Hans Knot's International Radio Report - May 2005 (2) 


On a lazy Sunday morning I was watching, while eating the breakfast, a beautiful DVD on which Radio 192 went back to the good old days of RNI. There’s one memory which made me really laughing. I think the neighbours wake up from me. One of the former RNI people, who was interviewed, was Mr John de Mol, the director of the Dutch Service and father of the world wide known media tycoon John de Mol Jr. – who by the way worked as a technician on RNI in the seventies. John de Mol sr took up de story in 1971: At one stage I asked my secretary if she could make a cup of coffee. She answered that the coffee-filters were out of stock so she couldn’t. Joost de Draayer, who was in the same room had the answer and showed the secretary, Ria, how she could easily make her own coffee-filter using some toilet paper and so 10 minutes later there was a fresh cup. But that’s not the end of the story. Some days later the two people representing one of the main sponsors, Stimorol, announced that they would come in the afternoon to visit the station. So I went home to get some bottles of Sherry, Port and Wine. But that afternoon Mr and Mrs Stimorol didn’t want spirits but a nice cup of Coffee. So Ria was asked to make a fresh coffee. A minute later she arrived back in my office and told in a very dry way that it wasn’t possible to make coffee as the toilet paper was out of stock!’

And now dear readers we once again present Bart, well known from some ‘offshore RSL’s’ and his local radio work in Holland. A most dedicated lover of radio and everything related in radio. In one of the April reports I gave him a nick name as I saw he wanted to do everything to reach his goals within the radio world. And he reflected in a most serious way:’ Hi Hans, I hope you are also okay. If I had known in advance it would be mentioned about (the not suitable) anorak numero uno/ anorak number one I probable wouldn't have made a contribution as was requested by you. I don't mind to share my last RR adventures with others, but my first impression is still the same. It isn't welcome to be described as Anorak numero uno/ Anorak Number one. Who will tell it's some kind of Cloggy humour joke of you as author, but one has not to forget others could easily pick that up totally different. In the next text block can be read what is mentioned about the Anorak numero uno/ Anorak Number one story that can be also be found on www.serlie.nl.

SOME ROSS REVENGE ADVENTURES OF MARCH 2005: Some words beforehand. The "limited" version is mentioned in the second 04/2005 monthly report of Hans Knot which can be found for example on www.offshore-radio.de and www.mediapages.nl. That's the Anorak Number One version. The Anorak numero uno/ Anorak Number one seems as it were the Mickey label which is as it were sticked up (twice) by Hans Knot and that really don't seem to suite (according to certain response). Further down under the next contribution an example of what is really mend with an anorak. A suggestion for certain people better read that and maybe it's an idea for Hans Knot to introduce an Anorak Top 40/50/100/ 500 and see who's really the Chart breaker! It won't be likely that it will be somebody who's also doing programmes. Who will tell it could be perhaps easier somebody (who is doing all kinds of things for over 30 years ) concerning offshore radio (information transfer and merchandise scene). In the next text block is the unlimited version of an adventure on board the Ross Revenge where Hans Knot asked for. It's good to know that it has been keyboarded on his request. So even more remarkable to stick up the label Anorak numero uno/ Anorak Number one. The next text block is also from www.serlie.nl. There (the first as mentioned under radio) my bio can also be found (when you are interested in that). 

The term Anorak: from http://www.anoraknation.com/knowledge/radio_today/000002.html What is an anorak? a) A warm waterproof hip-length jacket that usually has a hood. b) The name given to a devotee or fanatic of a single, and some might argue, 'strange' nerdy 'collecting' pastime like train-spotting or stamp collecting. Now. The latter has it's origins in radio, and is probably the only thing we can really thank offshore pirate radio for. Before it opened out to apply to all nerdy fanatics, for a good few decades an 'anorak' was only a radio fanatic. The word 'anorak' was coined to replace a previous word which was accidentally broadcast. You see, originally offshore radio fans were called 'wankers'. They would pay money to climb on board what became known as 'wanker-boats' chartered to come out into the North Sea and look at the offshore radio stations like Radio Caroline. During the 1970s there were hundreds of 'wankers', gluing themselves to their radios, listening to the offshore stations, writing down which deejay was on when. They would send off for fanzines and car stickers which they would put all over their bedroom walls in shrines to their religion. 'Wanker-boats' would deliver them to the offshore radio ships anchored many miles out in the North Sea, and they would spend a couple of hours touring the ship, taking hundreds of photos of the aerial rigging, the studios, and anything that they could focus on. They would also try to chip off bits of rust to take home and treasure. Legend has it that one group of 'wankers' hired a huge paddle-steamer for one visit, and as it approached the Radio Caroline ship one of the English crew ran into the studio that was broadcasting a Dutch daytime programme and excitedly told the Dutch presenter that there was 'the biggest fishing wanker-boat in the whole world coming towards them'. The Dutch deejay included some English in his next link to greet them. Unfortunately, the Dutch are less taboo about such words, so what was to him a perfectly reasonable link included the hrase, "..and hello to the biggest fishing wanker-boat in the whole world...". Soon after this the term 'wanker' was replaced by 'anorak'. Offshore radio fanatics were not normally sea-faring folk. Thus, the first thing you could notice would be their bright ill-fitting new anorak bought especially for the visit. 15 or so bright ill-fitting new anoraks would stand out on any boat coming towards the radio ship, probably being the first things that could be properly seen on the horizon, and would define whether the pending visitors were enthusiasts or something to be worried about. A boat carrying 15 or so people *not* wearing bright ill-fitting new anoraks but well-weathered anoraks could be a hostile boarding party determined to put the station off the air. I seem to recall that the term 'wanker-boat' remained for quite a while after the 'wankers' had become 'anoraks'. So, now that the term 'anorak' has opened out to encompass any nerdy enthusiasm we have an accepted English definition of the word that owes itself to 1970s offshore radio.’

Kind regards from the ABC(D) family’. 

So you see, the ABC‘er Bart recalls himself 8 times either the word Anorak Numbero Uno or Anorak Number one in his story. Well in my opinion, and that’s a total different one than was mentioned in the story, you kindly took from Christopher England pages. I think the Anorak Numbero Uno is the radio lover who wants to do his upper best to reach all his goals to get the place he likes the best within the radio scène. Not more and not less. So be proud, take a look in the mirror and put the radio on in the background and say it loud: ‘Hans was only joking in a bit serious way!’ 

Then we go over to Canada and the curly headed kid: ‘Hello Hans, As usual your International Radio Report landed safely on my computer this afternoon and, as usual, it is full of really interesting information about the great days of Pirate Radio. I was particularly interested in the section about Roger Gomez who I knew, here in Canada, as Roger Keene. I met Roger when he was working as a Public Information Officer for the Government of British Columbia here in Victoria. I owned a video production company at the time and Roger came in to see me one day to discuss production of a video for one of the government ministries, this would have been in about 1985 if my memory serves me well. During the course of our conversation we discovered that we had both been disc jockeys on Pirate radio stations. Over the next 12-18 months I kept in touch with Roger, mostly about business although we did manage to grab the occasional lunch together. It was during one of our conversations that I realized that I’d heard Roger on one of my alma mater radio stations in Kelowna, British Columbia where he had worked, if I recall correctly, in 1973-1974 doing an evening show. He was partnered with his own, personal, producer and they worked as a team to put on the show. At that time I was working for one of the competing stations in Kelowna but I never did get a chance to meet Roger at that time. Anyway, I eventually lost touch with Roger as I had sold my business and moved on to other things in my life. A few years later I heard that he had passed away although the details of his passing were never revealed to me. Roger was a bit of a loner who seemed to be out of his element working for the Government in Victoria. I always felt that he really belonged working in a far more exciting environment and would probably have done really well working in radio back in the U.K. Thanks for putting the information about him in your report Hans, it was most interesting and served as a reminder of one of the “unsung heroes” of Pirate Radio and also that there is one more of us who has left this earth to join the much bigger radio station in the hereafter. Yours truly, Steve Young’.

Thanks to Steve Young for updating us with his memories to Roger Gomez and if you’ve memories or other things to share, simply write to: Hknot@home.nl

Months ago I did get a few e mails from some guys in the USA who did found my story on the Mayor of New York, Harry Harrison, which I wrote when Harry decided to stop his long career in Radio. You can find this story in our on line journal for media and music culture www.soundscapes.info Volume 6 April 2003. One of the mails mentioned that Harry was so surprised someone in Europe took so much time to do research and write an article about him. Now the guys had a long interview with Harry during the past months and the next came in:

Dear Hans: ‘Hi, this is Larry Ware from Peoria, IL. I have completed the interview with Harry Harrison, the New York radio personality who worked at WMCA, WABC, and currently is on Saturdays on WCBS-FM. This interview entitled "When the Red Light Goes On I Talk" will be posted on Reelradio.com this coming Sunday, May 1st in streaming audio. The interview is an audio biography which covers his life in broadcasting from his beginnings in Chicago, IL at WCFL (1953), his seasoning at Peoria's own WPEO radio (1954 - 1959), and his big leap into the New York market in 1959. It is just under two hours in length and took just under six months to complete. Harry tells some very interesting stories in the interview and was very kind to allow me to do this. I hope you enjoy it! Larry Ware ...and that's the way it is from Larry, Hope, James, John, Daniel, and our fine dog, Shelby...’. 

In the meantime I got my cd copy from Larry and enjoyed every minute of it. I can only advise you to listen as soon as possible to this nice documentary on Harry Harrison’s radio career.

You can find it back at www.reelradio.com 

From the USA we go over to Israel where Mike Brand is working and living: ‘Thanks for another excellent Radio Report ! I notice you had a report on AJ Beirens. I open my programme on "All For Peace" each week by saying "Good morning , good afternoon, and good evening wherever you are listening, you are listening to …… " I know I got this phrase from somewhere, but I don't remember quite where from ? Seeing you mention AJ , I think it may come from Northsea Goes DX. Can you confirm this for me, or did I get it from somewhere else? Then of course, RNI broadcast through Shortwave , but my show goes out through the Internet (www.allforpeace.org), and is mainly heard in the USA and Europe, (as well as here in Israel and the Palestinian Authority on 107.2FM) hence the opening. Thanks, Mike’. 

Well your memories were 100% correct when seeing the name A J Beirens, as he used it every time he was on the air.

Official news from the Caroline organisation as found on their internet pages: ‘Radio Caroline's radio ship Ross Revenge was moved Thursday 28th April 2005 just round the corner at Tilbury Docks in Essex where she has been berthed since last August. She is now in a secured private berth with access just for the crew and will be closed to the public for the immediate future. 

The picture (taken by Graham Winning) shows the tow underway. We were at the Ocean Liner Terminal since last August where we enjoyed the facilities of this convenient berth for broadcasting, maintenance and visits. Station manager Peter Moore reports, "The move is simply because Tilbury port has seen a big increase in cruise ship traffic for the 2005 season. 54 liners are visiting during the season, so that sometimes there will be two liners docked simultaneously. In simple terms, Ross Revenge would be in the way and would prevent a second liner from docking. So we had to move." The Radio Caroline radio ship Ross Revenge was last open to visitors on 15th,16th & 17th April 2005.

Talking about Caroline I can mention that there’s another singer who has dedicated a song to this famous radio station: ‘hi Hans, I hope this e mail finds you well. my name is Nick Barnes. I’m a singer songwriter guitarist some say. My new album is on sale from today, May 1st. I have also recorded a song called ‘Radio Caroline’ and my songs are featured on Radio Caroline and other radio stations. My new album is called ‘The last train’. my web site is www.nickbarnes.does.it

It would be really good if you could put a link on your great site to mine. Thanks Hans, God Bless, Nick.’

Graham from Isleworth did sent in a bio, which he found on the web, about Brian Mc Kenzie: ‘Born, Brian Webb, in Dunoon in Ayrshire, Brian's family worked in farming but he found that agriculture held little appeal. Offshore radio seemed far more interesting and, when Radio Scotland advertised for disc-jockeys, Brian was on the case. He applied for a job, was invited for an audition but, with no previous experience, he was turned down. He did not give up and three months later he tried again. The second audition still was not good enough but Brian must have shown some promise because the Programme Controller suggested that he carried on sending him tapes and he would be happy to offer advice. Eventually Brian passed the test and joined Radio Scotland in 1967 for the last five months that the station was on the air. After the close-down he worked in clubs until October 1971 when he returned to sea with Radio Northsea International, using the new name ‘Brian McKenzie’. He was sacked on October 24, 1972, but reinstated about 10 days later, on November 3rd and was with Radio Northsea until the station closed down in August 1974. During his spell with RNI, most DJ's acquired girls names as nicknames. Brian's was "Brenda". After RNI, Brian managed a sauna-bath in London & then moved onto presenting discos at the Nova Park hotel in Zurich. He married Jean on October 10th. He eventually moved to Dublin. There he ran Bay City recording studios, in the building next door to Radio Nova, a station owned by Chris Cary (alias Spangles Muldoon). Brian was involved with Radio Nova, when in 1988, it became Britain's first satellite station, based out of Camber. After working in radio in Ireland Brian and his wife thought working hard was a thing of the past and emigrated to Spain, where they are still living.’. The big question is why was Brian sacked in 1972 and came back within 10 days.’ 

Well Graham at that stage the Dutch company Strengholt decided that their Dutch deejays would also present the evening programs on ‘220’. So pre-recorded tapes were brought on the ship and the international deejays got the sack. But the Dutch director had not thought with problems with the Swiss owners, Meister and Bollier, as they were very dissatisfied with the decision to take the international service off the air. So Mr John de Mol sr. had to withdrawn his decision and the whole international team got a new job on RNI. 

Brian ‘the kilt’ McKenzie

Then three other nicknames to be add to our long list. In 1979 Marc Jacobs was working for Radio Caroline and one day he was mentioning himself, while reading the news ‘Boontje Blauw’ (Blue Bean). On Caroline in an old program from 1973 I heard Andy Archer talking about rev, Toornvliet – who brought in a lot of money with his daily religious program – as the Pirate Vicar. And what to think about Kenny Everett? He had a jingle with the text: ‘ Kenny Everett, the people’s choice’. 

Next one comes from a new reader in New Zealand: ‘Hi Hans, ‘Thank you for the link, very interesting reading. And also thank you to my good friend Jelle Boonstra for passing you my e-mail address. Perhaps you could include my citation on Anoraks. Greetings from Auckland New Zealand Philip Bendall, 17 Jopard Place, Ellerslie, Auckland.’

Oké Philip welcome to our club and could you inform us some more on nowadays Hauraki, I heard that’s now a kind of a network in New Zealand. We hope to hear from you.

Time for some Voice of Peace again: ‘Thought you might like to see this drawing that the late Kenny Page drew, during one of his stints on the Peace Ship. It was originally sent by Kenny to Linda Mason, who was also on board the MV Peace for a short while’. An e mail sent in by Mike Brand.

Kenny Page was one of the most loved deejays on the Voice of Peace and died too young three years ago. As Jimmy James and Kenny James he worked on Radio Caroline in the Seventies, changed his name again into Kenny Page and got Middle East fame. When I saw the drawing it immediately an idea to share it with everybody so I asked Mike Brand to ask permission from Linda and this is what she wrote to Mike: ‘Yes, you have my permission to use the picture. I think everyone who knew Kenny would enjoy it. What a good idea. Please send my regards to Hans as well. I love hearing about the VOP and other pirate broadcasts through his newsletter!’

So thanks to you both for sharing it with us all in memory of Kenny Page. 

In last issue we mentioned the come back of Liz Pool, from whom I didn’t here for over more than 30 years. She promised to type out the Smash Plays she has written down for herself, while listening to the station. Well 1971 including the Top 10’s she has already done and together with some other avid RNI listeners we want to trace as much as possible information of the International Chart in the future. While listening to an old program of Mark Wesley from 1970 it came to my ears that the Smash Play had another name in 1970 as it was called the RNI Hit Pick of the week. 

Than an e mail from Hans Hogendoorn, a former newsreader and presenter on the Dutch service of RNI, who came back from London and wants to share some news with us about Tony Blackburn: ‘According to newspaper The Sun's TV Biz pages, Golden Oldie DJ Tony Blackburn has been banned by ITV1 because of his age. It seems they were preparing an new TV reality show called Stars On Thin Ice, presented by the 62-year old former offshore broadcaster. Apparently the ITV-bosses were afraid of getting their feet wet, and said there were problems getting him insured. Tony in The Sun: "I'm not ancient, and I'm really a good skater. I can go backwards and everything, which I'm sure is a lot better than most people they'll get on the show". Subsequently, The Sun launched a We Want Ice T campaign, trying to get Blackburn on his skates. Anyone supporting Tony Blackburn can email to tvbiz@the-sun.co.uk. Stars on Ice will feature Olympic legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean teaching big names to skate. They'll receive £ 200.000 each to appear in the show later this year. 

Yep, Saturday May 6th and an e mail comes in from Florida: ‘Dear Hans: I keep reading your fantastic details on the offshore radio history. You are certainly a trustee of the culture; and the details are all there. I recall that you had a computer crash about four years ago, and lost a lot of data. I just found my small picture file of the "Peace Ship", when Abe Nathan was moored at the East River, New York City. I shall give a look for the disc and send it in another mail. Yours, Russell Dodworth, Deerfield Beach, Florida USA.’

Abe Nathan, Russell Dodworth as public relation manager in New York for Abe, Angelica Huston and Asad Dyan on the deck of the Peace ship

It’s so wonderful that many people who were involved in the Voice of Peace (1968-1993) are reading my reports and every time the name of the station is coming back in the report. Watch out for next year as we have a big surprise for the readers. Thanks by the way, Russell wonderful documents! 

Going through a lot of old archive material for research on a new book, I’m writing, I found an old Veronica programming from 1962 and I can tell you we can add two new female presenters to our long list. First I found Annie M.G. Schmidt, a most famous writer of children stories in Holland, who died a couple of years ago. Also we can add to the list Doctor Fantastica who presented a sponsored program for Willem II Cigars. By the way a new cigar from those days from the Willem II company was called ‘Fantastica’. 

On Sunday May 8th it was wet and windy and instead of going outside we decided to have a warm and happy day together. Reading a lot and a part of the morning we had two old RNI programs on the background. It was Andy Archer who gave Joost de Draaier the nickname Joost ‘The Spin’ Draaier. And Alan West made the following announcements: ‘Next hour we have our new presentor, ‘Member of the Jetset, the former comedian Stevi Merike’. Reading an old program schedule for Veronica from 1963 I found another one for Joost den Draaier which is ‘Flip from the Flipside’. 

The next day the news came in that Uncle Ray Anderson has his official opening of Big L Radio London next Saturday with special star quest Sir Cliff Richard at the new studios in Frinton on Sea. I know a lady who loves to be invited too! Here’s what could be found that morning on their internet page: ‘The new BIG L Radio London is planning to launch on Saturday 14th May, 2005 from brand new studios in Frinton-on- Sea, Essex. A star studded launch is lined up including a visit by Sir Cliff Richard OBE who will officially open the new BIG L studios. Many other stars will be attending including The Cheeky Girls who have specially recorded a new version of "We Love the Pirate Stations" for the station. BIG L - RADIO LONDON presenters will include Mike Read, Michele Stephens, Randall Lee Rose and many others.

An agreement has recently been reached to transmit on 1395 kHz as well as Sky digital channel 940. So keep a regular watch on this site for all the News and updates of The new BIG L RADIO LONDON. Remember... You'll hear it here first!’ www.bigl.co.uk

From London also an update from Peter Moore on Radio Caroline: ‘The Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge entered the port of Tilbury in Essex on the afternoon of April 27th. Previously the ship had been in a public location on a landing stage on the Thames, but this area was needed to accommodate cruise liners. The day after Ross Revenge departed, the liner Van Goch arrived at her vacated berth. The radio ship will remain in Tilbury dock for a minimum of three months and since this is a secure area the station can presently plan no more live broadcasts from the ship or public open days. It is hoped however to put crew on board to continue repairs .Caroline's hope to be carried on Radio Tatrus International was hampered when the driving force behind that project Eric Wiltsher was taken ill during the station launch event. Rumored to have suffered a burst appendix, compounded by severe asthma, Eric spent some time in hospital in Slovakia and, even after treatment was too ill to travel. Caroline had assumed that their programmes would be picked up either in Poprad or at the Tatrus UK base in Kent via either Sky, Astra or Worldspace and simply relayed on the FM outlet. However, with Eric being so central to the project and it seeming that nobody was delegated to continue in his absence, Caroline have been told by the company backing the station just to mark time until he is on duty again. It seems for technical reasons the Tatrus processing was moved from Kent to Central London. An I.T. engineer working on behalf of Tatrus explained that the station has no means at this time of receiving a Caroline signal.’

Thanks a lot Peter Moore and also to Eric hopefully you will be 100% in good health again.

We now go over to New Zealand where once an offshore radio station was blasting a signal from International Waters from the Tiri I and II, transmitting as Radio Hauraki. It was exactly 1111 days at sea and a few years ago a cd was produced by David Miller on the history of the station and here’s what David wrote for the report: ‘Hi! Hans, I have put together a brain teaser for readers of the Knot Radio Report. Here it is: Like the UK Offshore Station where some DJ's didn't use their real names Radio Hauraki also had two DJs who also did not use their real names, who were they? I will offer as a prize one copy of my CD "A Fresh Pacific Wind –Radio Hauraki 1966 -1970" to the first correct e-mail I receive at dm.smr.nu@xtra.co.nz

Well I think this is a very difficult question for the readers but I think you give it a try and sent David and e mail down yonder!

Hi Hans Knot, an email from Guernsey starts from Robert: ’Been going through some very old Radio Caroline recordings and found this hand over from Simon (Wally) Barrett to Don (Lumberjack) Stevens on 26th April 1975 on 1187kHz 259metres at 22.00hrs (BST) and found another nick name for Simon Barrett. Listen to the clip and you will hear Don Stevens quite clearly calling Simon Barrett "The Queen"!!!, this was Simons & Dons last programme together as when Don closed down the station at 01.00hrs (BST) the tender arrived and took them off. It was this coming off on this tender that Simon got called "Wally", the full story of this is on Monitor Site No.2 at www.guernsey.net/~deejayclancy with the story by Don Stevens him self. According to our records Radio Caroline was on the 10kW TX at the time which was why there is noise on the recording which was recorded here at Guernsey 
Branch of Monitor.org.uk on that date.’ 

Yes, Robert thanks for the recording and we will add the nick name to our long list, and keep the work going for your site. Most appreciated. He also sent information how he learned way back in the seventies that Radio Caroline was transmitting from a radio ship, so back to Robert on Guernsey:

‘I've been collecting news cuttings and other things like taping the offshore programmes since I first found the ‘The Lady’ by accident on what was supposed to be 773 kHz 389 metres, they were in fact off channel by 1kHz for most of their early transmissions in 1973 on 774 kHz. It was in fact a TX engineer of Radio 270 Steve Muir-Fields, that is a friend of my family that told me it was a station from a ship. And he told me that he had been on a ship called M.V..Oceaan VII with a station called Radio 270. He also told me of other ships off the then Dutch coast line. I believe Steve also worked for other radio stations in the 60's like Radio 390 (773kHz 388.1metres) but he was mostly on the Oceaan VII’.

Well Robert brought, with these few lines, to a new idea. Where did you learn that radio could come from a ship. Just let me know your experience by writing in to the Knot Radio Report at Hknot@home.nl

Saturday May 14th saw the rebirth of Radio London on AM 1395 kHz, on satellite as well as on Internet. Congratulations to Ray Anderson and people involved. You really brought some good memories. Ian Damon was heard first and let’s hope he will get the feeling once again, as he made some terrible mistakes. Maybe due to the fact he was the first to be on! Mike Reid followed and introduced us the official opening program in which Sir Cliff Richard opened the station and his new, as well old, records were played. A pity I couldn’t hear not much longer on AM as the transmitter went off the air. I can’t remember this ever happening on a first hour on an Offshore Radio Station. Nevertheless I hope to enjoy the station for many hours in the future.

Do you have an opinion on the output of the station, please let me know.

Then news from our forthcoming Radio Day from Dr. Martin van der Ven: ‘For more than 25 years, the Dutch Radio Day is a yearly attraction for all (offshore) radio enthusiasts. About 250 people are normally attending the event. Last year's radio day saw the Radio Caroline 1973/74 reunion with many former deejays, technicians and crew members joining in. Hans Knot and me are now busily planning this year's event which will be held on Saturday October 22nd in Amsterdam's Hotel Casa 400 near the Amstel railway station (James Wattstraat 75). One of our ideas is to invite many former RNI colleagues that have worked for the station in 1970 which was the year of the jamming, the election campaign, the attempted Kees Manders hijacking, the many frequency changes and the sudden close-down in September. The Radio Day will be a chance to meet each other again after 35 years, and to relive old memories. And most of all we could of course do some interviews live on stage. Andy Archer has been quite excited and commented: "Sounds fine to me, it would be fun. If you can arrange it, you can count me in." In the meantime, Roger 'Twiggy' Day and Robb Eden have been writing that they will attend the event, too. We're strongly hoping that others will follow their example.

The Knot Radio Report is read everywhere. Today, Sunday May 15th, I got an e-mail from Bulgaria!

‘Thank you for your May Report. Really brought those days back. Kinda odd feeling sitting here in Bulgaria. I tried last Xmas to tell my 19year old daughter about the offshore days and how I drove an old Austin A35 from England to Gerona in Spain, where the Mi Amigo office was and to try for a job. Emotional, man, you`d better believe it! I can still remember the two London phone numbers Joop Verhoof gave me to get in contact with the Caroline people in England. Kindest regards, Love Light and Peace, Ian.’

No it’s time to go to Australia as a long e mail arrived from Keith Ashton with his view on the man or woman behind the radio microphone: ‘Hi Hans and all. There’s been some discussion on my website www.AussieSeek.com on who coined the phrase: ‘Oh ! He’s got a nice face for radio!’ It all started when someone put up a link to a photo of some Deejay. They all said Ape kind. Oh, look at him. He doesn’t look like he sounds. I could never have imagined he looks like that in real life. Well its radio... so the face behind the name, or mike is not tantamount, but you wouldn’t expect Aussie announcer like John Laws to look like a painted Alice Cooper would you now?. It’s the brain behind the voice that makes the difference. Not the face behind the voice. Mind you a good face Helps. Mr Aspel seems to have been blessed. He has it both ways. A good voice for radio and a good face for television. But it matters not much to me, I think. It doesn’t t bother me that my soccer player sounds like a boy soprano and the club is paying for voice lessons so his media voice clips can be understood as long as he kicks well....eh Mr. Beckham?

The Alternative would be to say he is mute and hares his spokesperson! It was Pirate Radio that opened the door to ordinary human voices on Radio. It must have been hell in London for the BBC to add accents. Commercial Radio in Australia was slow on the uptake. Here in Sydney my local station has a Dutch weather forecaster. Every day is as beautiful as he sounds. Lots of sun but no rain Mind you Sydney has only enough water for 100 weeks. Our dams are almost dry. How about You? Do you have a great face for radio? I like that song.. If you want to be happy for the rest of your life get an ugly woman to be your wife.. But I don’t care my fantasy will always be that photo of Britney on the Fridge. The Super Radio Network here in Australia thinks a face is important. They ask for a photo with job applications for ‘Jock Jobs’. May be the bosses wife thumbs through job applications I’d send them a photo of Tom Cruise instead in protest. On turning up they’d say... ‘But you don’t t anything like your photo or how you sounded on the phone or in your audition tape. Eh? But settle down. Sadly, it’s a meat market out there and thanks to Tom you got the Job. Got to go now. The records running out and the Panel OP is peering through the studio glass. Oh! He’s got a nice face for radio!’ Keith Ashton

Keith is an Australian Disc Jockey who worked at Capital Radio 194 in London and the Voice of Peace in the Seventies. He has worked at many stations worldwide and has owned more radio stations than any other Australian where he makes radio and publishes a website called www.Aussieseek.co 

Thanks Keith and now we know why so less photographs of Keith Ashton are available.

Keith Ashton during Capital Radio Days (photo with thanks to Don Stevens)

Any comments on this are always welcome on Hknot@home.nl

Who does remember that many of the Offshore Radio Stations in the sixties brought us heterodynes at night? Well one of them is Paul de Haan who writes: ‘I shall never forget the Radio Moscow interval signal, Caroline South and Swinging Radio England were always blacked out by Radio Moscow. All this at night of course. Radio Caroline North in 1966 went to ‘259’ and in the winter in the North East of Holland (Groningen) both Caroline North and Caroline South could be heard. I always preferred Caroline North, they had the more original Caroline sound. Radio Caroline South wanted to be the hipper station for London town. Radio 270 , Radio Scotland, Radio City, SRE and Britain Radio were good receivable here during the day. At night all gone. Without doubt the best signal came from Radio 390 up here in the north of Holland. Radio Essex too in the middle of the night. I remember setting my alarm clock at 3 am to listen to 222 medium wave. Shared frequency with a French station. Radio Veronica on ‘192’ and ‘538’ gave a poor signal up hear, RNI on 220 was good. Radio Caroline 963 in the first months in 1983 very good. When they were on ‘576’ and ‘558’ reception was bad. In early 1985 however they were on 5-8-5 for one day, still have the recording. Very good up hear.’ Paul.

Thanks Paul and hopefully you the reader can give your memories too, let them coming in.

From Paul we go to Phil Pickering, who has problems receiving the New Big L: Hi Hans it’s Phil from Coalville, Leicestershire right in the middle of England last year I thought there would be no way that Radio London would come on. Anyway I have been pleasantly surprised by them it is like fresh air to the airwaves just what the people want I hope!. The unfortunate thing is though that where I live I cannot pick them up on 1395am due to a Hospital radio station bleeding all over them they operate on 1386am.Now if this had been an offshore station in the sixties wouldn’t they have been blamed for interfering with other stations? ‘How things have changed to suit themselves’. Kind Regards, Phil.

Nasty, very nasty Phil. When I was in hospital radio between 1969 and 1978 we distributed the signal by cable in the hospital Maybe you can pirate the frequency by jamming the hospital station with an illegal transmitter. Put the internet signal from Big L on the pirate station and make all those people in hospital very happy!

Another mail coming in with an interesting question: ’Hi Hans Knot, I have been listening again to some more of my past recorded programmes of Radio Caroline from when the lady was off the Dutch coast line. I happened to put on a tape of Graham Gill that was broadcast on a Saturday night on 17th August 1974 on 1187kHz 259metres. Graham had just taken over from Brian Anderson at I think 9.00pm CET and was programming up to 1.00am, during the programme which was coming from the Caroline studios in the Netherlands Live(?) He interviewed various people who dropped into the studio and invited listeners to come and see the Caroline studios on Monday, Wednesday, Friday night's and most Saturday night's and be put on air to wish people hello. You wouldn’t find Radio station's doing that now days. During the programme Graham made mention of the Stone Henge Festival, that was going on that night and saying that he wished he was there. Now here comes what startled me when I heard it, Graham said about some of the deejay's being at the Stone Henge happening, like I think Tony Allan, JJ(Johnny Jason) and someone called Wally. Now I don't think that referred to Simon Barrett as I don't think he had joined the station yet. As far as I can see in the Monitor deejay files Simon was first heard in October 1974 when the Mi Amigo was off the English Coast with Don Stevens!. So who else was called Wally in 1974 I take it, it referred to a Radio Caroline deejay, I've looked at your nick name list and can only see Simon ‘Wally’ Barrett on it. May be worth asking Graham Gill if he remembers making that remark(he's still in the Netherlands isn’t he?) I'm having great fun listening to blasts from the past which do bring up these questions which I hope you don't mind me asking you Hans? I find it gets me in the right mood to work on the Monitor web sites, to listen to programmes from our old friends out on the North sea back then. Do you find it the same way Hans?. If you want I can send you a recording of the complete programme to you on mp3 format via email. Anyway that's me done with the questioning for now Hans, no doubt it won't be the last question I'll be asking you! Regards to your wife and you. Robert.’ 

Thanks Robert and indeed I do listen a lot to old recordings when writing the reports or other articles on the history of radio. Your ‘Wally’ question I’ve sent to Andy Archer. He was not at the Stone Henge Festival but made a report by all the info he got from others including Johnny Jason and Ronan, so maybe he can answer it. 

And within 24 hours the answer came in from England and so here’s what Andy wrote: The "Wally" thing is explained on my website- June 21st. Graeme was probably talking about a Stonehenge programme that Mike Hagler made. It could not have been 17th August as The Stonehenge Festival was held on June 21st. You can direct him to www.adroberts.net/andy go to ‘pages’ and then to ‘my diary’. I would like a copy of the programme if possible.’

Well two things to do for Robert on Guernsey: the first one is to go to the Andy Archer Diary and I can tell you that even a dog called ‘Wally’ will appear. And the second one is to make a copy of the program for Andy. Details how to sent were sent to Robert personally. 

That ends this edition of the Knot Radio Report, let’s say you will hear from me again somewhere in the month of June. As always take care and if you want to share memories, photos of any thing else, please sent it to Hknot@home.nl


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