Hans Knot's International Radio Report - December 2006 (2)
A warm welcome to the
Christmas edition of the Knot International Radio Report and first of
all, may I wish you all a very happy Christmas and all best wishes for
the year 2007 in good health and happiness. I can assure you that this
special Christmas edition will have a very warm message of happiness as
there will be a lovely surprise in this report about ‘a deejay's
daughter found her dad back after decades!’ A lot of e mails came in
again and we
with one from the Pirate Hall of Fame, which came in on the evening I
sent away the first bunch of e mails.
‘Hi, just a quick note to let you know I have updated The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. New this month: two pages of fantastic photos taken on board Radio Caroline North courtesy of the Jason Wolfe collection. The traditional 'Christmas In International Waters' page has been updated with some more audio. A reminder that the Radio Academy will be announcing the names of the new inductees to its Hall Of Fame soon. Will a seventh former pirate join its roll of honour? We will keep you posted. Last month we announced the re-printing of Paul Harris's ‘When Pirates Ruled The Waves’. Unfortunately publication has been delayed a couple of weeks. It will be with you by Christmas - I am told. There is another chance to hear Paul Rowley's excellent, and award winning, documentary Kenny Everett: the BBC Local Radio Years on BBC7 on Christmas Day. Highly recommended. As you know, up until now my site has concentrated on the offshore broadcasters of the sixties but I regularly receive emails from people asking if/when I am going to cover the seventies. The answer, I can now reveal, is ..... very soon. So if you have any information, contact details, photographs or recordings of any offshore DJs of the seventies, please let me know. All being well, the first page of the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame 'Seventies Supplement' will appear from the start of 2007. If I don't speak to you in the meantime, I hope you have a great Christmas. All the best, Jon, The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. www.offshoreradio.co.uk
Jim Gordon on Caroline North (Jason Wolfe collection)
Beaten this time by reader Douwe Dijkstra, who was the first to reflect on the last report by thanking me sending it again, it’s Rosko who has to be satisfied with place two and another mention as he wrote: ‘Hi Hans, I wish to keep my reputation in tact by being the first to read and respond to the monthly. That tells it like it is, so I shall after this comment (for once not about me) that you must be using hair dye and had great surgery for your look so young in your photo. It can’t be, your readers need to know your secret? Oops I was not watching the screen. I shall be checking my facts and adding a few thoughts shortly! Stay well and we await the next months Xmas edition already ! EMP.’
Thanks Emperor, well really there’s no secret. It’s like the old song ‘Saving Cream, be nice and clean, shave every day and……’ Reader Chris Dannot reminded me that I’ve to say a big congratulations to you Rosko as you the man this month from ‘When I’m getting older losing my head, many years from now…When I’m 64’.
Next one joining in is Duncan Johnson who reflected on the last issue and the remarks about Paul Kaye: ‘Hans, Paul Kaye was on the Galaxy's Big L from start to finish, but Michel (Mitch the Steward) Philistin was on the Galaxy when it left Florida and was there at the end and should have a mention for his longevity. Mitch would have emailed you but he has pressed the wrong keys again - and can't get his emails working. I'll have to sort it out again! Cheers Duncan.’ Well lucky enough Mitch could make a good meal! One day he will learn to contact me. The both of you nice greetings!
Mitch and Duncan (PhoF)
At the end of November as well Martin and I received the next e mail from Israel: ‘My name is Orly Morag (Granit) and I was one of the DJ's on the Peace Ship in the mid 70's, for a short while (I have some pictures I could send if you are interested). I was not informed of the meeting that took place in Amsterdam recently.‘ Well we wrote her back that we tried to find back as much persons as possible during the past 14 months and she came back with an e mail and several nice photos, from which we publish one:
’Dear Martin and Hans. Thank you so much for your kind reply. Since I am not a heavy user of the internet, I did not know about the gathering in Amsterdam until it was reported on Israeli TV. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter if someone was physically there. As I can see, the good spirit is present, and that is what matters, isn't it. Eventually, otherwise there would have been no chance for peace. Just for the record: I broadcasted on the Peace Ship only three times, during the mid 70's, each period - a week or so, during vacation from my University studies, and after my army service as a broadcaster on Galei Zahal, the Israeli Army radio station. Today I work for the Israel Broadcasting Authority, dealing with classical music and poetry. I enclose some historical pictures with a few names I hope I still remember ...’
Well good to see your nice pictures and any memory from your side is always welcome!
Orly Morag on air on the VOP in the seventies
I searched through my book and saw the name in connection with Guy Starkey once mentioned and so I sent Guy the message that Orly sent in some photos: ‘Hi Hans, and thanks very much. I arrived in December 1977 as you know, with John Miller who was beginning his second assignment on the Peace Ship. As stormy weather was going to prevent us going out to the ship, after spending hours in the middle of the night at Ben Gurion airport, John suddenly decided we should go and visit Orly in Jerusalem. So we got a cab there and turned up on her doorstep. I met her only briefly, but she allowed us to stay for two days, for which I am grateful and so was John. I wonder where John Miller is today...? Best wishes, Guy. ‘
And another remembering Orly is Don Stevens: ‘What a discovery, yes I met Orly many times, she was a good friend of Johnny Miller, a real jack-the-lad broadcaster, I think they were very good friends and I knew she made a couple of broadcasts, heard them too. Never knew she was out on the ship, I met her at Galei Zahal once. I am not surprised she is with Kol Israel, she sounded like a Kol Israel broadcaster with a rich warm voice that only really works on a woman in Hebrew. In English it would not sound as sensual. I seem to recall that I found her phone number last night while pulling out old folders with the MBO 1967 which I sent to Martin, what a small world, I love this radio business, it is so cosy. Bill Danse will be really pleased to hear from her, she is very intellectual and Bill is a man who thrives on mental stimulation.’
Bill (Wim) Danse from Holland is already in contact with Orly too and wrote me in very nice words about the memories he has with her and that the contacts have been opened again! Please enjoy all the renewed connections!
I’ve mentioned in an email to Rosko that he was beaten, as mentioned above and he came back after opening his eyes on December 1st: ‘I just dawned on me what a clever fellow you are! You have me writing for you! Oh well I guess it is OK! I wanted to P.S you on the speed of the person how rendered me second in the answer department. It is time for you to confess. He must have had inside information I saw your report appear on my screen and almost answered at once, however nature called and by the time I replied you had announced Douwe Dijkstra had already done so! Now I am thinking he is Dutch by the name, so one must also allow that he is much closer to you than I am, here in the Colonies! He had an unfair advantage! EMP’
Followed by: ‘Mon Cher Hans, Once again your global reach has sparked interest, truly the sign of a good report! I lost contact with Tony Hall many years ago. He would be the first tell you that the Ike and Tina song River deep Mountain High in your report (produced by Phil Spector) was started and charted on Rosko's Midday Spin! We could chart a new song with one play. Without bragging too much, ‘Black is Black’, by Los Bravos, ‘Kung Fu fighting’ Carl Douglas are just two other examples of one spin - one win, bang right into the Top 30. This is not to say that they would not have been hits anyway. However there were many we were first on. The promo boys would then launch their assault on Portland Place with the chart figures on Monday to blag all the daily shows. Right time right place, it was fun. Kenny Everett and I ganged up on Bowie and sent it skyward with Major Tom. I could go on but it would sound like bragging! We had an advantage over the shows today, we were the only show at that time as well as the only station, so it was not as hard as today's readers might think. We had between 3 and 5 million people listening, most of them consumers who liked to party and dance, so, One spin, one win!
Radio was much more exciting back then I think. When you have such luminaries as Tom Blomberg checking in with a name check, well it does makes one's day! I leave you with this thought! A new radio record! Remember we set president this month with the worlds first joint broadcast on Vixen 87, the first time Hans Knot and Emperor Rosko were on the same station at the same day!
Check out this link. http://emperorrosko.wetpaint.com/pageSearch?contains=EMPEROR+ROSKO Merry Xmas World xx EMP’
Got an email from Graham Jones who told me I was recommended by Mike Brand from Israel for sending the Knot International Radio Report and so I sent out the latest copy. Graham came back with: ‘Thank you most kindly Hans! Do I take it that I will be on your distribution list? If you require a subscription I will be delighted to pay.
Graham Jones on air
I was interested top see Robbie Owen (pictured with Abe Nathan) - I took Robbie on when he was 16 and I managed Radio Hertford! He was, as I have always said, worth his weight in gold in both technical knowledge and his programming skills. I don't know if Hospital Radio is of interest to you but, at Radio Hertford (1973 onwards) we were a bunch of free radio fanatics !
Some of us visited Caroline twice in the 70's and the free radio cause was never far from our hearts with various emotions expressed and the successes and demise of big names. Robbie Owen was one of the first people I took on at Radio Hertford and he is pictured below at his 40th birthday in 1995 in a reunion photo opportunity. (I'm in the middle of the front row and you will recognise Robbie).
You see it’s a small but at the same time wonderful in radio land! No, no payments please, only memories are welcome at Hknot@home.nl
On www.offshore-radio.de you will find the interview which should be held at the Radio Day but didn’t went on as the man to be interviewed was delayed. So Martin sent in the questions to Don Stevens about his time on Caroline and he answered them all, which led to a beautiful interview, which can now be read on line. I congratulated Don on the content and he came back with a very long e mail. I hope you take the time to read it as it gives all the warmth the Christmas period normally makes so wonderful:
‘Thank you for the kind comments and first about the Dutch crew members: it was always a point of difficulty with my English DJ associates that I enjoyed the good company of our Dutch crew, the DJ's felt that they were a different class of person and should not, and would not, associate with common seamen. My feeling always was, that these Dutch guys had the skills, knowledge and motivation to save the ship, and the people on board, so surely it made sense to learn to work and think like these Dutch crewmen. Call me stupid, but in my country, this is how we learn to enjoy folks, learn about them, and share their experiences, which I did. I was rewarded with great memories, a couple of good friends, and an undying love of Nederland and its people and culture. I figure I got a better deal than most. Clearly, in my interview of Caroline it becomes clear that I enjoyed all things Dutch, especially Shocking Blue (I know Hans, Mariska Veres had Hungarian blood, but oooh man, such an exotic lady) whose tunes I still play when I'm working in my office, as I am now. Playing on the stereo (at full volume) 'Blossom Lady' which was preceded by 'Send Me A Postcard', these tunes remind me, so effectively of how Radio Veronica kept us offshore listeners in England supplied with free radio, and I agree with you, without Dutch input, on all levels, Caroline could not, and would not, have survived.
You can see from my article for Martin, that Dutch sea skills and manpower made the MV Mi Amigo a very comfortable place to be on the North Sea in 1975. If these same people had been on board in later years the ship would never have sunk, well, that’s how Yorkie and I see it, and I hope my article conveys the affection I had for these fine men, unsung seamen, who did so much to keep Caroline on the air. As our Captain often told me, if you have no interest in your life, why should I waste my life, teaching you how to save yours, when you have no interest in how your life may be safe. This homily was recounted, with no prompting from me, as the Captain showed me, in a Force 9 north easterly, how to keep the Mi Amigo head on to the storm and keep the strain off the anchor. He was pleased to show me basic seaman’s skills because he knew it would not be wasted. I recall how he was unaware of the difference between the Irish and English, he thought we were the same. He laughed when I said, not all people from Nederland come from Holland, I think I made a good example, I hope so, certainly he then cracked open a bottle of his Jenever and we drank a toast, I hope he is still with us Hans, his skills are the reason I'm here today.’
But Don had more to tell than about his experience how to handle and work together with the Dutch cloggies as he has the Christmas Story of 2007!
‘Hans, I owe you and the team of the Radio Day a very, very big thank you, because you created a situation that allowed Arbel Eshet to interview me, an interview that seems to have appeared on TV stations all over the world. It enabled my estranged daughter Sarit to finally find me, her father, after she had given up all hope of finding me.
Sarit, Don Stevens long lost daughter
She introduced me to my three grand children, I'm a Grandfather thanks to you Hans (you will ruin my reputation as a swinger Hans :-)..) and her husband Marcel, a fine man with good values. My ex, my daughters mother, saw the interview in Los Angeles, she says, and the wheels of contact were in motion. My daughter has only just relocated back to Israel from Los Angeles, she wanted her children to have a better education and some social values, things missing from schools in LA. So, imagine her surprise when her return to Israel also found her long lost Father. Her Mother, Ronit, (you have her picture taken on the Peace Ship), is still in Los Angeles and saw the report of the Radio Day on a local station in California, she phoned my daughter Sarit, and the rest is total happiness.
A number of good friends from Reitzes Advertising and also Tavas have been in contact, old friends of Keith Ashton have renewed contact, old radio friends from my time at Galei Zahal and the disco scene have been in contact too. CBS Records old team who started the disco boom in Israel have contacted, a number of Israel's leading artists of the 1970's and mid 80's have wrote to me, all because of Channel 2 Israel, who appear to have been very cooperative in issuing my email and phone number, thanks The Great Maker they did. Old girlfriends and club owners have been in contact, amazed (they say) that I have not changed and look the same, they recognised me straight away from the TV images, all inviting me to Israel. A journey to Israel is now on schedule, it was never in my plan to return, the country holds too many memories for me, and I was afraid to rake over old embers, but, through you and the Radio Day, I must travel to Israel.....I will keep you informed, I know it will be a fascinating journey, full of discovery, I will share the adventure with you Hans, you are, after all, the author of this journey of destiny.
Honestly Hans, it is going to take me months to catch up with all the letters, and I still wish to write to Kas Collins (I have a scan of the postcard he sent me from Cairo, and I wish to send it to him), Gil Katzir, Noam, Arbel for sure, I have pictures for these fine people, and a host of others to write to. I have had a couple of negative emails regarding my comments about the running of the Peace Ship and my little bit of friction with Robbie, but, a huge volume of emails have regarded my comments as constructive and logical, fully understanding the needs of the many to benefit from Abie's work. I love a controversy don't you Hans? ‘
And on his current work in this December month Don wrote: ‘The other picture is myself during a break in one of my Father Christmas presentations, with the Good Fairy of Christmas, and we do look swell LOL :-) I do the Father Christmas every year as a way of giving something back to the children and spreading the joy of Christmas to all the people of the world. It is glorious to see the smiles on all peoples faces when I walk up and wish them Merry Christmas and the blessings of the Almighty and pass out chocolates and presents. It is very tiring, the sacks are very heavy, but I normally hand out six big sacks of goodies everyday, and by Christmas Eve, I'm at least 20kg lighter. My daughter thinks it is so crazy, when she showed a Santa picture of me to her youngest daughter the little one said 'Oooh, you are special Mummy, Saint Nick is your Daddy, so we are all special'...needless to say Sarit is still trying to work out how to explain all of this to the child. She still believes in Santa. Hans, God Bless You, Jana and Your Family, Don Stevens.'
Father Don Christmas
Next on Sunday morning December 3rd this came in from Simon James: Good Morning Hans. Just a short note to let you and everyone know Radio Phoenix is streaming since yesterday evening around 10pm uk/11pm-cet and still going strong ,we finally ironed out the bugs and now listed on shoutcast. There are two ways to listen, first is by visiting our website www.phoenix-am.nl and click the embedded player under the clock!, the other way is to click on the winamp logo and if you all have winamp you should be able to hear us?, the stream is running at 48kbs so those on dial up should be able to listen as well as broadband users. What we would like is audio reports from around the UK, Europe and anywhere else through out the world, please send to our temporary email address; email@example.com ,the nl email address will be back in use very soon. Thanks Hans and keep up the good work. Well were still hunting anyone who's interested in joining us with there brand of music ect, at the moment no replies still there is lots of time next year. Phoenix will be on line from the 20th December with mixed music and recordings as for actual live material. Radio Phoenix crew
Also nice to get an invitation to come to the first showing of a documentary about Radio Nord, which was held in Stockholm. It took place on December 13th and in a 90 minutes program next to the documentary, which is specially produced for an exhibition in the Technical Museum in Stockholm, there were speeches including from one of the former Radio Nord deejays. Later next year another documentary will appear on DVD and I hope to get a review copy so I can tell all the readers about the contents. I had no time to go to Stockholm, which was a pity.
Monday December 4th the next e mail came in: ‘Dear Mr. Knot,my name is Mcclellan Hackney and from January 1989 to December 1990 I worked on the Voice of Peace. During my first trip to Israel the chairman of the Peace Foundation, Abie Nathan, was in prison for visiting the PLO, he was released shortly after my arrival. There seemsto be a dearth of information for the years 1989-1990. my work aboard The Voice of Peace included the Peace program, Soul Train, the Jazz program ,Twilight Time, however my forte there was Late Night Affair, which they insisted I do even though John McDonald was the regular deejay. During my work there the advertising revenue was always high. What is also missing in all your reports is that in 1990 the Armenia earthquake occurred, the Voice of Peace under Abie’s leadership undertook to collect money, clothes, and medical supplies to send to that quake torn area. The other story is that for the first time in over 47 years a Russian vessel was allowed into an Israeli port to collect the supplies donated to the effort, the entire ceremony was broadcast live on the Voice of Peace, which included the Israeli president and prime minister. There is much, much more information available regarding this time period in the history of the Voice of Peace. I am African American and I am told I am the first African American to work at that station. Some of the personnel at that time was Kenny Page, John McDonald, Ofer Nocshaun, Tony O’Riley, Dave Lee, Ricky Marks, Chris Edwards, Richard West and a lot more. I do hope this will help to fill in the gaps that some seem or choose to forget.’
Thanks dear Hackney. I presume you think the Knot International Radio Report is a complete story about the VOP. Although the VOP is the station which got the most attention in 2006, the report is mainly for people who have been working within the Offshore Radio World to share memories, photos and news. In no way it is meant to be a complete history on one of the stations. Therefore books have been or will be written. On the Radio Day a new book was released on the history of the Voice of Peace as well about the person Abie Nathan and his Humanitarian Work with his Peace Foundation. The ‘forgotten things’ you mentioned are really written in the book and pre publication of some of the chapters can be read at www.soundscapes.info and just go to Volume 9 to get a good impression. Please feel free to sent in more memories so we can also read your kind of the history. By the way, the name Chris Edwards isn’t correct in my opinion, he is the final editor of the English language magazine Offshore Echos and knowing him very well since 1971 I don’t remember he ever set a step on the Peace Ship.
From Belfast the next one: ‘Hans, early seasonal greetings to you and Jana, and all the best for 2007. A question which I would ask your thoughts on. There are now some Veronica cd’s on the Stichting Norderney site which I would like to get in due course, early in 2007. The trouble is they don't answer my e-mails, and to become a member of their site or buy things costs a fortune in bank charges - they couldn't make it more difficult if they tried. They only appear to be interested in Dutch people. Compare with Chris Visser's site, which couldn't be easier to join. They didn't answer my e-mail you kindly passed on to them earlier this year. Will anyone next year be selling their cd’s for example Rob at SMC, or anyone else that can get them for me. I will pay profit to anyone who can get the ones I want. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Those Stichting Norderney CDs I wish to get are;
CD01 100 jingles & hoogetepunten uit Veronica programma’s
CD02 Sorry Veronica
CD03 Veronica Documentaire
CD05 Fop Out (U spreekt met...)
If you, or colleagues can get them for me in 2007, I will of course pay your required price. The Stichting are charging 15 euro each. In the meantime don't be eating too much at Christmas - unfortunately I do each year. Finally, sad to read on the media.nl site of the passing of Marika Veres. David Wilson, Belfast.’
Well is there anyone who can help David Wilson in one way or another? His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course to you David also best wishes for the Christmas period. And yes a very sad message early December with the passing of Mariska. She was 59 years of age and of course we all know her from Venus and other Shocking Blue hits which were heavily played on Veronica and RNI. Only a few weeks ago she was still touring with the New Shocking Blue, a group in which she was the only original member. The news was made known by Willem van Kooten. She died from cancer.
I had a marvellous ‘first’ in Amsterdam by meeting Rick Randell, earlier this year. Here’s another e mail from the former Swinging Radio England Boss Jock: Hi, and Happy Holidays from America, Hans - As always, I appreciate hearing from you and learning about what's going on in the endlessly curious world of pirate radio. I have a slightly irregular request to make of your readers and fans, especially anyone who may have been associated with Radio London at any time in the past 40 years or so. I am in touch with a group of musicians who perform in and around Colorado in the western USA, and who have adopted RADIO LONDON as their group name. I am forwarding a copy of an email (below) from a woman named Marsha who is somehow connected with the band. She was under the mistaken impression that I had been with Radio London when I was in England in the '60s, and was asking me for some insight about the station's history and current activities. I am passing her request along to you in the hope that you may be able to help her out. I will send her a copy of this note so that she may be prepared for any responses you may generate. I suggest you contact her directly at email@example.com.
Thanks Rick and I know already that our mutual friend Mary Payne did sent her an e mail and I request any other former Big L deejay in my readership to sent the lady an e mail too. Rick went on with: ‘The Christmas season in Florida is marked with sunny skies and warm temperatures as usual. I am now living in a condo that directly faces Tampa Bay where I watch the cruise ships heading out, or returning from their trips into the southern Gulf of Mexico. My website - www.MusicTampaBay.com - is encountering some network bandwidth problems at present, but otherwise is progressing nicely, with a lot of new original music from local artists coming in to make up my playlist. I am forever indebted to Steve England and his S2Blue recording studio for providing me with my signature jingles. I have a couple of radio friends here who are interested in helping me to develop this as a format for local radio - if and when the web project ever becomes well established. I'll keep you posted on these events as they transpire. Of course, I loved meeting you all during my visit in Europe earlier this year. I do believe I will be making a return journey to your part of the world again sometime in the not-too-distant future, and will certainly hope to see you again. Regards from your friend in America, Richard (Rick Randall) Crandall’.
And here’s the included text of the lady Marsha Rick was talking about: ‘I was wondering if you would be interested in telling us about the name Radio London and how that came about, and how your time onboard was spent, the kind of music that you played (if you had any favourites), some of your adventures. We are working on starting a new webpage(myspace/radiolondon.com) and will be doing as much to promote the band and its music. We do have one CD under our belt and have been working on #2. A lot of our fans have been with us for years, and I know they would enjoy hearing about the real deal! So any time you have and would like to send some input our way, that would be great. If we quote you, would you want us to use your name? Hoping that you will enjoy this project and waiting to hear from you, Marsha.’ So once again her e mail address in the USA firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well Rick it was for me also a very enjoyable moment never to forget meeting you, more than 40 years after I traced you on the radio and the t shirt you offered me is a good memory to the meeting. Of course I will do a little promotion for the site you're developing in my Christmas bumper edition. You well deserve it by renewing a radio friendship, which earlier went through the AM band and now versus internet. I had a dinner some weeks ago with some 45 radio people from past and present and it was Graham Gill sitting nearby. First thing he talked about was the very emotional meeting early this year in Amsterdam with you Rick and your girlfriend. It really was if we sat there that morning in the breakfast restaurant, as we did see each other every day in one
family. Good memories. Big ways to share memories in radio. Anyway 2006 was a very special year of seeing people for the first time, doing some reunions but above all a very warm year of seeing honest people. Please enjoy the Christmas period as good as possible with all best wishes for the Christmas season.‘
December also saw new names inducted to the Hall of Fame. The Radio Academy added the following persons, who all made a career within the British Industry: Tony Windsor was inducted along with Simon Mayo, Jimmy Saville, Anna Raeburn, Brian Matthew, Linda Smith, Eamonn Andrews, Hattie Jacques, Jimmy Clitheroe, Al Read, Barry Alldis, Betty Marsden, John Timpson, Peter Brough and Archie Andrews, Peter Jones and Pete Murray.
Time to say hello to Jan (Captain) Harteveld from RNI’ days. I’m sure that all the former RNI deejays and crewmembers, who are reading the Knot International Report, (and I can say that there are a lot who do), are 100% behind me as I say that we hope you will recover soon from your heart surgery and that you may have a long life! We all have good memories to you as a person.
In the early December edition I mentioned that with Christmas the interview Tom Mulder did, way back in 1976, with Paul Kaye would be on internet in the programming of the Oldies Project. But due to too much work on several things the programmer is unable to include it in the program. However it will be on internet to download before Christmas with a lot of thanks to Chris and Mary Payne at: www.radiolondon.co.uk
December 5th, during night hours, ZDF television repeated a documentary from 30 years ago in the serie ‘Persons, persons’. This issue brought ‘Between Shalom und Salaam’, a portrait of Abie Nathan. A 35 minutes special which highlighted the humanitarian work from Abe as well as his work with the Peace Ship. Saw a lot of known people in the program including Don Stevens, Crispian St. John, Bill Danse, Steve Gordon, Buck, Robin Banks and others. Want a copy just write to email@example.com
This month it was 30 years ago another wavelength change happened aboard the MV Mi Amigo, then the home for Radio Mi Amigo and Radio Caroline. It happened on the 11th of December and Radio Mi Amigo went from 259 (1187 kHz) to 192 metres (1562kHz). They hoped to get the signal better into Holland and Belgium for a longer period of the day. My logbook tells me that there were a lot of small and bigger changes within programming and the deejay team around that period. Some mentioning to refresh the memories of those living in mentioned countries and to the avid Radio Mi Amigo listeners in England. Just a week before the wave length change Jan van der Meer, newsreader, made his departure after working almost a year for the station. He was later arrested and had to appear for court after ‘illegal’ broadcasting in the town of Hardewijk and had to pay a fine of 1000 guilders, which was a lot of money in those days. Jan van der Meer was, next to newsreader, also live broadcaster almost for the whole of 1976 next to guys like Tim de Ridder (Bart van Leeuwen), Marc Jacobs and Frank van der Mast. Same month we saw also the departure of Joop Verhoof, long time station manager and the last one left from the original team, who start the station on January 1st 1974. Prior to that the late Joop Verhoof worked on Radio Caroline as well as on Radio Atlantis. It was on Friday December 10th he was heard for the last time in the program ‘Stan Haag Vandaag’ which he presented as stand-inn. After his program finished the voice of Peter van Dam, program director, was heard saying goodbye to all the listeners on 259 metres which was followed by a lot of the ‘259’ jingles. At 12.04 CET it was silence on the Mi Amigo frequency. The next day at 12.00 CET again it was Peter van Dam, this time to be the first voice to be heard on the 192 metres. Very surprising to hear were beautiful new jingles recorded by three different groups: Rogue, Catapult and Octopus and it gave again a fresh new sound for the station. In the week before Christmas the lads on the ship were very busy as the taped programmes from the studio’s in Playa de Aro hadn’t arrived and so Marc Jacobs and Frank van der Mast presented a lot of hours live from the Northsea. Christmas day started with non stop music until 11 in the morning when special Christmas shows commenced with Stan Haag, Peter van Dam and Bart (all recorded in Spain) and a long and well remembered program from the lads aboard the MV Mi Amigo. Just after Christmas we heard the very first news reader from Belgium, Hans Brouwers and he was the last new one to come aboard in 1976! Yes, all memories from 30 years ago, seeming just round the corner of our memories.
I was however not the only one thinking back to 1976 as Theo van Halsema, who runs a memory site on the subject ‘Radio Mi Amigo’ wrote to me: ‘I still remember that on the 4th of December that year, it was my mother’s birthday, I was – after visit left – helping her with the washing up. Of course the radio was on and the 259 spot was a regular one in those days. It was around six in the evening the signal was fading but I kept on listening. It was during the time in the kitchen I heard for the very first time the promotion spot for the wavelength change. I was 15 years of age and on December 10th I arrived at the end of the morning from school to switch the radio on to listen to the very last hour on 259 metres. In those days I also had, together with a lad out of the neighbourhood, an additional job bringing vegetables and fruit around on a bicycle carrier. I lived in a small place near Bolsward in the Province of Friesland. On the carrier of course we had also a transistor radio which was always tuned into the signal of Radio Mi Amigo. However on Friday December 10th we listened with dislike to the program from Hilversum 3. The wave-length change from 30 years ago is for me one of the most impressive moments out of the history of Radio Mi Amigo. ‘ http://members.home.nl/theovanhalsema/index.html
Talking about Mi Amigo, a station which has transmitted on several wavelengths in the seventies, will be remembered by internet radio Radio Mi Amigo 192. Next to their normal programming there will be two other ‘Mi Amigo’s’ ‘on air’ this Christmas. One will be called Mi Amigo 259 with a non stop programming with Christmas atmosphere and a Mi Amigo 319 which will be programmed with original shows from the station in the seventies. Thanks to modern techniques the voices from Mi Amigo legends like Peter van Dam, Marc Jacobs, Ad Roland, Ferry Eden, Dick Verheul, Ton Schipper, Peter de Vries, Kees Borrell, Ad Roberts and Maurice Bokkebroek will be heard again. www.radiomiamigo.eu
Radio Phoenix were mailing around they would be on air without mentioning the internet site where they would be on so I reflected and got an answer back from the team on December 11th:
‘Good Morning Hans!, Yes your quite right! What a mistake to make! Ok here is web address if you like to update before print/re-print. http://www.phoenix-am.nl and of course email address as well- firstname.lastname@example.org which is good idea to add as well. I had fun over the weekend, I don’t know if your heard us? We had a few problems here and there. We did announce web addy and the email addy, after total count after transmission...(always keep the log) through out the weekend there were 20 ip addresses that stayed with us from Friday evening all the way through until close early this morning. I counted 8 ip addresses that kept calling back and remained for approximately 2 hours each so Hans it was not bad at all, quite enjoyable playing the music and the free radio programs etc. At the moment there will be just my self and Gary Drew running programs and looking for fillers to put into playlist to cover lack of deejays. Anyway Hans, that’s how far we've made it, between today and the 18th will be test programs. As we both agreed the project should really have been put together at least 12 months ago ..but we'll keep going until we get it right. Thanks for memory jogging!, The message was sent out in the early hours so being very sleepy at the time answering that question. .By the way we did give you a mention!, Ok Hans thanks again bye for now. Best Regards. Simon James.’
Thanks lads and good luck with your project. One thing I don’t during the weekend is listening into radio. Reason is I’m always busy writing with several things including the reports, so the weekends are for playing a lot of music!
Surprise as Roger Day is going Auntie: ‘Firstly Happy Christmas. Now the big news. I'm changing direction from January 1st 2007. After 40 years of playing commercials I'm joining the BBC. Based at Radio Kent in Tunbridge Wells I'm on 19.00-22.00 Mon -Friday. It will be music based and broadcast over Surrey, Sussex, Hants, Oxford & Berks. So a huge TSA. The way I look at it, if it's good enough for Johnny Walker and Kenny Everett I'll be OK. I will also be doing a Sunday programme 14.00-17.00 but that is only to Kent, and I shall continue my Fifties and Sixties programme at Saga, West Midlands. So I'm a busy boy, but it is all very exciting. Be nice to be living at home and not out of a suitcase again. Hope you can catch some of it. Seasons greetings. Roger Twiggy Day.
Surprise it was receiving a photo from Mike Hayes. A few years ago one of the guests on the annual Radio Day and he was in London lately to meet another former Radio 270 guy, Guy Hamilton. Still going strong those two!
Guy Hamilton and Mike Hayes 2006.
Well time for an update for the long list with nicknames. This time from RNI as well as Radio Caroline. Thanks goes out to Rob Hudson for mentioning a few in his last program way back in 1979: Tom ‘Right’ Hardy, Tony ‘Yahoo’ Allen’, Stephen ‘Ding Dong’ Bishop and Herman ‘onze baron’ de Graaff. Johnny Jason named himself ‘the friendly ugly prum’. I heard also in an old program from 1973 Tony Berk from RNI Dutch service mentioning that Jack Aalten was named ‘Alie’ by the people on land.
I asked Johnny Jason why he used this nickname and he came back with: ‘Hans, marvellous to hear from you...however, I don't know where you got that strange name from, maybe it's referring to some other Johnny, certainly nothing I've heard before!? Otherwise, I haven't won the lottery, so still doing my bit here at BBC World Service and thoroughly enjoying it as well. I had a very pleasant surprise the other night, when I went along to the Chelsea Arts Club for supper with my sister, the first person I met on arrival was none other than the great man himself, Ronan! We didn't spend too much time together, but it was super to see him again, he didn't seem to have changed at all in all these years. Those were the days! Have a lovely Christmas and hope to see you when the next reunion comes along. JJ’.
Thanks JJ and have a good Christmas too. Anyway the recording is 161 Mb and far too much too load up to you versus internet. But it’s realy the only Johnny, better known as ‘JJ’. Anyway another memory came to me today that is Andy Archer or yourself phoning me in 1973 if I had a proper recording of yourself as you want to sent a demo-tape to an American radio station for a planned interview. Do you remember, let the memories flow. As always Hknot@home.nl and if you want to sent photos please use email@example.com
Well I want to finish this last report for 2006 and won’t be back to soon as I really want to slow down a bit during the Christmas period and the first week of January. So I wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with a lot of memories to 2006. Really this was a big year and once again all the Voice of Peace guys, I won’t forget the marvellous reunion we had this year. And soon we hope to reveal which will be one of the guests for the next Radio Day on November 10th 2007.
Till next year, all the best, Hans Knot.
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Radio London Commercials
Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990
Read Hans Knot's former report