Hans Knot's International Radio Report - August 2005 (Part 3)
Welcome to the late August edition of the Knot International Radio Report. It was good seeing so many people sending in e mails and also getting people, who lost each other for many years, together again.
Let’s start this edition with an update in our long running series of nicknames. First Radio London where John Edward ‘Purple Knees’ was named. Then a lot of nicknames from Radio Essex days (thanks to Bob LeRoi and David Sinclair) Mark ‘Gobbles West’, Roger ‘Grotty Scotty’ Scott, Tony ‘Randy Mandy’ Mandell, Guy ‘Gus-Hampton’ Hamilton, Brian ‘the mad axe man’ Roberts, Graham ‘Chatty Face’ Johns, David ‘Sinkers’ Sinclair, Mike ‘Mad Mike’ Curtis, David ‘The Big Band Man’ Sinclair, Chris ‘Tea Set’ Stewart and Van ‘lavatory legs’.
Talking about getting people together again this time I got an e mail from Roger Stafford, who originates from Mildenhall in Suffolk but went to Germany some 30 years ago and now living in Australia since 20 years. He wrote: ‘ I am an old friend of Chris Cortez right back to the old land based pirate ABC England, which I started with Chris and Dave Caine a long time ago. I have lost Chris his phone number and I hope you maybe able to help me.’
Well I meet up with Chris once a year in Cambridge and was happy enough to give him the details within minutes.
Good news too from one our readers, Tom Mulder, who we all know from Veronica days as well as many other radio activities in the last 36 years. Last year Tom became very ill and he wrote me that things are getting better and better and that there’s a hope that he will be – step by step – the old Klaas Vaak again! I wish you all the success and luck Tom!
Another tower picture, this one taken by Dennis Jason
And again, this time for the last time, I come back with the subject ‘Who took the photographs from inside the mast on the Ross Revenge’. It’s Herbie the Fish with his conclusion: ‘The photo with the shoe is surely taken by Dennis Jason and not by Robert van der Ark. I was on board when Dennis shot a complete set of photos and I got myself copies of them. And in this set was also the photo with the shoe, which you first published early August. However I know there’s another photo taken by Robert van der Ark which was shot from the top of the mast whereby you see the whole ship.’
Thanks Herbert and maybe we see that photo too one day. But let’s go to Dennis himself as he responded with the next lines: ‘Hi Hans just seen the photo on your web report. The photo you have shown was not taken by myself. But it's very much like my photos. Your photo show a right foot on the mast and my photo shows a left foot. I have sent you a copy of my photo. my photos were taken in 1986. I hope you find the person that has taken that photo. Keep up the good work. Regards Dennis Jason.’
And the next mail on this subjects comes from another former Caroline deejay claiming he made the photo: ‘Hans I took that mast photo and it was in 1985 during Eurosiege. I still have the original. When I first saw the question I thought it was like a quiz and that you knew the answer! I remember it well, I'd climbed it once before, halfway up, just for fun. The second time Johnny Lewis woke me up in my cabin and asked me to go up as a stay had broken and was hanging against the mast, interfering with transmission. I went up with a hacksaw and only one harness as the other one was broken, so each time I unclipped it I had to hook my arm round part of the mast. The mast being prism-shaped, it was possible to climb up the inside until a few feet from the top, when it became too narrow and I had to climb up the outside. I was determined to get to the top and in fact put my chin on the very top of the mast. After that I cut down the broken stay, to the cheers of those watching below (Johnny Lewis, I think John Ford and Mike Barrington and a few others - difficult to remember who was there at certain times). Then I clipped myself to the mast and had a smoke, also took another picture of the Dioptric Surveyor (governmental boat) and the Communicator, with a Belgian fishing trawler coming between them. The crew of said trawler visited us and presented us with a bucket of fish, which I cooked that evening. I remember Walter Simons complaining as I'd accidentally left a bit of fish intestine in the one he got! He said 'Godverdomme! Was that its last meal?
My photo made the front page of a UK anorak magazine, Monitor I think it was called. Rob van der Ark took a great photo, same as mine but with a tender on either side of the Ross. As far as I'm aware Rob and I were the only ones ever to climb to the top. Fergie Mc.Neal. ‘
Thanks Fergie. To make my final conclusion is that the one in black and white we had early August must be from the same series as the above one from Dennis Jason and was taken from an old issue of the OEM Magazine and had also ‘LA 519’ painted on the deck. The one we published in last issue had ‘LA 319’ on the deck. And so this must have been Fergie as he claims to have the original negatives. And still Rob van der Ark hasn’t been found yet in The Hague.
It’s two editions ago that we heard about the progress our Guernsey correspondent did on the movements the Ross Revenge did early 80’s on and in the surroundings of the isle: ‘Hi Hans, Sorry for delay in sending my latest instalment of M.V Ross Revenge GY718 to you, As you can see Alison has still been digging in the Harbour Archives and she has turned up some interesting details again and photo copied some more of the radio logs for me.
In the first photo copy Ross-MiAmigo#0:- you will see a entry for 6th June 1981 for 0604 Mi Amigo which had a radio call sign of HP4344 (in shipping vessel radio call sign book St.Peter Port) and was out side of the harbour(they think St.Sampsons) and was calling another vessel that was coming along side. The call sign HP4344 belongs to the M.V.Ross Revenge GY718, who forgot which vessel they were on I wonder? Or was the memories still to fresh in the minds!. In a secondary radio log there appears a entry that was logged by St.Peter Port Radio that Jersey Radio made a comment on channel 16 that the Mi Amigo was under water in Thames Est. There is no record of a reply to that comment of Jersey Radio by the caller on the Mi amigo/Ross Revenge GY718 as they were on channel 8 by that time!.
Now the mystery deepens Hans, as the Ross Revenge changed her name yet again in December 1981!. Photo copies Ross-Grimby#1,2,3 & 4:- December 16th 1981 you will notice a vessel called Grimsby calling St.Peter Port radio for P's (Pilot shipping), this is yet again the Ross Revenge GY718 HP4344, the Ross Revenge didn’t seem to want to leave Guernsey as the ship's engines broke down just outside of St.Peter Port and they had to get a Ross Fisheries engineer flown in for the repair work to be carried out and a welder too!. Marine & General wouldn’t touch the repairs as they were a special type of engines rather like Rolls Royce as Rolls Royce engineers are the only one's allowed to work on Rolls Royce's, Ross engineers only work on Ross engines!
The Ross Revenge left Guernsey on 19th December 1981 at 1108 heading for Falmouth or so they said, but turned right just before Alderney and headed for France and turned up in Santander 1 or 2 weeks later, the Ross Revenge had some large boxes of electronic components aboard (Transmitters!?) when she left Guernsey and had Canadian radio export special papers with them which was passed by H.M. Customs Guernsey (H.M. Customs Guernsey Records) that in it self is rather odd. It was also noted that a H.M. Government vessel(not Royal Navy) was noticed following behind and made several calls to the then Home Office Radio Department. It can be deduced that H.M. Customs Guernsey informed the United Kingdom Home Office that there was Medium wave broadcast transmitters aboard the Ross Revenge minus radio mast!. I can only speculate that the Ross Revenge would have been fitted out over here fully but some thing spooked our radio friends and of course fled to Spain to be fully converted into a radio ship(read the logs carefully you will see entries concerning telegrams). This may well coincide with stories that the then Radio Caroline was returning to the air around that time!. If any more information come about I'll let you have it Hans as soon as I'm able to. With warmest regards from Guernsey. Robert’.
Well thanks a lot with this wonderful update and thanks also to Alison for her work. The Canadian link isn’t too strange as all the transmitter gear did came from Canada and was second hand material which came from Company Besco International whereby it was bought by this company director, Dick Witkovski, at the radio station CFCO in Canada. Details can be found in the Monitor Magazine/ Foundation for Media Communications Publication called ’25 years of Radio Caroline Memories, edited by Hans Knot in 1989. (page 50/51).
Now back to 1970 and may I remind you that the annual Radio Day organised by The Foundation for Mediacommunication, Martin van der Ven and Hans Knot, will highlight a reunion on RNI in 1970. For all information go to the information page at: http://www.offshore-radio.de/radioday
Hope that many of you can attend. Already from England, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Scotland and Scandinavia we had messages from people who have already booked accommodation in Amsterdam.
Last time it was technician and crewmember on the MV Mi Amigo in the seventies, Teun Visser, who mentioned that a body guard of ‘Georgie Fame’ was sometimes on the radio ship. He wrote again mentioning that he mend ‘David McWilliams’ instead of Georgie Fame. What a coincident that the same day an e mail came in from Duncan Johnson about the same bodyguard.
‘Hans, Jimmy Hoolihan (I'm not sure of the spelling), a former heavyweight boxer from Northern Ireland was a minder for Phil Solomon’s organisation and a rather tough one too. Very useful in assisting with the collecting of artists' fees from the occasional dubious promoter. When 'Days of Pearly Spencer' broke, Jimmy was the obvious choice as a minder for David McWilliams. Attached is a poor quality photo I took on RNI about June 1970. What Jimmy was doing on board the MEBO II, I have long since forgotten. Cheers Duncan.
Andy Archer, Jimmy Hoolihan and Carl Mitchell (photo Duncan Johnson)
Thanks Duncan and hope to see you too in October in Amsterdam. I did sent the photo to Andy Archer as he talked in the past about Jimmy on his days on the MV Mi Amigo and asked him if he did remember Jimmy made also a stay on the MEBOII.
Andy: ‘Yes I remember Jimmy on the MEBO. He was on board during the election campaign of 1970 - keeping an eye on things for Ronan! Ronan sent Jimmy out to the ship to make sure we were doing what Ronan wanted. Everyday he would receive instructions via the radio link with Bill Scaddon in Frinton from Ronan. I actually smuggled the radio link into England from Holland which Bollier had supplied! Luckily I didn't get caught. That’s about it. Jimmy was a lovely gentle giant, great fun to be with. I think he has now retired and lives in Spain.’
Last issue of the report brought us also Roger Chapman’s comments on the subject listeners figures during Caroline’s Sixties Days. Some people reflected from which I choose first Martin Kayne, who was onboard the Caroline North ship. MV Fredericia, during the sixties. ‘Hi Hans, Thanks for the latest Radio Report. I do remember Caroline North having an anti-MOA promotion saying that 25 million people supported free radio. Your correspondent is correct in saying this was probably the total estimated audience of all the UK's offshore stations. I can't speak for Johnny Walker, but this mystic figure was frequently mentioned on air, but I must admit, not with total sincerity. The audience on the 14th August 1967 to both ships was clearly very considerable indeed, as all the other UK pirates had closed and BBC Radio One had not yet started. The BBC always maintained that the pirate radio audience during the 1960's was infinitesimal compared with their Light Programme. So whether the figure of 25,000,000 was true or not, it was sufficient to cause the UK government to close down the Light Programme and start their own (pirate style) pop station BBC Radio One! They did not do that just to accommodate a few anoraks did they! Andy Cadier, (aka Martin Kayne).’
Stuart Aitkin has other ideas: ‘I would find it very hard to believe that only 600,000 were listening to Caroline that night ! It's not just the UK audience, there is continental Europe as well. If Caroline had a peak UK audience of 12 million, I would have thought most of these would have tuned into Caroline that night - it was so important, and no one really knew if Caroline really would continue beyond midnight. With Big L gone, Europe listening as well, plus the Caroline North audience including Ireland, I would certainly guess at several millions. I think Johnnie Walker's estimate is probably nearer the mark.’
MARTIN KAYNE IN THE SIXTIES
‘Hans, thanks for a great report once again. Two couples I know very well: Mike and Mandy Raven, Mike died a few years ago now, but Mandy is still well and living in Cornwall. What about Georgina and Albert Hook, Well, HOOK is a good name for pirates, but their name is HOOD. They now live in Hull and I saw them only a few weeks ago and took them to a Ross Revenge repair group meeting in Leeds. A good night from Paul Rusling’.
Thanks Paul and yes what writing about ‘offshore radio’ can do with my ‘hooked mind’.
Then we go to Belgium: ‘Hello Hans. In the 'International Radio Report' of August 2004, I launched an appeal to help me with my Radio Caroline Chart Collection. Lots of people responded, among them a few ex-Caroline jocks. A year later and - with a little help from my friends - the time has come to publish those charts. Every Saturday, starting September 3, you can discover the Radio Caroline chart from that same week - 40 years ago - on: http://users.skynet.be/stonewashed-collection. Regards, Jempi Laevaert.
In last issue I mentioned Ray Anderson and his Big L project as well that he worked on Radio Atlantis in 1974. Another person who worked there was Peter de Vries, aka Piet van der Vooren. He responds: ‘Hi Hans, I didn't know that Ray Anderson also was a disc jockey on Radio Atlantis back in 1974, using the name 'Ray Warner'. Do you know when he joined Atlantis? I was on board the Janine in the last weeks of June and the first week of July, but I can't remember if I've met Ray then. I presented (amongst others) the breakfast show on the Flemish Dutch service of Radio Atlantis, being the first not-English guy to present live from the Janine. I specially remember Dave Owen ("Far out!"), a first class radioman, whom I admired very much. Sometimes I also listen to the new Big L which is runned by Ray, and I know that the station has some dedicated listeners in Holland too. I wish him al the best with the station! Maybe Big L Radio London can be distributed by cable in Holland as well? If Ray is interested he can contact me, as I'm involved in cable distribution nowadays.’
Thanks Peter and the shows from Ray Warner were made at his home on tape and brought to the ship. The story goes that he had one recorder, one small mixer, one record table and very good shaving blade.
Chris Fauklner replied my question of the last time if he met on the Shetland with Ian Anderson: ‘I did not get to see Ian whilst in Shetland but went passed his house and studio on a couple of occasions and listened to SIBC whilst in the area. I have met him before and spoken to him on lots of occasions when I was working there with the Coastguard. I recently spoke to him a couple of months ago when I informed him of the photo of him that is shown on the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame site in the photos of Daffy Don Allen page. He's a very easy man to talk to and altogether a Good Bloke.’
Who more does remember Ian, who made a stint on RNI as well on Caroline and has some memories on him? You can sent it in to Hknot@home.nl
An update for the list with ‘family relations within offshore radio’ we have to take another visit to the Ross Revenge in the eighties. For the Dutch language service from Radio Monique Walter Simons was working and Mirjam Verhoef and Walter both were working for Radio 819 as well as Radio 558. They are a happy couple since many years.
Then Jan Sundermann on two subjects, we had in the August reports, he want to reflect on: ‘ Hallo Hans, I would like to take the opportunity to comment the Ronan/Fame story: - If the story of the Georgie Fame record and the walk into Radio Luxembourg would be a legend, then it is a fairly good one. People like legends and myths, so I have no problem with that story, whether true or not. But it is truly old one, I find it even in the old Paul Harris book ‘ When pirates ruled the waves’ on page 2 . My edition is the fourth of august 1970. There Ronan O’ Rahilly is entitled agent, not manager. The other question is : has anybody ever ask Georgie himself? I sadly missed the opportunity for that only 2 months ago. Georgie Fame is for a long time a jazz musician with a big reputation. For that he came in June to Düsseldorf and appeared there with a band on stage at the Düsseldorf Jazz Rally. That is an annual event, and he was also shown and interviewed on WDR -TV for that. Only I missed to go there , as we had our own midsummer-night party at the Observatorium the night before. That is the famous place of the Erkrath radio day. So, anybody who likes jazz and has the opportunity to see Georgie at such a venue , go and ask him!’
(in the around 40 pages thick booklet about Georgie Fame, which was enclosed with the 3 double cd from Polydor Germany, Georgie was interviewed about his manager too! HK)
Jan Sundermann also want to say some words on ‘Sealand/ Radio Valentine': Definite yes : I quite well remember a visit to Johnny O´Brien (= Paul Huber, who was really Ernst August Schwabe) one day, when he had an AM transmitter in his garage under construction. For that he said: I will maybe go to Sealand. In my opinion, it was lucky for them, that this project did not get from the ground. Why? : every 10 years or so , Sealand makes some waves in the press with great future plans: radio stations / gambling casinos / internet computer base etc. So by these press publications, obviously some people want to attract others to throw their money into the project. And the people are more than doubtful businessmen, if not real criminals. There was for example the story of a hostage in the press of 1978. A German lawyer was taken for hostage on Sealand, and it did produce real diplomatic trouble in between Her Majesty Government and the German ambassador in London, Mr.Niemoeller, at that time. Behind that was one Mr Achenbach, a German living in Belgium, who sold titles (Dr., Professor, Duke and similar) against money to interested customers. He wanted to take over Sealand, and Mr Puetz was involved with him. The lawyer, Mr Gernot Puetz, who was held as hostage by the Bates, was after some days released. He lives here in a city next to us, and when I invited him once to our radio day in Germany, he was not happy to be remembered to that story, and refused to come. DJ Hardy of Radio Valentine will come to our Radio Day, maybe he can tell more about the Sealand connection. Best regards, Jan Sundermann’.
Thanks Jan and for those living in Holland you can try to lent a copy of the 1987 book ‘De droom van Sealand’ (The dream of Sealand), which was written by myself Hans Knot and published by the Foundation for Media Communications. It reveals into very small details what has happened and also which things did not happen to Sealand, their inhabitants, intruders and other connections. Your local library has the opportunity to lent the book from the University Library from Groningen.
Next we go to Ipswich and Paul Billingham: ‘Hi Hans, Thanks once again for the radio report which has been forwarded to other interested folks I know. If I am not too late for the next month could you put the following in your Radio Report please? We have been planning a Radio Sutch RSL for many months. As problems still exist with access to the Red Sands towers, Backtobasics radio have booked some airtime on 9.20 MHz short wave to give a taste of what Radio Starship sounds like off the internet and on air. The broadcast will last from 1300hrs untill 1800 hrs British time. In this broadcast we will include two hours of the new Radio Sutch in a format we hope to broadcast on the future RSL.
Backtobasics radio is a group of people who either have an interest in, or first hand experience of radio, either commercially or the pirates. The people behind The Back to Basics meet each month to discuss and plan future broadcasts. They run the permanent internet station Radio Starship that broadcasts live and recorded programming all week. The short wave signal will be broadcast from Latvia, and is easily heard across western Europe and further a field. our websites are... www.backtobasicsradio.co.uk and www.sutchonair.co.uk
Mark Keable writes in about Peter Hayes, who worked on board the MV Mi Amigo in 1974: ‘ Hi Hans, on the Peter Hayes story, if my memory serves me correct, Tony Allan referred to him as Peter Hayes 'The Soul Flyer'. Unfortunately, although I have recordings of just about everyone from that period, I do not regarding Peter.’
Thanks for thus update Mark and everyone can sent in updates, memories, photos and other things for the report to HKnot@home.nl
Liam in the Radio Newsletter wrote: ‘ The first John Peel Day on BBC Radio 1 is to take place on Thursday October 13th. The day will be a celebration of John's life and massive contribution to music and broadcasting with as many venues as possible staging gigs across the UK under the banner of Peel Day. Prior to this there will be a very special London gig organised by Radio 1 with details to be confirmed nearer the time. Andy Parfitt, Controller Radio 1 said: "Peel Day is about celebrating John's legacy and his unrivalled passion for music. It'll be a day of gigs taking place up and down the country, something we feel will be a fitting tribute to John." Jason Carter, Exec Producer Live Events Radio 1 said: "Having spoken to all the major promoters in the UK and many people involved in live music the strength of feeling for this day has been fantastic with everyone pledging their support."
Those who listened to RNI on Saturday August 29th 1970, yes 35 years ago, suddenly heard the station's programmes being interrupted around 1.30 hrs CET in the afternoon. The deejays informed their listeners that there were two ships in the neighbourhood of the MEBO II, the MV Viking and the tug Huski. The Viking drew alongside the radio ship and a famous Dutchman from the world of entertainment, Kees Manders, climbed aboard the radio ship to talk with the captain Onnes. Some weeks before these happenings the Swiss owners had asked him to work on plans to start a Dutch service and promised him that he would become the director, if he succeeded in getting a Dutch service on the air.
Manders was always in for publicity and told the news of his ‘appointment’ to several newspapers, although no documents had been signed yet by the Swiss owners. Just in the last week of August he heard from the owners that he would not get the job due to the fact he had made the plans public. Manders and his friend ir. Heerema, who was earlier co-founder of the REM-island, tried to capture the MEBO II for themselves. The captain, however, did not yield to their demand to let the ship be towed into Scheveningen harbour. So Manders left the radio ship and from that point on he threatened to cut the anchor chain and tow the ship in himself.
MANDERS (LEFT) ON THE MEBO II
In the meantime the deejays were broadcasting a live account of what was happening, while calling for help. Larry Tremaine the program director on the radio: ‘We don’t want a fight, we don’t want any victims on the North Sea. RNI is not here to bring problems, but music and entertainment.’ Also other presenters, including Alan West, made appeal to the listeners to phone the Scheveningen offices, but as soon as Tremaine had come aboard he asked to stop phoning as the complete telephone system in the village was blocked. As the situation on the ship became more serious, they even armed themselves with patrol bombs, knives and so on. They made themselves ready to repel the boarders, as the crew of the Husky prepared to use a water cannon on the transmitting mast of the MEBO II. A dangerous thing to do with a high voltage transmitting mast! The deejays warned in their programmes that this would certainly mean death for the crew of the Husky. Many listeners wanting to know more, called the telephone desk of the Grand Hotel in Scheveningen, were the Swiss owners were staying.
The threat of publicity did work. When the station's tender, the MV Eurotrip, arrived the raiders made their way off to Scheveningen again. Later in the afternoon the Dutch frigate Van Nes arrived and stood by in case of further trouble. The happening was transmitted on air for some 90 minutes while during the evening a 3 hours programme was presented by Andy Archer, recalling the events of the day and playing requests for the crew members of the Van Nes. Archer, enjoying the event and his naval public of boys in blue, made a real show of it.
In the newspapers the next Monday a lot of articles highlighted the happenings in international waters. Of course Meister and Bollier were asked what the connections were to Kees Manders. Meister: ‘Kees Manders has never been employed by us. We only talked for two hours with him. He was a sympathic guy and had several plans. However we told him that if there would come a positive decision a labour contract had to be made. We haven’t decide anything yet for the future. The day after we talked to him in several newspapers photos of him could be seen with the story that he would be the new man for RNI and leading the Dutch Service. We made contact with him that the best way was to behave himself reserved so he would lost his good name.’
MANDERS LEAVING THE VIKING
Kees Manders himself was also interviewed and told a journalist he just went out as it was nice weather and make some pleasure to friends, who went with him. Another newspaper journalist was told that he had a claim of 750.000 guilders which MEBO Ltd had to pay and therefore he went out to see if the ship was maybe a security to get his money. I’ve asked Andy Archer, who was on the MEBO II during the event, to comment after 35 years on the above story. Andy Archer: ‘Well Hans, its a long time ago but... We weren't aware of any dealings between MEBO Ltd and Kees Manders, as a matter of fact, none of the British and American disc jockeys on board had ever heard of him! I believe Manders did come on board and spoke with Captain Onnes and was asked to leave shortly afterwards.
I think we "over did" our pleas for help on the air, listening to recordings afterwards, it sounded as though we were all ‘drama queens’ !!! It was impossible for the raiding party to get on board as the MEBO was a very high ship, unlike the Mi Amigo which would have been difficult to defend. But we were all astonished to discover later that tens of thousands of telephone calls were made by listeners, I seem to recall that the Zurich telephone exchange couldn't cope with the numbers of calls coming in. Later that afternoon, we went to thank the crew of the Van Ness and were invited on board for drinks. The event certainly gave RNI quite a lot of publicity and I'm sure we picked up a lot more listeners as a result.’ Thanks Andy!
On September 19th 1970, panic could be heard again in the radio programmes of Radio Nordsee International, when deejays told listeners that a boat, which they knew nothing about, was anchored near the radio ship. They even talked about raiding plans again, but after ten minutes the announcements suddenly stopped and nothing further was heard on the air. Some days later, on the 23rd of September, during the news there could be heard that there were again problems around the radio ship.
In Scheveningen harbour, 29-year-old barber Mario Welman from Amsterdam, had hired a boat to take him to the MEBO II. When the boat arrived near the radio ship, Mario asked permission to come onboard, which was refused. When he heard this, he told the captain that he would come aboard to capture the ship as well as taking control over the station. He tried to do what he promised, but when he climbed on deck the crew immediately caught him and locked him up in a cabin.
At first the crew told him that if he wouldn't go back with the boat he would be thrown overboard. When the skipper of the boat, Scheveningen 18, refused to take Mario back to harbour, the captain of the radio ship made contact with Erwin Meister, one of the Swiss directors of MEBO Ltd. At that time Meister was staying at the Grand Hotel in Scheveningen and he promised the captain that he would go to the ship personally to get the madman off the radio ship. Erwin Meister phoned Tom van der Linden (who was one time captain on the MEBO II) and asked if he'd be willing to go out to the MEBO II with him, adding that he would of course be paid well. Tom, who later became known as one of the three men who did the bomb attack on RNI in May 1971, agreed to take Meister out on his small boat, the MV Redder (MV Saviour).
After they arrived alongside the MEBO II a talk was held in the captain's cabin with Mario Welsman. The former barber told Meister that he heard some rumours that RNI transmissions would soon stop. He added that he had acted, because he thought the MEBO II was such a beautiful ship that he could not see it disappear from the millions of listeners and as well as he didn't want to see the crew and deejays out of work soon. When this was not enough, he told Meister that he had permission to buy the radio ship and that he could sign a contract with Meister in the name of Freddy Heineken, the multimillionaire owner of Heineken Breweries. However Meister was not impressed by Mario's stories and ordered the crew to guard the man and get him off the ship at the first opportunity
Probably Mario had phoned a reporter of the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf telling he would go out to board the ship. The same morning a journalist hired the MV Dolfijn (MV Delphin) from the Vrolijk Company to go out and see what would be happening in international waters. After long talks between the captain of the MEBO II and the captain of the MV Dolfijn, the latter agreed to take the mentally disturbed Mario back to Scheveningen harbour. On the journey back home Mario told the journalist, that he'd wanted to stay a bit longer on the radio ship but that the deejays didn't want him.
Some years before Mario Welsman had made headlines when starting up a chain of very expensive barbershops in the Western cities of the Netherlands. Many famous people were invited to the first shop ‘official’ opening in Amsterdam, where a champagne party was held. Within a year all ten shops were closed as the shop fitting bills were never paid and Mario was declared bankrupt. Mario again made the headlines in 1980, a day after John Lennon was killed. He told the Dutch newspapers that there was only one clear-minded person left in the world after the death of Lennon, which of course was Mario Welsman himself. Years went by before the world heard again from Welsman. September 1992 brought us the news of the sudden death of one of the most eccentric people in the Amsterdam flower-power scene of the late sixties.
The rumours Mario had heard abut the close-down, however, proved to be true. After Mario was taken back to shore. Meister returned to Scheveningen in the late afternoon. Later, in the evening he contacted the radio ship from his office in the Grand Hotel. He ordered the close-down of the station the next morning, as he claimed he'd sold the radio ship to an African country. He added that it would be better for the people in Holland that RNI closed down in favour of the Veronica organisation and stop the Dutch authorities acting against the pirate ships.
Then a word from Martin van der Ven about the forthcoming Radio Day which will be held for the 27th year: ‘This year's Radio Day on Saturday October 2005 is approaching very fast. You can look forward to interesting guests, exclusive video footage (especially from RNI in 1970) and nice chats with many (mostly offshore) radio enthusiasts mostly from the Netherlands, England, Belgium and Germany. The current line-up plus details how to reach the event
can be found at http://www.offshore-radio.de/radioday
Hans Knot will present his brand-new book on Radio Mi Amigo 272 from the MV Magdalena, and you can purchase new mp3-CDs containing many hours of offshore recordings from i.e. John Peel, Kenny Everett, Carl Mitchell and Tommy Vance. So make sure to attend Europe's major radio event in Amsterdam!’
That ends up this 3rd report for August. First time I brought three in one months but next month to normal again as it will be a busy months with other things to do for me. Take care and let your memories flow again!
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Read Hans Knot's former report