, I only listened for short periods and have no recollection of listening to specific stations. It was only from 1967 on, around the time I left school, that I have vivid memories of listening to particular shows on Caroline and Big L and listened to, and was greatly affected by, the Final Hour. From the 14th August I became an avid listener of Radio Caroline International but completely lost touch when I started college in Birmingham. It wasn't until I noticed another student having a bit of difficulty with radio reception that my interest bean in a big way! I was so intrigued that I had to ask him what he was trying to get. He replied: "Radio Veronica, it broadcasts from a ship, to which I replied excitedly: "That's fantastic, just like Radio Caroline." I was 'hooked' from that moment. This was be late-1968 when 192 reception was quite good from late-afternoon. When RNI started we almost completely lost touch. He probably regarded RNI as a threat. It was as though we supported opposing football-teams!‘
Well Ian so far so good and very interesting to read your memories. Let them come in the months to come. I compare the treat the same as the one who made people angry if a friend loved the Beatles instead of the Stones. It really happened a lot. But I suppose you’ve a lot more to share with us:
‘Yes there’s really far much more to explore as around March, 1970 I did discover another student, who was as interested in RNI as the first was in Radio Veronica and remember telling him, on the 23rd September, that RNI was closing down the following morning. He thought I was winding him up!’ The basic jamming signal, earlier that year, was quite audible on the recording but I never found it particularly irritating as, when listening on the Essex coast, I never found it affected the audio quality that much and it was quite easy to get used to and to almost completely tune out. Around 15th of June 1970 I tuned in and was stunned to discover a much more powerful 'jammer' that blotted out half of the medium waveband!’
Thanks for the jamming memory. I recall the start of the jamming at my radio way back in 1970 during a program when Norman Greenbaum was played. Well it wasn’t really anymore ‘Spirit in the Sky’ when the jamming came in. My ears got the message that I probably had to stop listening to radio. What was the problem listening to AM radio from international waters, what had we done wrong at that stage. What was possible to stop the jamming! We went on listening and still in July 2009 we are talking about the terrible jamming session from the British Government.
Ian reflected with another subject: ‘I've just scanned through the Report and have made a note of three of the websites which I'll have a look at later this evening. Earlier this week I spent part of an evening on your site www.soundscapes.info and read through most of the offshore material. My next mission is the archive Newsletters!
About a fortnight ago Veronica 192 started publicizing some 50th anniversary programmes, which seem to be running for the whole of August, under the heading 'Veronica, the Never-Ending Story.' It's always good to hear the former news-jingles! Late yesterday evening I spent a fair time looking through the links on your website. I read the one entitled 'From Radio Nord to Atlanta'. I've definitely read a similar article in 'From International Waters.' There are two or three points I've always been intrigued about. I'm sure I read somewhere that the 'Magda Maria,' as it probably would have been at this point, actually anchored four miles off the Essex coast around 19th September, 1962 and remained there for about three weeks, while Alan Crawford tried to get replacement backing after some of the previous ones had pulled out after the disastrous boarding of the 'Lucky Star' on 15th August. Is there any substance in this? Presumably the ship moved to the position close to the Borkum Riff' as there was definite interest in Holland. Maybe this and some of the activity of the following four months was merely a publicity/fund-raising venture.
I presume they left the Essex anchorage as they were afraid the British authorities would be interested in why it was anchored. As Veronica did not had too much trouble being anchored off Katwijk at that stage it would be saver to be anchored of the Dutch coast. Anyway I can’t recall any for of publicity/fund raising to get a station on the air when the Bon Jour was off the Dutch coast. Only a few newspaper articles, as mentioned in my article ‘From Radio Nord to Atlanta’. Well there were only a few reports and the whole being of the ship off the Dutch coast was in almost mystery. Don’t forget it was early sixties and the newspapers were almost under totally control at that time. We’re were on the age that we couldn’t believe or understand that this could happen.
‘Whether or not it did anchor off the Essex coast I wonder what happened in the two-and-a-half to three months since the Nord closedown. Did she remain at anchor off Sweden for a few weeks? In 1971 I bought a reel-to-reel tape from the Commercial Radio Audio Magazine, entitled 'The Radio Caroline Story,' which began with the words: "Did you know that we could have had offshore radio in 1962?" I thought some time later that this probably referred to GBOK although I'm sure there was no reference to this on the tape.’
Well Ian let’s go to the story from Jack Kotschack, which he wrote in ‘Radio Nord Kommer Tillbaka’.
Needless to say, we preferred to sell the Bon Jour complete, including transmitters. If the Ship had to be slaughtered and sold piece by piece, her value would decrease. Propitiously a buyer appeared. His name was Allan Crawford and he represented the British Atlanta project. Crawford was willing to take the Bon Jour as she stood and also her studio equipment in Stockholm. In addition, he was interested in taking some of our staff; especially the sea and technical crew. The Atlanta project was gigantic! By placing up a broadcasting ship in international waters south of Harwich in the mouth of the Thames they would he able to cover an area populated by 18 million Englishmen. This was largely due to the fact that the ship would he located not far from the centre of London, and the heavily populated area of the big city would provide half of the expected listeners. Insofar as the number of listeners was concerned, Radio Atlanta would immed¬iately become the biggest commercial broadcaster in the world. The idea was built on Radio Nord and they had planned to follow our program formula. Originally, the group around Crawford had planned to equip their own ship, the MV Atlanta of 500 tons. However, since they had carefully followed the development of Radio Nord from its beginning, they had realised all the difficulties involved in equipping and trimming a ship. Negotiations were started between Crawford and the Americans and went without complications. We soon reached a preliminary agreement including date of delivery. The rumour of the agreement started to spread and when the time came for the Bon Jour to leave, we had become somewhat nervous that someone would make n desperate attempt to confiscate the Bon Jour. Bob and Gorclon were most worried. I myself saw little danger of intervention at sea, but then I underestimated the risk. The Danes provided an unpleasant illustration of this danger when they attempted a grotesque seizure of one of the Danish radio ships with a Lebanese flag. The ship was located in international water, but the Danes openly ignored international rights by sending out a police patrol in order to seize her. This gross aggression made many Danes wonder who the pirates really were, the men on the ship or the Danish police. When the Bon lour left the Baltic many precautions were taken. First, we had to have valid documents which forced Bob into further expenses. The crew was replaced completely with foreigners and finally tile hour of departure was kept a secret. The Bon Jour stayed at her anchorage place for many days with silent transmitters before she quietly slipped away. The Sound, which we had con¬sidered the most sensitive spot, was passed without problems and our relief was great when the ship was reported to be on the North Sen. The voyage ended at El Perol in Spain, where the Bon lour was overhauled. She was then delivered in renovated condition to her new station at the Mouth of the Thames.
Unfortunately some of Crawfords financial backers had been frightened by all the publicity and would not fulfill their obligations. Crawford was suddenly short of money. With the Bon Jour on the spot, ready to broadcast, negotiations began anew. Crawford wanted credit, but Bob was unwilling. The deciding factor was the danger of confiscation. The most critical moment of a broadcaster is when it starts to operate. We didn't know what cards the British Government had up in its sleeve and it certainly was not inconceivable that they would intervene on the first day. Perhaps the Bon Jour would be seized and taken to the nearest port for flag control. In that case anything could happen. The result was that neither Bob nor Crawford wanted to have ‘money in the boat’ during these first critical times. Bob wanted the deal closed and the cash in his pocket before the first day of transmitting. Otherwise if anything happened, he could count on a total loss. Naturally he didn’t want that, especially since the visit to the ship¬yard at El Perol had been an expensive one. On the other hand, the men behind Crawford did not want to pay until the broadcasting had been running for quite some time and the situation became clearer. If anything happened during the initial period Atlanta would have to go bankrupt with no compensation for the Bon Jour's purchase. The position was clear. Both parties felt they had good cards in their hand and no one wanted to give in. Finally, the whole deal was lost and the Bon Jour sent to Oostende awaiting a sale. However, it was not sold and in March of 1963 the Bon Jour left for Houston.’
Well Ian that were the words of the man behind Radio Nord which brought in hopefully some new facts for you. At the end the ship was finally bought by Crawford and a long way to Greenore had to be done. But that was many months afterwards.
Ian came back again with: ‘The other query concerns frequencies. Assuming there was any substance in the Belgian story they were to use 605 kHz, three away from Radio Nord's. Was this the original choice of Radio Atlanta. Surely there would have been less of an interference problem. Maybe they were more interested in Caroline's audience. 495 m. would have given much better daytime coverage and British offshore radio could have taken a completely different path!’
Well Ian on this question I can’t answer as I don’t have the knowledge on this but who knows someone in the readership can come back to that subject by writing to HKnot@home.nl
Next one is from Tim Tausendfreund: ‘Hans you don’t know how happy I’m with your listening tip to http://www.globalsoundtracks.com
I almost could say that it’s the jewel to my life during the past few days. Thank you so much. The spirit lives on.
Well for those who are wondering Tim is talking about, it’s all about the son of the late John Ravenscroft, who we all know as John Peel. His son Tom Ravenscroft has followed into the steps of his father and makes remarkable radio shows.
I got an e mail from Jan Hendrik Kruidenier telling me that Universal Pictures will come with the DVD ‘The Boat that rocked’ will be released in Holland. For those who want the DVD please send an e mail to Rob at Mediacommunication for more info: Rob@mediacommunicatie.nl
Date of release is September 3rd.
It’s time to pay attention to a very long story Martin van der Ven has put on www.offshore-radio.de and which features the memories from Johnny Lewis to his days at the MV Communicator. Here is the first part of about 25 pages of memories. The original story was earlier published in the eighties in Monitor Magazine, where I also wrote for many years. And as I’ve now the official rights to republish it can now be read by much more people due to the fact we have now the open world of internet. So have pleasure:
‘It was in 1983 that Johnny Lewis was working for South Coast Radio in Ireland and soon became Head of Production, then eventually started running the programmes as well. He had some great time in Ireland and even mentioned that one day who would move to Ireland forever. He was earning in those days on South Coast £150 per week; but for that he had to look after transmitters, be in charge of production and look after programming the station. Above that it was nothing for him to be called out at four o'clock in the morning; He did get a bit tired of it at one point because the station was being jammed by RTE - in fact it would be unfair to say they were being jammed by RTE, as they were jammed by a guy who worked for RTE and was doing it off his own bat. He claimed that as the people at South Coast Radio were 'pirates' he had as much right as South Coast Radio did with the frequency so he was jamming the FM frequency. Johnny even can remember several times being up all day and all night just to keep the thing on the air then going to sleep and the thing would go off the air just as he went to sleep. Johnny Lewis left South Coast Radio at Christmas '83 and went to ABC, where there were all the Voice of Peace people. When he got there, there was Dave Windsor, who's an amazing character.
Johnny in 1984 Photo: Leen Vingerling
Johnny: ’He can do impressions of Tony Allan, Andy Archer - he can do a great one of me! It was because of him really that I went down to ABC. He went out to the ‘Ross Revenge’ at a later stage. Dave is really one of the Caroline people, he totally adores Ronan (but who doesn't? He's the greatest guy in the world); but poor old Dave went out to the ‘Ross’ and spent three hours on board and was seasick and he had to come back. There were also Clive Derrek and Andy Ellis, who were with the Voice of Peace; Tony Morrell who'd never worked on a ship but worked at Radio Nova in Italy which had ship-connections when it first began through A.J.Beirens and others. And there was a guy called Stuart Clark. You might have read about one of these so-called pirate ships, the one called Manor Park. It was going to be Radio Ventura or something; he was actually on board the ship that was going to do that. And then we were joined at ABC by Alan West in January of '1984.’
Oeps Sorry, the rest of the story can be read at www.offshore-radio.de
By the way I go tan e mail from Arie den Dulk who sent me greetings from Don in Wales. Don Scott was one of the people next to Buster Pearson and Jean who worked together to make Monitor and name in the seventies and eighties of last century. Arie den Dulk met Don Scott by surprise when he visited a special railway in Wales, where Don is shed master. It’s the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway http://www.whr.co.uk/
Next news from Mary Payne at the Radio London site: ‘Just to let you know that another exclusive extract from Big L Programme Director Ben Toney's fascinating memoir, 'The Wonderful Radio London Adventure' is now on the Radio London site. In Part Three – 'In At the Deep End', it's November 1964 and Ben has finally arrived in London.
In the run-up to Radio London's launch in December 1964
he encounters management clashes in Curzon Street and generator overload problems aboard the Galaxy. He also hires a batch of inexperienced deejays and attempts to teach them how to bring the sound of US Top Forty radio to the United Kingdom. Some of Ben's pupils prove more adaptable than others!
From an unexpected corner I got an email early July in which Colin Dale asked me for the e mail address of Ian McRae, as he loved to get in touch with him and recalled that Colin Dale was involved with Radio Sutch. So I asked him to tell some of the memories. A day later I saw that he had written a long story at the Pirate Hall of Fame. But Colin had more to add for this edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report:
Hi Mr. Knot, Thank you for your E-Mail regarding Ian Macrea. It was nice to hear from you. You asked about my time with David Sutch, Reginald Calvert etc. Those where good days, the world was a different place to live in. David Sutch and I grew up together in Kilburn London NW6. We where boyhood friends, we where inseparable as kids, we played together, we went to our first dance together (with girls of course), we made money together, we found Rock and Roll together. Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis etc. At that time we where 15 years of age and the world was our oyster. We spent our days working hard and our nights playing hard. We spent a lot of our time at the Rockers Café, the Ace Cafe on the North Circular Road in London. The first time we went to see Jerry Lee Lewis was at the Dominion Theatre, which was at the Tottenham Court Road in London. We bought two ice creams and walked in and saw the show for nothing. Jerry Lee Lewis was brilliant. At the ages of 16 and 17 we started to go to the Two Is Coffee Bar in Soho and the place was packed in those days. Don’t forget those where the days of Tommy Steel, Terry Dene, Marty Wild, Wee Willie Harris, just to name a few. And there was the night that David and myself took to the stage in the cellar at the Two Is, our wages, a plate of fish and chips each if we where lucky. Littlewood, the boss did not pay much in those days; he never paid much at any time. Time moved on David started his own band with Carlo Little, one of the best drummers this country ever produced. David asked me to come on board; I didn’t, until a few years later. I worked with David and the Savages for some years doing mostly one night stands like in The Cavern Club in Liverpool, the Starclub in Hamburg, the Oasis Club in Manchester and more. Then came Radio Sutch, which was from origin a publicity stunt that turned into a radio station. See my story on The Pirate Hall of Fame at www.offshoreradio.co.uk
Little Tony, Colin Dale, Lord Sutch and Tony Dangerfield. Photo collection Colin Dale
Note that Radio Sutch and then Radio City turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to radio in Britain. The massive publicity that they both received plus Radio London and Radio Caroline L made the BBC and made the establishment in Britain think again. And they gave the people the music they wanted. Life moved on and I left David Sutch in 1965 and started up my own Disco Clubs Dance Clubs for the guys and girls of the day. I was running three a week and we were packing the places out with over 500 kids a night are dancing to our kind of music rock and roll etc. Money was flowing like water. We were making a bomb, I bought a new car every six months, things were going great. Then the gangsters moved in. A load of hard nuts from London tried to take the business over. I brought in more bouncers, at great cost to my self. Things went quiet for a while and then one night the balloon went up as the London Mob tried to burn us out with over 500 people in the dance hall and we were in deep trouble. We called the Fire Brigade and the Cops. Meanwhile we were shoving the girls out of the club as fast as we could, all the guys had done a runner. Thank God when the fire brigade arrived and it was more smoke than fire. This was the straw that broke the camels back. I counted my losses and got out, but I had the last laugh. My customers would not patronise the halls after this, so the London Mob ended up with nothing. At a point not knowing what I wanted to do for a living I decided to go into the Building Industry but that’s another story. It’s been a great life; I would not have missed it for the world. Afterwards I was elected three times as the District Councilor for Wendover in Buckinghamshire (David Sutch never got elected God Bless Him) and I was Chairman of more Committees than you can shake a stick at. Also I was member of the board for Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Who would have thought that the War Baby, born in a poor part of London, would end up doing so much, and I am talking about David Sutch, or am I? If I could have one wish it would be to meet and talk with David and Friends one more time. Regards to all the guys and girls out there, who started the Music Scene in the 50s and 60s. Yours, Colin Dale, in memory of Radio Sutch.
David ‘Lord’ Sutch. Photo: Freewave Media Magazine
Jana and I were on holiday earlier in July for a few days on a small isle, called Vlieland. It was very nice weather, very good atmosphere as well as lot of fresh fish to eat. Sitting on a terrace on the first evening of our stay there, suddenly I heard my name mentioned by someone. It seemed to be Peter Jager, who was one of the newsreaders on RNI in the seventies. Nice to talk to you again Peter and it was last November we met for the last time on the Annual Radio Day and the dinner afterwards. We, Peter, Martin van der Ven and me, had a talk about what to do with the personal photographs Peter took way back in 1974 on the MEBO II. Well Martin took with him all the negatives Peter Jager had, cleaned them as well as scanning it, so everybody within the world of radio enthusiastics could also enjoy them. You can now find them back at:
Talking about photos, here’s another e mail, this time from Wales:’Hi Hans, there is a photo attached of me in a Radio Xinjiang t-shirt. Probably a made up name and station by the shirt designers! Have to agree with Paul Frazer's comments in the last issue of the Report about the freedom given to VOP DJs on the overnight programmes. We used to play some very good stuff. And if you were inclined to go through the big on-board music library, there were some absolute gems to be found in there! By the way, my girls have got their own radio station on the air - Radio Welshbrook. Can be found at:
A great mixture of classic rock, Motown soul and good pop music! Best wishes, Mike Kerslake
Mike Kerslake who was deejay on Radio Caroline as well on the Voice of Peace.
Thanks a lot Mike and the station really does exist. Just go to
And thanks for the link to the internetstation, hope your little girl will get new listeners from our readers.
From August 1st Herman from Belgium will run non stop 24 hours a day up till August 31st his computer with only offshore radio programs especially for our readers. There will be a wide variety of archive programs from the sixties, seventies and eighties. It can be find on MMS and here are the streams which you can have access to:
mms://22.214.171.124:8000 as well as on mms://126.96.36.199:8010
Hope you’ve the change to listen to the offshore memories from Herman. He would like to point out that he is very thankful to his internet friend Gary Hinton from Hame Lake MN USA. Gary is an experienced on computers and helped Herman to get the streams on the air. Gary is a radio ham amateur and you can find out more on his hobby at
Former Veronica newsreader Leo de Later will be presenting in the new television season, which start this month, one day a week the programme ‘Good morning Netherlands’. Leo worked for RTL News as well as SBS television but started at a very early age his news reading career on the MV Norderney.
Another t shirt time in this issue of the report as I found a photo in my archive, which has to be shown. Some months ago someone sent in a photo of a Caroline T shirt he bought in the early eighties. In the next issue, the former editor of Freewave Media Magazine, Jos Leijgraaff, wrote to me that we were selling the shirts on the Radio Day and that the money went onto the account of the Magazine. Hmm. I was final editor (still am) for this magazine since 1978 and couldn’t remember. We’ve done to much I suppose. But finding back this photo I know for sure Jos was right. You see him with even t shirts at the background on the Radio Day in 1996.
Jos Leijgraaff Radio Day 1996 Photo Freewave Archive
‘Returning to your radio set, Laser is back’. Who does remember the black voice jingle when the MV Communicator came back as Laser Hot Hits? I knew on forehand as a press report was sent from the New York Office: A press release from Laser Hot Hits, Suite 3600, 515 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022, USA at the end of November stated that "Radio Laser is due to recommence trans¬missions of American format pop music from the MV. Communicator anchored in the International waters of the North Sea on Monday 1st December 1986. The vessel has spent the last year in Harwich harbour being refurbished by East Anglian Productions who purchased the vessel from the Admiralty Marshal following the collapse of the previous company. The vessel has been inspected by Department of Trade officials who cleared the vessel in mid November. The all American deejays will present a formula of 'Hot Hits' of European and American chart records with selected oldies 20 hours a day to an estimated 10 million listeners in the UK and Continent. Ex-Radio One Newsbeat newsreader Andrew Turner will present hourly news bulletins. A Dallas based sales company 'Radio Waves International' have initial advertising contracts for $250,000 in the first three months of operation, including major American Film and Entertainment companies, International holiday companies, a leading Japanese car company and various sponsored programs throughout the week. Radio Laser is also promoting her own ‘Anti Drugs campaign' with a £1,000,000 budget. An `Aids' campaign and Christmas 'Drink Drive' campaign is also planned for later. All supplies to the vessel are being supplied via European legal routes; even duty free fuel, tobacco and spirits are being supplied by our tendering company. As the vessel is in International waters the radio station is perfectly legal. The American deejays are not breaking 'The Marine Offences Act of 1967' as it only applies to British subjects. All supplies are being supplied from the continent so as not to provoke the British authorities".
Well it promised a lot for the new station, but weather, financial and other problems brought us a long period in which many things happened and a lot of Americans and British deejays were involved. Now a new DVD has been published in which the story of Laser Hot Hits is told. For more information you can go to
That ends up this month’s edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. But I promise you that very soon an extra edition will come out with my review on the book Steve Conway wrote ‘Shiprocked Life on the waves with Radio Caroline’. So look out for that one.
Please if you have memories to share or historical questions please send an e mail to HKnot@home.nl all attachements please to Hans.Knot@gmail.com
Till next months I wish you all the best.
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Radio London Commercials
Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990
Read Hans Knot's former report