Hans Knot's International Radio Report - February 2006 (2)
Welcome to this second edition of the Knot International Radio Report for the month of February 2006. Also thanks for the many e mails I got and again
I took a selection as well bringing you answers on questions made last time and some other material too. You must be thinking I’m mad that this report comes within a week after the first one from this month. Reason is that there was so many coming in during the last month that, when finishing the last issue already several pages of this one were filled. Next to that sad news was coming in on Thursday February 9th of the passing away of Sylvain Tack, former owner of Radio Mi Amigo. More about that further on in the report.
In the last issue we had the first mentioning in the world of ‘Sports on Offshore Radio’ with the question who knows more. It’s Gerald from Suffolk writing in that, while reading the report he was listening to an old program of Radio Hauraki. In the program a few times announcements were made to visit the special plays from the Harlem Globetrotters. ‘Hauraki tells you not to miss this special performance’, Basketball with some fun and even playing Brother Bones and the ‘go in action’ tune of the Harlem Globetrotters. So who has more?
Oh, Hans Knot has one more. When reading back old magazines for the research on the forthcoming VOP Book I found the next one, which happened on 15.3.1990. ‘At around 15.30 Andy Bradgate switched off the records and relayed the television commentary of the Cheltenham Gold Cup Horse Race for about ten minutes. Afterwards he said: ‘What a downer, he didn’t make it. That was the new single from Desert Orchid and the Non Runners, called ‘Gold Cup’.”
Then one from the diary of John McDonald, which he wrote onboard the Voice of Peace in 1991: February 2nd 1991: In the Middle East the first Gulf War took place. On board the MV Peace it was John McDonald who made – day to day – his War Diary. I read back on February 2nd 1991: ‘Back on 11 am and everything works out fine. Scotland beats Wales in rugby and I’m feeling good until the first air raid sirens go again. It’s 20.20 and a missile hits the West Bank with no casualties. The all clear is a long time coming so I don’t wait. It has been a long day and time for some sleep.’ Yes ‘Sports’ is and was also important during days of war. A few days later John has some cynical words when saying on the 9th that there will be live football on television that afternoon: ‘It’s a shame that’s Israeli Football.
Talking about the VOP project Ger Tillekens, our webmaster at Soundscapes has opened the doors again to the on line journal for media and music culture and some chapters for the forthcoming VOP publication can be found already at www.soundscapes.info
After I made my first comment about this new item, sport on offshore radio, I got three sound files from Germany.
It was Martin van der Ven writing that he has a lot of memories too the connection football and racing teams and Offshore Radio. On the first sound file it was Duncan Johnson betting that England would win the first game for the World Soccer Cup in Mexico against Brazil the next day (7-6-1970) and that England would in this real test make a quick 2-0 and hold on to the end and finally should win with 2-1. Would he still know he did this prediction? I know he loves the game.
RNI’S FOOTBALL TEAM
Then the two other sound files were promo’s for the games the Dutch Radio Noordzee team played on a regular base in Holland, sometimes in big stadium as a fore play before an official big match. Within the Radio Noordzee team players like: Tony Berk, Piet Römer, Ferry Maat, Ferry de Groot, John de Mol and Ted Bouwens.
On Caroline North it was Canadian Jerry King who told the listeners that, after being 10 months in ‘this part of the world’ and watching a lot of cricket on television, he finally knew a little bit about the play, adding: ‘But if you fed up with it you can go and watch the game I always played when I was young. That is American Baseball, next Saturday in the Oval in Buddington.
Jerry King (Pirate Hall of Fame)
Mary Payne wrote: ‘Regarding your 'offshore sports' idea, there’s an excellent section in the Pirate Hall of Fame about the Radio London Racing team, which explains the reason why the station car ended up being purple and white. Radio London stock car racing was also popular. Thanks Mary and of course we come to the section London and Sports back in the future. We will be back with Mary on an other subject in this issue.
And Rob Chapman is coming back to the horse with the name Radio Caroline, which I did mention in last issue: ‘There was earlier a horse called Radio Caroline than the one mentioned in the newsletter. While doing some research recently I noticed that a horse called Radio Caroline was running in the 3.30 at Beverley on August 30th 1967 (a very significant date for listeners to Radio Caroline North of course!). I checked the next days newspaper in the record office. He won and was 11-4 favourite. See, as usual the sixties version was better.
More and more people, who have worked on the Voice of Peace, are interested to attend the reunion in Amsterdam on November 4th. Soon more about the venue and how to come there. Bill Danse, who worked for several periods on the ship and who originates from Holland wrote in this time: ‘Hi Hans, you wrote about a missionair who went with Abe to Nicaragua. Could it be that it was Father Mac Taqua? In the mentioned period (late 1972 early 1973) Peter Valez and I were the only two persons left on the ship and Abe was away to Nicaragua for a period about six weeks.’
I can tell you Bill that it was not Father Mac Taque but a missionair who hasn’t been on the Peace Ship. Let’s follow the story of how he met Abe and which story is part of one of the many chapters for the forthcoming book on the VOP: After more than 33 years here’s a remarkable story which came in from the USA about Abe in Managua, written by Theo Kuster: ‘My wife and I were assigned as missionaries to Managua, Nicaragua. On the day of the Managua earthquake we were in Ashland, WI, visiting relatives. The morning of December 24, 1972, as we were all packed up and beginning our drive to Madison, to catch our flight to Managua later that week, we began to hear news on the radio: an earthquake in Managua. Each hour of that six hour drive brought in more terrible news, and it was obvious by the time we reached Madison, we would not be going to Managua right away. The centre of the city had been flattened by a tremendous earthquake.
Father Mac Tacque and Ed Simeone on the deck of the VOP in 1972.
Four days after the earthquake, I arrived in Managua. While standing in line for the flight out of Miami, I met Abie Nathan, a man who had a large amount of money in his pocket. He wanted to get to Managua, fast, to help the people. He didn't have any contacts, knew no-one, and could not speak Spanish. I told him that I wanted to get there, also, to help the people. I had virtually no money, but many contacts in the city and could speak Spanish. We boarded the plane, sitting together, and for the next two weeks we worked hand in hand. Using his money and my contacts, we found a truck and driver at the Min. of Transportation.
During the next day Abie and my boys bought truck loads of beans and rice from the government warehouses. Abie road in the truck during the night, down rural roads, to insure that the cargo was not confiscated by the military. In the morning, at a pre-arranged location he delivered the goods to the people. He had the people sit in two long lines. The boys placed sacks of rice and beans every 30 meters along the line. Abie gave the signal and a large crowd was ‘served’ peaceably with dignity in a matter of minutes. We kept this up day after day until the money ran out. Abie Nathan was one of the most compassionate, patient, and real human beings I have ever known. Theo Kuster.’
Next an e mail who simply start with: ‘Don't forget to add my name to the VoP book! I worked on board as an engineer during May and June 1981., Rob Leighton.’ Well Rob I can tell you that your name is in the long list too. More than 250 people have presented programs for the station during the 20 years it was on the air. Thanks for the memories, which will appear in the book and if you’ve more, just write them down.
During the last weekend of January Keith Skues presented a very good program about the rare music played in the late sixties including the link between Radio Caroline and the music of Major Minor Records. He played many rare tracks and also the French Orchestra Raymond Lefèvre was played with ‘Soul coaxing’. He told that both Graham Gill and Andy Archer had used it as a tune. But there were far much more. On our internet magazine for music and media culture there is a very long lists with thousands of examples of music used for tunes, commercials, fillers and jingles on Offshore Radio, a list which more adding is made on a regular base. www.soundscapes.info
When you’re on the main site you see on the right the word ‘Zeezenderdiscografie’ press it and you will arrive in this archive. What could be found about Soul Coaxing? (Barclay and Major Minor) On RNI early 1970 a test transmission could be heard with a duration of 6 hours. Every now and then deejays Roger Day and Horst Reiner changed microphone and when Roger got the phone he used it as his tune. It was also the tune from Andy Archer on RNI and Caroline in 1970. Soul Coaxing was also used in 1973 when Graham Gill did the weekly Kent Request Show on RNI. Two years earlier deejay Steve Merike used it on RNI as tine for his program item ‘Tooth Brushing Time’. The same year Klaas Vaak used Soul Coaxing as a filler on the way to the news on Radio Veronica. In 1978 Radio Mi Amigo’s Flashback show was presented by Nico van der Stee and yes he used it also as a tune. But above all we have to mention the guy who used it first for a short period as a tune. It was Martin Kayne on Caroline North. Five of those guys, by the way, are readers of the Knot International Radio Report!’
Skues responded: ‘Hi Hans, thank you for your e-mail. I was pleased you enjoyed the Major Minor Records feature. Thank you also for sending me the attachment on Raymond Lefèvre. I was not aware his music was used by so many DJs past and present. Always delighted to hear from you. Kind regards, Keith.’
In last issue we had the question from Ronny in Scandinavia about the present whereabouts of Kitty Black, who was involved in Atlanta Projects, early 1964. Two fast answers came on the day the last report went out. First there was Mary: ‘Kitty Black is indeed still alive. I had news of her a few months back. I'll look it out and send it to you.’.
And indeed did forward me the same day an article written by Kitty Black herself in the autumn edition in ‘The Author’ in which she describes the raid on Radio City as well the murder of Reginald Calvert (who she names the trumpet player) and the court case against Oliver Smedley later that year. Wonderful to see so quick and answer on Ronny’s question from last issue. Interested in a copy of the story just asked in an email for the Kitty file stored in Caroline 60’s.
Second one was coming in from my almost monthly reporter from Australia, Colin Nichol, who had far more on Kitty:
‘Hello again Hans. Now we've got Rolf van Brantzoeg sorted out - or his name, comes Kitty Black. Ronny Forslund of Sweden has asked about her in your latest newsletter. I knew her well and we worked together in the early days of Radio Atlanta, the forerunner of British pirate radio. She was one of the small group of original instigators of that. Her book internet entries as forwarded with this detail her book (her biography) which does not mention her pirate days - it goes roughly up to that time but not beyond. Despite my many pleas, she never wrote about those times. However, I did an interview with her about it all in early1984 and am shortly to get that online. She is also in Keith Skues' book "Pop Went the Pirates" (Lambs' Meadow Publications).
Kitty has not answered my last two Christmas cards. If she is about, she would be listed in the London telephone directory in Kensington, at Brunswick Gardens. Kitty was South African born and educated but very much the English lady. She was both influential and greatly respected in the world of theatre. Her friends were names you would see on billboards outside theatres and cinemas. When Caroline took over the situation, Kitty gradually phased out and her life after the pirates concentrated on her theatre work, friends and golf and she retired to her comfortable home in Kensington where she dispensed formidable gin and tonics. Much more I can't think of at the moment. I hope that helps. Ronny, you must be freezing there - it's too hot here just now! Regards to all - Colin Nichol’.
The late Oliver Smedley, the man who murdered Reginald Calvert but was not sentenced. (Photo Freewave Archive)
More on Kitty from Heckington: ‘Hi Hans. As always what a joy to read your monthly news. A favour could you send Colin Nichol my email address please?
I recall his friendship which was *genuine* all those many, many years ago and would love to get in touch with him. Thank you. Also as regards to Kitty Black and the Radio City incident(s), I have somewhere all the newspaper cuttings of the shooting of Reg Calvert. I will hunt them down. Black's housekeeper was interviewed by one paper, so watch this space ok? Reg was known for his terrifying temper but he took a liking to me and I became a close friend of both he and his family and looking back over 41 years it was Reg who gave me my first break into radio broadcasting. If any of your many fans would like to get in touch please feel free to give them my email address. I now have a new pc but alas in the process of transferring stuff over all my addresses were lost. I hope all is well and good with you dear friend. Kindest regards, as ever,
Thanks Tom and I’ve already sent you a personal e mail with more details and Colin’s address. I hope the two have you will have a friendly contact like you had in the sixties of last century. Again nice to bring to guys together after so many years via the Knot International Radio Report.
We go back to England and Boston Manor where Chris Edwards lives. He and his friends from OEM are working on their website and he has a question too:
Caroline - The Fortunes. While putting together our new website - The Radio Caroline Story
We have been trying to establish when Radio Caroline first started using the Fortunes track as their theme tune. Asked Tom Lodge who thought it was around July 65, when "You've got your Troubles" was released. Caroline was released in 1964, so could well have been used earlier. Does anyone know the answer?
All answers questions, photos, memories and news can be sent to Hknot@home.nl
Kruidenier is a name which can be found a lot in the surroundings of Rotterdam and one of them is Ger, who I know since the early seventies when he was a subscriber to a then well known offshore magazine. Ger is reader of the report and wrote this time: ‘Hello Hans and thanks for the radio report, which again I’ve read with a lot of pleasure. It seems to be having fun and every time it comes out I discover little facts from decades ago, which I didn’t knew yet.
Old becomes new again in that way. Although we have a lot of legal pop radio these days I still like it to play old offshore programs from tape. Oh, how great it was when there were real deejays and those fine edited PAMS jingles sounded so good. Maybe it can be interested to know where those deejays from the seventies and eighties have gone and if they’re still active. Where for instant has Tom Collins (Veronica) gone or where are Bert Bennett or Norman Barrington these days? Are they still making radio? To finish off I’ve to say that it’s a pity that nowadays there are stations who use to name their selves Radio Mi Amigo, Radio Seagull or using a name of a former offshore radio station. How much they do their best it just nothing compared to the real stations with those names. Hans, just go on the way forward with your radio reports. Always it reminds me to your earlier publication Pirate Radio News. I still have a few copies left in a box and those must be collector items these days.’
Bert Bennet (Soundscapes archive)
Yes collectors items they’re the old PRN’s. I’ve to say I’ve them all. They came out between 1968 and 1976 and I’m proud to have been part of the editorial staff in those days. Your question on the old deejays of the seventies, where they’ve gone and if they’re still active in radio can be answered with that maybe in the future the guy behind the Pirate Hall of Fame will start a directory with information on the seventies deejays. When it goes on I will help him, together with others, to get is complete as possible. Also you mentioned three names from former deejays, all three readers of the Knot Radio Report too. Tom Collins stepped out of radio a long time ago and runs a business which has nothing to do with radio. Norman Barrington came to the radio day a few years ago talking about his past and present and Bert Bennet is still in radio with RTV Oost in Hengelo. Oh, before I forgot, who can help Herman with a copy of the VOP LP which was released years and years ago. Answers to Hknot@home.nl
Next e mail: ‘Hi Hans and thanks for the latest report, always interesting and informative. Nice piece in last issue from Ian Biggor, about Don Allan. Ian and myself also worked with Don on ERI in Cork in Ireland, those were happy days! Looking forward to the VOP reunion in November, it will be great to meet up with some old shipmates, some I haven't seen for over 25 years! I would love to see the 250 names you are listing as having worked on the Voice Of Peace. Warm Regards, Steve Marshall.’
Thanks Steve and maybe you or Ian have photographs to share from those days. The list will be in the book and it will be maybe a surprise for many who have all worked on the Peace Ship between 1973 and 1993.
Three readers from the report, who also read the Sun in England, informed me about another bad news about one of the former Radio London deejays: Chris Denning is jailed for child sex offences early February - after being tracked down by The Sun. Denning, 64, got four years after admitting four charges of indecent assault on a male under 16. He had a string of convictions in the UK and Czech Republic for similar offences spanning more than 30 years, Kingston Crown Court heard. Denning was involved in a paedophile ring in the early 1970s which included his music mogul pal Jonathan King, who was jailed for child sex offences in 2001. Denning was finally brought to justice when a Sun team traced him to his lair in Austria, where police suspected him of hiring boys for porn movies and gay magazines pictures. He had fled Britain to escape charges of abuse against boys as young as 12 in the 1970s and 1980s.
Steven in Oxfordshire asked if we know anything about the possible future of the MV Communicator. Well Steven it’s not a good news we have as the following things happened the past period: I already mentioned a few months ago that the condition of the ship is bad and a salvage had to be made so the ship would not thing in the harbour. Now the boat is owned by the harbour master at Saint Margaret's Hope, Davey, who has removed and has used or sold about 15,000 pounds of bits off the vessel. And one of my sources told me that this includes several parts of equipment too!
Nicknames can be added to the list again at www.hansknot.com as we have some new ones to mention. I heard Andy Archer mentioning Robb ‘ Heather’ Eden, on Caroline North there was Jerry ‘Kingsize’ King and ‘Prince’ Tony Prince.
Bill Barnes is next: ‘Hi Hans, Just a note to let you know that the March/April Horizon will feature exclusive photos of Caroline ships Ross Revenge & Mi Amigo at sea. Former Caroline engineer Carl Thomson tells in words and pictures of his experiences in 1966 when the Mi Amigo dramatically ran aground and of the station's temporary home on the MV Cheetah II. There's also a round up of the years work on the Ross Revenge, the formation of the new Radio Caroline Society and as always listners and supporters views . Readers around the world can now subscribe online via the Radio Caroline Society web shop at www.radiocaroline.co.uk or learn more at www.horizonmagazine.co.uk
Photos, memories, opinions always welcome for the Magazine to firstname.lastname@example.org
best wishes, Bill Barnes webmaster for Horizon Magazine & The Radio Caroline Society Webshop both supporting the preservation and restoration of the Radio Ship Ross Revenge at Tilbury.
Last time we had a question from Chris Dannatt, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire. He asked which station closed down in 1965 with ‘Hang on sloopy’ from the Mc Coys. I mentioned him that the only offshore station which made a closedown was KING in September 1965 but that I couldn’t think they played that song on the station.
Two days after the report came out I got an answer on this question too: ‘Sounds highly likely to me. Both Roger Gomez and Bruce Holland favoured the track Mc Coys, Hang on Sloopy in their programmes. As I said at the time and repeated it many many times: "If you have enjoyed the programmes on K.I.N.G we invite you now to retune etc ... ah happy daze! JRB aka Larry Pannel aka Pete Ross aka Peter Barraclough (pronounced Barclay).
Thanks a lot for solving the question to John Ross Barnard. Of course I sent the answer to Chris D, so he didn’t had to wait until the report comes out. He reflected on the answer as follows: ‘Hi Hans, I am grateful to you for putting my question into your very excellent report and I am also grateful to non other than John Ross-Barnard who came forward with the answer. I will pass this message on to the very nice lady who asked me. She has recounted some more information about the approximate time when she listened to the station. She and her school friends would listen in daily after coming home from school. It was late summer and they had returned to their college after their summer holidays – on this particular day, and without warning the radio station played the McCoys with ‘Hang on Sloopy’ and then went off air. The girls were terribly disappointed and some cried, as they had listened to this station for some time and come to enjoy the flavour of the programmes. She was a little vague as to their location, but she said it was a happy time for them all and they were great friends. Many thanks once more for these details. Best wishes from Lincolnshire UK, Chris Dannatt’.
In last issue I mentioned again an.update for the list with female deejays mentioning a girl with the name ‘Tracy’ who did her thing on Caroline. Clive Smith had read it and comments: ‘Hi Hans, I was on board the Ross Revenge in 1990 when Tracey was there with Ricky Jones. she was his girlfriend, I think the name she used on air was Tracy Evans. She wasn't a deejay as such, but I think she did the odd voiceover. Ricky was quite good, but went off in May 1990 with Tracy. It was funny really, Tracy had it in her head that Nigel Harris had made her programme controller in his absence, and sorted all the records out for the programmes. On one occasion she burst into the studio after I made a remark on air, "Now back to the dross-Luther Vandross" after playing a segue which included Bob Dylan. Here she laid down the law to me about making negative comments about the music, and she was only 17 at the time. I'd done more radio then than years she'd been alive. Warwick ‘crock’ Dundee remarked on another occasion when she tried to tell Rico what to do that she might as well talk to that sweeping brush in the corner. In the words of Jim Morrison: "Weird scenes inside the goldmine" and "strange days" described those final months of Radio Caroline, and I suppose I was no exception to this,’
Although very vague Tracey on photo ‘out of the blue’ (photo OEM)
Thanks Clive and I can add that a local paper from Kent reported in May 1991 that a local girl (crew hand) Tracey McGovan was picked up from the Ross Revenge by Ramsgate lifeboat at 19.30 on Monday 13th of May. She was taken to Thanet General Hospital, Margate suffering from a prolonged asthmatic attack and was released after treatment. And so you see all those tiny pieces click together to little stories we all want to share.
Now to Florida and a former Swinging Radio England deejays writing in: ‘Hello again, Hans, having written to you before, I will say again how much I appreciate receiving your newsletters and enjoy following the narratives they contain. This month it was a treat to read Colin Nichol's contribution from Australia. He was somewhat of a hero of mine when we worked together on Swinging Radio England in the mid-60's, and he sends me messages from time to time by way of informing me about his current activities. I also enjoyed the story of the early days of Armed Forces Radio in the US, as my commercial civilian broadcast career began while I was still wearing an Air Force uniform, and indeed my first time to work with actual studio equipment was in a closed circuit AFRTS facility in a military hospital in North Dakota while I was recovering from surgery there. I have a couple of questions for you. For one, would you, or any of your readers know of the eventual fate of the good ship Olga Patricia, a.k.a. Laissez Faire from which Radio England and Britain Radio, and apparently several others, operated? I last saw it marooned in a Coast Guard impound site in Miami in the late 60's, but have often wondered if it ever returned to service, or simply ended up in a marine junk yard somewhere. Also, I recall Don Pierson telling me once that Radio Caroline was named after the US President John Kennedy's daughter. Can you confirm this, or know how the station got it's name. If Don's account is correct, I would also be interested in learning why, and who was responsible for making that decision. I assume it might have been Ronan O'Rahilly, but I am only guessing about that. As always, any response you may offer will be sincerely appreciated. Richard (Rick Randall) Crandall - Indian Rocks Beach, Florida USA’.
Thanks Rick and good to see you do enjoy the Knot International Radio Report with the flavour ‘memories’ so much. Good to see you liked also the AFRTS part, it was one of my favourite stations too with AFN Bremerhavn receivable here in Groningen on AM. Then to the question if the Caroline station was named after Kennedy’s daughter. Following Ronan’s own story he saw, while in a plane reading an American Magazine, the laughing face of Caroline on the front cover. This brought him so much fun that he decided to pick her name as name for his coming radio station. However one of my many sources told me some years ago that she hasn’t been on the cover of that magazine but her brother John jr. He did sent a photo as evidence, which I published same years ago.
On the subject ‘what happened to the Radio England ship’ the following is to be find at ‘the fleet’ a very documented part of the www.offshore-radio.de from Martin van der Ven: On 19th August 1967 the Laissez Faire sailed to Flushing (Netherlands) to have the mast removed. On 1st September the vessel set sail for Miami, Florida where it arrived on 22nd September with the mast broken and twisted. The crew on board claimed that the damage happened when they sailed through a hurricane. In 1969 there was a rumour that the MV Laissez Faire was reequipped by the US Government, and was used to broadcast to the troops in Vietnam. In 1970 The MV Laissez Faire was renamed Akuarius II. Four years later, the Akuarius II was renamed Earl J. Conrad Junior and was used a cargo vessel. In the year 2000 the ship is still called the Earl J Conrad, which is the name of the managing director of Heiney Proteins which have owned the boat since 1974. [Information by John S. Platt]
Another source wrote:
‘The references in the Olga Patricia listing are totally incorrect and this includes your latest entry. We have all of the ship’s papers and we have thoroughly researched the history of this vessel. First it was not bought by the party named in your listing. Peir-Vick Ltd was merely a local dummy company formed by William Vick in London - like Radlon Sales Ltd, a front company formed by Philip Birch. Neither company owned a vessel. Second the vessel does not link from 1970 to the present. We have documentation and news story of the vessel in Florida in 1970 - but there were two Olga ships - one was the Patricia and the other had another name. The two vessels have been merged into one ship in the Lloyd´s record - either by design to cover up an activity off Cuba - or by mistake. The Lloyd´s records are not reliable. More on this in the future. [Contribution by Paul John Lilburne-Byford]
There is a mystery indeed about the Olga Patricia because somewhere after 1971 her history was fused with that of her sister ship Olga Princess, and the purpose seems to have been to make the Olga Patricia disappear from view. She was going to be sold by Don Pierson (I have government letters from all over the world), and then she was to have become Radio London off New York, and then Radio London off California (I have maps, locations and investment data). Then she was to have been Don's home base for his Haiti project. But Don Pierson told me personally that he had been told she became a secret relay station to Cuba for a time in the 1970s. [Information by John England].’
As you see dear Rick, we could play Lovin Spoonful again with ‘She’s still a mystery to me!’
Thursday February 9th the police in Oudenburg Belgium announced that they’ve found last Sunday the body from Sylvain Tack in his own house. He is suspected of possible suicide. During the period 1974-1978 Tack was owner and director of Radio Mi Amigo, the station that was transmitting from the Caroline ship MV Mi Amigo. First off the Dutch coast and after the Dutch bill became law in August 1974 off the British coast. After his Mi Amigo period he stayed a few years in Spain, where some of the programs were prerecorded for a period. He also had a restaurant as well as a bar in Playa de Aro. Some years later Tack went to Central America, but instead of starting a new life he became involved in transporting cocaine. On one of his trips was caught on Orly near Paris. Next he was put in prison for some years. After that he thought to start a new business in Belgium selling alternative food and vitamins. During the last years he lived a life of loneliness.
My good friend since the seventies, Chris Edwards, wrote about a special article Offshore Echos have made on the internet: ‘Sylvain Tack is best remembered for Radio Mi Amigo, whose financial input from hiring of airtime on Radio Caroline in the mid-1970's, undoubtedly helped Caroline continue. Since the end of Mi Amigo, Tacks life had not been so good. Five years in prison for drug smuggling and an unsuccessful alternative medicine venture had led to an increasingly lonely life in recent years. When Police found Sylvain Tacks body, at his Belgian home on Saturday 4th February, a possible suicide was suspected. The best memories of Tack are the hugely popular Radio Mi Amigo, artists such as Paul Severs, Joepie magazine, and who can forget the catchy jingles and adverts…. Suzy Waffles… “taste beste”. A tribute to Sylvain Tack, along with an interview about Radio Mi Amigo, is now online at www.offshoreechos.com/Sylvain%20Tack.htm
Dave in London asked me: ‘Have you heard of a good piece about Radio Scotland that was aired on BBC News 24 TV over the New Year? I’m trying to get hold of a copy. Any chance you could put a plea out in the report? Well anyone who has it and could help Dave please write: Hknot@home.nl
Well I think that’s all for this time. Hope you had a good read and it brings up some memories for us to share in one of the forthcoming issues.
Take care, Hans Knot.
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Read Hans Knot's former report