Hans Knot's International Radio Report - July 2006 (1)
Hello and welcome to one of the summer editions of the Knot International Radio Reports and once again thanks for the enormous amount of mail, which came in during the past weeks.
There we are with an answer to a question from a reader in last issue concerning a board game on Offshore Radio. Answers were coming in from England, Australia and Ireland. ‘Pop Pirate Game’ is the one you were looking for. It was produced by Music Radio Promotions way back in 1977. Behind Music Radio Promotions were several persons including Mike Baron and Nick Oakley. They organised Flashback 67, to remember 20 Years of MOA in an hotel near Heathrow. Several hundreds of people gathered a few days together to memorise, which still ranks as the biggest Offshore Radio Convention ever organised. Over 700 fans were at Flashback 67 over the weekend. Also interviews were made during dinner and Robbie Dale was the interviewer. The tapes were brought out to the Caroline ship and transmitted in a special program on both Radio Mi Amigo and Radio Caroline. I think it was on Flashback 77 Pop Pirate Game was first published. Chris Edwards from Offshore Echoes sent me an internet dress whereby I could see that the game was for sale for 20 Pounds to start with, although no bid was given on June 10th. So Chris in Thurnthorpe must be happy to see the Knot International Radio Report solved his question on the day the last issue of the report came out.
Strange enough a year later it was the same Music Radio Promotions who organised, together with Frans Schuurbiers of RadiVisie and the team of Hans Knot (Freewave Media Magazine) the convention 'Zeezenders 20' at a Congress Centrum 'Leeuwenhorst' at Noordwijkerhout. During three days it was again a festivity of reunion and memories. Pop Pirate Game was not for sale there as it sold out by Christmas 1977.
The Pop Pirate Game
But also an answer came in from Mike Baron himself: ‘Chris from Scunthorpe asked in your June 2006 International Radio Report about the ‘Pop Pirates’ game. It was made in 1977 by Music Radio Promotions and was distributed by mail order. One thousand copies were produced and advertised in magazines like Radio Guide and Wavelength. Selling price was £9.99 plus p&p. I no longer have a copy of the game but reproduce below the instructions for the game:
THE POP PIRATES GAME *A BOARD GAME BASED ON THE PURCHASE AND RUNNING OF AN OFFSHORE 'PIRATE RADIO STATION'
TO BUY COMPONENTS FROM THE BANK AND RUN A SUCCESSFUL STATION!
PREPARATION: Lay the board out on a large table. The four packs of cards - Problem Cards, Inside Territorial Waters Cards, Advertising Contracts and Audience Rating Cards are shuffled then laid face down in their respective positions on the board. Each player has a token which is placed at the 'start', and a ship which is face down in front of him. One player is elected as Banker. He looks after the money and various component parts of the radio ships.
TO START THE GAME: Each player throws the two dice in turn, in order to raise sufficient capital to start the game each player must throw a double. He is then given 50,000 by the Bank. If after six throws a player has not thrown a double he is awarded 10,000 times the throw of his dice, with which to play the game.
PLAYING THE GAME: Each player uses two dice while on land, and only one dice while at sea. The token should be moved by the number of squares indicated by the dice. After he has completed his play, the turn passes to the player on his left. According to the square reached by the token, the player can either buy a ship, an aerial, a transmitter, a captain, a crew, an anchor or a disc jockey; or he may win an advertising contract, or have to take a problem card.
PREPARING RADIO SHIPS: Before a player can buy anything, he must land on a square where he can buy a radio ship. He must pay to the bank the amount shown on the square. He then turns over his radio ship plan. As he buys component parts from the bank he places them in their respective positions on the plan. His objective is then to land on squares where he can buy equipment or staff. Before putting to sea a player must have: 1 Radio Ship, 1 Aerial Mast, 1 Transmitter, 1 Anchor, 1 Captain, 1 Crew, 3 Disc Jockeys (these are the minimum requirements for a radio ship to be at sea, in case of emergency radio ships my also carry 1 Spare Anchor, 1 Spare Transmitter, 1 Standby disc jockey).’
Well many thanks for sending the instruction Mike and good to hear from you too.
One of the answers to the board game came from Australia. Here’s what Colin Nichol wrote: ‘I have a very vague recollection of a pirate radio game, but it is from long ago and it's easy to think you remember something when you don't. However, the phrase ‘build your own pirate radio station’ in connection with a board game does ring a bell. Another thing this story reminded me of, is that there was an episode of a popular TV series filmed on a pirate ship or fort, as I recall. I'm sure others remember that - was it ‘The Fugitive’ or perhaps ‘The Avengers’? Best regards, Colin.’
Hi Colin, thanks for replying. I found it already. It was sold in the seventies, as you see above. The 390 fort, ‘Red Sands’, was used for the series 'Danger Man'. The episode was called ‘Not so Jolly Roger’. The Shivering Sands was used for the movie ‘Slade in Flame’, featuring Tommy Vance. The London ship was used for ‘Dateline Diamonds’. The Rem Island (RTV Noordzee) for the German Series ‘Tatort’ and the episode ‘Trimmel und der Tulpendieb’. Well who has more to mention: Hknot@home.nl
In our last issue we mentioned that Rob Out gave Juul Geleick the nickname ‘Precies’ (Exactly) on Radio Veronica. Juul wrote in and told me that he didn’t remember and asked for more information. It was on one of the many Veronica recordings in my archive that Rob Out that Rob gave a time check (for instant 3 o’clock exactly (Dutch: precies), Adding to it that it was the same as our technician Juul ‘Precies’ Geleick.
Last issue brought also the question who knows ‘Willem’ who was in the team that towed away the MV Mi Amigo from international waters into Holland. No, we don’t have an answer on that one but one of the many former deejays from Caroline is reflecting on the question as follows: ‘Oh. not Willem. Fortunately. But you reminded me of a few people from the winter of 1974 who don't seem to get a mention, but who was an integral part of life on the MV Mi Amigo. First, Captain Donald. He was a decent sort of Captain. Would sometimes come into the studio with an Old Jenever (strong Dutch drink) for me. He was quite a young man by the standards of captains. I bet he's still around somewhere. Second one to mention is Jos, the cook. He reputedly came from a 5-star restaurant in Amsterdam. The meals were absolutely first class during his stay. He had a special way of serving red cabbage that I will never forget and have often tried to imitate, so far without success. I tried to learn Dutch from him but became discouraged after he taught me some bad expressions and told me they meant quite ordinary things...Third one is 'Brick', the electrician. He was named after the Jethro Tull album. I can't recall his actual name alas. He messed up and left the 180KW Deutz generator running on the bus bars when I had to do some major power cable work on them. At night I was blown across the engine room into the bilges.’
Thanks Clive, and so to those who were out there in Radio Caroline as well Mi Amigo country, please reflect and tell us more on the guys mentioned above!
Then time for Rodney Collins who does remember too the Prinsengracht place in Amsterdam which is mentioned already 4 times during the past months. The place where I found the archive from the late Carl Mitchell, which was untouched for 36 years: ‘Yes, Hans, I remember the Amsterdam Prinsengracht flat as well, with Stevie and Co - and Alan Clarke as well. I remember actually being asked to vote in a General Election for Alan in those proxy days when he was ‘away’.........I won't tell you how he asked me to vote! At one point he and I lived quite close to each other on the Surrey-Kent border. There were many discussions well into the night in those days. I was on Record Mirror at the time and over there every three or four weeks I guess. Rodney Collins.’
Wonderful to know more and more remember the place in Amsterdam.
From Dunedin David Miller, who has followed Hauraki a lot, answers on the information given by Paul de Haan. Paul mentioned that he heard from David Gapes in an interview that the Tiri I is used as a houseboat. It was already in the late eighties that vandals have burnt out the hulk of the ship.
I also would like to bring to your attention that an official Radio Hauraki Website covering only the offshore days will be on the web soon connected to the website of ‘The Radio Heritage Foundation’ here is the website. www.radioheritage.net
Reader and good friend Marcel wants to give a mention to a platform on internet where shortwave enthusiasts are exchanges memories, ideas and technical info. Also he’s mentioning some other internet sites concerning shortwave pirates:
We now go over to a long answer to Paul de Haan's comments on the stations aboard the MV Olga Patricia (Laissez Faire) in 1966 and 1967. It’s coming from ‘The Cabal”:
"In his comments about the idea of automated stations aboard the Olga Patricia, Paul de Haan made a few observations, one of which was that ‘the Olga
Patricia project was totally disorganized and came too quickly into Europe. A well missed chance.’ In reality the Olga Patricia came too late. When Don Pierson first planned the venture in 1965 he went to the number one manufacturer (at that time) of transmitters who were Continental
Electronics with offices and factory near Dallas, Texas (about 150 miles away from Don.) Continental were under contract to the US Government building the powerful US submarine communication facility among others. It was from the Continental slogan for this and similar operations that Don lifted from their brochure the words ‘World's Most Powerful’ for SRE/BR - because Continental claimed that they could build the most advanced and most powerful offshore commercial operation for Don Pierson.
Part of the plan was to build and install the transmitters and studio equipment at the factory and then simply install them into the holds of the ship. The antenna was built by them as a swinging boom - quite unlike the cage antennas seen on most of the later Olga photographs. I am attaching a picture of the Olga Patricia in Florida before sailing for England and you can see the antenna in question. There are also pictures of its installation that we loaned to OEM some years ago which show the antenna being installed.
OLGA PATRICIA IN FLORIDA Photo Pierson archive
The fact that the entire installation was a nightmare raises questions about the US defence industry, more than about Don Pierson. If the US Government and its military were relying upon this company and its technology - well, wouldn't you have assumed that these guys were number one in their field? In the John England tape interview of 1985 and in the article he wrote for OEM about all this, Don narrates how the antenna came down and how Continental shrugged off responsibility - while bills kept mounting for a broadcasting radio ship that could not broadcast.
Then Paul de Haan wrote "I had brought the ship to the Dutch coast with two stations aboard. A unique offer in those days for the advertisers over here. No, they decided to hire a guy from South Africa, Basil van Rensburg, to do the job. However he didn't't know how radio works in this part of the world." This gives the impression that Don Pierson hired Rensburg, but that is totally false.
The investors behind SRE/BR were split into three basic camps and almost every one of them was in Texas. A decision was made to hire (employ) William E. Vick, just as Philip Birch had been hired (employed) and that he was to set up a London based shell company (as a front) and ironically the two shells faced each other on Curzon Street. Birch had been nominated by a Ford dealer and investor because Birch had worked on Ford accounts for J. Walter Thompson (at the same time that H. R. Haldemann - Nixon's right hand crook, had been there before going to the White House and then prison.) The Galaxy was misspelled by the British ship sign painter since the American Ford product was ‘Galaxie’ - not ‘Galaxy’.
Unlike Birch, Vick knew nothing about advertising and so Vick followed Don's example and sub-contracted everything to Britain's number one ad sales company - RBI (a subsidiary of Pearl and Dean.) That is who Rensburg worked for. RBI had an exclusive contract and Don became furious when RBI failed to deliver, because Don knew how much his investment in WRL was bringing in. But when Vick had the chance to break this exclusive RBI contract, he signed on again to give them another chance on the Dutch operation. Vick lied to the investors and kept telling them that sales were picking up but Don was doing his own accounting and disputing what Vick was claiming. But the Wichita Falls investment group gained control and followed Vick and shut out Don!
But even RBI was against the ‘Radio Dolfijn’ name and told Vick to call the station ‘Radio 227'. But what did Vick do? He hired a disc jockey (Curtiss) as his right hand man to work with Rensburg. Meanwhile a faction of the investors who had wrestled WRL away from Don's management (he was still an investor) and had backed Birch over Don and Ben Toney, had left Birch with his own agenda and he turned his shell Radlon company into its own active business with all kinds of side deals. Don now began to wonder in writing when Vick, Curtiss and Rensburg took the venture right down the plug hole because of stupidity, or whether someone else was deliberately sabotaging the entire London end. The finger pointed to the operation at number 17, across the street from number 32.Even when a faction of the Texas directors gave Don a mandate to go and take over the whole thing to get the sales moving, the group in Wichita Falls stood in his way and continued to back Vick. But the Wichita Falls group were also heavily involved with Birch! Ben Toney was told in writing by Tom Danaher that the Wichita Falls investors hated Don and because Ben was tied to Don, only Tom Danaher had been able to save Ben Toney's job at WRL! (Yes, we have the letter!)
But this is not all. We have now added to Wikipedia the other and hitherto unknown side of this story. We waited to see how the second generations of Pierson and Vick would handle this touchy topic. Well, they sidestepped it completely. We can see why Ron O'Quinn stayed away from the SRE reunion in May in London. Ron has already made his negative views known about Don on the Internet, and they are sort of like the total smear fiction spun by Johnnie Walker on the Steve England taped story of SRE. It was amazing to see Johnnie turn up, even if late. John Ross-Barnard was there and he had also made unfavourable comments at the time of Don's death. The only good guy in all of this was and still is, Roger Day. He has always behaved with dignity and honour! (By the way, on some sites it is suggested that Ray Williams, the Liberty A&R man, was the PR man for SRE/Britain Radio. Unless he worked for the Peter Rendall and Associates, he certainly was not.)
In addition to Herbert W. Armstrong and the RBI stories, there was another player behind the scenes of SRE/BR and that was the London public relations firm of Peter Rendall and Associates. Now when it comes to the disaster of the ‘Party of the Year’ and the dismal ‘Swinging 66 Tour’, look no further than Peter Rendall. When Vick screwed up and eventually bankrupted his shell Peir-Vick Ltd Company, Rendall flew into a rage because he was not paid. (That is Rendall - not Randall as in Rick Crandall/Randall.) So Rendall, knowing that Vick would not pay him began to blackmail Don because he had been president of a bank where WRL, SRE and BR began and Don had stayed at the Hilton where the party had been staged. If Don did not pay Rendall, then Rendall would turn on a flood of smear publicity against the entire operation to cause it to crash and then blame it all on Don. Yes, friends, there was blackmail going on.
Don relayed all of this to the legal side of the SRE/BR operation in Texas and to the Wichita Falls crowd backing Vick (led by Pierce Langford III.) By the way, I have ALL of the proof for this story in the players own words in writing! Pierce Langford III was tied to the political career fortune of the late US Senator John Tower and even Langford's son became an intern for Tower, who became a very powerful man with ties to military intelligence and defence spending. At this stage in his career Tower was just about to get going and of course during one of his visits to London he stopped in at number 32! The subject of John Tower was the only topic that made Don touchy in the interview conducted by John England. When John brought it up Don immediately signalled for the recording to be shut off while new ground rules were established: no more talk of John Tower, or else!
So before we hear any more from darling Jack Curtiss, perhaps he would do everyone a favour and tell us all what he knows about the screw up (and or conspiracy) involving William E. Vick and perhaps his buddy across the street at number 17. Remember, Birch had his own deals going in music and for a time in broadcasting with the UKGM project. That was 100% Birch and that was the reason why Birch dropped it like hot coal when Reg Calvert was shot and killed by Oliver Smedley. UKGM was not Don's project and it did not originate in Texas.
Documents seem to indicate that Vick and Curtiss initially disregarded advice from RBI (who wanted SRE to become Radio 227) and instead Vick and Curtiss set up Radio Dolfijn. Now did they simply sign a new contract with themselves under another company registered in Holland, or did they just lease out the SRE transmitter to a Dutch company (like the later Caroline/Monique arrangement)? Were they trying to borrow from the Birch playbook with UKGM and set up their own side venture? Obviously Dolfijn bit the dust and eventually Radio 227 did come on the air, but it was too late.
If you will recall, everyone expected SRE to continue overnight and ’Swinging Radio Holland’ to take over the day part. RBI in their report to Vick (which we have), told Vick that Radio Holland was in use as a Dutch business name. But even so, SRE went off the air completely and Radio Dolfijn took over. So ask Jack Curtiss: was this interim brainwave a total lease of the 227 transmitter and if so, to whom? To Bill and Jack and/or their friends?
Obviously they could not afford it and so Radio Dolfijn was soon no more and the problem was back in Vick's lap - only he had gone bankrupt. That is when Don was told under a written mandate (we have a copy of it!) to go over there and to kick ass (so to speak.) But when Don tried he found the Wichita Falls investors getting in the way and that the RBI contract seemed to be still in effect. That is one reason why the whole operation was then turned over to a brand new company headed by Ted Allbuery in an effort to legally break these contracts that Vick had signed.
When the ship came back to Florida, Continental sued Don and Don won and walked away. Even Vick sued Don for lost income during the course of his employment. Meanwhile Philip Birch walked away with cash in his pocket, a British broadcasting license and a few letters to stick after his name courtesy of the British Establishment. Don hated Birch and he despised Vick. It is therefore ironic to us that this so-called 40th Reunion is painting up a picture where everyone is lovey-dovey once again while no one is telling the truth! So, go on Hans, ask Jack Curtiss to come clean since he is one of the few survivors who are still able to reveal a secret or two about the days of Radio Dolfijn.
PS: I thought that Jack's own comment that ‘Believe me, there is no way on earth Bill Vick and I would have deliberately left the deejays and crew hungry on a nasty cold week in December 1966.’ Yeah, right on Jack, no wonder you are down under. Now come on fella, tell us all the real story.’
The Cabal. (The Cabal is a group of three friends in the US, Romania and Great Britain (names known by the editor)."
Ok guys thanks a lot and truly I hope some people who were involved will give an answer. Hknot@home.nl
Roger Day Celebrates 40 years Of Broadcasting
This remarkable landmark will be remembered with two events in Lichfield, Staffs and Margate, Kent. They will be in the format of “An Evening With Roger Day”. There will be video clips, photographs, audio extracts and tales of offshore and land-based radio from 66 until today. Much audience participation is anticipated with the chance for questions throughout the sessions.
Among the topics covered will be:
Radio Caroline before and after the Marine Offences Act of August 67. Living in exile in Holland. The closedown in March 68. How he got the nickname “Twiggy”
Radio North Sea International. The Government jamming, being pursued by Scotland Yard, the election campaign of 1970.
On tour with the Small Faces in 66, Beach Boys in 68(Roger is actually on the Live in London Album) and introducing Jimi Hendrix on stage and many other top stars.
Thirty two years of Commercial Radio from Piccadilly, Manchester in 74, via BRMB, Radio West, Invicta FM. Pirate FM, County Sound, and now SAGA 105.7 fm in Birmingham.
Roger is looking forward to meeting listeners and colleagues from those 40 years. Tickets are £10.
Friday 28th July at 7.45 pm: Lichfield Garrick, Staffs 01543412121
Saturday 29th July at 7.30pm: Margate Winter Gardens, Kent 01843296111
Roger Day Celebrates 40 years Of Broadcasting
Time for more Swinging Radio England as a new excellent double cd is out now! Let us see what Andy Sennit from Radio Netherlands has to say about the double CD from OEM
The Radio England Story
A double CD documentary from Offshore Echo's
Review by Andy Sennitt
Publisher: Offshore Echo's, PO Box 1514, London W7 2LL.
Producers: Chris Edwards, Steve England
Price: £21.99 (€33.52) including postage and packing in Europe. Online ordering via website.
There's still a great deal of interest in the offshore radio stations that operated off the British coast in the 1960s. There are many websites devoted to these stations and their personalities, but much of the content consists of old audio recordings, photos and memories. Many of the LP's, CD's and videos that have been released over the years are little more than an opportunity for people to indulge in nostalgia. But every so often, there comes a production that offers more than mere nostalgia, and the Radio England story, the latest production from Offshore Echo's, is one such example. This double CD is a well-researched documentary that tells the full story of arguably the most interesting of all the 1960s offshore stations, Swinging Radio England. SRE was fascinating because it lasted just six months in 1966, the year when England won the World Cup and there was a feel good factor that's difficult to explain unless, as I did, you lived through it.
What made SRE different from all the other stations - and led to its rapid demise - was that it was an American radio station transplanted across the Atlantic. About half of its DJs were young guys who had worked on small stations in the US, and suddenly they found themselves talking to a potentially vast audience in the UK. The problem was that they knew very little about the UK, what their audience wanted, and how to adapt their style to the British audience. Some of them constantly mispronounced the names of people and places, so that to many British ears it sounded like a "foreign station", despite being on a ship just a few miles off the coast. The blame for this non-connection with the audience lay with a guy called Don Pierson, who had been involved with the successful Radio London that had launched in December 1964. Radio London had adapted the American style of radio to suit the UK market, but Pierson thought he knew better, and that the Brits would go for the sound of a real American station. That was a big mistake. Although British music was dominating the record charts in America, and the Beatles were at the height of their popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, the lifestyle in England was quite different. The frenetic, over-produced sound of Swinging Radio England was just too much for many people. SRE's audience never went much above two million, while rival Radio London was getting an audience several times that size.
There is a lovely piece in the documentary when former Radio London Programme Director Tony Windsor explains the moment he realised that Swinging Radio England was not going to be a serious threat to 'Big L'. He met pop singer Cliff Richard in London, and Cliff mentioned that he'd heard that SRE was going to call its presenters "Boss Jocks". According to Windsor, he embraced Cliff Richard and thanked him for the good news. When he went back to the Radio London ship, he told his colleagues - some of whom were tempted to join SRE with the offer of better salaries - to stay where they were, because it would never work. Of course, he was right. In fact, although it sounded highly professional, albeit in a style not suited to its audience, Radio England was very badly organised behind the scenes. At first, the DJ's didn't even have cabins, and had to sleep in the ship's hold. Trying to get advertising was not helped by the fact that they decided to employ a company that specialised in cinema advertising. They had no idea how to sell radio, and sat back waiting for the phone to ring while Radio Caroline and Radio London were out on the streets signing contracts.
Despite the many negative things about SRE, in an attempt to make the station sound more acceptable to British ears, they hired some young British DJs who went on to become some of the most successful broadcasters in the UK - Johnnie Walker and Roger Day. Both later joined Radio Caroline, but SRE must take the credit for getting their careers started. Much more in tune with British tastes was the sister station Britain Radio, which ran an easy-listening format. It, like Swinging Radio England, used a package of jingles from PAMS, the most famous jingle production company in America at the time, but Britain Radio's jingles were much more in keeping with what the British audience liked. I personally think this is the best jingle package ever used on offshore radio, and indeed the same package was later adapted for use by BBC Radio 2, the Corporation's own easy listening station that opened after the offshore stations had been closed.
The documentary goes on to feature the various stations that eventually replaced SRE and Britain Radio - the Dutch-language Radio Dolfijn and Radio 227, and Britain Radio's successor Radio 355. But the majority of the time is devoted to interviews with the people who ran and worked on Swinging Radio England, and these interviews reveal some information that I had never heard before. One was that the US Federal Communications Commission was thinking of banning American broadcasters who worked on offshore stations from getting broadcasting jobs back in the States. Some of the American DJs left SRE for that reason. Whether that was true, and if so whether it was being done at the request of the British government, isn't clear.
Too many offshore radio ‘documentaries’ have turned out to be poorly researched, sometimes biased because of the personal experiences of the producer, and using poor quality audio clips. Most of the audio on this double CD is of studio quality. I did notice one short off-air clip where the interval signal of the old Radio Moscow could be heard underneath - just as I remember it!
I highly recommend this double CD to all who want to understand how important it is to get the format right on any radio station - particularly understanding your audience. Sadly, the same kind of mistakes are still being made today by people who forget that the most important factor in radio is the listener. To his credit, Don Pierson later admitted that he'd got it wrong. In conjunction with the double CD, Offshore Echo's has produced The Radio England Story feature on its website.
We go to Kent where Andy Cadier is living and he responds on a question which appeared in last issue: Hi Hans, ‘I do have some recordings from PrimeTime Radio taken just before their closure. Unfortunately PrimeTime Radio did not close down, it was simply switched off! I should explain that the station's owner Roger De Haan had been unable to secure a 12 year lease on the national UK digital radio multiplex, he had been offered just 6 years with no guarantees for the future. The station was not making any money due to the slower than envisaged take-up of DAB radio, so the business would have needed at least 12 years to recover any past losses and slowly turn it into profitability. The digital transmitter provider (G.Cap) would not agree to this, or any compromise, so the station was closed. Almost all the presentation staff were paid off at the end of December 2005 and programmes continued using old material being played over and over again, with news being provided from Saga Radio
Most ordinary DAB listeners did notice the repeated programmes, but were totally unaware of any impending closure. I did e-mail them saying in effect that they did owe their regular listeners an explanation: They never got it, but a recorded announcement was put on just 3 days before DAB ceased saying programmes were to continue (for a while?) on satellite and cable...and thanks for your support. Considering many of their audience, rated 200,000 listeners, especially bought new DAB receivers to hear PrimeTime they were most disheartened by their couldn't care less attitude, which clearly undid all the wonderful work their presenters had accomplished over the past 5 years.
Perhaps one can understand there being some ill feeling and that if G.Cap wanted their frequency back, they got it, but without any good-will and hardly any listeners, but what a way to go. I still think the 390/PrimeTime Radio format still has a lot going for it, particularly with the inclusion of instrumental tracks, that few non classical music stations ever play these days. The bigger question is: Should the UK's national multiplex owner also be a major radio broadcaster themselves, as they run the risk of being perceived to be manipulating the availability of channels on the national network to their own advantage? Andy Cadier.’
Nickname time again and this time for the Larry’s. First we go to Larry Tremaine from RNI who had several nicknames but the next two weren’t mentioned before. Larry ‘your big boss’ Tremaine an Larry ‘big time hot hot’ Tremaine. Another Larry we found on Swinging Radio England in 1966 and one he used was Larry Dean, ‘your favourite Boss Jock’. On Caroline in the mid eighties we had Dave ‘Dodgy’ Richards and in 1974 on Atlantis we learnt about another nickname: Andy ‘the nervous wreck from the Northsea’ Anderson.
Toby Arnold, one of American jingle pioneer, died on May 8th, aged 76. As PAMS' sales manager, Toby was instrumental in creating the unique PAM’s sound that became so famous and we enjoyed it on several British Offshore Radio stations as well on BBC’s Radio One, when they started in 1967.
It was good to hear again from Thomas Voelkner, here a part of a long e mail he wrote: Many greetings on a warm and sunny Tuesday morning, this time not from London, but from Daun in the Eifel region of Germany, where I moved to some three months ago. I finished my time with WRN in late February and left London to pursue a new job opportunity. I had an offer from the Technisat group (mainly satellite and other receiving equipment manufacturers, but you will know them from the digital radio bouquet on ASTRA, too) for developing a set of radio channels dedicated to audio books, and literature called ‘Radioropa Hörbuch’. Well, and that's what I have been doing over the past three months.
There are three radio channels, one containing novels, classical literature, etc., the second containing crime and detective novels, and the third non-fiction like biographies, economics, "improve-your-life" literature, etc. While some colleagues in our department produce the original soundtrack and operate a ’Radioropa Hörbuch’ audio CD label. The full catalogue can be found at www.hoerbuchnetz.de, I then use the material and edit it in instalments of some 20-30 minutes for playout on the radio channels. Plus production of announcements, trailers, and the scheduling of the whole thing.’
Thomas Voelkner in the studio of WRN in London (Photo: Rob Olthof)
Thanks Thomas well looks like a real change from the hectic work you did at the Vauxhall buildings from World Radio Network through the past 5 years. Hope you have good fun there too. Thomas has also edited a book about the future of international radio, which I will review later this summer or early autumn for the readers of this report and some other internet sites.
We go over to David Lee from Essex with some sixties memories: ‘Hi Hans. Well firstly I must thank you for, as usual, another informative and excellent radio report. I read them all, and nowhere else can you get so much of what’s happening in the radio world and what has happened in a summarised form, together with excellent links. The memories really do flood back upon every receipt of your report.
The last one (June 2006), actually bought back memories of my childhood when I read the name and saw the picture of Robin Garton. Our family enjoyed many a holiday every year at Walton on the Naze, on the Martello Caravan Camp. We must have had 10 or 11 holidays there and during 1965/1966 knew we could always visit the ships of Radio London, Radio Caroline South and Swinging Radio England. In fact I still have my old autograph book, including the late and great Tommy Vance amongst many others. In fact I looked recently to my amazement it still had dark fingerprints from the many D J's on the page where there hands were dirty from the tyres along the side of the ships all over the pages!
As far as Robin Garton is concerned, at the club house on the site there was a resident band Robin Garton and his Band who played most nights, and in fact Robin himself was an excellent drummer. I still have in my very varied collection two of Robin Garton and his band's records pressed on Martello records all those years ago. I wonder if any of your readers share similar memories of those great days of the 60's at Walton on the Naze where you could travel on the pleasure boat ‘The Lady Kent’ from Walton Pier, and if you took the earliest boat, then the daily newspapers and sometimes postage stamps and occasional chocolate bars would accompany you to the radio ships and in return a few 45's were donated to you as a momentum, and I still have a few of those.
Anyway, won't go on too long, but thanks for allowing me to relive the memories of childhood family holidays...with the offshore connections. Take care and love and peace to all your readers. David Lee- Essex.
In last issue we brought the news that Dave Somcox with friends want to do a Radio 270 revival from the MV Coronia. People were asked to cooperate. And so an e mail address was given. One of the people answering wrote: ‘Hi Hans - Chris Dannatt here from Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire UK. I have tried unsuccessfully to e-mail the guy involved with this 270 day - did he mention to you when it was going to happen, as my wife and I - and some colleagues, would very much like to go and see it. I have offered him a number of audio recordings of Radio 270, and the use of the Exhibition Boards from "Flashback 67" (Which I now own) - this was held at Heathrow Airport in Aug 1977, and the boards are still in very good condition. Regards from the UK.’
Oké Chris I’ve forwarded the mail and you’re now a twin of mine having the Exhibition Boards from the 1977 exhibition. Ones from the 1978 Exhibition at Zeezenders 20 are in my archive; the only difference is that I didn’t pay for them by buying them at Ebay. I just took them with me after the convention at Noordwijkerhout as I had made long hours to put all the photographs and newspaper cuts on them in the weeks before.
Chris Faulkner tried his EPG early on Monday morning June 12th and had to write the next e mail: Hi Hans. As always, I hope things are well with you and yours and many, many thanks for your reports, they are always gratefully received. It's great to hear Radio Caroline using the slogan "Radio Caroline on 199, your all day music station" again. Ok, so it's a shame that they are only on channel 199 and not 199 meters medium wave, but, hey, who's complaining? I heard Pat Edison announcing the achievement after playing "Caroline" by The Fortunes, on Monday morning at 8 as I was about to go to work. I sincerely hope that now that they are on the EPG that they will accumulate more listeners and, perhaps this will attract more advertisers, but that they will not become bound by the advertisers as is so often the case. I don't quite think that that is Caroline’s way though. I appreciate that you are busy, so I don't expect a reply to this e-mail. Take care Chris F.
Peter Moore must be lucky after my comments in last issue. At least Peter again one total happy listener.
Talking about Peter he was in the special program on the BBC today when there was the special on BBC Radio Yorkshire with memories to the offshore station Radio 270. In the early evening, after the special programming I got a short enthusiastic e-mail from Dave Somcox: ‘Just to let you know that we had a really good day with the Radio 270 day. Guy Hamilton came along, we had interviews all day with people from REAL radio and we even managed to get Peter Moore live on the BBC. I asked Jerry to give you a mention too because your website led me to some good material. I’ve videoed the afternoon and will see if I can find a way of getting it on to a website! Many thanks again Hans, love to meet you over a beer one day? Cheers Dave.’
Good to hear you had this tremendous day. A beer is always welcome when we see each other one day!
It was late 1967 that Glenn Adams appeared for the first time on Radio Caroline International. He had just two months working for the station but many remembering them as Caroline International, with two stations at the time, was the only one alive from international waters at that stage. He left the station in January 1968 heading for other ideas to earn a living. No one, we thought, would ever hear from him again till last year he approached The Pirate Hall of Fame to tell more about himself. He’s now living in Australia but in the mail to the TpoF he didn’t mention his personal name as well as his nick name. Well very special in the Hans Knot International Radio Report I can reveal that Glenn Adams real name is J.W.Robb and was also known as ‘Groovie Glenn Adams’.
Isn’t strange getting this to known on June 16th 2006. More than 38 years after he left Caroline to go for other things? I can reveal that in the many boxes found at the Amsterdam Heerengracht, earlier this year, original owned by Carl Mitchell, I found a letter from Glenn to Carl dated June 10th 1969. He was then living in Berlin at Meranderstrasse 49. The letter was dated June 10th 1968 and here are some extracts from the letter: ‘Carl, You Yankee Swing! What the f..k are you doing now in Dutch land. Hope this gets you OK. Was in Amsterdam fro three days last week and phoned Johnnie in London. He gave me your address. He said you were doing some things with double busses, but what could you be doing with double deck bus, you bearded wonder. I wouldn’t have a clue!
Letter from Glenn to Carl
After leaving Caroline and it now appears they gave me the boot at the right time, I went to Courcheval via Paris in the French Alps and had a great winter there teaching skiing, the best skiing of my life, in fact the best resort in France – very modern. At nights I worked in one of the clubs as disc jockey. Good for little extra money, but that’s about all. The club was owned by Germans, so hence was invited to go to Berlin at the end of the season with him and his brother (drove a Mercedes of course). I am now working here in Berlin at the biggest club, Eden Playboy. Also sometimes at Big Eden – when I say big, than is it big. Pay is Oké but I want to go back into radio as soon as possible. When I was in Amsterdam I saw Jim Wiggs, the guy from Chris Borden School in San Francisco. He wants me to come back and is arranging work permit etc. If it doesn’t work out I will go to Canada. I was also invited back to Squaw Valley next winter. Didn’t see anyone from Caroline in Amsterdam. Didn’t want too. Oké Weird Beard, write me soon, maybe we can meet and have a beer sometime and my love and kisses. Jim (Glenn).’
But it wasn’t the only letter I opened that evening. One of the many others came from Syracuse. It was typed on letterhead paper from station WNDR, the wonder station at 1260 on your dial. April 12th 1968 it was typed by ‘the village idiot’. ‘Dear Carl. Sorry I haven’t written in so long, but I haven’t had a car to get to the post office or to the typewriter. I received your letters….thanks for forwarding my draft ‘delinquency’ notice. It was good for a laugh. Be sure and have all the important mail forwarded here. I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I may try for a work permit to work in England, as I would rather be over there then here in Canada. I even may try for a temporary job with Ronan’s film organization.
Letter from Bud to Carl
The news is out over here about Manx Radio. It even made Billboard complete with Solomon’s name, saying the station would be on the air in August at the earliest. I want a position with the station, even if ‘what’s their names’ are going to be there, because you won’t have to live with them, just work with them. I agree on a contract, too. ‘Further on the guy went on with: ‘If you are ever at the office, or in Amsterdam for that matter, try and get my clothes and tapes off the ship, if Walker or somebody hasn’t already gotten them. Not much else to say accept Keep in Touch! I may be seeing you in the near future. Please excuse typing; this machine is almost as bad as the one in Caroline’s newsroom. Peace.’ The letter was singed by ‘The Village Idiot, Bud.’ A letter, when you read it again and again, brings in a lot of questions and I have asked Bub Bulloo to answer them, so maybe we do hear from Howie Castle, which is his real name, soon.
Once again some nicknames for the very long list which can be found back at www.hansknot.com. Caroline International gave us ‘Groovy’ Glenn Adams. On Laser 558 first of all David Lee ‘Stoner’ Stone. Followed Chris ‘CC Rider’ Carson, but also Liz ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ West. Finally Caroline International deejay Bud Bulloo gave himself the nick name ‘the village idiot’. Caroline in the eighties brought us, among others, Andy ‘the ticket collector’ Johnson, Simon ‘the cricket inspector at the Kent Cricket Ground’ and Jay ‘the Voice of America’ Jackson. And I think those last three were all under responsibility from Johnny ‘Hello lads’ Lewis.
During the last week of June a hugh fire broke out on the Sealand Fort, in international waters off Harwich. A long exclusive report can be read at Bob LeRoi’s site: www.bobleroi.co.uk/ScrapBook/Sealand_Fire/Sealand_Fire.html
Then to Scotland and Mr. Stevenson: ‘Maybe you can mention in the next report that BBC Radio 4 has a two-part documentary about AFN coming on soon. It'll be at 1130 hrs on the 11th + 18th July. Cheers! Graeme’. Of course the time is the British Time!
Well that’s all for this time. Let’s hope more interesting news, memories, and photographs will be coming in for the next issue which will appear later in July.
Greetings from Groningen in the Netherlands
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Radio London Commercials
Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990
Read Hans Knot's former report