Hans Knot's International Radio Report - July 2006 (2)


Welcome to the second edition for the report in the summer month of July. Here in Holland the weather has been most beautiful, hope it’s also in your part of the world. Also this time a lot of e mails came in and so enjoy this report.

Last issue brought us some interesting internet sites on the subject ‘shortwave’, but there is more. On the Munich American High School website there's been some interesting radio discussions concerning the number counting on the shortwave band and the odd tones at the low end of the FM dial as well a few children of AFN radio personalities adding their info.

In the first edition for July I opened with the Pirate Game and all the response I got on an earlier question from Chris Dannatt. Well he’s a very happy man now as he came back with: ‘Hi Hans - I am now the proud owner of the ‘Pirate Radio’ board game I asked about earlier. Apparently the person who contacted me for any information on the game was actually selling it on eBay. I found it and bought it! It is in very good condition, and has all the relevant bits required to play the game in full. Using a dice and a board layout similar to ‘Monopoly’. The players go around the board picking up money along the way...there are a number of cards which give the players several tasks to undertake whilst getting the money together to put their pirate station on air. The players have to buy a ship, an aerial, a transmitter, and then recruit DJ's to work on the station. Players set a time limit before the game starts, and the player who has either got his station on air, or, the player who has the most money at the end of the time limit wins the game. It's very simple to play, and I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Secondly, I have information on the ‘Radio 270’ day that was planned this month. BBC local radio station - Radio York, set up the tribute to Yorkshire radio station Radio 270 on Friday 16th June 2006. Unfortunately, they left much of the organising very late, and very few people actually knew about the event. They put details on their website, and according to the information, were going to interview ex 270 DJ's Mike Hayes, Guy Hamilton and Paul Burnett, but there seems to be little interest in the tribute. It did not make any of the usual websites - Anorak Nation - Media UK etc, and I consider that they have lost a golden opportunity to give older 270 listeners some real memories. I shall be writing to them and also Yorkshire Coast Radio in Scarborough, where Radio 270 was originally situated, to see if they will be doing a full tribute next year for the 40th anniversary of the closure of the station, with a view to doing the job properly. Chris Dannatt / North Lincolnshire UK.’

Thanks a lot for coming back with the good news on the board game and also the sad news on the 270 program. Hopefully you will be having success to get a better tribute next year.

Fascinating to receive photo’s taken by reader Jaap van Duijn from Noordwijk. Yes, the place nearest to the REM island and he went out with a tiny boat on a beautiful day, way back in 1972 to take some photo’s. An really he climbed the aerial mast on the island. The story behind the trip can be read in Dutch on www.mediapages.nl

In last issue I mentioned the fire on Sealand and made a link to Bob LeRoi’s site. Just before the last issue came out an official report came from the owners of Sealand, versus the editorial staff of the Evening Star on June 26th.

‘Sealand's royal family today pledged to rebuild its ‘country’ - and to repair all the damage caused by the fire which devastated half of the independent kingdom. Michael Bates told the Evening Star the family would not give up its ownership of the former war-time fort and wanted to carry on running it. He was visiting his parents, Major Roy Bates and his wife Joan, the self-styled prince and princess rulers of Sealand, at their home in Spain when he heard about the blaze. Last night he was flying back to the UK to his Essex base, and hoped to visit the old Roughs Tower, seven miles off Felixstowe, over the weekend. He said: "We need to assess the damage and see what has happened. Of course, we will rebuild it. We have done a lot of work in there over the years to make it very nice and it is a big part of our family and its history. But as yet we do not know the full extent of the damage or how this fire happened. I have been told it was fire in a generator and the generator room will be gutted, but how much other damage there is we will have to wait and see. I understand the fire tug was able to pump some water in through smashed windows to the fire, and it appeared to be out very quickly.” The fire tug pumped a blanket of water over the structure all afternoon to try to extinguish the fire. He said there was about to be a crew change at the former gun emplacement - which is manned constantly - when the generator caught fire. He said the man airlifted off by a helicopter rescue crew from Wattisham air base and taken to hospital was called Chris, but would not give his surname. He said the man had inhaled smoke and was undergoing tests at hospital. It was the first time there had been a fire in the chequered history of the 932 sq yard mini-state, which was founded in 1967, and has been home to pirate radio stations and more recently an internet company.’ 

Well one thing is for sure; never a pirate or offshore radio station was active from Sealand.

Then we go back to the Bud Ballou letter, which was published in last issue and was written way back in April 1968 to Carl Mitchell in Amsterdam. I asked Bud several question about the letter and here’s his answer:

Hi Hans: What an interesting letter! I don't really remember writing it because it was so long ago. However, to answer your questions: Did I try for a position at Manx Radio? No. I don't recall what the article in Billboard magazine said, but I never applied for a position at Manx Radio. Who were the persons I didn't want to live with? I don't know. I'm not even sure what I was talking about. I would have to see the original letter Carl wrote to me to which I was replying. Did I apply for a job at Ronan's movie organization, Mid-Atlantic Film (Holdings) Ltd? No. Did I ever get my personal belongings back? No. I travelled back to the UK and Amsterdam later that year and talked my way on board the Mi Amigo, which was tied up next to the Frederica in the harbour. But the ship was too dark and I couldn't see to get to my old cabin. Then a big security guy came along and chased me off the ship! I'm sure my belongings were long gone, anyway. And that was my last trip to that side of the Atlantic for 32 years. The ‘delinquency note’. Was from my draft board advising me that I had missed my appointment for a physical to determine if I was fit for national service. Since I had been in Europe at the time, I rescheduled it. One other note - The ‘Village Idiot’ handle was a reference to a custom-made Bud Ballou jingle sung by PAMS that contained the lyrics ‘The Idiot Show...Bud Ballou!’ I never used it on Radio Caroline, but Carl was familiar with it. I hope this helps answer your questions. I want to add that I enjoyed my time on Radio Caroline and feel proud to be part of a select group. I'm also extremely happy for my shipmates, many of whom went on to long and successful broadcasting careers. The internet allowed us to get back in touch, and I have seen most of them over the past few years. Howie Castle (Bud Ballou).

There were plans for another edition from ‘Muziek uit Zee’ (Music from the Sea) on August 27th this year near and in IJmuiden. The organisation has now cancelled the planned special program as there are some security aspects which can not be resolved in time. For one day former Dutch offshore deejays would do a program from a radio ship from the Northsea and it was claimed this year it would be possible to receive the programming all over the Netherlands. 

The idea was that the fans could also visit the radio ship but then it went wrong as safety restrictions didn’t allow visitors on the ship. And as there was no time to organise another ship for the happening the organisation cancelled the day. They claim to do another attempt in the future.

A few new female deejays to be mentioned for the long list, which can be found at www.HansKnot.com Capital Radio was just a few month on the air in 1970. The station had a registration in Liechtenstein and had also female crewmembers and deejays. Names to be mentioned are Sanny Hsiang Fa, Gerry Preus and Lisa. Thanks to Vincent Schriel these names could be added as well as Marlies van Alcmaer and Nel van Deursen, both Radio Veronica.

Next news about Dave Lee Travis and Emap is to reposition its eight Magic AM stations in Great Britain to tighten their focus on 1960s and 1970s music, and has hired one of the DJs forever linked with those years, Dave Lee Travis, to present a Saturday morning show. As part of the changes following audience research, Emap's Big City programme director Steve King is introducing more networked programming across the eight stations from July 3, although local breakfast shows and local news will be retained seven days a week. With specialist programmes dedicated to the 1960s and 1970s, the station will target a slightly older demographic than previously, of 44- to 59-year-olds. The networked programming includes DLT's 10am-1pm Saturday show as well as Eamonn Holmes' 10am-1pm Sunday show, which is already part of the schedule at Magic FM in London. DLT rose to fame as a pirate DJ on Radio Caroline before moving to BBC Radio 1, where he stayed from 1967 until he was axed as part of a modernisation of the BBC station in 1993. Since then, he has done stints on GWR's Classic Gold stations and BBC Three Counties Radio. 

One of my readers sent in an e mail that they have their own internet station:

‘We have our own website www.radio222.net a tribute site and we are streaming right now the voice of peace story by Abe Nathan. Our station is a blast from the past and seems to have gathered a following even though it's a small following for now, our website will change and continually be updated to the best of our ability. Some time next week we will have installed the sam broadcaster software which should make things easy for us when it comes to streaming many mp3's,we are streaming now!, We are short off deejays right now hence the streaming of free radio and none stop music. When the sam software is installed we will experiment with it and possible invite those interested in doing show to connect from there homes to our server and do live shows! Maybe Hans would like to produce a free radio show? Best Regards Keith’

Thanks Keith and hopefully someone will answer your request for deejays. I have no time to do a free radio show as I’m totally filled with researching, writing as well as doing my work for several magazines. When you have a question, memory to share or something else to write, don’t hesitate to write to me: Hknot@home.nl

Another question came in from Canada: ’I came upon your site today as I was surfing the Internet in search of radio contacts for European markets. I produce a weekly one-hour blues radio show, At the Crossroads, in western Canada and I am seeking radio stations outside of Canada that might be interested in carrying this English-language programme. You can see my site at www.atcblues.ca. If it's not too much trouble, I am hoping that you might be able to suggest some station contacts in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe. It is difficult enough trying to do this in my own country, so you can image how difficult it might be to do so in another nation. Any suggestions or help of any kind would be much appreciated! By the way, I have provided a sample of my show to Island 92 FM in Sint Maarten in the Caribbean and I am hoping that works out. Thank you! Brant Zwicker ATC Blues Network'

So any station who wants to work together with Brant can write him at: zwicker@telus.net

Sometime ago reader Wim de Lang, who’s an avid follower of the one and only original Radio London, asked me if I could do an interview with people of the Oldies Project. http://www.oldiesproject.com

I answered Wim that my schedule is so busy I could not have any time the forthcoming months to do an interview and suggested him to make an own interview which I would love to include in the Knot International Radio Report as well as in the Freewave Media Magazine in Holland and so here’s the result

‘How many people are involved with Oldies Project and can you tell us who they are?’ 

‘At present there are some 40 people in various capacities involved in the project. They can be divided up into three groups. First of all there is the actual team, who are in overall charge of Oldies Project. Secondly there is the engineering crew, who provide us with technical and logistical support and thirdly there is a rather large (and still expanding) group of oldies collectors and music specialists from all over the world who regularly make all sorts of contributions to the project. As Oldies Project is exclusively about music and absolutely not about personalities, there isn’t much I can tell you about the individual team members, except that most of them have some sort of broadcasting background. As far as the team is concerned, Oldies Project is and will continue to be a fun project, devoid of all pretence. For this reason the team members have decided early on that they would prefer to stay in the background. They simply feel it doesn’t serve any useful purpose to come forward as they only want to devote their time to the project itself without having to deal with all sorts of other issues. To provide you with some more insight about the philosophy behind the Oldies Project, let me just refer you to the information about us on the Radio London website: www.radiolondon.co.uk/rl/scrap60/fabforty/oldiesexplanation.html

‘Are they all English?’

‘No. Although some of the people involved in the project are indeed English, most of the team members are from other countries.’

‘How did it all start for you?’

’Well, what can I say; it just happened as a natural progression to what we had been doing privately for some time. Initially the audio stream was only used by a small group of collectors around the world. In fact – and not many people know this – Oldies Project had been around on the internet for roughly a year before we finally launched the Beta version of the audio stream in December 2004. In the beginning we just played around with it without giving much thought to the possibility of going public. This all changed in the summer of 2004, when the group of collectors quickly expanded to such extend that we simply couldn’t facilitate them anymore on the original set up. Once we reached that point we started to discuss the possibility of making the music available to the general public in the set up that exists today. It took some time and a lot of work to formalize the current set up, but even now, at least in our own minds, we still are just playing around with it. The audio stream is still running in Beta mode and on private servers and we have never aggressively promoted
Oldies Project in any way. I guess you could say all we basically did was create the facility, only to be left extremely amazed about the response it continues to generate. Please understand that, contrary to popular believe, Oldies Project was never intended to be a conventional radio station. To this day we still don’t think of ourselves in that way either. Of course, like regular stations we play music, but that’s were the similarity ends. In our opinion, nowadays, radio stations in general are way too much about personalities, egos, listener peaks and money, to give the music the attention it really deserves. At most mainstream outlets the music is merely used as a tool to attract as many listeners as possible and thus generate advertising revenue. By itself there’s nothing wrong with that, but in our mind the fear of potentially losing listeners and the somewhat paranoid ‘play it safe’ mentality of the program controllers that goes along with it, deprives the public of the possibility to listen to much of the wonderful music that has been produced in past decades. One of the main reasons why most if not all mainstream oldies stations sound alike is simply because they are all playing only those ‘safe’ songs that they believe will attract the most listeners. The Oldies Project output is a lot less restricted as we do not have to abide by a playlist imposed on the listener by a program controller who (very often) is clearly too young for his job. To illustrate my point, here are some figures; At Xmas 2005 we played over 1.000 songs released in Britain in 1965. In theory we could have played far more, as in 1965 a total of some 2.700 singles were actually released in England alone. Out of all these records perhaps only some 300 made the charts, and most U.K. radio stations nowadays will at best play only the chart records and ignore the rest. Obviously the same happens in other countries as well. As Oldies Project is privately funded, we do not worry about listener figures and are therefore completely free to play the music we want. As a consequence our playlist is far greater than at most outlets. Rather telling in this regard is the fact that some stations even go so far that they try to get more listeners by advertising that they will only play a particular song once a day. Whenever I hear or read something like that, I can’t help but laugh, as at Oldies Project a song will not be repeated for at least six days. In other words, you can listen to Oldies Project non stop 24 hours a day for nearly a week and still not hear the same song twice! In fact, if we played all the songs currently on the playlist without any repeats, you would have to listen 24 hours a day for several weeks to hear them all and the list still continues to grow. This goes to the heart of our philosophy as Oldies Project was more or less born out of frustration about the repetitive and thus boring output of the regular oldies stations.’

‘The music you play is mostly from the pirate radio days, are you all pirate radio fans?’

‘If you are asking whether the team members are so-called Anoraks, the answer is no. Of course, having listened to a lot of recorded output from stations like London and Caroline as part of our research, we like what the offshore stations were all about, but most team members just aren’t old enough to remember the pirate stations from first hand experience. We do indeed concentrate on music from the sixties and seventies and obviously the offshore stations are closely linked to that same era, so it is somewhat unavoidable that our output is similar to what the offshore stations were playing, but as far as we are concerned there is no deliberate attempt to recreate or revive such a station. Had that been our intention we would never have chosen the name Oldies Project. The main purpose of our project is to demonstrate that there was a lot more excellent music in the sixties and seventies than is currently being played by other outlets and it seems that we are succeeding. We regularly receive e-mails and messages in our guest book from listeners who tell us that they thought they knew all the music of the sixties and seventies until they listened to Oldies Project. I guess the biggest similarity between the offshore stations and our project is that we share the same unrestricted freedom of choice to select the music we want to play and we therefore end up with the same overall feel.’

‘When I listen to O.P. I hear a lot of records I haven’t heard for ages, can you tell me something about the way you choose the records?’

‘First of all, thank you for confirming that we are indeed achieving our main objective which is to revive the songs no longer played by other outlets. The selection process isn’t all that complicated. Although it does involve a fair amount of research, the songs are basically selected in much the same way as the offshore radio DJ’s did when the records were first released. Each song is judged on its own merits. If it was released as a single, either in Europe or the United States, if it sounds good and fits into the overall sound profile of the stream, it will be played, regardless of whether it made the charts or not. It’s really as simple as that. ‘

‘Are all the songs from cd or do you use vinyl as well?’

’Most tracks currently played on the normal Oldies Project rotation are indeed from CD, although we sometimes do use vinyl recordings as well. Unfortunately there still are a lot more songs we would love to add to the playlist, if we could find better quality copies. Although far more tracks are available on CD than most people think, there also are a lot of songs that can’t or won’t be released on CD, because of copyright restrictions or simply because the masters are missing. This becomes most obvious on our weekly Big L Fab 40 show for which we frequently have to use vinyl tracks. ‘

‘Sometimes I hear very rare records, are they coming from private collectors?’

’We have a large library ourselves, but we also do indeed depend on private collectors to help us obtain some of the really ‘hard to find’ songs. In some cases, we also receive rare songs from the artists themselves.’ 

‘Do you have to clean up some of the rare tracks yourself?’

‘The Big L Fab 40 frequently contains songs that simply can not be found on any other format but vinyl. Whenever we need to use vinyl tracks we try to clean them up as best we can. Not all our efforts are equally successful though, as some vinyl tracks are of very poor quality indeed, but most of them we can restore to an acceptable level.’

‘One of the first things people notice is the very good quality of the stream, it never drops out, can you tell us something about the server and the equipment you use?’

’Perhaps the main reason for the lack of drop outs is that, unlike most audio streams, we use our own servers and do not depend on a third party provider. The credit for the quality of the stream goes entirely to our main engineer, Jelle, and Alex, who runs his own web hosting company and is responsible for the server output. Without those guys there would never have been an Oldies Project to begin with and they continue to do a vital and amazing job to this date. Unfortunately, asking them for technical details is just as unlikely to be successful as asking a master-chef for his recipes. All I can really say is that they use the latest technologies to ensure the best possible output. They are constantly looking for ways to improve the signal, and in fact have only recently renewed all the equipment needed to deliver the signal to the main server. ‘ 

‘For me and a lot of other oldies music lovers too, this project would be the most perfect radio station. Have you ever thought about setting it up as a real radiostation on the air?’

‘This is a question which is frequently asked, and the answer to it is: no, but we’re not ruling anything out. If an opportunity would somehow present itself, and somebody made us an offer to relay the stream’s output over the airwaves, we most certainly would give it due consideration, but I don’t think we will ever embark on such a venture ourselves as it simply wouldn’t be practical and also wouldn’t tie in well with the basic philosophy behind Oldies Project. Besides, new technology is introduced every day, and we are convinced it’s only a matter of time before remote access to the internet will be just as common place and widely spread as using mobile phones is today. When this happens people will also be able to receive the audio stream on some sort of mobile device wherever they like, making the need for an on air facility obsolete.’

‘How many listeners do you think you have?

‘’ We don’t really pay a great deal of attention to what happens on the server from day to day. For use it is sufficient to know that there never is a moment (day or night) when nobody is listening and this enough. Having said this, I can tell you that every week several thousand different IP numbers, originating from some 60 countries, are registered by the server log and the numbers continue to grow as do the hits on our website. Some listeners stay logged on for only half an hour or so, whilst others stay tuned in all day. The average listen time of all listeners combined normally lies between 2 and 5 hours a day.’ 

‘Well, last question Ron, what are the plans for the near future with Oldies Project?’

‘No idea! We never anticipated the response we are getting, nor were we prepared for it. We never really gave it much thought either. We will continue to add more obscure tracks to the playlist. Beyond matters relating to content, there are no immediate plans to expand our operation, but – as I explained earlier – we’re open to suggestions.’ 

Well great work Wim and also thanks a lot to Ron at the Oldies Project and good luck for the future. 

Let’s go back to December 1984 when something very strange happened in the history of Offshore Radio: 'The first commercial in Dutch on Laser 558 appeared on December 1st 1984. It was aired at 2.02.GMT and it promoted the magazine of one of the broadcasting organisations in Holland, TROS Kompas. Why would a legal Dutch broadcast organisation want to advertise on an offshore station? The answer lies in the legalisation that has restricted each organisation to only 30 seconds of advertising for their own airtime. As the amount of airtime they are allocated is directly proportional to the percentage of the population of Holland, which they can claim as members of their society, It's very important to such organisations to try to gain as much members as possible, even if that means turning to International Waters to advertise. In an interview on Hilversum Radio, Kees den Daas, the Head of TROS, said that although there is an article in Belgian Law which explicitly forbids advertising on an offshore station, he knows of not such item in Dutch law and he had never heard of anyone being prosecuted for such a thing in Holland. However would TROS be prosecuted for hiring airtime and breaking the Dutch law the penalty would be much smaller than that for violating the new rule regarding their own airtime!.’

That was 1984. It was not only on Laser 558 but also on Radio Caroline that this commercial showed up. I was wondering if there were more such commercials on offshore radio. The other one I do remember is in the early Sixties when the owners of Radio Antwerpen, which went on the air off the Belgian coast from the MV Uilenspiegel, bought airtime on Radio Veronica to tell the listeners that soon a new Flemish offshore station would come on the air.

Who has more: Hknot@home.nl

MV Uilenspiegel Archive: Familie de Caluwé

It’s July but step by step our next radio day is coming ahead. It’s for the 28th year in a row this day is organised and will be in Amsterdam. All information can be found at this address: www.offshore-radio.de/radioday/

Of course the reunion of the former Voice of Peace deejays will attract a lot of people who have worked for the station during three decades. One by one the messages are coming in that they will attend like: ‘Hi Hans, I think its about time I did a reunion, I missed Radio Caroline and UBN recently - so I'm considering attending The Voice of Peace reunion, I wasn’t on board for long but it was an unforgettable experience. ( 1977-78 as I remember). Best Regards, Peter Quinn.’ 

Also the work on the book with memories to Abe Nathan and the Voice of Peace is progressing and an introduction to the book can be found at www.hansknot.com

And I’m very proud to announce that the introduction page for the book has come in from Israel and has been written by Sharona Nathan El-Saieh, Abie’s daughter. She has been assisted by Noam Tal, who cares a lot for Abie these days. 

Next one is from England: ‘Hi Hans, many thanks for the great Knot Report. I always enjoy reading it. I’ve just finished recording a song with Tommy Mandel. He was with the Dire Straits and is now with the Bryan Adams band. He realy is a fantastic keyboard player and has done a great job on the song. I’ll pop a copy in the post for you Hans if you would like to hear it. I’m realy pleased for Radio Caroline getting the ‘epg’. Good luck to them, take care Hans. Nick. www.nickbarnes.does.it

Good luck with the new song Nick always appreciate to hear your songs.

Then a comment on last issue long story about Swinging Radio England. ‘
Hello Hans. I have never before commented on your news letter, even though I have seen some false statements printed, but when I read what the Cabal wrote I became rather incensed. There is a saying that "hindsight is 20 20" meaning that after something has taken place we "see" all of the problems that we could have avoided. I am against any group that hides behind a made up name. For example: The Ku Klux Klan, The PLO, The Cabal. Come out from behind your mother's skirt and be counted. If you believe in something why would you be afraid to use your names. You quoted Cabal as saying, 

"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!"

I stayed away because my doctor suggested that I not go. I have a heart condition, high blood pressure, thyroid problem and most importantly an aneurism. I have decided in the last two weeks that it is my life and not my doctor's so I have rescheduled my trip back to England for the Spring of 2007. I have already arranged meetings with Steve England, Roger Day, and Johnnie Walker and I will attempt to see other friends while there. 

I was quoted as having "negative views about Don." The negative things that I said were not about Don as a person, but about his management of SRE/BR. I said then and now that Don was consumed by his desire to "one up" the people that ousted him from Big L. I actually think that Don was a brilliant business man in many ways, but his vision was clouded by hatred of Big L owners. I liked Bill Vick and was amazed at the "revelations" disclosed by the Cabal. I do not remember Bill Vicks children and only vaguely remember Grey Pierson, but I certainly hold no grudges toward them or anyone else from that time frame. I was very impressed with Grey Pierson putting together the SRE/BR Reunion and unlike the Cabal I was not surprised that there was no feuding and fighting going on. If there are hard feelings amongst those families it only shows that they were raised properly and taught not to "air your dirty laundry in public." 

I do agree with The Cabal in applauding Roger Day. Roger is a true gentleman and is fondly remembered by all who ever worked with him. The Cabal also said that the American jocks were all small town. Larry Dean and I both came from large markets. The plethora of American DJ's that Don hired was not my doing and was against my wishes.

In another story in your July Report about SRE. The Tony Windsor story strikes a real note with me. Tony and Dave Cash and another Big L dj (who's name escapes me) all applied to me for positions on SRE. I very well remember Tony and Cliff Richard having lunch at Trader Vics at the same time I was eating. Tony was really concerned about what SRE was going to do, but as he reportedly said he "knew that we were going to be a failure because I was going to call the dj's "Boss Jocks." That's a crock. He was upset because I didn't hire him.

Unlike the Cabal I will tell you that the above comments are only mine and my name is:
Ron O'Quinn Glenwood, GA USA.

Thanks Ron and indeed a real true answer as I hoped would come in to the ‘Cabal’ thing, whose name are known by the editor. I hope you’ve good luck with your health and wish you a good trip to Europe next year. More reflections are always welcome. 

But it was not the only one who reflected. One of the others is Steve Young:
Dear Hans, I feel compelled to comment on the article about SRE submitted by the anonymous Cabal group. My God, such bitterness, nasty slurs and accusations! Who are these people? Why do they want to be anonymous? Are they afraid to step forward and be identified. I don’t like people who hide behind screens of anonymity and then point fingers and say nasty things about others. These can’t be real men, they must be a group of girly boys who are totally afraid to stand up for themselves. I say to them, come out, come out wherever you are and tell us who you are..... or shut up! My anger was directed only at those people who wrote that article. I know that the report is a lot of work for you, over and above your other daily commitments, and it is difficult to ‘police’ every contribution. I still enjoy the reports immensely and appreciate all that you do to keep the memories of pirate radio alive. Sincerely, regards, Steve Young.’

Hi Steve, thanks a lot for your comments and I feel sorry the article was written by three persons under ‘nickname’ . I will try to avoid publishing articles if they again use the ‘Cabal’ name. 

Mark Aston sent an email mentioning songs from George Harrison which he has heard only on Caroline, but the e mail was lost on the way to my computer. Lucky enough he sent in another one with some corrections:

’Slight correction to my last mail regarding records played on Caroline produced by George Harrison, in addition to Shankar Family and Friends (Dark Horse AMLH 22002) the other record I mentioned was not Godhead but Goddess of Fortune , this was a special issue with no catalogue number but released by Bhaktivedanta. The tracks played were ‘I am missing you’ from the Shankar album and Govinda from the Goddess album.’

Of course I asked Mark if he had a copy of the earlier e mail and he came back again with: ‘I sent the original when I was on holiday so you obviously did not receive it. Basically I mentioned the 2 records which were produced by George Harrison, I do not recall these records having airtime on any other radio station than Caroline, this would have been around 1974. The Goddess of Fortune album used to be given away by the Hare Krishna Foundation. There was also a single release of ‘I am Missing You’ sung by Lakshmi Shankar from the Family and Friends Album. Of course I also thanked you for your continuing good work with the newsletter.’

Oké, Mark thanks for the info. And of course anyone remembering noticing hearing the songs on other station can reflect at Hknot@home.nl

Short but wonderful was the contents of an e mail from a guy I listened to a lot in the sixties when he was on Radio Caroline. Like I was a regular listener in those days, he’s a happy follower of the Knot International Radio Report since years. It’s The Emperor Rosko writing to me: ‘Nobody has this must knowledge and history on the planet , Hans it is obscene! You are a walking history book! You must have 1000 guys feeding you gear,_/* Hans the Movie ,*/_ I feel it coming! Emp.

RadioVisie is from origin a magazine on radio which started way back in the seventies. Now it’s already for many years an online daily magazine with news about radio and television. At the moment the editorial staff is restyling the magazine and looking for people who can sent in on regular base news from radio and television from Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand and the USA. People who can sent in a weekly column with news from their country can sent an e mail to RadioVisie@gmail.com

Time for another internet address which much be visited on a regular base as they have also many memories to share. Not only about Radio London but also on other offshore stations and deejays from the sixties but also from artists from those days. Have a look at http://www.radiolondon.co.uk/

Then nickname time again and first to Caroline in 1983 where ‘Rockin’ Robin Ross was working, next to Dixie ‘the singing deejay’ Peach. But also Tony Scott ‘The chef’ who also had ‘Ton the Moan’ as a nickname. Peter ‘The Mighty’ Queen worked on Caroline too in the eighties as well as Dave ‘the sawn’ Richards. Only a few days and he went seasick: Dave ‘the winds’ Windsor also worked for the station and the last Caroline deejay to mention with a nickname is ‘Cudles’ Keith Bruce. Veronica had a special program aired for soldiers. This was in the early sixties and Joost den Draaijer was mentioned ‘korporaal den Draaijer’. And the last one for this issue is ‘El Stone’ David Lee Stone on Laser 558 who was also named ‘Arrow’ Lee Stone. 

Something more about nowadays Radio Caroline from Tony Burns: ‘Hi Hans, I hadn't read your June issue so was unaware of the pending appearance of Radio Caroline on Sky. So what a shock I got on returning from a 3 week holiday to find once again we had ‘Caroline on 199’, but great news and somehow it must remain and be supported to increase listeners so it doesn't become, again, a minority station. Well done Peter Moore for being patient and getting 199! Unfortunately we can never have a return to those great 60's radio days or even the various other periods of Caroline but, being on Sky, is better than nothing! Tony Burns.’

Some disappointment in Colin’s e mail: ‘In June’s issue, you mentioned that a Dave Somcox is doing a Radio 270 Revival and asked people to get in touch who could help, Like Chris Dannant from Scunthorpe I have also e-mailed him offering my help with recordings of the station but no reply what so ever. Does this guy want any help, perhaps he should answer his e-mails The MV Coronia is only a small pleasure boat that must be over 60 years old, as it was in service when I was a young lad on my day visits to Scarborough. As you may gather the 14th August this year is on a Monday, the same day as it was in 1967, wonder how many radio stations will remember this day, talking of which, I heard on Sunday on that Internet Radio Station Radio Poplar that they are going to do a special Offshore Programme regarding the 14th. from 9.30 am onwards....wonder what they will come up with. Best wishes, Colin.’

From England over to Belgium, where the next e mail comes from: ‘Hallo, first of all thanks for doing the fine job of making ‘yours’ International Radio Report. I think everyone who calls himself an anorak is impatient at the beginning of the month. Last night on the Bob Leroi-website www.bobleroi.co.uk/ScrapBook/MikeBass/MBTribute.html I've been reading about the famous late Mike Bass (tribute).

Mike at Zeezenders 20 1978 (Photo: Jelle Knot)

Consequently also the name the famous Peter Chicago appeared. Not knowing his real name until then (should be ashamed for an anorak), this morning on the internet I give it a random search on ‘Peter Murtha’ and found this website with some nice words for Peter and Ronan (‘The most successful pirate ship, Radio Carolina, was built not once but twice over a 20 year span for European entrepreneurs Peter Murtha and Ronan O’Reilly’) www.besco-int.com/history.htm but also some for me unknown pictures of the Ross Revenge www.besco-int.com/pictures.htm. Are all of these pictures taken on the Ross Revenge or not? Philip Taghon, Jabbeke – Belgium’. 

Thanks Philip and yes we can tell you the four last one are all Ross Revenge pictures, partly on international waters and partly in a small harbour in 1983 near Santander in Spain. The equipment from Dick Whitkovsky from Besco International came to the Ross Revenge after it was second hand bought by Besco at radiostation called CFCO in Canada. 

Glen is the next one chosen to be in the report: ‘Hi Hans, hope you're well. I was lucky enough last week to get my hands on a copy of 'The Lid Off Laser 558’ by Paul Rusling. Upon reading it I was astonished to find that he actually used to run The Punch Tavern in Whitstable. I used to drink in there regularly when in the area during the summers of 1986-88. It is a small world, but quite presumably he would no longer be there during those years as obviously Laser was up and running by then! (I'm only on chapter 9 at the moment and it is a fascinating tale so far!) I wonder if any other members of the Offshore fraternity ever did (or still do) frequent the place? Best regards, Glen Arnold.’ 

Well Glenn I can mention I’ve been there a few times. I do visit almost every year Whitstable since 1986 and do meet always one or more former offshore deejays for a yearly drink. Although we now use another pub in the main street. Among those saying cheers are Johnnie Lewis, Bob LeRoi, Nigel Harris and many more. 

Then a good luck and happy parties for Roger Day, who will celebrate twice with his fans at the end of the month. Sorry Roger I cannot attend as I have other commitments. But have a lot of fun and hopefully you will come back with some memories. Let’s go back to 15 years ago and a photo from your 25th Anniversary Broadcast Party in Ramsgate

Roger’s 25th Birthday Party (Photo: Jan Hendrik Kruidenier)

From Roger to Keith Skues it just a small jump and soon Keith will add some airchecks from the Hans Knot Archive into his programs: ‘Greetings Hans, it is always a delight to hear from you. Your monthly newsletter is most interesting and something we eagerly await. It keeps everyone in the frame as to what is happening in the world of offshore radio and what was happening all those years ago. Thank you so much for going to the trouble of dubbing off some archive material from the watery wireless days. With your permission I shall use some of them on my Pirate Radio Skues show on Monday nights. Thank you again Hans and I hope it won't be too long before we meet up again. Kind regards, Keith Cardboard Shoes.

Keith is also known from the BBC Series History of Pop Radio, many years ago. In the Netherlands this was part of the program Poster which was a weekly program from 1973 on. Early July a farewell program was transmitted. For many years Juul Geleick and Tom Mulder (both former Veronica people) were responsible for this program, which was transmitted on Hilversum 3.

Tom Mulder (aka Klaas Vaak) and Juul Geleick (1984 Photo: Hans Knot)

Juul, by the way, asked me to look at a special site dedicated to a Canadian radiostation. He visited with his family Canada in 1969 and took with him some memorabilia, which are now used again for this website. Juul added: Where would the people be without our hunger for preservation? http://www.marcdenis.com/ckgm.asp

Charlie Wolf, who became well known from his days on Laser 558 in the eighties, will be sitting in for one week on Big L Breakfast 24th-29th July each time from 5-9 AM. Regular host Garry Williams says "My old mate Charlie Wolf will be taking care of the Big L Breakfast during my holiday I'm sure you all remember Charlie from his Laser 558 days and indeed more recently at Talksport 1053/1089. The last time Charlie and I were together was just after the MV Communicator was in Harwich, and I cut a square out of his coat! At the time it was the just thing to do!" We wish Charlie a warm welcome to Big L. 

Mail from Don Stevens, my answer and his ‘small world’ answer too: ‘Hi again Hans, I note, sadly, that Rudy Carrell passed away yesterday, ARD and Hessische Rundfunk ran extensive memorial programmes and RTL presented a special show. It took me by surprise as I settled down with a couple of beers to enjoy a bit of free time, just to be confronted by the bad news. I discovered Rudy Carrell through Bill Danse who was a great fan. He often told me to watch the man as he regarded him as a real talent, which he was, and this was amply demonstrated by the shows last night. I don't know if Rudy was popular in Nederland, the land that he represented in Eurovision in 1960, but he was a fab export and did much to make Germany feel 'at home' with its neighbours. Mmmmm, more bad news! Syd Barrett is dead too! Man, the times they are a-changing. Peace, Don Stevens.’

“Yes Don, sadly he has gone after two years of severe cancer. He was not too popular for going to Germany. Of course he won the Montreux Rose for his popular show with beauty Esther Ofarim in the early sixties. He started making radio programs in the fifties with the VARA and doing shows on stage in the same decade. Of course special programs were also aired even a documentary about his life, which was planned for later transmissions and was just finished, was transmitted by the new broadcasting society MAX, which aims her programs to the people above 55. Rudi's father André did some work for the offshore station Veronica in the early sixties too. Hans.’

‘Small world, I met Esther Ofarim, and after she divorced from her husband I worked with Abi Ofarim (strange guy) in Israel on many projects. The memorial shows on German TV did show extensive clips of André Carrell and his Mom too. Shame that Rudy could not have maintained his popularity in the Netherlands. Maybe he could not resist the temptation of such a big market as German speaking Europe, it is huge. Peace, Don.’

Now time for some meanings of a Dutch word after an e mail came in from the Shetland Islands: ‘Hans, when I was in the Netherlands and on the ships in 1972-1973 (RNI and Caroline) we all watched TiTa Tovenaar, just before the 7 o'clock news in the evening, I seem to recall. I always remembered the ending phrase as "Dat zien we morgen dan wel meer", which I though meant something like "we will see more (on this) tomorrow", but now I have learned it was "Dat zien we morgen dan wel weer" which I would presume means "we will see/have good weather tomorrow"..... or is it an idiomatic phrase? Otherwise what is the importance of good weather for TiTa Tovenaar? I need to know! Ian Anderson.’

A flashback to TiTa Tovenaar

Hi Ian, Well the word 'weer' has more meanings. It can be translated into 'weather', but also in 'again' so the meaning 'we will see more tomorrow' is the only correct one in this! Also in the next (this) issue a photo from the lady in TiTa Tovernaar.

He once came back with: ‘I learned quite a bit when I was in the Netherlands, but that was 33-34 years ago. I had also picked up phrases from listening to Veronica from 1961 onwards and I took a quick Dutch course in 1971/1972 before going to the radioships! There are a lot of Dutch words in our local dialect (Lerwick a Dutch town in the old fishing and very old trading days) so I could often work things out from that. I once heard someone say something in Dutch that in our dialect was "Da young eens wir in da hoose" - see if you can work out what that was in Dutch - very similar. There are less Dutch connections here now a days. A large trawler was alongside here on Monday, the cruise ship Maasdam is in today and the cruise ship Van Gogh is due in on Friday. I helped a couple of a cruise ship who were in a shop here last year, entirely in Dutch, so I was quite pleased about that, although I realised I had forgotten a awful lot. Maybe we should correspond in Dutch so that I can practice! Well with that photo your next report will be prettier than it usually is - with old male DJs! Ha, ha. A' da best (another Shetland phrase). Ian SIBC’

Finally a question from Scotland and Ian Biggar: Hi Hans, hope you are well. There have been many rumoured (or hoax) radio ships over the years, like the famous MV Marianas in 2003, but there have also been known ships that have never broadcast. One such was the MV Piscator that was sighted by several people at different times in Larnaca harbour (Cyprus). It was assumed that she was heading for Israel, but it would seem never reached there. Does anybody know what happened to the MV Piscator? Keep up the good work, Ian.’

MV Piscator (Archive Martin van der Ven)

The Martin van der Ven ‘Offshore Radio Guide’ has a ‘Radio Fleet Index’ and the following is mentioned about the ship: ‘Ship details: A former Dutch fishing trawler, registered in Scheveningen. The ship with a length of around 150 feet has an aerial mast of about 100 feet, topped by a pole for what could perhaps be an FM array. There's a portacabin on deck for the messroom with table, fridge cooker etc. The vessel has been fitted out in Larnaca harbour (Cyprus) since the summer of 1997. Planned offshore radio station: Unknown Planned location: Unknown, probably in the Mediterranean off the Israeli coast.’ So who has more can send the information to Hknot@home.nl

I like to mention that the latest edition from Horizon Magazine has not only 13 beautiful colour photographs made in Tilbury and showing how hard people are working in doing all kind of work, including painting, on the Ross Revenge, the Radio Caroline Radio Ship, but also some nice stories about the work, the programming of the station and an interview with Roger Mathews. Information how to get a subscription: http://www.horizonmagazine.co.uk/rsl.html

Thanks again for all the wonderful e mails and memories and may I wish you a warm and sunny summer. Will be back in a few weeks time. 

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