Logo  
  | home | authors | calendar colophon | links | newsgroups | newsfeed | new | printer version |  
volume 4
january 2002

"They wanted us to sound slick, pacy and fast"

 





  An interview with former offshore deejay Roger Day
by Jelle Boonstra and Hans Knot
Previous
  Roger Day during the interview

From 1978 on, each year a few hundred people from England, Belgium, France, Germany and Holland — all of them interested in radio history and some of them working in the radio scene themselves — are meeting each other at the annual Radio Day, organised by the Foundation for Media Communication, in the city of Amsterdam. During the last Radio Day, in March 2001, Roger Day (photo above) was also there. When asked by Jelle Boonstra and Hans Knot about his offshore past, he proved to be a man with strongly voiced opinions. Here you can read the full transcription of the interview.

 
1 There are not many things you can tell Roger Day about British offshore radio, he does not know yet himself. He was there for almost a full five years, working for no less than three different stations at the height of the offshore radio boom, from 1966 till the end of 1970. Born March 29th, 1945, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Day started his career in 1966 on the MV Laissez Faire as a deejay with Swinging Radio England — a.k.a. BOSS Radio — and stuck it out to the end with that station. Right after that, in November 1966, he went to work for Radio Caroline on the MV Mi Amigo, where he became known as Roger "Twiggy" Day, "your thinner record spinner." He left Caroline just ahead of the Marine Offences Act of 14th August 1967, but changed his mind and returned to the station where he worked along with Ross Brown, Robbie Dale, Carl Mitchell and Johnny Walker. He was on board the final day of March 3rd, 1968, when the ship was towed away by the Dutch Wijsmuller company which had not been paid for its services of tendering the ship.
Roger Day sings along on Swinging Radio England (1966)
  Next Roger Day worked for Radio Luxembourg before returning to the water to work on the MEBO II with Radio Northsea International at the start of 1970. There he headed the line-up of deejays like Andy Archer, Carl Mitchell, Johnny Scott and Alan West. Within a month after the first transmissions the Swiss owners decided that the MEBO II should leave the Dutch coast in favour for a position off the Clacton on Sea shoreline. Day was fired that same year right after RNI had changed the station's name into Radio Caroline to give support to the Conservatives in the British elections of June 1970. Since then he has been heard on a number of local British stations. He is one of the few deejays of the former British offshore radio stations who never did any work for the BBC. Nowadays he operates "Roger Day Broadcast Services" but his main job is Managing Director of Fusion Radio, a company which owns a number of local commercial stations. He is also involved with the preparations for a new long-wave radiostation on the Island of Man.
2 Photo right: Tendering of the ship

You were there at so many turning points in the history of British offshore radio, that we have as many questions. We will start, however, with the most conventional one: how did you become interested in radio?

What got me going was listening to Radio Veronica. I didn't know what it was and I didn't even know it was on a boat. I used to live in south-east England and Radio Veronica used to bounce in. There were no English stations apart from Radio Luxembourg, and Radio Veronica was playing music and it was great. I only found out later that it was on a boat when I started working for the stations themselves. At school I was known as Juke Box Joe because I was so besotted with the radio.

  Radio Luxembourg and Radio Veronica did deviate from what you heard on British radio in those days?
  Well, in England it was two record shows a week and when I listened to Radio Luxembourg I thought that I'd like that job because I love music and I really did want to play it. I guess I was about 13 and I had no idea of how you went about it. I practised with a tape recorder in my bedroom. Sad person, really!
  When the pirates came along, did you think that one day you would be working there?
  I first heard Caroline in 1964 on my birthday as I was walking along Margate sea-front where I used to live. I'd read in the paper about the station so it was the best birthday present I'd ever had! Little did I know that one day I'd be working for them. I just thought about it.
3 In 1966 a group of British, American and Canadian businessmen started two radio stations on the MV Laissez Faire: Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio. How did you get involved with them?
  I had sent some audition tapes to Radio Caroline and Radio London and, like everyone else, I was rejected. I met Dave Cash, who worked for Radio London and I asked him whether there was any chance of a job on the boat. He said that it was unlikely because I had no experience but there was a new station starting up run by Americans who'd just flown in that day and were staying at the Hilton Hotel in Mayfair and why didn't I go and see them. So with my girlfriend, we went to see them and they asked me what I wanted. I told them that I wanted a job and because I was the first English person they'd had, they said I could have one. They didn't know whether I was good, bad or indifferent!
Alan Black brings the news on Swinging Radio England "in the public interest" (1966)
  Some of the other guys on Britain Radio were Brian Tilney and Colin Nicol. I heard, that Brian Tilney also hadn't done any radio before ...
  No, Brian was a bingo caller! Good qualification! I used to be an accountant and Johnny Walker was a car salesman and, apparently, that's why they picked us because they didn't want us sounding like the other English deejays who they thought were bad. They wanted us to sound slick, pacy and fast like the Americans and they wanted to teach us how to sell like they do and I'm very grateful because I never got into the bad British habits.
4 American style radio was introduced to Britain by Radio London. Swinging Radio England was meant to go even beyond that. Did you have to listen to tapes just like the Radio London jocks did to learn the trade the American way?
  Yes, we listened to tapes from WFUN in Miami and I'd never heard American radio until then and I thought it was superb and they wanted to sound like that. Swinging Radio England is still one of the best stations there's ever been.
  Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio were created by some of the Texan backers who had broken away from Radio London. Among them was Don Pierson. So Pierson had also been involved with Radio London. Was that fact known to the staff of the station?
  Well, I didn't know and it was only later on that I found out that he'd set it up and they'd done the dirty on him.
  The ship was owned by Pier-Vick Ltd, which consisted of Don Pierson, Bill Vick, general manager Jack Curtis and programme director Ron O'Quinn. Did Don Pierson or Bill Vick often visit the ship?
  Bill Vick not so much, but Don Pierson was always on. He'd come on with his wife and every time he came on, he'd ask to play "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" which was hardly the sort of music we played. Well, Britain Radio did! They were fabulous characters, just like you see in Dallas, if they wanted it, they bought it.
5 How big was the cultural gap between the British and the American deejays?
  They didn't understand us, but I don't think we understood them either. It used to really annoy the American deejays, who used to work for really professional Top Forty radio for years. They were better deejays than Johnny, Brian and all the other guys, including myself. But who was getting all the mail? We were! Simply because we were English and the English are always strange about foreigners.
  Photo left: Roger Day on Swinging Radio England

How were the conditions on the MV Laissez Faire when you first went on board?

It wasn't really ready when they came over and the first place I slept was in the mess room. There used to be a big refrigerator and it had been a body boat from the Vietnam war. When the G.I.s were shot, they sent them back on this boat. We were convinced there were ghosts on board. Friendly ones, though. I slept in the toilet, the bathroom and I think just before I left, they built the cabins.

  Your made your programmes for Swinging Radio England. Did you also do any programmes on Britain Radio, as the station was airing from the same ship?
  Yes, I did. But I don't think any tapes exist, thank God! I was a rock 'n' roll fan and I didn't like doing the "Hello, This is Britain Radio" in a posh voice.
Roger Day presents on Swinging Radio England (1966)
6 Much has been said about the concept of BOSS Radio. They didn't understand Europe very well, though, did they?
  Not really. They heard Radio Caroline and Radio London and they thought those were crap and that they could do it better. I have to agree. Compared to what we were doing, these other stations were boring. We moved, we were pacy. I think, we were too early. The station was at least ten years before Britain was ready for it, and that's why we didn't pull in a great audience. They made some wrong decisions with frequencies but, even to this day, it was still a great radio station,
  The ship was equipped with a Carousel unit. Was it difficult to use?
  Well, this was one of the first stations to have automation. I mean, you have it now, but we had it in 1966! I used to sit in the studio, at night and watch this thing go round with announcements that "This Is Britain Radio", etcetera.
  Apparently the Swinging Radio England organisation hired an advertising agency that, before that time, had only sold advertising in cinemas?
  And they weren't very successful for us. That was another bad decision. They made a lot of bad decisions. They had new ideas but they didn't come off.
  The Radio England broadcasters were expected to read the news on their sister station Britain Radio and vice versa. Was it difficult for you to read the news?
  Yes, I fun with the news! I still do. We had to read the news over this jingle backing and trying to read as fast as the music. The weather one was the fun because it used to have a countdown in it so by the time it got to 1, there was a big explosion and off into some music. I used to be so nervous doing it that I read it that fast that I'd finished by 8!
7 Photo right: The carousel player of Swinging Radio England

The types of music aired by the offshore stations were different. What can you tell about the music of Swinging Radio England?

We used to play things a lot earlier. A lot of stuff was American and we were always the first with Motown Records. A lot of the young people liked us for that. We played a lot of Beach Boys too, which was great, and we were way in front of everyone else. The trouble was, we used to drop things before they were released in England. Musically, we used to be very quick and had a prediction chart like Radio London, but we were way ahead of them.

  How was the BOSS Radio Top 50 compiled?
  Sometimes by me! I thought that a record was good so I put it in. Never mind research. Research is the biggest enemy of radio.
  You all shared the same tender with Radio London? How did you all get on with each other?
  Well, on-air we were rivals but off-air we were all friends. We would get stuck in Harwich so we'd have a few beers. The first time I met Tony Blackburn was when we went out on the tender. Now this is a man I listened to and he was a God to me.
  There was some rivalcy , though, as the jingles of Radio Swinging England were stolen by Radio Caroline and Radio London?
  We were the first radio station to have our jingles custom made whereas Radio London had their jingles doctored so that sounded like they were Radio London's but they weren't. They put Radio London over the top of them. We had two great packages, which for a radio station that was only on the air for six months was amazing. When we used the first package we were so naive that we played the jingles on air without talking over them and Radio Caroline and Radio London recorded them and they were on-air before we used them. Stupid, or what?
Roger Day presenting on Radio Caroline International (1968)
8 Gary Stevens, who worked for one of the top stations in New York City (WMCA), was sending taped shows across the Atlantic to go out on Swinging Radio England. Was there any contact between him and the guys on the ship?
  No, I never met him. We used to run a tape which he used to start with "Hi everybody, it's whatever day it was" except one day we put the wrong tape on the wrong day so it might have be a Sunday but it was Tuesday.
  One of the guys on board was Graham Gill, who came from Australia?
  Yes, he was a great guy. He was a little bit more reserved than the rest of us and he didn't take part into many of the jokes that we played on each other.
  One of the American deejays who worked for Swinging Radio Engand, was known as "Boom-Boom Brannigan". What about him?
  A total idiot. Apparently, he was shot in America. They thought he was a gangster. He was just outrageous.
  Photo left: On air on RNI

There are many stories of offshore stations which were bad in paying wages. Were you being paid all the time?

Yes. I hear these horror stories about people not being paid by the owners. Only RNI owes me money but actually Caroline — and I worked for the biggest crook going, Ronan O'Rahilly himself! — always paid me. Even Radio England paid me. I must have been ugly so they paid me because they were scared of me.

9 At the end of the year the owners decided that Swinging Radio England was to become a Dutch station. On 3 November 1966 Radio England closed down and some days later, on 14 November the new station Radio Dolfijn went on air, aimed at the Dutch public. How did you react on that?
  The way we found out was absolutely awful. The tender came along and we were on the deck and Johnny Walker was reading the paper and he said that we were going to be a Dutch station. And that's how we found out. Literally Johnny said that he was off and he jumped on the tender there and then and went back. I wished I had joined him at the time. He got on Caroline before I did, the swine!
  Next you went over to Radio Caroline. Did you apply for a job there or did they ask you?
  No, I didn't apply. I stuck it out to the end with Radio England and then I went back to work in the clubs. About June, 1967, a lot of so-called superstars got cold feet and I knew the guys at Radio Caroline and they knew me. I got home one day and my Dad told me that Terry Bate from Caroline had rang and wanted me to call him. Terry didn't say that basically they were hard up and being mean to me. It was just that they were desperate for anyone who'd had radio experience and he asked me when I could start and I said tomorrow. So I told my disco "Bye, I'm off to the boat." Now I hadn't actually been on the MV Mi Amigo. We'd been alongside on the tender but weren't allowed on board. As I came alongside I thought: "Jesus, I'm going to work for the world's greatest radio station!" and I still think that. It was a magical feeling going on board. It lasted until the day I left. There was something about the place. It had this magic aura about it. I never took drugs but I knew what the feeling was. It was in the air and you couldn't describe it.
Roger Day presenting on Radio Caroline International (1968)
10 Photo right: Demonstration for Free Radio in Hyde Park (1970)

You were with the group which went on after the Marine Offences Act came into effect in August 1967. Was there any difference in the way the ship was tendered before and afterwards?

Obviously, we had daily tender from England and after it was twice a week on a week, one from Scheveningen and the other from IJmuiden which was bigger, the Offshore I, which is now the Trip boat Offshore II, which was also a boat from Scheveningen and now the Eurotrip. I preferred the Offshore 1, which was a nicer ride especially in a Force 10 gale. We would occasionally run out of water and the nice things that make life a lot more bearable at sea. You had less contact with land.

  Up until March, 1968, did you often go home to England?
  Not at first, because we were very scared and wondered what they would do to us. Just before Christmas, nobody had been back except for Spangles Muldoon, who took a rowing boat back but came out on a fishing boat. He just appeared on deck and we asked who he was and he told us that he was our new disc jockey and we thought that he had better stay but he had no passport or anything. Anyway, none of us had been back and I thought: It's Christmas, I want to see my folks. I'm going home." I didn't tell anybody. I packed my bags and I set off from Schiphol Airport to fly to Heathrow and I took a lot of mail addressed to me at the Dutch office of the station in Amsterdam.
  I had long hair in those days and I was always getting stopped by Customs and I'd never taken a drug in my life, but in those days I looked like junkie, furry coats and everything. I went through Customs and they said: "You here." So I went over and so I came over and they opened the case and all the letters cascaded out with Roger Day, Radio Caroline, etcetera all over them and he said: "What's all this then?" "Letters from friends," I said. And he looked at me and said: "I wish I had as many friends as you!" And they shut the case and marked it and I asked whether that that was it. They said: "Yeah, we're not interested in arresting a pirate deejay. Play us a record next time on the ship."
11 As the stations financial problems increased, so did Radio Caroline director Philip Solomon's influence. Solomon also controlled Major Minor records, an Irish label with bands like the Dubliners, the Bachelors, Raymond Levefre and his Orchestra, and singer David McWilliams. The deejays were obliged to plug their recordings with some very irritating and long commercials for the label. Was it difficult for you not to fall asleep during these commercials?
  Very! Let's be honest, they had some crap. When Radio One started I thought that we didn't stand a chance so I used to play all the Major Minor stuff before 7.00 a.m. to get it out of the way so we would stand up to them rocking and rolling. To have Caroline, you had to have this rubbish as well, so we did our best to put it out of the way. They had some good stuff too, like Tommy James and the Shondells with "Mony Mony". I didn't like The Dubliners much. We had to play the plug records, including all the stuff from Andrew "Loog" Oldham's Immediate-label — the Small Faces, who had their second album on that label, supported the station. Johnny Walker always used to throw those records over the side and he used to get bollocked for that.
  Photo left: Andy Archer and Roger Day in 1970

It has often been said, that Ronan O'Rahilly lost control of the radio station in 1967 ...

Phil Solomon, he was the man behind the awful music that kept it going. We never really liked him because he did ruin the spirit of it. Ronan is the spirit of Radio Caroline and always will be. I love the guy, I still do. He's my hero because he changed radio for Europe. Rival geniuses are always given a dark side. George Best, great footballer, but a bloody idiot. Ronan is not an idiot but he can't handle money, which is a pity because Ronan is Caroline. He might not have the money, but he has the desire to keep it going. You can't give people desire. You see, radio is a business now, and I appreciate that, but it's not got a heart and that's wrong.

Roger Day presenting on Radio Luxembourg in the late 1960s
12 Do you think it is still possible to have a station like Radio Caroline, I mean with that same spirit, again?
  If we can get the station going on the Isle of Man, we will kick some radio arse! They say it's not possible. It bloody well is. I don't know what Dutch radio is like, and I don't swear a lot, but British Radio is shit! It's so bad I don't listen any more. I don't like the Top 300 songs that they play. I like the Corrs, I like Robbie Williams but not all bloody day, thank you very much. I want some surprises on the radio but you don't get them any more. I've probably ruined my career in Britain, but who cares?!
  It was a remarkable day, March 3rd, 1968, when the ship was towed away by Wijsmuller because the company had not been paid for its services ...
  I did the Breakfast Show, as you know, and I played continuous music until 6.00 a.m. to warm the transmitter up. I don't know why, it was warm anyway. I went and had a shave and shower because living on a boat I felt better if I had done those things. All of a sudden there was a boat alongside us and it was one of the big Wijsmuller tugs. Now there was nothing unusual in that because Wijsmuller used to supply us with Offshore I and II and with fuel. They used to have tugs in every ocean because they made their money from listening to the SOS frequencies and salvaging ships that were in trouble on the high seas because they were there first. They came alongside if they were in the area and have a chat with the Dutch crew.
  Photo right: Tendering the MEBO II

Now the Dutch have a great sense of humour. There was a guy on board called Harry and I asked him what was going on. He said: "Englishman, we are towing you to Japan!" and I told him that he must be joking and he laughed. So I went into the studio to get ready for my show and the captain of the MV Mi Amigo came in along with the captain of the tug and he said that I had five minutes to get out of the studio. Now this is probably where I made the biggest mistake of my life. So many times since I have known what I should have done and I didn't. I should have actually got them out of there and told them that they weren't taking me out of there, but I didn't realise how serious it was. I should have just flung open the mike and said that we needed help and get somebody out here now! That's what I should have done. Easy to say now, but I didn't. I just left the studio and they locked it and that was it!

13 Do you think it would have made any difference? Would the listening public have come to the rescue?
  There was a guy in Frinton on Sea who used to monitor our broadcasts and I think he could have got some contacts and stopped them doing what they were doing because it took them a while to cut the anchor chain. So maybe help could have come and I could have helped to change the face of British radio, so blame me. Eventually we knew this was serious. They hadn't been paying any bills. If they had, I think it might have been there today. We were being towed and there's nothing worse than being towed on a boat with the generator off because everything is dead.
Roger Day presenting on Radio Luxembourg in the late 1960s
  We arrived in one of the locks that go up in stages that take you into the main port in Amsterdam. This lock keeper came out to let us in and it was dark so he didn't know what he had in there. He had his big torch and the beam from his torch started going up the mast and it kept going and going until it got to the top and he was totally amazed. When we arrived in Amsterdam a guy came across and asked when we would coming back on air. We said: "Oh when we've paid the bills." I don't think we actually believed that. We knew that once we were in port, the British Government would put pressure on and we wouldn't get out, no matter what we did. So we got our air-fares home and went back to England, the end of a dream.
  The story goes, that when the Wijsmuller tugs came to tow in the Caroline ships into Amsterdam in 1968, you had a Canadian passport ...
  No, I still had the old British one with the ugly photo in it. We didn't get a chance to test it in coming back to England. But we came back to Holland, which was great, a 21-year-old, not married, no commitments. That was a good place to come as a single I can tell you. We loved it there.
14 Photo left: Roger Day in his early deejay days

It did not take long before you was back on the air, now on Luxembourg?

Well, Radio Luxembourg realised they were losing audience when Radio One started and they hired me from the South boat and Tony Prince from the North boat and they wanted it to be hip and more swinging. That's what they thought they wanted but they wouldn't let us do it. They kept telling us how to do it and after the freedom of Caroline, even with those awful records, I left pretty quickly and when somebody said: "Do you want to go and compére the Beach Boys show?" I was off like a shot! Probably a stupid decision because I would have probably gone to Radio One if I had stayed, but I wasn't bothered about that.

  And then in 1970, you were heard on RNI. Were the test programmes recorded in Switzerland or were they made on the ship?
  Definitely from the ship. I have a copy of the advert at home, which appeared in Record Mirror, which says: "Disc-jockeys wanted for European Radio Station." I thought I know what that is. So I applied and I got this letter back from Radio North Sea owners, Meister and Bollier. They said that they knew all about me. They were starting a radio station. Now you have to realise that I have been approached by people saying that they were bringing Radio Caroline back, and so on, and it cost me a lot of money, so I became a bit blasé. So they said come and see us in Holland. I told them that if they sent me an air ticket then I would come and see them. A couple of days later, a ticket arrived so I thought that was a good start. I kissed my wife goodbye, came to Holland and went to the Grand Hotel in Scheveningen, which I believe has now been demolished. They said that they had a ship happening, they'd put a transmitter on it. "Oh yeah, I've heard that one before."
Roger Day presenting on Radio Northsea International (1970)
  They said that they would take me out to see it the next day. We went down to Scheveningen harbour and I still didn't believe it as it was a misty day and you couldn't see anything outside the harbour. We got on this boat and passed the REM island with the big TV tower on it, past Veronica which was nice because I'd listened to it long enough and out of the mist came this psychedelic vision, I've seen all the pictures and it was like that in reality, and I remember saying to myself: "Bugger me, the silly bastards have gone and done it!" When I got on board and saw all the equipment and they wanted me to set it all up. They had some German deejays on board and they wanted me to set up the English side. I went back to England once again, said goodbye to all my contacts and said that I was off to sea again.
15 Photo right: Roger Day doing his programme for Fusion FM in 2000

How were things between the German and the English deejays? Another culture clash?

Absolutely, more so than between the Americans and the English. I'm the sort of guy that will get on with anybody. They were fine. I couldn't understand a thing that Hannibal said and he couldn't understand me either. We tolerated each other. It was an odd mixture and it didn't last very long but people wanted English voices.

Last year, there were again some phoney stories about espionage on board of the MEBO II. Did you pick up any signs while you were on board, that the Swiss owners of RNI, Meister and Bollier, were involved with that kind of activities?

  I've been phoned many times by journalists, even up to a couple of years ago, and I could have made a lot of money, but I have to say, there wasn't. I know they came from a very dodgy background and they've certainly been involved in things I don't approve of. If the things they say about them are true then they want locking up. But I have no evidence of there being any espionage on that boat. People say there were locked rooms. If they say that, then they are lying. There were no locked rooms on the MEBO II. I've been in every room on that boat even with the short-wave equipment. If there was, I would have said so.
16 In 1970 the ship moved to England, changing the location for the Dutch coast for a position off the Clacton on Sea shoreline. What did you think of this change of position?
  Stupid. I advised them against it but I was outnumbered. Andy Archer and the rest wanted to go to England for old times sake. I told them I don't like the Government but they let us get on with it here. If we go to England, it's like sticking two fingers up, and asking what were they going to do about it? They didn't want to do something about it, but they had to and they did. I don't think they did it whilst I was there. I was staying in Margate at the time and I thought it was silly and that it would lead to trouble and it did.
  Photo left: MV Fredericia and MV Mi Amigo towed into Amsterdam Harbour (1968)

Some time later RNI changed its name into "Radio Caroline" and started to support the Conservatives in the British elections of June 1970. How did Ronan O'Rahilly get involved with the election campaign?

Well, they started jamming us, which was very undemocratic. It has never been done except in wartime and that was outrageous. More outrageous than the Marine Offences Act which, to me, was one of the most undemocratic pieces of legislation there's ever been — trying to stop music being played on the radio. How offensive is that? The jamming got worse and with the election campaign coming up, we had to get the people to vote Conservative. So Ronan came on board, changed the name to Radio Caroline and pushed all the right buttons. Also this was the first election in which 18-year-olds could vote. They didn't give a toss about the economy, they knew that this Government had taken away their radio station. So we needed to remind people about that. Nobody's ever admitted it, but we changed the course of that election because the opinion polls said that they would get back. In the end, however, we saw the marginal seats in the south east of England swing the other way.

17 How did you celebrate it?
  I got rat-arsed! I got so drunk and the tender came to take us off the next day and that was my last act on the boat because I went on holiday to Spain and when I came back, I was fired.
This is the Roger Day Show on Radio Northsea International (1970)
  Why were you fired?
  Politics mainly. We had a new programme controller called Larry Tremaine, who was an American as well as an idiot. I've already said that I'm honest and I don't hold back. If you're an idiot, then I'll tell you. I made a mistake of telling him that before I went on holiday and I think he sussed that I knew that he wasn't any good. So he had to get rid of me. When I got back from Spain, I went down and asked him when I was going back and he said never.
  In the Lockerbie Bomb Trial, Bollier has been associated with the terrorist attack which made "Flight 103" crash on to the town of Lockerbie in December 1988. Are you surprised that Bollier's name was mentioned in this case?
  I'm surprised that anybody can do anything like that to anybody. I don't know if Bollier was involved in that. If he is, may he rot in hell. Nothing surprises me anymore.
18 Photo right: Roger Day (left) talking to Paul Rusling of Music Mann (2001)

Nowadays you're working with Fusion FM. How many stations does the organisation have?

We've got three stations at the moment and we still believe in old principles — personality radio — which kind of makes us unique. We've just taken over and we're beginning to change things, very small, but we might make our mark. I'm not on the radio at the moment but I intend to put that right soon, because I miss being on the radio. I love doing that thing. It's the best job ever and it's a hobby I get paid for.

  What do you think about automated radio?
  I think that's done. I like live-personality radio. Stuff computers, they're OK if they're used right. They're not the enemy. The enemy is the people who programme them. What the big boys have done to radio in Britain, well, they should be taken outside and shot!
  Is there any chance that we will hear you in the near future on the long-wave radio station from the Isle of Man?
  I bloody well hope so. The thought of getting on a radio station and broadcasting to Europe again is better than sex! When you opened that mike on the Mi Amigo you had the feeling of a lot of power. As soon as you turned on that mike you felt that bond with the listener. I don't know many people that have a bond because they don't say anything. They're not real people. If you listen to Walker and Blackburn, you know what sort of music they like. I listen to people now and they say: "I'm going to play five in a row." What the hell is that to anybody? Nothing. I'm 55 years old and I've still got the same principles now as when I started and I'm still a rebel.
   
Previous
  The sound fragments on this page are copyrighted. They are used here according to the rules of fair use and academic quoting. Photo's copyright © 2002 Freewave Archive, Martin van der Ven, Jan van Heeren, Hans Knot.
  2002 © Soundscapes