Offshore Radio News

The latest offshore radio related news by reporters from Europe and the Middle East, updated whenever there is a new item. Please feel free to contribute via


 

Friday May 16th 2003

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Hans Knot reporting from the Dutch radio scene:

It was an early report last month due to the many pages we had to publish. And again more than enough e-mails within a day thanking me for the reportand wishing us all the best for our holidays. I decided again to sent the report earlier. This due to the high amount of news, gossip and your e-mails. It was Keith King who responded very quickly. I doubt if he could have read all before sending an e-mail back. Here is what Colin Wilkins wrote: 'Many thanks for the April newsletter, your newsletters are always
interesting to read and catch up on what's happening over a nice cup of tea. Its the only way to learn of what's been happening, through your newsletters. Offshore Echo's these days is just a magazine of taking a look at things what happened all those years ago, so thanks once again. Anyhow have a nice holiday and I hope to hear from you soon. Best Wishes from sunny England'.

Colin, thanks a lot. Of course Chris Edwards, François Lhote and others at Offshore Echos are doing their best to bring a magazine for many years. And if they've chosen to do it in almost 100% reminiscing, it's their choice. I still do enjoy the OEM. On the other hand I do read a lot of other magazines, too.

On the evening I sent the report away it was Tineke de Nooy from Veronica's offshore days, who was guest in the program 'Night Club' on Veronica TV. Of course the past of the offshore station Veronica was highlighted. Not only with 15 seconds with pictures of the good old station but also questions how about Tineke came to work with the station. She told that she saw some people distributing stickers at the Zeedijk in Hilversum in 1960. She was 17 at that stage and walked into the building. Following that she was a very nice presenter to read 'words' written by others and herself. It changes, she told, when the presenters from CNBC, Commercial Neutral Broadcaster Company, came in. From that point on she started doing deejaying, with thanks for putting a cover of an Eddie Gormé record in front of her. One of the CNBC jocks told her: 'This is your public and so talk to them'. From that point on she has never written a text herself again. The 14 years, she has worked with Radio Veronica she never wanted to have missed and still she gets angry to think back again to August 1974. This due to the fact that Radio Veronica had, as an offshore radio station, to leave the air. The Dutch government had then brought in the Dutch version of the Marine Offences Act.

Congratulations to one of our regular listeners over in Ireland, Tom Hardy. For the first time in his live he became a father of a daughter, Laurie Carter. Tom nowadays works for Today FM and found his way in radio through stations like Chiltern Radio, Radio Nova and not forgetting Radio Caroline. He started there in 1978 and was one of the crew members who had to abandon the MV Mi Amigo in a hurry in March 1980, when if finally sunk.

On www.carolinecentral.com at the end of April the next info could be read: 'Fresh information about the ex Laser 558 ship shows that the new unnamed British owner does not intend to scrap the ship if such can be avoided, but has a project for the vessel. However, his hopes have been dampened after contractors removed equipment that was not part of the sale inventory and left the ship open. In a remote location it was easy for vandals to board the Communicator and she has now been extensively looted and vandalised. A group of people, fascinated by the ship, have been visiting it on a regular basis to observe it's decline, but seemingly have done nothing to guard the vessel or make it secure. On Sunday 27th April, structural engineers from Radio Caroline boarded the ship with the owners permission. It is thought that this team will first secure all openings to the ship and then see if some lighting and running water can be restored. They are hampered by the fact that the engine room is flooded and the ship is listing heavily to starboard having settled on an underwater obstruction at the stern. It is not known if Caroline's intervention is a one off emergency gesture or the first phase of a permanent involvement.

In one of his programs on satellite Radio Caroline, Johnny Lewis told that the Communicator will be anchored next to the Ross Revenge to get two ships together as a statue for the history of Offshore Broadcasting. 

It seems we're getting older and more and more people, who where active in radio, are passing away. This month the sad news that at the age of 70 Barry Mordici Ainly died. People reading this bulletin and who are following radio since the early sixties, know he was at one stage managing director of Radio Caroline. He was the man who was almost always at the Caroline office at 6 Chesterfield Gardens. Some of the stars of the Sixties, like Blackburn, Rosko and Dave Lee Travis, can claim that it was
Ainley who did offer them a job.

Also this month we have some nick names coming in. When the former tender king of the Ross Revenge, Leendert Vingerling, was sending me some beautiful photos by e mail, there was a shot from some people, including Andy Johnson. And people who did listen to his programs or where on the ship during the period he worked for Radio Caroline, know his nick name was Andy 'Cosmic' Johnson. And from the same period, the Eighties, we have another Caroline deejay, Bruce Purdy, who was called Bruce 'Stonehenge' Perdy.

On the story from Ed Simeone from last month it was Bill (Will) Danse who gave some more info. Like some of the other guys, who worked on the VOP, I sent a separate set of photos to their private address. One was featuring good guy Tony Allan with some other people. Here's what Bill wrote: 'Very nice to receive the photo's. The guy who is sitting next to Tony is Jo. It's what we call nowadays a social defected boy. He got total protection of Father McTague. On the ship he was the cook's mate. Jo had one ideal and that was the same McTague had. They wanted to visit St. Peter's Square in Rome. And they succeeded in doing so.

It was Norman Barrington who sent me an mp3 file. On this he had edited some parts of the very first live program on April 18th in 1973 from the MV Mi Amigo. It was the late Freek Simon doing the presentation and Norman B doing the technical assistance. And believe it or not, I got cold shivers on my body. Norman B did it in the correct way, he edited it to 3.19 (minutes and seconds). Thanks Norman! 

On Dutch TV on TELEAC a new series of programs has started on April 27th. 'Nederpop with heart and soul', is the name of the series which is featuring the music from Dutch beat and pop groups in the sixties and seventies. Next to the history of the pop music, there is some attention to the influence of the offshore radio stations in the programs. Shit! Again the bomb attack. Are there no other interesting subjects of that area?

Also this month I will mention some of the thousands of interesting internet sites. On the next one is a run down of the RSL relating to offshore Radio during the past years. Also some unique photo's from the Alan Beech archive on Radio Scotland. Sorry Alan, we lent one. http://www.qsl.net/m1eyp/offshore.htm

Another one from the past (also present) who reflected on the report is Barry Everett: 'You can hear my radio shows on Borderline Internet Radio streamed 24/7.... www.borderline.co.uk Hugh Nolan, my old DJ partner on Radio Geronimo and Seagull, is in town and much talk of 'the old days' has been going on. I would love to get back on terrestrial radio again but the club is taking more and more of my time, still my little studio at home is producing my internet shows and the audience is growing, about 8,000 a week now. Anyhow mate a great read and I look forward to the next one...... All the best, Barry'.

Remember Radio 270? It was really good to hear from Mike Hayes. In perfect Dutch he wrote me how he enjoyed the report. I wrote back to Mike and have asked him to come to the Radio Day to do his story. Agenda: October 25th Radio Day Amsterdam.

Andy Archer promised earlier to come to Amsterdam. He was one of the first people attending our very first radio day in 1978 and since then we met each other once. So Andy, hope to see you in October. He sent the next message: 'Thank you Hans, as usual, most fascinating reading. I hope you and your family are well and enjoy your island holiday. I seem to remember that one of the cooks (Big Jan) on the Mi Amigo in 1967/68 lived on Terschelling, I'm sorry that I cannot remember his surname. Does anyone know the whereabouts of Carl Mitchell, he seems to have completely disappeared!! Best wishes from Andy Archer.'

Andy is not the only one who's searching for Carl Mitchell. Roger Day too. I met Carl for the last time in Discothèque de Berenkuil, in Groningen, where he did work for a while in 1969 and early 1970. After that he went to RNI. So who knows something about what happened to Carl Mitchell after September 1970?

Martin van der Ven has passed along a press report that Dr. Carl McIntire, the fiery radio fundamentalist-evangelist, died on March 22, 2002 in Voorhees, NJ. He was 95 years of age. His daily broadcasts were heard over 600 stations until the early 1970s when the stations ran afoul of the FCC's fairness doctrine. I do remember Dr. McIntire as the man of the offshore radio station Radio Free America, a radio station that broadcast briefly over 1160 kHz from a former mine sweeper off the New Jersey coast. It went on the air on September 12 1973 with testransmissions, from the MV Columbus. The ship was in international waters, off the New Jersey coast. Complaints were brought in by radio station WHLW that Radio Free America was making interference with their signal. But that were not the first troubles RFA got. In a storm the anchor chain broke and they had to go into harbor again. Official transmissions started on September 19th. The next day a federal judge issued an order restraining that the station could not make any broadcast again until October 1st. Then the authorities came with an old law, from 1934. In this it is forbidden to make transmissions from airplanes and ships, which are registrated in the USA. Carl McIntire had made the big mistake not to buy a foreign flag and so this little piece of radio history ended.

One who also knows what communicating is all about is Chris Cortez from Cherrey Hinton. He sent in a very long letter. Of course Chris, it's impossible to place everything but we will publish some of your comments and question regarding the March and April editions and hopefully, if I don't have the answer, someone else can reflect: 'Where will the proposed TV Documentary about Radio Scotland to be broadcast?'

Referring to earlier things about the line between Ronan O'Rahilly and Georgie Fame in the early sixties Chris has also a question, so let the answers come: "What was the title of the Georgie Fame promo disc which Ronan was taking to get BBC/Luxy airtime far way back in 1962 or 1963? Legends claims it to be 'Do the dog' or 'Do re mi'', both Columbia Records in 1964. But the date seems to rule this out. So was it 'JA Blues' or 'Stop right here', both by the Blue Flames on R&B Records in 1963? Ronan's links with Colin Berry of this record company in North London are well documented."

Also Chris Cortez is shocked about the things I published about John England and his other friends. Cortez: 'I was shocked to see that our American cousins are still querying whether it was really possible for Ronan O'Rahilly to have chosen the name for his radio station after seeing a magazine photograph of Caroline Kennedy. Does anybody care about this? The fact is that Ronan called his station 'Caroline' and today only damn fool politicians try to rewrite history. "We think that London is a better name than Caroline", say our American cousins. They cannot surely be serious. How crazy that a powerful radio station broadcasting to Great Britain and Half of Europe had a name of just one city! Then again many aspects of this Radio London operation were crazy. Eg.1: Anchoring within British territorial waters upon arrival from the USA aboard the Galaxy. Guess which Irishman told the people of Big L of their serious error? EG2: Broadcasting a nighttime heterodyne whistle on her signal, due to the use
of an off channel crystal in her transmitter! Guess the nationality of the broadcast engineers who did not know of the 1 kHz difference American and European (British) MW/AM Channels.' Thanks Chris and I will have one on you.

Steve Szmidt sent the next e mail: 'That was a bit of a marathon! Thanks. A good read as always. Yes, I got the finishing line, eventually!

John McKay is a big fan of the former Laser ship Communicator and he wrote in, too: 'As you have written, if the Communicator really is to be scrapped, I would like you to print in your next letter a plea for anyone in the local area that might be able to take some LAST digital photos of the once great LASER 558 ship before she disappears forever...I would very much like to have some pictures on the website of the old girl before she is scrapped. Regards: John Mckay www.laser558.org 'Dedicated to preserving the memory of one of the greatest radio stations of all time...LASER 558'

Ben Groenendijk, Director for Radio and TV Rijnmond, one of the two regional companies in the Province of Zuid Holland, has decided to quit the job. After 14 years with regional stations, from with the last 6 years with RTV Rijnmond, he thinks that it's time for a new job. He will become the new director for RVU Educatieve Omroep, a broadcast society who makes educational radio and television programs completely financed by Dutch government.

Dutch government has decided that from 2005 the Public Broadcast Societies only has to have 150.000 members to get a licence for radio and television programs. Up till now the law says that they have to have 300.000 members or more.' Vice Minister Van Leeuwen, once member of Dutch band Kayak, brought in the plan to make the number lower. For broadcasting societies it's more difficult to get the younger people to their membership. BNN, a special broadcasting society for the youth, has more chance to get a new licence under the new restrictions.

Sometimes there are surprises, when reading some old magazines. I was doing archive work for an article and came around with a 1966 edition of the then famous pop magazine Muziek Express. In this I suddenly found a nick name, which we hadn't mentioned during the past 12 month. Known from his accident on board the MV Norderney, where he lost a finger. But also he was famous due to highlighting a lot of country music on Radio Veronica. Therefore in this certain magazine I did found back his nick name: Gerard 'Nashville Tennessee' de Vries.

A 'miracle city' is the idea of the JMWZ, the Johan Maasbach Wereld Zendingen. This religious company, headed by two brothers, plans a very big centre for all religions of the world in The Hague. Next to a big church they want to built a congress building, a prayer hall as well as other buildings. The JMWZ is already 50 years in Dutch the Hague and was formerly headed by Johan Maasbach. He transmitted his daily radio programs on more than 160 different radio stations around the world, including offshore radio stations like RNI, Radio Caroline and Radio Monique. In the early nineties Johan died and the company was taken over by the family. For some people, within the offshore scene, Maasbach was the man from: 'Put your hand on the radio, I'll will pray for you and you sent me all your money'. I don't know what they want with the name 'Miracle city', we can all guess.

The organisation behind the most important award for Dutch TV, the 'Nipkow Schijf' has decided that Kopspijkers, from VARA TV, will get this Award this year. On the 22nd of May, Jack Spijkerman and his crew get this award for their program, which gained already several important awards during the past years. Transmitted on Saturday evenings on VARA TV this program brings, with a bright smile and a lot of humour, things from a normal week. The best radio program, Kunststof from the NPS, get the Award 'Zilveren Reissmicrofoon'. 

Program director Kees Gerritsen of Yorin will leave the HMG, where Yorin TV and Yorin FM are a part of. Watchers of the Dutch broadcasting system know that Yorin was born after Veronica Broadcasting Society decided to step out of the Holland Media Group. Kees was then the new man on Yorin. In total he has 25 long years for Veronica. During the years with Yorin he decided to bring the very popular program 'Big Brother' to his station.

Each week the Radio Newsletter is sent around to a lot of people interested in the British radio scene and edited by Liam Gough. Have a look on his site and try to get his weekly free of costs by e mail: www.ukRadio.com

Roger Day came back from the USA and wrote in: 'While in Los Angeles I met up with Larry Tremaine who I hadn't seen since 1970 on Radio North Sea International. In fact the bugger sacked me. Life is too short for grudges (unless of course it is the Radio Authority) and we had a good reunion. Larry admitted it was a mistake to sack me and I could only agree. By the way US radio is far better than what we get over here. So many great formats.' 

'Shocking' is the word for the decision taken on April the 29th, by the cable authority for the Northern Provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland. Each year this commission decides which television stations have the chance to be on the cable network, which is provided by Essent. Of course, as many new stations are trying to get space on the cable networks, others have to disappear. One of the decisions taken this year is that CNN has to disappear. New on the cable here will be EuroNews. A great shock for democracy. We have a lot of European stations on cable so we don't sit and wait for EuroNews. The real reason is that the people within the Cable Authority have decided that CNN has to disappear due to the fact the programs are too pro American! Yes, that's really a Dutch democratic decision. However two days later the board of Directors of Essent came together in an special meeting to talk about the advice of the cable authority, which should be the voice of the people. Reason was that hundreds of inhabitants of earlier mentioned Provinces had phoned to Essent. Also the regional newspaper got hundreds of phone calls about the decision. All think that we're living in a democracy and that we have to decide ourselves if we would like to watch CNN or not. The board of directors of Essent have decided that CNN will stay on the cable network. Victory for Democracy.

I do get, next to a lot of e mails, also regular calls from radio friends I made through the years. One of them is Bob Noakes, who has been living for more than 30 years in the Netherlands. Of course you know him from the days on the MV Mi Amigo (Radio Seagull and Radio Caroline) as well as from the period he worked on the MEBO II (RNI) and the MV Cito (Voice of Peace). One other station he did a program for, I do remember: Radio Iris from Amsterdam. Bob phoned me to tell a funny story. He had watched a television program in which a Dutch show master, Willem Ruys, was highlighted. Willem died in the eighties of last century on the top of his career and as a book was published about his life, also a lot of attention is paid on him on Dutch TV. 

In one of the historical shots in the documentary small film cameras were given to people to make some shots at home, for showing in the then next week's television show. Bob then told me that he fell asleep. Suddenly he awoke and remembered that during the time on the MV Mi Amigo, in the early seventies, two of the crewmembers where always filming. Not only the action in the studio but also the other daily routine on the ship. He also remembered that the movie was one time shown at a local cinema in The Hague, where people could bring in their own product which would then be shown before the big movie was started.

This two guys were Peter van Dijken and Jaap de Haan. The father of Jaap had a driving school at that time. Here's the big question: 'Does anybody know the present whereabouts of Jaap and Peter as Bob would really like to see them again, as well as the movie. You can contact Bob Noakes by e-mailing myself at HKnot@home.nl

News from a former Caroline and Laser deejay, this time the story is done by Paul Alexander Rusling: 'One interesting bit of news I got this week, which may be useful for your news round up, came from my good friend Blake Williams who you may remember from Laser early days and Caroline in 1984 and 1985. He has just moved back to his home town of Tucson in Arizona for a while, and will be spending the next month or so in Austin, Texas, (home of those Ladybird stations and the worlds biggest radio network, Clear Channel Communications. Here is a picture of him with his trusty truck - note the number of this - a real anorak tag plate! It reads AMFM Dr (short for Doctor in English). The first time I saw it I thought it read AMEN Dr, we thought he had gone all religious on us!' Also Leen Vingerling got in contact with him lately and he wrote about Blake: 'He is a freelance engineer doing things like cleaning up signals, installing studios and transmitting facilities, as well as helping out with satellite program interfacing. He is still doing some voice work from his home studio. Tom Anderson from Caroline had a profound effect on his life, because he convinced Blake to become a vegetarian. And up till now he still is.'

But there is one other friend from Caroline days in the seventies and eighties found back by Leendert: 'Out of the blue I've got an e-mail from good old Simon Barrett. 'Wally on the wireless'. Simon worked for radio Caroline in the seventies(Mi Amigo) and eighties(Ross Revenge) He is also the author of a book about his adventures on the Mi Amigo. Simon left the Ross in 1985, stayed over a year in my place and earned a living as a deejay in clubs and Radio Nova in the Hague. He did also some voice-over work for EuropaTV in Hilversum. In 1986 he left Holland. Since then I never ever heard anything from him, until recently. He lives in Cala d'Or on Mallorca. In the early nineties he organised karaoke shows in pubs. When that hype was over he was talented enough to become a singer and tambourine player in a band. In the weekends he's touring around the island and sings songs like 'riders on the storm' and 'have you ever seen the rain'. Simon works as a painter or taxi driver and occasionally as a night porter in a hotel. During one of those boring nights he started playing with the computer and found out that Howard Rose died 6 months ago. Howard visited him 7 years ago. I'm sure I will hear more of him, now he is connected to the 'offshore-world'.

An announcement from Germany came in: For the very first time since 12 years a famous radio duo is working together again. From May 2nd on each Friday between 16 and 19 hrs Dennis King and Andreas Dorfmann are doing it together again. They can be heard on Spree Radio 105.5 in Berlin. Dennis is mentioned during the past months a few times in this monthly report. He started as a deck hand on the Mi Amigo, then became the office boy for Andy Archer and the gang and made some programs on Radio Caroline. Later on he became very big in Germany.

And now something about a new CD and a book, which were released during the last weeks. First the book: The Summer 2003 edition of Broadcasts in English is now available from the British DX Club. It was compiled by Alan Pennington and includes details of all currently known international broadcasts in English on short wave and medium wave for the Summer A03 schedule period. It is in time order throughout and covers all target areas. Transmitter sites are listed where known. A comprehensive guide to DX and Media Programmes is also included plus schedules for WorldSpace and World Radio Network for Europe. Copies are available at the following prices (postage included): United Kingdom - 2 pounds sterling, Europe - 5 International Reply Coupons; 5 Euros or 4 US Dollars, Rest of the World - 6 International Reply Coupons or 5 US Dollars. UK cheques/Postal Orders should be made payable to British DX Club. Payments in Dollars or Euros are only accepted in cash. All
orders/enquiries to: British DX Club, 126 Bargery Road, Catford, London SE6 2LR, UK

60 YEARS OF AFN IN EUROPE

When I'm looking back at my youth in connection with the subject radio, than first comes into my mind the many fine evenings listening to the radio under the blankets. It's not like today that children watch television up till the late hours. No, we had to go to bed at an earlier time. Television in Holland was just born and only a few hours a week it could be watched. That's to say if your parents had a television. Ours decided to buy one in 1960, a Siemens from Germany.

The three of use shared a big sleeping room and so in the late fifties we had the opportunity to listen either to the fading signal of Radio Luxembourg on 208 metres in the AM band or to another station. The later was also transmitting in English, although the presenters had an American accent. They brought us music we never heard before, including rock and roll and country music. The station was on AM and became known as AFN Bremerhavn, which was not too far away from our hometown Groningen and so the station came at a reasonable quality.

If you listened more and more to AFN Bremerhavn you could found out that a part of the programming came from their own local station. The other part where programs, which also were aired on sister stations around the world. Yes, programs which were aimed at the American soldiers. Only a few years later I found out what AFN, American Forces Network, really stood for. Next to AFN Bremerhavn there were many other AFN stations all over the world to provide the soldiers with news, information, sports, comedy, culture and music. The programs which went to all stations were delivered in those days on record. Later on tape, cd's and through satellite feeds.
Of course during the last years also programming has been done with the use of the modern techniques, including the use of internet.

But the three of us were not the only in our hometown listening to the sound of AFN. During playtime, at school, we learnt that more of our age were tuning in and all had the same reason: 'We're hearing things which we are not allowed to listen to on our Dutch Hilversum 1 and 2. Music we never heard before. Gorgeous.' It would take more than 10 years up till 1971 before I would be in contact with someone in a foreign country who also tuned into AFN on a very regular schedule: Ingo Paternoster. It became clear to me that AFN was his most favourite station. Both we started to exchange material we had recorded through the years and we sent each other spoken letters in which we talked about our love for radio.

Not much later the first visit from Ingo to Holland was taken, not only to see me, but also to listen to AFN Shape (Soesterberg) as well as visiting the studios of Radio Veronica in Hilversum. Still after 32 years Ingo and I are still in contact and exchanging material of all kind. But after the first meeting with him I really started to learn more about AFN and AFRTS. The idea of grounding the station came about a year before the invasion of the Allies in Europe and was the brainchild of General Dwight Eisenhower, also known as Ike Eisenhower, in later years President of the USA.

He had the idea that the American soldiers, far away from home, would feel better if they could informed on a regular base by radio and other forms of communications. His first target were the American soldiers, who were already in British - overcrowded - military camps. With in mind the forthcoming invasion they had to be informed very properly. 

It was in September of 1942 that a research brought the information that more and more soldiers got demoralised. This was not only through the fact that the camps were overcrowded but also due to the growing fear to be part of World War 2. The soldiers could tune in to the BBC program but they didn't enjoy the stiff way of presenting of the British in those days. Also they only got 30 minutes a week of American music and, yes, 5 minutes of sports information a week. Information was sent to Washington's
White House that due to these facts more and more soldiers started listening in to the Propaganda radio stations of the NAZI's.

This development was reason enough for Dwight Eisenhower to contact a few of his best persons within the Ministry of War: General Everett Hughes and Mr Brewster Morgan. They got to order to change things very quickly. Not much later they came with the plan not only to start a newspaper and a magazine, but also a radio station. From Dwight they got the free hand to start up this information systems. The newspaper was earlier used during World War 1 and was called 'Stars and Stripes'. By the way, it still consists. And it brought the birth of AFN, the American Forces Network with several low powered transmitters, nearby or on the several Military
Camps in Great Britain.

Of course after that all over the world such stations have been brought in were American soldiers were and are active. They can bring info about the war they're in, but also news and information from home. Next to stations which have a more permanent status, a lot of mobile stations were and are used around the world. After World War two, to mention one of the many, Blue Danube Network was grounded. The main station was in Vienna (Austria) while two sister stations were built in the cities of Linz and
Salzburg. But also countries as Spain and Italy got their own AFN stations. 

But not only during times of war AFN was and is on air. During the Cold War many AFN stations were active in countries like Germany and from Offshore. The Americans used a radio ship, the MV Courier, to transmit programs off the coast of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. And if it was AFN Vietnam, AFN Bosnia, AFN Shape, AFN Berlin, AFN Heidelberg, AFN Balkans or AFN Iraq, all those were interesting enough to listen to. Of course for me and Ingo and all those other AFN lovers, mostly by recordings we exchanged.

During the time, since our very first meeting in 1971, I stayed in contact with Ingo and we shared our love for radio, with AFN and the offshore radio as the most important within the industry. Up till March 1993 it was for me possible to tune in to AFN Bremerhavn, after which the local station was closed down. Ingo had moved from Northern Germany to Bavaria years and years ago, and could listen to stations like AFN Frankfurt and AFN Munich. His top favourite deejays were Rick Damerest and Bill
Switcher. 

Lucky enough we and other AFN friends did share and archived a lot of transmitted material. This resulted in a beautiful production which is produced and edited by Ingo Paternoster. Almost 130 different tracks give the listeners of the double cd 60 Years of AFN Europe more than 2,5 hours of listening pleasure. It gives also a bright look at the fantastic history of this network of radio stations. 

The concept idea for this CD is from Dr. John Proven and Ingo has done all the research and editing of the existing material. Just to mention a few of the many recordings which can be heard on this double cd: First of all you'll be hearing a comic man who was always related to American Army: Mickey Rooney. There is a speech of General Lucas, from 1946, which was well conserved. A report from the Nuremberg Process is one of the other unique things on the CD. Also you will be hearing recordings of the
jubilee program from '5 years AFN Berlin'. But also a visit by Frank Sinatra to one of the AFN studio's is brought back on the cd. As everybody knows Elvis Presley did his military service in Germany and during this period he could be heard a lot on the AFN stations over there. Also nice it's to hear that for instant recordings have been saved from AFN Orleans and that in the program 'On the scene' an item about President Kennedy from the early sixties has been saved. Many more can be heard on this
double cd 60 Years of AFN Europe, including a lot of beautiful promo's, commercials, air checks, jingles and bloopers.

As told earlier, more than 2,5 hours of listening pleasure. No, I won't give you a complete index of the double CD. I just suggest to you to order your own copy. I surely know you won't regret. In the meantime I've put the CD 60 Years of AFN Europe away on the shelf with the ten best produced CD's in the history on radio.

The double CD 60 Years of AFN in Europe can now be ordered by sending 20 Euro (the price including postage and packing). For people outside countries with Euros you can sent in 15 Pounds to: Ingo Paternoster, Postfach 127, D-86439 Zusmarshausen, Deutschland.


Then came news from the BBC. It was Mark Macdonald who sent us the following press release: BBC Worldwide has appointed Susanne Gallagher as its new Head of Channels for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA). Effective immediately, Susanne is now responsible for the distribution of BBC Worldwide's entertainment channels, including BBC PRIME and BBC FOOD, throughout the region. Announcing the appointment, BBC Worldwide Director of Channels for EMEIA, Wayne Dunsford, said "Susanne will play a pivotal role in the development of our channel business across all territories. With several years' experience of both programme sales and channel distribution in several key markets, Susanne brings a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the broadcast industry to the role."

Susanne Gallagher said, "There is enormous potential for new growth of our channel business and it is an exciting challenge to drive channel sales to a new level. Our team will build the business with the introduction of BBC PRIME and BBC FOOD into new territories, expansion of our subscription levels with existing contracts and by establishing new network partnerships to extend coverage in territories where we already broadcast. Another key focus is also to extend our strategy of adding value to existing distribution with initiatives such as localisation." Susanne Gallagher joined the BBC in 1993 working for BBC World Service. She has worked for BBC Worldwide since 1994, taking up sales roles in various markets including Iberia, Africa and the Middle East. Susanne replaces Charlotte Repholtz, who is returning to her native Denmark to manage the BBC Worldwide channels office in Copenhagen. From Denmark, Charlotte will focus on developing channel distribution across Scandinavia, Poland and Hungary. 

During the weekend July 7th Mark Dezzani (Caroline Satellite) and Grant Benson (Caroline deejay in the eighties) will be organising a special radio anorak weekend for friends from the past. It will be held in Seborgha (Italy). Tom Anderson, Bilbo, Pyers (engineering staff MV Ross Revenge) will join them. Also Marjo and Leen Vingerling will go to the Sunday Lunch, which is part of the reunion, and hopefully Leen will make some photo's for next report.

Some months ago we published a question from Stuart, who wondered if someone could help him with the original 'That Man' jingles as used on Swinging Radio England. Paul Byford answered that he could provide Stuart with the original demo tape in good quality. Many e-mails have been sent but until now..... 

I hope Paul will sent the jingles to Stuart, as this report tries to be as much as honest as I can be, I also do try to contact people with each other. On the other hand I get a little bit dissatisfied with people who promise us a lot, but don't do the things they promise.

And the following nice e-mail I received when coming back from a short break at the Isle of Terschelling: 'I've no idea where you find the time-but I'm glad you do find it! I look forward to reading the report each month and was fascinated by the stories this time. Keep it up - hope you and your wife had a great break. Best wishes Dave Shearer. Dave and all the others did sent us an e mail: We did enjoy the break, had wonderful weather and the isle was beautiful, too. 

And in the harbour of Terschelling we found for you all an excellent ship which we all could imagine to be on the air. Remember very early Top 40 Radio and one of the pioneers: Dallas and Gordon McLendon? He was the man who was brought to Scandinavia to get fresh ideas to the staff of Radio Nord too. And guess what? We found the KLIF vessel in the harbour of Terschelling, 45 years after the start of offshore radio in Europe.

An e-mail from California came in: 'Just been listening to the Jumbo Records double album set from the Flashback '67 convention in London 1977 and I got to wondering. Do you know if more of the lectures and panels were recorded? Really enjoyed that, specially Alan West's piece. I'm haunted by the thought of Johnny Scott throwing up live on air, and it'd be nice to know if one day the rest of the recordings might show up? Also the Monthly report is the highlight of the anorak month, sir!' Well thanks for that one and you all know now the question: recordings from the Convention Flashback 67'. Who can answer this for us, just sent me an e-mail: HKnot@home.nl

Another e-mail came in from the USA and one of the former people who worked next to Abe Nathan when money had to be found in the USA to get transmitters and refit the ship in 1973: 'I was delighted to read the report about how the Peace Ship got over the side. The writing was quite good and what an adventure that must have been. Keep up the good work! Russell Dodworth.' Maybe the next step will be for Kas Collins to write some of his memories on his days on the Voice of Peace. By the way, on May 14th on station 100FM in Tel Aviv a 2-hour program was transmitted on the history of the Voice of Peace. In the evening a special festivity was held to get money for the recovery of Abe Nathan. He got two strokes during the last two years and is living in a care centre.

Harry Beyers from Rotterdam is looking for a program, transmitted on August 1st 1973 on Radio Veronica. It's the Jukebox program with Stan Haag. Please look in your archive if you can help him. His parents were 20 years married that certain day. If you do have, you can mail him at: h.beyers@planet.nl

Dear radio friends, that's all for this time. Let your news, gossips, memories and stories coming in. And of course if you've some nice photos to share it's always welcome too!

Till next time all best wishes, from Groningen

Hans Knot


 

Thursday May 15th 2003

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A tribute to Abi Nathan

Hi All,

There was a three hour programme on the "Time Tunnel" oldies show between 12.00 - 15.00 today (14/05/03) on Radius 100FM here in Israel, to the Voice of Peace. This being on a day that a tribute is going to be paid to Abie Nathan, the founder of the VOP at the Tzavta theatre in Tel-Aviv.

Lots of Israeli artists will be performing. and the proceeds will go to the costs of Abie's treatment. To remind your readers, Abie has suffered two strokes, leaving him in a wheelchair, and barely able to talk.

The programme consisted of VOP Jingles, excerts from Kenny Page, Tim Sheperd, commercials, Twilight Time, and other famous moments from the VOP's 20 year history. It was broadcast on the station Radius, which broadcasts on 100FM, the station that took over the old VOP frequency. The VOP closed down in October of 1993, and Radius started in September of 1995.

The programme was also broadcast through their website - www.100FM.co.il , which also has a camera showing live pictures from the studio.

Mike Brand, Israel


 

Tuesday May 6th 2003

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Op zaterdag 24 mei a.s. tussen 22 en 24:00 uur zal Ad Roland (Ad Petersen op Radio Mi Amigo) speciale gast zijn in Club Mi Amigo op Radio 192. Voor de live stream klik hier (RealPlayer).


 

Saturday May 3rd 2003

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Hans Knot reporting:

IN JULI 25 JAAR GELEDEN

25 jaar 'Freewave'

In het kader van het 25 jarig bestaan van het Freewave Media Magazine heb ik de afgelopen maanden binnen het blad via de rubriek 'Perikelen' teruggeblikt op nieuwsfeiten van telkens een ander jaar. Deze keer wil ik in een apart verhaal 1978 aanpakken, het jaar dat Freewave Media Magazine ontstond, misschien wel als een vorm van rebellie. Er zitten binnen ons abonneebestand een aantal lezers die het, gelijk aan mij, een kwart eeuw hebben volgehouden. Hulde voor deze lezers die het toch maar weer jaar in jaar uit opbrachten om het door ons geschreven pakket aan informatie en verhalen te doorkruisen en te consumeren.

Ik het najaar van 1976 besloot ik om na 6 jaar intensief Pirate Radio News als hoofdredacteur te hebben mogen begeleiden te stoppen met schrijven. Ja U leest het goed, ik stopte met schrijven. Het was me op dat moment al een beetje te veel geworden. En het doel van Pirate Radio News was het nieuws te brengen over de zeerzenders - die vooral internationaal gericht waren. Ik wil die oude PRN's, zoals ze ook wel kortweg werden genoemd, eigenlijk niet eens terug zien. Het was de vorm van communicatie tussen fans van Pirate Radio Stations, uitzendend vanaf internationale wateren. Amateuristisch, vol typefouten, snel sneller snelst en bovenal gedrukt op een zeer afwijkend folio formaat. Mijn toenmalige werkgever had een oude stencilmachine, die men aan de kant had gezet omdat er op de archiefafdeling een grote Xerox kopieermachine was neergezet. In de voorraad kast was inkt voor tientallen nummers en ik mocht mijn gang gaan. Dit gebeurde op de vrije zaterdag, waarna alle adressen met de hand werden
geschreven en de postzegel werd geplakt. 

Zoals al gezegd, ik was het in 1976 een beetje moe. Maar alras werd ik benaderd door de mensen achter een ander stencilblaadje genaamd 'Baffle'. Men zag wel iets in ons idee van het nieuws 'van dag tot dag' brengen, zoals PRN gewend was. Toen ik toestemming gaf ons idee voort te planten via Baffle werd daaraan meteen de vraag gekoppeld om mee te werken. Tja, en het grote probleem in het leven van de nu 53-jarige Hans Knot is dat hij heel, maar dan ook heel moeilijk 'nee' kan zeggen. Baffle had naast radio informatie ook muziekinfo, geleverd door Bert Bossink. 

Baffle groeide uit tot RadioVisie, waar ik ook voor bleef schrijven. Inmiddels was er in Nederland een nieuw blad in 1977 op de markt verschenen met de naam 'Freeway'. Naast roddels en onsamenhangend nieuws over radio had men een vaste rubriek over de ziekenomroep in ons land. Ton Plekkenpol, een toen pakweg 17-jarige knaap uit Hilversum, runde het blaadje met steun van vrijwel zijn gehele familie. Ton van Draanen, destijds werkzaam in de reclamewereld, was op de één of andere manier met Plekkenpol in contact gekomen. Oogstrelend zag het Freeway er niet uit en dus stelde Ton voor er iets beters van te maken, een blad met meer elan. Ik kende Ton al uit de periode dat hij die geweldige, zes uur durende, documentaire had gemaakt ver de historie van de zeezenders van 1958-1974. Hij had er een magnifiek product van gemaakt. Een paar jaar geleden heb ik Ton een nieuwe kopie kunnen leveren, de masteropname had de tanden des tijds niet doorstaan. Ton vertelde Plekkenpol dat hij ook nog wel een paar vriendjes had die af en toe wat zouden kunnen gaan schrijven.

Maar voordat de nieuwe werknemers hun intrede deden wil ik het verhaal voor het eerst onderbreken door te verhalen wat er zoal in die Freeway's, de voorganger van Uw huidig blad, stond te lezen. In de editie van 10 oktober 1977 somde de redactie een aantal adressen op van lieden die een piratenzender runden. Lees je even mee: 

'Radio Calipso vindt U bij K. Slomp, Nieuwe Krimp 50 in Coevorden.

Dolle Mina's, opgelet! Emancipatiestreven of niet, er is nu een eigen radiozender, Radio Dolle Mina, Sluiszuidkade 76, Vriezeveen in Drenthe. En vergeet ook Radio Dromedaris niet, want die is ook gereed om Uw post te ontvangen. Z'n dromedarisbus bevindt zich in bewegende richtingen in de omgeving van Zutphen en wel onder nummer 278.' Was onderschreven door ene A.L.Fabet.

En op een vraag van een lezer, die destijds zijn post kwijt kon op Postbus 1239 in Hilversum, of de redactie ook wist of Radio Atlantis in de ether zou terugkeren schreef Plekkenpol als kenner van 17 jaar: 'Nee, dit kost teveel en is moeilijk te realiseren, denkend aan de problemen met Mi Amigo.' 

Maar goed, Ton van Draanen haalde er wat vriendjes bij en zo ontstonden er bepaalde rubrieken die zo nu en dan in de nummers langs kwamen. Ikzelf begon met de serie 'Knotpraat', waarin ik terugdook in de zeezendergeschiedenis. Broer Jelle bemoeide zich samen met mijn zwager over het nieuws rond het korte golf gebeuren. En hier komt dan meteen een oplossing van een jaren lang bestaand geheim. Will van den Enden, die destijds voor Freeway en later Freewave Media Magazine schreef, is niemand anders dan de U al jaren lang bekend staande Jelle Knot. En nu we toch even bezig zijn: de man destijds naast hem was mijn zwager Frits Mulder, later bekend als Frits Koning op Radio Unique en Radio Monique. Thuis had de beste man drie zussen en die wist hij heel goed, als jongste, te bespelen en dus kreeg hij al op zeer vroege leeftijd de bijnaam 'de koning' in huis, waarvan hij in zijn deejayperiode dankbaar gebruik zou maken. En daar kwam ook de rubriek 'Hallo Hier Hilversum' bij , geschreven door Jan Kooistra. Afkomstig uit Groningen, 'de buurman van' en tevens collega binnen de ziekenomroep, verhuisde hij naar Hilversum en berichtte
aldaar voor Freeway.

Eind 1977 lukte het Ton ook zijn vrienden in Amsterdam en omgeving over te halen regelmatig zelf, of door hun collega's, stukjes te leveren omtrent het 'boordgebeuren'. En daarbij doel ik op jongelieden die net voor het eerst hadden geproefd aan het radiogebeuren middels programma's op ziekenomroepen en landpiraten. Rob Hudson en Hugo Meulenhoff werden sterreporters in Freeway. Hugo werd achter de schermen bij RTL4 en voor wie het nog niet wist, Rob Hudson's werkelijke naam is Ruud Hendriks. Vanaf een woelige Noordzee wist hij ons te schrijven hoe verschrikkelijk zeeziek hij was geweest tijdens zijn eerste tocht, in de auto van Haarlem naar Scheveningen. Wie vertelt hem dat na?

Freeway dat in 1978 nog een twee wekelijks blaadje was, gedroeg zich als een volwaardig omroep door de lezers op te roepen nieuwe abonnees aan te werven. Dit alles onder het motto 'Trek Freeway over de streep'. Doel was dat jaar minimaal 250 nieuwe abonnees te werven en op het einde van het jaar kregen de beste ledenwervers een LP toegestuurd. Tenminste dat was de bedoeling. Of het inderdaad is gebeurd is mij onbekend daar toen het merendeel van de redactie van Freeway er uit was gestapt om het nieuwe blad Freewave Media Magazine op te richten.

Natuurlijk moeten we even een aantal namen noemen die zich destijds, onder de oude naam, hebben ingezet naast de eerder genoemde personen. Daar was Freddy Jorus uit België, die zorgde voor het uittypen van het blad, lay out was in handen van Ton van Draanen, terwijl zijn broer John mooie tekeningen ter illustratie bracht. Foto's plaatsen gebeurde, gezien het kostenaspect, nauwelijks. Let wel we spreken nog steeds over de tijd van de typemachine en het scherpe mes om alles tot een mooi geheel te kunnen krijgen.

We hadden ook van die medewerkers die af en toe een stukje schreven. Uit België bijvoorbeeld Dirk de Pauw, Rob Hoovenkamp voor Nederland (andermaal Ruud Hendriks) en jawel Hans Hogendoorn. Hij schreef een interessante serie over zijn belevenissen aangaande de radio in Amerika. Maar er was ook de op 20 maart 1955 geboren Dick Verheul. Hij beschreef in de Freeway hoe hij in Den Helder, waar hij eerder woonachtig was, piraatje speelde. Maar ook verhaalde Marc van Amstel over zijn leuke werkzaamheden bij de Wereldomroep.

In April 1978 brachten we een verhaal onder de noemer 'Hoe wordt Freeway gemaakt', waarin niet alleen een verslag van een redactievergadering maar ook foto's vanaf de diverse redactieplekken in Amstelveen, Mortsel en Groningen en ik denk één van de laatste foto's van Hans Knot zonder baard. Want naast 25 jaar SMC, 25 jaar Freewave Media Magazine en 25 jaar Radiodag beleven we dit jaar ook 25 jaar baard. Maar dat is weer een ander onderwerp. Ja, radiodag. In het voorjaar kwamen Jelle Knot, Rob van Dam (ja, ook afkomstig uit Groningen en beter bekend als Marc Jacobs) een aantal malen samen met onder meer Mike Baron en Nick Oakly van Music Radio Promotions. Reden was de organisatie van de grote conventie 'Zeezenders 20', die werd gehouden in de maand juli 1978 in het Leeuwenhorst Congres Centrum in Noordwijkerhout.

Maanden van voorbereidingen kostte het en tijdens die voorbereidingen ontstond, mede door de nog immer ontevredenheid over de inhoud van Freeway, bij Ton van Draanen en ondergetekende om met een geheel nieuw blad op de markt te komen, waarbij we niet alleen het adresbestand van PRN tot onze beschikking hadden maar ook de lezers van Freeway konden overtuigen over te stappen naar het Freewave Media Magazine, dat haar geboorte had tijdens de eerder gememoreerde 'Zeezenders 20'. Een drietal dagen fans en deejays tezamen met verhalen, herinneringen, geruchten, drank, ook op de foto met en denken dat het afgelopen was. Immers, Radio Mi Amigo was off air. Delmare zat weer in de problemen en er gingen allerlei geruchten. 

Een weekend waaraan directe herinneringen terugkeren die ik misschien nooit eerder heb geuit. Peter van Dam kwam nogal 'lollig' binnen alsof het hele weekend al was doorgezakt. Niet alles liep gesmeerd doordat een projector het bij het aanklikken, tijdens het droog oefenen het meteen begaf. En we hadden Nick Oakly die, ondanks dat ze vooral op vrouwen viel, mij maar steeds bleef vragen waar toch Bob LeRoi was (op zaterdagochtend). Bob en ik kennen elkaar dit jaar dus ook 25 jaar en ontmoeten elkaar sindsdien bijna jaarlijks. Een goede vriend, die - net als mezelf - van een portie humor houdt. De reden van Nick Oakly's herhalende vraag aan mij inzake Bob was: 'He's always looking at my tits'. Je kunt je voorstellen dat deze herinnering nog vaak door ons wordt opgehaald. Goed, deze keer was het voor het laatst. Immers, Bob en ik hebben veel meer mooiere herinneringen te delen.

Maar het mooiste is wel even terugblikken op de nieuwsgaring, die na de conventie 'Zeezenders 20'op gang kwam. Financieel was de organisatie gelukkig niet in onze handen, maar in die van Music Radio Promotions. Jarenlang is er door de eigenaar van het Congrescentrum geprobeerd de Britten over te halen de rekening te betalen. Of het uiteindelijk gelukt is kunnen we onderbrengen in de categorie 'onbekend'. Toen ik een drietal jaren geleden uiteindelijk Mike Baron weer wist te traceren was zijn antwoord op een hernieuwd contact 'Ik wil niets meer met dat deel van mijn leven te maken hebben'. 

De kop in de krant van 1 augustus, de maandag na de Conventie, was een tiental centimeters groot. Het Algemeen Dagblad schreef: 'Fans koesteren nog eenmal hun piraten'. Een verhaal geschreven door Henk Langerak. Dezelfde Langerak droeg me op het einde van dat jaar enkele onderdelen van zijn AD archief over om te bewaren voor de historie en als een soort van dank aan de jarenlange samenwerking tussen ons.

In het artikel, die volmaakt nostalgisch was geschreven, liet Langerak een aantal mensen aan het woord met onder meer de vraag waar een volgend jaar een dergelijke manifestatie, in wat voor vorm dan ook, zou moeten plaats vinden. Eén van de antwoorden was: 'Je kunt zo iets niet te vaak doen. Ik weet niet of het zo verstandig is om mee door te gaan.' En aansluitend op de zin: 'Uit alles blijkt dat de 450 aanwezig zich vastklampen aan de laatste strohalm. Het is gedaan met de piraten' antwoordde ikzelf met: 'Dit zeiden ze 10 jaar geleden ook al en ik heb er al heel wat weddenschappen mee gewonnen.' Achteraf heb ik spijt dat ik geen goede weddenschap ben aangegaan met Henk Langerak. Immers dit jaar vieren we op 25 oktober een aantal feiten: 25 jaar Freewave Media Magazine, 25 jaar Radiodag - Rob Olthof en ik zijn rustig doorgegaan met locaties voor de zeezender en later radiodagen in Amsterdam, Scheveningen, Haarlem, Utrecht en andermaal Amsterdam. Tevens bestaat de Stichting Media Communicatie dit jaar 25 jaar.

Afsluitend beloof ik U geen wedenschap aan te gaan inzake de volgende 25 jaar. Maar ik dank vooral de lezer van ons blad, de kijkers aan de zijlijn, de medewerkers van de verschillende radiostations - ter land, ter zee en vooral in de lucht, dank voor alle medewerking en vertrouwen in het voorgegane kwart eeuw. Laten we afspreken dat we elkaar zien op 25 oktober en er ditmaal een gezellig samenzijn van maken door met elkaar te praten en herinneringen op te halen.

Laat je eigen herinnering ook tot me komen want Radio is gewoon een mysterieus avontuur waar we elk onderdeel met elkaar moeten delen. Dus plaats het in deze groep of stuur je eigen herinnering naar mijn e mail. Je foto's zijn ook welkom bij je herinnering. We plaatsen al die herinneringen later dit jaar.

Hans Knot


 

Thursday April 24th 2003

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Hans Knot reporting from the Dutch radio scene:

Hi everybody and welcome to the April edition of the monthly report. Yet another week and it will be May and the weather is increasing. Also I will be heading, with my lovely wife Jana, to the most beautiful Isle of the Netherlands, Terschelling, very soon for a short break. As there is so much to talk about, the monthly report is a week earlier than expected.

But now here the comments, news and gossip for this month.

Just an hour after sending away to some 2000 people the monthly report the first 10 people sent back a 'thank you message''. One of them was Mick Coren and he wrote: 'Just read your latest newsletter and found it very good as usual. I am following the developments of the Communicator with great interest. As you mention the transmitters have been loaded on to the ship and some repair work has been done. Have you any idea what the new station may be called or when it hopes to get on the air. Over here in England a lot of us anoraks would love to here live programmes from a ship again. Is it true that 1224M will only be available till around July and after that there will be big changes in allocated frequencies for radio stations in Holland?' Well Mick I have written that the ship has no transmitter anymore from the Nozema company and also wrote that it has been sold for scrap.

A late one, is the message, that on City Beat FM in Dublin on March 23rd there was a special Caroline Revival program, when former North deejay 'Ugly' Ray Terret did a special program with memories to the good old days. Another old offshore deejay, who earns his money now on RTL4 as a newsreader and journalist, is Frank van der Mast. He worked for Radio Mi Amigo in the second part of the seventies. Next to making television he also can be heard on a regular base on Radio Rijnmond. This station has another former employee of Offshore Radio. It's Erik Post who was working for the Dutch service of RNI on the land based studios in Naarden. Well Frank - or should we mention him as Jan de Hoop which his original name is - was guest in a TV program called 'Kopspijkers' on VARA Television. 

Another quick answer came in from Jan van Heeren. He has written us that he heard from family that John Michael, formerly working for the CNBC radio project in the early sixties, is recovering from an heart attack in Canada. We wish him all the best. Also Jan wrote about our monthly addition on 'nicknames'. He's interested, for instance, how Dick Verheul got his nickname. It counts for everybody so tell us why you got that nick name. On the one of Roger Day, Jan did found an article in the FRA Magazine from early 1970: 'One day I was laying on the deck in my swimming trunks. This prompted one of the jovial Dutch crewman on the Mi Amigo to remark that I was as thin as Twiggy. Tom Edwards overheard this comment, and when he was next on the air he called me 'Twiggy Day'. We thought nothing more about this until the 'Viking Saga' came out to the ship that evening, full of tourist type people. On the 'Viking Saga' was a bunch of girls yelling out: "Where's Twiggy?", and from that day to this I have been Roger Twiggy Day. I often wonder who those girls were on the 'Viking Saga'.' Well let me add another nick name we didn't mention before. Was listening to an old tape of Radio Mi Amigo and found out that former Radio Atlantis deejay Rob Ronder used 'Rob Ronder, der op of er onder' with mentioning his name (upside or downside). Ross Brown on Caroline North changed his name into Freddie Beare when Caroline became Caroline International on August 15th 1967. His nick name was 'Frantic Freddie'. And what about Kenny and Cash on Wonderful Radio London. We did forget that they called each other nick names: Jim and Neddy. 

Remember Leen Vingerling? One of the people behind tendering the Ross Revenge and the Communicator in the eighties? Well he was also doing work behind the scenes at Radio Delmare. He came with some other nick names from deejays from that station: Ronald 'de bolle' Bakker (the thick one). Kees 'Kaas' Mulder (cheese), Peter 'de Spijker' van der Holst (The nail) and Rob 'Stinkie' van der Meer. When getting this name I suppose 'Stinkie' hadn't seen a shower since ages. 

And this following message came in on the 1st of April: 'Plans are under way to salvage the former VOP ship from the Mediterranean Sea. A group of Israeli left wing and peace supporters are financing a project to salvage the Peace ship from the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. Plans to bring back the Voice of Peace have been underway for a while now, and today I have been given the go-ahead to publish the story. If all goes well, the ship will be brought to the surface within the next few days. The salvage was delayed because of the bad weather we have been having here in Israel these past few weeks. As the weather for the next week is going to be hot and sunny, it was decided to go ahead without delay. If all goes well, after the ship is brought to the surface, it will be taken to Ashdod port for a thorough drying, clean out and paint job. After this, it is to be fitted out with new transmitting equipment, and antenna. The date given for the station to go on the air is at the moment the 1st July. 

Plans were accelerated recently after the start of the war in Iraq, and the appointment of a Palestinian Prime Minister. Many names that were part of the original VOP are to take part in the new station, but I have been asked not to reveal them at this point of time. The frequency for the station will be given close to start date. The old VOP frequencies cannot be used, as they are now taken by legal commercial radio stations now broadcasting in Israel, that were not around when the former VOP ceased to broadcast in 1993. I will update you with more news when I have it (Mike Brand).' Well of course the clever ones knew it was only, but a good, 1st of April Joke.

Another message came in on April 2nd and some of you should have thought is would be a joke too when it was released on April 1st. Jeroen Soer, once Jeroen Woelwater on Radio Caroline (1979) will become one of the directors of the public broadcasting societies in Holland, VARA. He will start there on August 1st. Since 2001 he's director of the regional radio and television station RTV West in The Hague. During the period 1980 - 1986 he worked as radio presenter for VARA radio on the pop station Radio 3. In 1986 he was one of the founders of the Radio 10 Group. We wish him lot of success. 

Then one of the readers came in with a question about Father Abraham: 'I noticed that in a lot of recordings from the seventies of Radio Veronica and Radio Northsea International they played a lot of music by Father Abraham. Did he had any connections with the station?' Well Mike the Dureco company, for which he was the main songwriter, was buying plug time (payola) and on both stations Vader Abraham had his own radio program in the weekend. Pierre Kartner, as his real name is, made million sellers all over the world and is multi millionaire. He still lives (he's 67 years) and he did programs on Radio Monique in the eighties.

I do remember very well presenting a radio program for a hospital radio station, Radio Clothilde, on April 2nd 1973. Yes, we all started this way, didn't we? It was half way the program that I was phoned from Leiden where Jacob van Kokswijk - my then partner in Pirate Radio News - informed me and the listeners what that evening happened in a heavy storm on the North Sea. Both ships from RNI and Veronica lost their anchor. The MEBO II from RNI luckily enough stayed in international waters. The Norderney from Veronica ended on the beach, near Scheveningen harbour. It stayed there up til the 18th of April that year, the day the biggest demonstration ever held in Holland took place. 150.000 people demonstrated in the Fight For Free Radio. Lucky enough Radio Veronica had a quick return to the air as Radio Caroline offered their ship and transmitter to Radio Veronica, so that they could be on the air to promote the demonstration. Always Ronan O'Rahilly is quoted to be the generous man in offering his ship. Let me tell you that someone else needs all the credits: It was the office clerk and deejay Dennis Koning who came with the idea and who brought Ronan O'Rahilly for Caroline and Rob Out for Veronica together. Thanks again Dennis.

On Radio 192 Ad Bouman, former Veronica deejay, played a lot of golden oldies in which the word 'windy' could be heard as a remembrance to 30 years ago.

Oscar de Pater is a keen radio listener from Holland who wrote in to MusicMann to hear if the station could come on the air in the forthcoming period. Station organiser Rusling sent a response to him: 'the format which we will use I cannot discuss this with you. It is commercial secret. I can tell you that we shall be aiming at adults 25 to 55, and there is no other station broadcasting our format. We will not be a Gold station. But if we tell people now what we shall do, the other stations will steal our ideas, diluting the impact of our launch.'

Furthermore Oscar asked about interference problems, which could occur and Paul wrote him back: 'Our signal will be much stronger than Radio Minsk. In Amsterdam anyway, so we do not envisage a problem with that at all. The tests will start as soon as the transmission facility is ready, but it will be about 9 months away, I think. We do not give any dates, because always there are delays, and it just annoys everyone. As soon as we have firm start dates for tests we will inform it on our internet site.' Well I will be the one to inform you as soon as a date is settled. 

Oh yes, we don't have to forget to mention that at the end of March we celebrated the fact that 39 years ago the MV Fredericia set sail from the harbour of Greenore to the East coast of Great Britain to transmit the very first broadcast of Radio Caroline. And Ronan's dad died a couple of years ago so the harbour could be sold. Recently we learnt that for a 'small' amount of 32 million Pound it has been sold. So maybe could luck for the Irish soon with a new radio ship? Good to hear that Dave Donkervoort paid attention on the fact Caroline started officially on March 28th 39 years ago, in his program on Radio 10FM.

During the last month two fine mails came in from people who are happy that I gave them a huge plug on the sites I've access to. I first did a long preview on Robert Preedy's book on Radio 270 and he did write, that thanks to that, the book is still selling well. Okay Rob, it was lovely to do so. The other one came in from the man who did the production of the new Skuesville CD. He and Keith were thrilled to be in my report as well in my review on several internet sites. Well the both of you, I did it with great pleasure and hope to meet you up, together with our friend Rob Olthof, probably at the end of 2003 or elsewhere in 2004.

Next it was Barbara Apostilides who wrote me on the subject Keith Skues: 'Your recent monthly report was sent to me via Keith Skues. I am writing his biography and wonder if, through you I could ask if anyone 'out there' has any tales to tell about him and the offshore days. I would also be delighted to hear from any of the crew of the Mi-Amigo (Caroline) or the Galaxy (Big L) during 1964/1967. I do not need glowing reports. Any adventures or misadventures or a friendly 'Hallo' will be most welcome.'

Well anyone who has memories on Keith, and that counts for you the listener too as well for Keith his colleagues in Holland, just sent them to Barbara at: mrs.lady@talk21.com

Gerard Smit, former news readers and deejay on Radio Noordzee (MEBO II) writes in again from Paramaribo in Surinam: 'A very long report I received from your side Hans but it was again very interesting. My personal update is much smaller. We removed for the fifth time in five years, since we're living in Surinam. This time we bought a house and so we've planned now to stay for a longer period. I want to share an experience, which happened to me last week. I was talking on the phone with one of the people I have to work for soon. It's a lady of about 40 years of age. When she heard my voice she recognised me from the radio program, which is presented by me every Sunday on Radio Apintie. From the very first program, she told me, she and her daughters listen to it on a weekly base. But it became yet more funnier when she did asked me if I was the same one as the Gerard Smit, who could be heard on RNI in the seventies. She told she was an adolescent in those days and listened to the program 'Buitengaats' which I did present in those days. She and her friends found the program the symbol of youth rebellion. Of course she was amazed that I was the same person who presented the program, together with Erik Post during the last period the station was on the air. And be fair, it was rebel radio which we did in those days. Following the words of the woman the program had put a stamp upon her life and felt far much free than in the time before she listened to 'Buitengaats'. For me it was very unveiling as I never thought that the program could have such an impact.' So far the message from Gerard Smit and never forget it was almost 30 years ago we heard him on 220 metres medium wave.

On April 4th it was 15 years ago that Radio 10 (later Radio 10 Gold and Radio 10FM) could be heard for the very first time. It took 3 years before Dutch government told them that they did it on legal base and since 1988, when they were the first on air (Cable One who was originally the first on air had to close down due to governmental Dutch rules) the amount of listeners has grown and grown. Nowadays the ownership is in hands of Talpa Radio International, which also owns Radio Noordzee and is headed by John de Mol jr. Former offshore people who have worked and are working there include Klaas Vaak (sorry Tom Mulder), Ferry Maat, Peter van Dam, Peter 'Carl de Jong' Teekamp, Herbert Visser and much more.

Ed Simeone was one of the people who went with the Peace ship in 1973 from New York to Europe. It was Mike Brand who told me he was contacted by Ed who has written down some memories to share with us: This is Ed's story from 30 years ago and lucky enough for Ed Simeone, the writer of this nice story, a few of the people (including Bill Danse and Tony Allan) get this monthly report, too.

I was wondering on April 4th if I read the press report, I got, properly. It mentioned that CNBC was a new company. My mind went back to the early days of Offshore Radio and the birth of the English language service of Radio Veronica, way back in 1960. Well this new CNBC had nothing to do with radio from a ship. The press report came from WestWood One and CNBC: 'In a joint effort between Westwood One and CNBC 'CNBC Business News Radio" debuted this week on radio stations. CNBC staffers including Maria Bartiromo, Ron Insana, Bill Griffeth, Sue Herera and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, anchor and report on the new network. One-minute business reports are fed hourly each weekday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern American time, including 10 feature reports for weekend use. CNBC Business News Radio affiliates also have CNBC's stock market reports for use on air.'

At the end of March I learnt that Harry Harrison stopped presenting programs in New York. This ended after more than 44 years. He's one of the good guys I followed through the years and I did write some comments on the internet, which included a comment that I wrote a story in Dutch about my memories on Harry Harrison. I get a lot of request for a translation afterwards which are already on our Soundscapes site. Here is the story for you.

Last year I got a very warm welcome with the people of World Radio Network in London. From there programs from several organisations are rebroadcast by several satellites all over the world. And at April 5th the next message came in from Tim Ayries at the WRN PR office: World Radio Network has been awarded the prestigious Investors in People (IIP) Standard that provides a national framework for improving business performance and competitiveness. Tim Ashburner, WRN's Director of Technical Operations, who organised WRN 's successful bid for the IIP Standard, believes it reflects the company's long term strategy to become one of the leading international broadcasting and transmission service providers, "this award demonstrates that WRN's continued investment in its staff and their commitment to WRN has resulted in a highly client-focussed approach to our business. The staff are delighted to have met the standard in a relatively short space of time. "In achieving the Investors in People Standard, WRN successfully fulfilled a number of strict criteria based on the four key IIP principles of commitment to invest in people to achieve business goals, planning how skills, individuals and teams developed to achieve these goals, taking action to develop and use necessary skills in a well defined and continuing programme directly tied to business objectives and evaluating outcomes of training and development for individuals' progress towards goals, the value achieved and future needs. The Standard was developed during 1990 by the National Training Task Force in partnership with leading national business, personnel, professional and employee organisations such as the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD). The work was supported by the Employment Department. The experiences of the UK's most successful organisations, large and small, representing all sectors of the UK economy, were very positive and the Standard received the full endorsement of the wide range of interested parties.

So whenever over in London try to make an appointment with the people at WNR in Vauxhall. They do a very good job.

Returning on the new Virgin 1215 this month was The Emperor Rosko with a weekend program. I do remember he was also on the original line up when Virgin Radio started in April 1993 under PD Tommy Vance. Also John Peel was back on Radio 1. Former Radio London Perfumed Garden guy did some programmes during lunchtime on the British National pop station as Jakki Brambles. It was not the idea of the program director on the BBC but an idea of a student from Manchester, who launched the idea to get the 60 year old Peel on Radio 1. This happened during a recent debate on the future of the BBC network in Britain. Well John Peel always plays 'tomorrow's hits today', so he was on the right place there. 

On April 10th it was 30 years ago Radio Veronica transmitted for the first day from the MV Mi Amigo, using the Caroline transmitter. Veronica vessel was washed up the beach and they needed to be on the air to promote the huge demonstration. On Radio 2 this year, the program of the KRO paid attention to this historical fact. Also it was 30 year ago some people transmitted for one day on a ship called the Morgenster from Scheveningen off the Dutch coast, using the name Stereo Radio Patat. It was all to promote the future for a classical radio station in Holland. It lasted 2,5 years until at the end of 1975 a legal classical radio station started in Holland.

I want to go back to the review I mentioned in last month edition on the history of radio by Ben Fong Torres. I wrote about this terrible chapter on Offshore Radio, Ben included. Well I got some comments I want to share with you. First I received one comment from Jon from The Pirate Hall of Fame': Yes, Lawrence Diggs, the man who claims to have been on Radio Caroline "for six months" in 1968 and is now known as "The Vinegar Man"! I asked Robbie Dale if he could remember employing a black DJ on Caroline South after the Marine Offences Act. He said he had vague memories of a DJ from an Amsterdam club coming out to the Mi Amigo on a trial basis and, after one show, they realised he was not suitable and that was the end of his offshore career. Robbie couldn't remember the guy's name. 'I thought it might be Sebastian Jones who presented a one hour show on Caroline South and sounded like he might have been American. But I think that was in 1967 not 68 so probably wasn't Mr.Diggs. It's a mystery. It is also a shame that the chapter in Ben Fong-Torres's book is so full of mistakes that it makes one doubt the accuracy of the rest of the book'.

Mary Payne, from the Wonderful Radio London site wrote: 'I was interested to read your comments in the newsletter about the Ben Fong-Torres book 'The Hits Just Keep On Coming' and its appalling chapter on the subject of offshore radio. I agree that the rest of the book is fascinating, but it is very badly let down by this badly-researched chapter. Ever since I read this chapter, about three years ago, I have been trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of the identity of Lawrence Diggs. How could an experienced journalist like Ben Fong-Torres ever have been taken in by Diggs? There is absolutely nothing about that interview with him that rings true! The author has used the cover of the Caroline 30th anniversary souvenir booklet (depicting the Ross Revenge) to illustrate his story, but doesn't appear to have checked inside it. The booklet contains a very comprehensive list of 'Those Who Have Served' on Radio Caroline - and Mr Diggs's name is noticeably absent. Not surprisingly, nobody who was genuinely aboard the Mi Amigo in 1968 can recall the man at all. Diggs admits he actually had no US radio experience, but was interviewed in the Amsterdam office and bragged his way onto the ship by way of being an American citizen. He reckoned he joined the staff in 1968 and worked as a DJ for the station for 6 months. Well, we all know that isn't possible, as the station did not exist for as long as six months in 1968. Had this guy been on Caroline for that long, he would have had to have joined the station in 1967. In the Fong-Torres interview, Diggs says nothing that confirms he genuinely broadcast from the Mi Amigo, or indeed was ever aboard the ship at all. Everything he says, he could have found out or fabricated without ever visiting the vessel. There's no reference to what name he broadcast under, which time-slot he filled, the names of the other people he worked with, what living conditions were like etc. There is no mention whatsoever of the station's untimely demise when the tugs arrived and towed the ship away. All the guy seems to 'recall' is that prostitutes were ferried out to the ship from Amsterdam on a regular basis, although he assures us he didn't avail himself of their services! I thought getting food and water supplies out to the ship was a big enough problem, let alone loose women!'

But Mary also spoke to Bud Bullou, who was on the Mi Amigo in those days: 'Bud Bullou's initial reaction to my enquiry about Diggs was: "Lawrence Diggs? Never heard of him. And I had to laugh about the "prostitutes from Amsterdam" being brought to the Mi Amigo on a regular basis. No way!! What a joke! The guy's a fraud." Bud also checked up on Diggs's claim to have worked at US station KFRC. He says: "Just got a reply from my friend Ron at KFRC. He says nobody currently at KFRC remembers a Lawrence Diggs. Ron also has most of the old KFRC surveys with pictures of the jocks on the cover but there's no Lawrence Diggs." When Bud Ballou, Roger Day and Johnnie Walker met for the first time since 1968, I asked Bud to bring up the subject of Diggs to see if anyone recalled him. But the only guy they could remember was the junkie previously mentioned by Roger. Mary Payne told us more about a search done by Jonathan from the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame: 'he has also been trying to solve the mystery of Diggs. He successfully tracked him down via the Internet to a site where Diggs currently imparts information on the subject of vinegar! The URL for Lawrence Diggs, 'The Vinegar Man': http://www.vinegarman.com/Vinegarman.html

An e-mail enquiry of Diggs as to whether he was the Fong-Torres interviewee who had 'been a Caroline DJ' received a very evasive answer. Diggs said that, yes, he was the interviewee and he had been on Radio Caroline, but he claimed it had all happened so long ago that he couldn't remember anything about his stint on the ship. If I'd thought of it in time, I would have asked Ronan about Diggs when we met at the reunion. Ronan proved to have an exceedingly sharp memory when it came to the people he'd hired. When he met Mick Luvzit for the first time in 35 years, he instantly recalled the obscure single that Mick recorded, and quoted the title, "Long Time Between Lovers" to him! I think it's high time Ben Fong-Torres salvaged his reputation and confronted Diggs about all his false claims. Then he should write a properly-researched item on the subject of offshore radio stations!' Thanks Mary! By the way, go and have a look at Mary and Chris Payne's site: http://www.radiolondon.co.uk/

On April 18th it was 30 years ago the biggest demonstration till then took place in The Hague as a protest against the plans of Dutch government to close down the offshore radio stations. More than 150.000 people took part. Even Ronan O'Rahilly. Caroline director, was there. As a token to this day Radio 192 went back to Scheveningen to do a 7 hours live broadcast from pub 'The Pirate'. People involved in the demonstration were interviewed and artists from those days like Peter Koelewijn, George Baker, Ben Cramer and Melanie took part in the program. Make sure to have a look at Jan van Heeren's pictures of the event.

Well Caroline UK came with a newsflash on their site in the middle of this month about the Ross Revenge: 'Two and a half tons of fuel oil were put on the Ross Revenge a few days ago. We are now seeking out fresh supplies of light and heavy mooring ropes and paint. We are also considering the purchasse of a floating pontoon to be moored alongside the ship enabling the hull to be repainted in stages. It is still hoped that the ship may go to Southend in the summer, hence these preparations, but even if Southend falls through this year the work is still required.'

In earlier reports we've already spoken about the popularity of Radio 10 and Arrow Classic Rock in England. Both stations, which can be heard on AM get a regular audience from England. The two Dutch stations are of course very happy with the response. Tom Mulder, in charge for Radio10 comments: 'Yes we do get also many letters and e-mails from England and are very happy for that. Thanks for sending the addres of a special Internet forum. I've forwarded it directly to Erik de Zwart.' Well Erik is director of competitor station Radio Noordzee...

Andy Cadier told us that, after 13 years, he will stop writing Anorak Pages for the Short Wave Magazine from next August. We all know Andy (that's when we are 50 plus) as Martin Kayne on Radio 355, Caroline and RNI. Of course I did thank Martin for his good work during the past 13 years and he wrote back: 'Oh yes thanks Hans, I hope to be doing a few more things before I retire: I seem to have a breakfast show on a local RSL Hythe FM from 15th - 20th August, this will be the third one that is mostly paid for by a local festival group and a few sponsors. This year the main attraction it is a waterborne carnival called the Venitian Fete, the floats are on small canal barges, they have one parade in the afternoon and another similar one during the evening with all the floats illuminated. Last year there was a festival, I was stuck in the studio while everyone else was out there with the outside broadcasting vehicle interviewing the female participants in a beauty contest.Well it was all good fun.'

Well we all know that there were already offshore radio stations in use in the late fifties of last century. One of them was the MV Courier, which was used by the American authorities for AFN transmissions of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. Svenn Martinssen has sent us an e-mail in which he tipped us some very beautiful photos of this ship on a site, which were sent in by Dave Newell, President of the USCGC Courier Ass., to the International Shortwave Magazine. Go and watch it: http://www181.pair.com/otsw/Courier_Photos.html

Ian Bigger is a big fan of Radio Northsea International and is still looking for recordings of those who have been on the ship for just a short period. Let's follow his own words: Something you can do for me via the International Report, I am looking for recordings of the following presenters on RNI, Ed Moreno, Ray Cooper, Bob Mackie and Roger Kirk. They were not on the station for long and in the case of Roger Kirk did only one programme. He worked for our local station here in Harrogate, Stray FM, indeed I used to see his name listed in the local paper. Sad to say though the station has never inspired me to tune in! I hear it now and again in some shops. That is enough. I believe that Roger died a couple of years ago.' So if you've recordings just sent me an email and I will forward it to Ian again.

Well that was a very long report with interesting stories. I hope you did enjoy it and never forget that the international report is coming to you all with the help of several former employees of Offshore Radio Stations and other Radio Friends, so let the news, your memories, stories and gossip come in.

Till the next report, all the best wishes from Groningen,

Hans Knot


 

Easter Sunday April 20th 2003

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News Archive:

1st March to 13th April 2003

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