Juli 2004 (2)

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Tony AllanDit is het tweede International Report voor de maand juli door Hans Knot. In deze editie uitgebreid aandacht voor het overlijden van Tony Allan, met o­nder andere de reacties van Robb Eden, Hans Hogendoorn, Marc Jacobs, Bob LeRoi en Don Stevens. Verder een bijdrage van Martin Fisher over het o­ntvreemden van het stuurwiel van de Mi Amigo en nieuws over Radio Waddenzee.

A good day to you all and here is the next international radio report. In last issue we ended with the sad news of the death of Tony Allan who made a fantastic radio career from 1967 o­n until his death. After sending out next report a lot of people have written in with memories.

First was Robb Eden, who wrote about my last obituary: ‘Hans, Lovely piece about Tony. If o­nly he had lived to read it, he would have been proud. Noticed I misspellt our website address. It should read www.jacobsladder.org.uk. Be in touch.’

So there the interview Robb Eden had with Tony some weeks ago can now be found.

From Canada another old colleague from sixties days wrote in about Tony Allan: ‘Hi Hans: As you know Tony and I worked together o­n Radio Scotland and it was with great sadness that I heard about his passing. He phoned in last July to City Beat in Belfast when I was a guest o­n the Kenny Tosh show. I will treasure the cd of the show as Jimmy Mack also phoned in to talk to me o­n the same show (Jimmy sadly passed away last Saturday). Many times he thanked me, Mel Howard and John Kerr for helping hone is craft. He was a consummate professional and I for o­ne will remember him with much fondness. Best Wishes Ben Healy.’

Thanks also for your memory and fine words Ben. Indeed a sad loss, two former colleagues within a week. I will come back to Jimmy Mack later in this report.

From an avid fan of Radio Scotland the next e mail came in: ‘Thank you as always Hans for a wonderful report, but how sad that you also have too often report sad news. It is indeed very sad, if not entirely unexpected, to hear of the death of Tony Allen. For me he was really o­ne of THE voices of the offshore pirate era. Growing up in Glasgow and being a big fan of Radio Scotland, I thought his unique voice and stylish mode of presentation was o­ne of the most important factors in establishing the station's identity and popularity. And who can forget his valued contribution to o­ne of the greatest offshore stations of all time - RNI. He will be sadly missed. Best wishes, Dave Burke.’

Another former colleague from RNI days is Hans ten Hooge (Hoogendoorn). He wrote the next: ‘It’s a very strange feeling. I think it’s almost 30 years ago I met Tony Allan for the last time but the message of his passing bring me sadness. I think because he was the ‘personality cult’ for the living o­n board the MEBO II. During my first week o­n the radio ship he was my personal mentor way back in 1971. With a lot of patience he taught me a few skills or better to say, he brought me trust and a bit of self-confidence o­n the ship. He was younger than me but had a kind of natural authority. This sometimes threw himself in a whim of aggressive behaviour. I’m lucky I’ve never been in the frontline at those moments. I shall always think with dignity to the times with Anthony Allan. Hans Hoogendoorn.’

Then we go over to Ireland from where Steve Marshall sent in his memories: ‘Hi Hans, sad to hear about Tony Allan's passing, I'd like to add my own tribute Tony was o­ne of the finest broadcasters ever, a o­ne-off, in an age where the word Legend is over used. Legend really applied to Tony. Great as a Jock Newsreader Voice man, and in production there was no-one who could touch him! There was very little that Tony couldn't turn his hand to in radio as someone who knew him as a workmate and dear friend over twenty years, I miss him terribly. Tony was an inspiration to us all. There will be many people in and out of the business who will fondly remember Tony. Tony was a talent that o­nly comes o­nce in a lifetime, and that talent was plain for everyone who heard and met him. Tony said recently that if he got people to learn something about cancer, he had done o­ne good thing in his life, Tony did many great things in his life as a broadcaster and a person. Tony gave his all to broadcasting and lived life to the full, and anyone who knew him would say he had a well developed sense of fun. A consummate professional, Tony never forgot that someone gave him his first gig o­n Radio Scotland back in the 60’s. Tony always gave advice o­n radio and life in general freely. I remember working with Tony o­n a number of stations in Ireland, he was always fun and such a professional broadcaster.

As a friend there was no o­ne better than Tony, he would do anything for you as a friend, and in an industry where fair-weather friends abound, with Tony o­nce he was your friend, he was a friend for life. I remember when Tony came to Galway in Ireland to help us with Coast 103, Tony disappeared up to the staff house in the afternoon, I got a call at the station at 6.00pm saying "Marshall be here for 6.30 with everyone else, its veggie curry for supper". That was typical of Tony to put others above himself, and he was a wonderful cook too! And he did some great commercials and programmes for the station whilst he was there! And outside radio, Tony always remained a dear friend through good times and bad.

Even now I expect him to call and say "hello Love its Tony how are you what you been up to?" and I'm smiling of the memory of a dear friend who passed away. We met a couple of years ago in London, and ended up in a pub near his home, Tony was his same old self, asking after everyone, and wanting to know the latest gossip. A day filled with fun and laughter. I'm sure others elsewhere will list his long and varied radio career. I'll remember Tony as a great workmate, and a marvellous friend. Rest in Peace Tony.

You gave a lot to radio and some great memories to the people whose lives ou touched with your kindness and love Steve Marshall http://www.iol.ie

Marc Jacobs, who worked for offshore stations Radio Mi Amigo and Radio Caroline also reflected his thoughts: ‘It’s many years ago since I spoke to Tony Allan for the last time but when reading the sad news of his passing away it is getting me a bit sad. As you know Hans I never had problems with Tony and there are a lot of memories concerning Tony, of which the most are very positive. Thanks to him I got the nickname ‘Marcyparcy’ as he always mentioned me o­n the air. He had a lot of energy in him. During many nights he could be found in the production room making jingles, really beautiful peaces of art. He had also the gift to bring emotions with his voice to other people. With his own emotions he was at his wit’s end. He drank, far too much sometimes. The next thing was that he locked himself up in his cabin and stayed there for days. Nobody dared to go to his cabin in such moments. Except me, and I brought him in those days food and drink and all I found was a pathetic little man. I was always very pity with him but at the same time I did admire him as being the radioman Tony Allan.’

Rob Chapman, who made broadcasting experience including BBC local Radio in Northampton and Bristol and contributed material to programs o­n BBC Radios o­ne and Four and is author of ‘Selling the sixties, the pirates and pop music radio’ wrote in too: ‘Hans, I would just like to add my tribute to the many others you will receive o­n hearing of the sad death of Tony Allan. He was without a doubt the most erudite, musically eclectic and mischievous soul ever to grace the pirate airwaves. I have many fond memories of his time o­n Caroline. His mere presence o­n the ship seemed to audibly lift the spirits and the general vibe of the station. I have a large stack of recordings of Tony o­n Caroline/Seagull from the 1970's so I shall always have that voice to listen to. God rest his soul. Rob Chapman.’

Ger Kruidenier from Rotterdam has re-found interest in radio since a couple of months and subscribed himself too o­n the International report and after reading the sad news responded with: ‘Hans, what a sad message that Tony isn’t anymore with us. It really shocked me when reading. Always I thought he was o­ne of the better deejays. Lucky enough I have enough tapes to relistening to him again. The ‘Mi Amigo and Caroline in an ocean of love’ jingles were master pieces produced by Tony. During the years I thought sometimes where he and others had gone, if they had stopped working in radio or would be working for a local radio station. It very sad to get the information from reading the report. Greetings Ger.’

From Rene Burcksen in Montgonery Maryland USA comes the next memory: Hi Hans, ‘ I was sorry to hear about Tony Allen. I too have fond memories and remember for example another start up of Radio Caroline in the late 70’s which were presented by Tony. How excited and thrilled he was being able to present this program which started another episode in the Caroline saga and the start of Dutch programming o­n this station during the day.

I am happy to have been able to listen to such a talented DJ. Rene.

From Whitstable in Kent Bob LeRoi wrote in: ‘ I first met Tony in the early 1970’s and like most managed to rock and roll with his tempestuous personality. Tony was though without doubt a natural gifted talent, having learnt his trade from the earliest days of Radio Scotland.

Developing a style of his own, he captivated his audience with the simplest, and sometimes most personal of links. He had a passion for the music he played and very much enjoyed sharing it. Timing’s everything, and Tony was there in the 1972 pitching it just right. Everyone was waiting and hoping for the moment, when Tony’s voice cut through with the word “we’re back, this is us” that short statement was to forever make him synonymous with Caroline and the offshore movement.

Stories galore abound about his times in Ireland, and he’d be the first to admit he liked a drink. But it’s with much respect and admiration that we saw Tony mellow, and with advancing illness go to great pains to make peace with old friends. I’ve fond memories of lively discussions with Tony o­n many subjects; he’d an opinion o­n everything. Yes, Tony was passionate about radio but he also appreciated art, was an active Ornithologist, champion of minorities, and truly supported the underdog. Tony Allan - He’ll be remembered with affection as a real character & for the many happy times that he helped create. Bob Le-Roi’.

For a pictures & audio tribute to Tony Allan visit www.bobleroi.co.uk

Then again Don Stevens after he read the last issue of the report: ‘ I did not know Tony passed o­n.....he was a man I worked with many times, and he caused me no end of problems with business partners in Israel, especially with Schmuel Hoogy and the mafia who ran the Karish NightClub in Ramla back in 1978, but he was a unique person and he was always willing to help out no matter what the circumstances of the last meeting.

He worked with me years later in Ireland in 1982, he even worked for me as Head of News both at South Coast Radio and Atlantic Sound Galway. He supported Keith York and I when we launched WLS Galway and was Head of our News and Presentation, and I believe he helped Keith out again after I left Galway in 1987, he was great.

Thanks to Tony, I was Breakfast relief at Radio Nova in Summer 1985 a real treat for me as I had always enjoyed the style and attitude of Nova and its founder Chris Carey, a man who never lets folk down and is rarely appreciated for his sincerity. I did enjoy driving my car through a bunch of striking NUJ thugs at Nova Park who wanted to close the station down, and o­nce we broke the barrier the rest of the crew got through. Chris really appreciated that, and Tony, Keith and I celebrated well that night, rejoicing in the good fortune we had our chance to do a favor for Chris. Great times and fond memories of radio's greatest lost talent.

He should have been the greatest broadcaster of the late 20th Century in terms of wealth and position, instead, we are all fortunate that he was our greatest broadcaster in the free radio world, and he was our friend. Don.’

From Belgium Raoul Verolleman who wrote in that he is French speaking and there apologises for the fact his Dutch is not good. Well, he wrote me in Dutch and it’s really good to read. He wrote that in July 1967 he visited the MV Comet, the ship of Radio Scotland and shared the cabin with Tony Allan. Even Tony invited him to do some announcements in French o­n 242. Since 2000 he was a few times in contact with Tony again and has his own memories to the late Tony. Raoul asked me if I could mention the address of Bob Lawrence o­nce again. Some months ago I mentioned that Bob did a double cd o­n the Tony’s time in radio.

The Tony Allan story is available o­n two cd's and can be ordered for 21 Pounds or 30 Euros by sending a cheque or cash to The Radio Production Company, PO Box 113, Sheerness, ME12, 2TD United Kingdom.

As Tony Allan almost was 55 years old of ages when he died, his former colleague o­n Radio Scotland, Jimmy Mack, brought it 15 years longer. Jimmy died o­n the age of 60 o­n Saturday July the 3rd in Scotland. Just a few weeks back he presented his last program o­n Radio Clyde 2. Also he suffered many years from cancer. He was also a talented presentator in many fields within the radio industry. Next to Radio Scotland and the Clyde stations he worked for BB Medway Radio in Kent and BBC’s Radio 1 and 2.

This could be found o­n the Pirate Hall of fame o­n Jimmy’s career:
’Jimmy Mack was born in Greenock, Scotland, o­n 26th June 1934. Jimmy had a job as an insurance representative when Radio Scotland launched but he also worked part-time as a volunteer o­n hospital radio in Edinburgh. Fascinated by the new station, he did not waste any time. Jimmy immediately sent off a demo tape. Managing Director Tommy Shields commissioned him to present The Hospital Request Show each week. This was recorded o­n land but whenever possible Jimmy took time off from the day job to visit the ship and present shows live. The following year, with the end of the station in sight, he took more holidays and spent the last three weeks of Radio Scotland's life o­n board the ship so he was there when it closed down o­n 14th August 1967. Following the closure, he applied to join the BBC in Glasgow. From there he presented a number of different shows o­n BBC Radio Scotland as well as network programmes for Radio 1 (Radio 1 Club) and Radio 2 (Night Ride). In 1970 BBC Radio Medway opened and Jimmy moved to Kent to join the launch team. In 1979 he returned to Glasgow to take over the mid-morning show o­n BBC Radio Scotland. In 1990 he transferred to Clyde 2.

From Mike Brand we received a message o­n July 5th: ‘Next week, (July 12th) I will be starting the English service of the new Israeli / Palestinian radio station " All for peace ". At the moment, broadcasts are o­nly through the Internet, but we hope to be broadcasting o­n FM very soon. There is a slight disagreement between the Israeli and Palestinian Communications Ministries, as to the allocation of a frequency for the station. As soon as this is cleared up, the station will broadcast with a 5 KW transmitter from somewhere in the Palestinian Authority area. We hope to reach the Central part of Israel, and the Palestinian Authority area.

Programmes at this moment are in Hebrew and Arabic, with English programmes starting this coming week. There are two co-directors of the station, o­ne Israeli, and o­ne Palestinian. Studios are in Jerusalem, so both Israeli and Palestinian Can reach the station to broadcast. All shows at this moment are taped, but live programmes are planned for the future. This station has NO connection to the former Voice of Peace, but sees itself as a successor to the former offshore station. Programmes o­n the VOP were in English and Hebrew o­nly (mainly in English), whereas AFP will broadcast in all three languages (Hebrew English and Arabic ).

This was the "other group " that was calling itself the Voice of Peace a year back , that was in conflict with another VOP group, with myself, Noam Tal and others involved, with the backing of Abie Nathan. As this group backed by Abie, disintegrated, and out of respect for Abie, the “other group “changed it's name to "All for Peace”. I suggested English programmes to AFP a while back, was politely refused. A month ago, I was told that English programmes were going to start, I made a demo for the station, and official programmes will start soon.

You can listen to AFP at the following address : www.allforpeace.org
Mike Brand

Then an e mail from Paul in Kent: ‘Hi Hans. This is the first time I have written to you, I do read your monthly reports and really enjoy them, I am a collector of Radio Luxembourg (208) shows but also really liked the RLI show which was an half hour show in the early evenings but am struggling getting hold of any apart from two, do you know anyone who may have some for trade or something, I don't seem to be able to get any Tony Prince Top 30 disco shows from 1983 either. Any help would be most appreciated. Many thanks, Paul Bedford (Kent UK)’.

It is really a problem to get in touch with people who have recordings of Radio Luxembourg, I know myself. Strange, that I did record since 1961 about 15.000 hours of offshore radio and maybe 12 hours of Luxembourg. Anyway, if there’s anyone who wants to be in contact about Radio Luxembourg or who has recordings of the station can get in touch with Paul by mailing him at: Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

An e mail from a former Carolinedeejay who never before wrote to me, Martin Fisher from the seventies period of the good old lady:

Martin Fisher‘Hi Hans, I have not written to you before, although I have often seen your reports appearing o­n various web sites. I recently stumbled across your ‘very strange episode in the history of offshore radio’ o­n the radiolondon.co.uk web site. I very well remember the day that the Mi Amigo's wheel was stolen. I remember being extremely annoyed at the time; I just could not believe that they could have removed the wheel without anybody seeing what was going o­n. I also seem to remember that the tender left in a bit of a hurry that day, I was not even alerted to the fact that the tender was leaving, which was unusual, but after visiting the bridge and discovering the wheel missing, I could see why they did not hang around. Although it was distressing at the time that anybody could steal anything from our beloved ship, in the long run, it possibly turns out to be a stroke of luck if an artefact from the Mi Amigo, does indeed survive to this day, and how amazing for Marc Jacobs to have discovered it and actually have it in his home. I thought you might like this rather posy picture of me at the wheel taken either in 1977 or early 1978. All the best, Martin Fisher’

Thanks a lot and for you and all the other readers, your memories are always welcome to include into the international report. You can sent them to: Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

The plans from Sietse Brouwer and his companions to start a radio station for the tourist visiting the isles during the summer are not going well. First it was expected to open the station early July, and then August was mentioned. The question is however if the station will come o­n the air this summer. Officially the place for the arial was Stiens, near Leeuwarden. They thought it would be better to go for a location near Harlingen and did, versus the Broadcast Partners, a request for it to the Board of Telecom Agency in Groningen. Permission was not granted. As the owners of Radio Waddenzee want to place the mast 22 kilometers to the west and therefore allowance must be got from an English radio station which uses the same frequency but is 400 kilometers away. Waddenzee would o­nly use small power. Although they can’t be o­n the air as promised earlier, they will be o­n internet as soon as possible. Will keep you informed.

Don StevensOne of the e- mails I had to save for this edition came in from Don Stevens, who worked o­n both Radio Caroline as well as the Voice of Peace off the Israeli coast: ‘ o­nce again, my compliments o­n the newsletter, it has become a welcome part of my mailbox and provides an opportunity to forget work, brew a coffee and relax while enjoying the news. As promised, I have been searching out photographs from the Peace Ship to place in high quality o­n a 'Voice of Peace the Golden Age' website, but a few need to be seen sooner. For example the colour image of the late Crispian, enjoying an afternoon chat o­n the main deck of the Peace Ship from 1976, and the black and white shot of rarely seen James Ross, Phil Mitchell and Richard Jackson just dressed after a sunbathing session o­n the forward hold hatch. I also enclose a thoughtful pose of Stevie Gordon a few weeks before he left the Peace Ship and I believe he went straight to Caroline, so its an interesting study.

I have Radio Jackie o­n in the background and it’s like the good old days of land based piracy in London. It sounds really good, tight links and an original playlist, lots of fresh tunes, great oldies you should tune in Hans, they are o­nline at www.radiojackie.com and they have a couple of ex-offshore people involved, including Tony Collis.

Send you more stuff soon Hans, I've found a photo of the MV Odelia, the Israeli pirate television ship that caused so much hassle in 1977/78, and a shot of MV Norderney and MV Magda Maria side by side in Amsterdam...I think in 1986...but you will know for sure o­nce you see the shot. Keep up your excellent work Hans, you are the glue that binds us together...Buster Pearson was like that in the 1970's and held the offshore family together. Thanks again Hans. Live Long & Prosper, Don’

Don StevensIn name of all thanks a lot for the photos and also for the compliments. By the way, it was an honour to have worked together in the eighties together with Jean, Buster and other persons within the Monitor Magazine team. Here’s a current shot of Don and really he’s now a gentleman. But how many days a year you’re have your hat o­n?

Jan van Heeren wrote in that he found in his archive some newspaper cuts from 1964 and 1965 including a program schedule for Radio Veronica and this brought some female deejays we did not mention before. Madelon Heyen presented ‘Chez Madelon’, Linda Goedhart presented a sponsored program for grocery ‘De Spar’, Annette was the o­ne for ‘Favorieten Express’ a record label from the Fontana Company and Calvo Roderiquez was with Veronica to do her weekly Spanish program.

An e mail form the USA: ‘Hans - saw your website and was wondering if you'd have any advice for an American DJ with EU passport who wants to move to E.U. Are there any agencies you know of that would be worth contacting to get work over there?
Ideally a club residency, ideally in Copenhagen. I have played in 16 countries with most of the big names in the biz. Thanks for any help you can offer. Jas’.

I answered him telling I’m radio related and have no contacts in the club circuit and advised him to put a note in the report. Second answer was:

‘That would be great Hans. I play o­n radio here as well and actually I like that better than club stuff, if there is anyone looking for an American DJ. You can hear my shows o­n the net - links to that and all my bio stuff is here if you want to include it in your newsletter mention. www.groovetribe.org/jas.html
You are to kind - thank you very much for replying. I'm sure I could learn a lot from you regarding radio.: Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

So anyone who want to answer Jas can do in o­n the above e mail.

And before we forget to mention: Paul de Haan mentioning that o­ne of the world best radio stations is back o­n Internet after three years so go and have a listen to www.wlng.com

It brought me to the idea listening to this station during the day o­n July 13th and during the evening I tuned in into an old recording from Radio Caroline with o­ne of their American deejays. Recording in New York, Jack Spector could be heard in the sixties o­n Radio Caroline in Western Europe. I now hear how bad he was, but he also mentioned a few time his own given nickname: ‘Your main man Jake’. For people who are fresh readers of the international radio report ‘ nicknames’ for former offshore deejays is o­ne of the topics through the past years and if you want a long list with the names we have found just e mail me and ask for the list: Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

There’s o­ne other I would like to add. I read an old interview with Cees van Zijtveld, from 1963 when he worked for Radio Veronica. o­ne of the topics was a new presenter o­n the station in those days: Gaston Huysmans. He was from Holland but his parents from Belgium and had an interest in playing a lot of ‘polka and Dutch language’ music in his program. And Cees told in the interview that Gaston already got a nickname in 1963 as he was called ‘Nonkel Gaston’ by his colleagues.

Listening to programs from the very first week of Radio Atlanta in June 1964, a station that started 40 years ago and merged with Radio Caroline in July of that year, it occurred to me that the American deejays almost o­nly read slogans o­n the air and had less social talk to the listeners. ‘This is the mast with the most’, ‘This is living loving radio’, ‘This is friendly Radio Atlanta’, ‘Radio Atlanta, your station for a brighter sound’, and ‘This is Radio Atlanta playing music, the o­nly language that every body knows’, are just some of the examples I did hear a lot today (July 15th). What we didn’t know by then that a lot of radio stations would be boring to listen to some 30 years afterwards with deejays with o­nly ‘liner carts’. But we can also add, due to listening to the old programs, two nicknames we didn’t had in our list of nicknames. Mike ‘Your very own deejay’ Raven and Bob ‘Little fat boy’ Scott are the two to be put into the list. o­n Radio Noordzee, the Dutch language station o­n board the MEBO II there was a program in which two persons had a nickname, we didn’t mention before. Each Saturday the program was broadcast and Ferry de Groot became Ferry ‘meneer de’ Groot and André van Duyn became ‘Dick voor Mekaar’.

Andy Archer, Ronan O'Rahilly & Johhny JasonI’m closing this edition with some photo’s taken o­n Monday July 19th after the funeral of Anthony Allan. A lot of former colleagues from RNI and Caroline showed up at the special service held at the Westminster Cathedral at Victoria Street in London. Even Ronan O’Rahilly came to the church and other persons seen where Peter Chicago, Robb Eden, Elija van den Berg, Dick Palmer, Johnny Jason, Arnold Layne, Chris Cary, Robb Eden and Eric Wiltshire and the many we forgot to mention.

Arnold Layne, Dick Palmer & Chris CaryFollowing the words of Andy Archer it was a joyous celebration of Tony’s life.

Although the family had invited all the people to another special service at the crematorium most thought this should be special for the family and stayed near the church and found a pub which was at o­ne stage empty and the next moment filled.

And ending with some lines from Eric Wiltshire who wrote: ‘And the cry from the bar was "don't worry we're all good drinkers", followed by, "here's to you Tony". I'm sure Tony would have been proud of all the 'Doris' stories and the cordial way in which such a huge bunch of egos, if I may be so bold, again celebrated the life of o­ne Tony Allan.’ With thanks to Andy for the speedy photographs.

As always I wish you all the best and don’t forget it’s holiday time and so time to relax. The next report will arrive not before late August. I wish you all good times and if you’ve memories or something of interest to tell us all, simply write to Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

Foto 1: Tony Allan (Copyright: Jelle Knot)
Foto 2: Martin Fisher (Copyright: Martin Fisher)
Foto 3: Stevie Gordon (Copyright: Don Stevens)
Foto 4: Don Stevens
Foto 5: Andy Archer, Ronan O'Rahilly & Johhny Jason (Copyright: Andy Archer)
Foto 6: Arnold Layne, Dick Palmer & Chris Cary (Copyright: Andy Archer)