Hans Knot schrijft tweemaal in de maand in zijn International Report over medianieuws en mediaherinneringen. Hierbij staan de zeezenders centraal. Dit is het International Report voor november. In dit Report onder andere aandacht voor John Peel, Kapitein Taal, Bob LeRoi, Radio 227, Offshore Music Radio, Free Radio Service Holland en de Norderney.
Hi and welcome to this November report, edition number one for this month. The last issue came out on October 26th, the day after the sudden death of John Peel. All British stations paid a lot of attention to his passing away as well as his outstanding work for BBC and the music industry through the decades. on Dutch ANP news bulletins it was the very first item on the bulletins. VPRO radio repeated in the evening a one hour program from the archives in which he did way back for the VPRO in the mid eighties. on Dutch TV News also attention was paid. The NOVA program had a 7 minute item. Sky News brought the news too in their bulletins but made a bad mistake stating he was one of the founders of Radio Caroline. Belgium television paid also attention in two programs on the same broadcaster, Flemish Canvas. Also thanks to David and Llynn at Offshore Radio, the online radio station in memory of the former Offshore stations, who rescheduled their programs. Tried to listen in to Skues that evening via internet but as so many tried I couldn't get in touch.
I thought there is one deejay/presenter in Holland whom I had to ask for his words about the passing away of John Peel, Paul Harald van Gelder. Paul started his career on Radio 227, way back in 1967. He nowadays makes radio on VARA Radio, Radio 227 and on a local radio station in Lelystad. Like John Peel, Paul van Gelder has a clear ear for new and alternative music: I didn't know John Peel personally, but I admired him for his enormous choice in music and his impulse to search again and again for new music and talent. He was one of the last really so called music-deejays, which was in the past a pleonasm. Of course he made sometimes a mistake but what Alan Freed was for the rock and roll John Peel made it for the alternative music. I have pity with all those small and new bands and alternative record labels who will not be discovered in the future. I would have been better for John if he had the Dutch nationality as then he had to work after his 65th birthday!
From down yonder came the next message: Hello Hans, I was taken aback to hear of the death of John Peel. I appreciate your being able to let us all know. Strangely, although he is not usually often in my mind, he was a day or so ago. Perhaps it was just a matter of my mind re-running past experiences - happens a lot. My strongest memories of John were when he and I were in adjacent studio cubicles at the BBC. As well, I often read the news in his studio, sitting opposite him - as was the custom in my early post-pirate days at the BBC as a staff announcer. He always seemed to me to be operating in a different world - which was a large part of his talent. Regards, Colin Nichol.
Photo: Tony Blackburn, Norman St. John & Colin Nichol (Hans Knot Archief)
Then I've chosen two out of the many e-mails from listeners, which came in: I am devastated, part of my life has gone. I was 17 in 1967 when I heard his last radio show and at 3.00 that afternoon the music died - Radio London the greatest radio station ever was savagely cut off in its prime. on tape I can go back to 14/8/67 on Radio London from midnight to 5.30 am -the whole show was superb and John's swansong in radio - he thought he was unemployed (really no hint then of a Radio 1 or Radio anything job!) and suggested listeners made "Perfumed Garden" badges so if they saw each other they would say hello. He read from Winnie the Pooh, the bells jangled in the background as the ship rocked, he said the sky was beautiful and was probably mildly stoned on cannabis. He was a rebel then, didn't play the jingles or pop music, just underground which was new music that later became well known. A unique person (not personality) has left a legacy we all will treasure to our dying days - a great broadcaster and friend. Mike (in Bournemouth)´.
The next one is from Eric Wiltshir who reflected on my opinion that Radio one was garbage in the early years and just put on the air with a thanks to the offshore stations: I listened to the Radio one tribute to JP and it was excellent Hans. In fact, whilst I don't go on about it, I often listen to Radio one in the car because it's alive which is more than can be said for Radio Two which sends me to sleep. Radio one, tricky I'm nearly to old for Radio 2 now, has done a whole load of good things and still does today - people knock as it was, as you say, born out of the offshore stations. It would have happened as some stage anyway, just the offshore situation pulled it forward a bit. Loads complained that the station was rubbish when it had it's first big clear out - funny that JP wasn't dumped. That might have had something to do with the fact that he still had his pulse on the button of newer things and proved it right up to 2004. JP was a Radio one man and played new things - he stayed the champion of things new and deserved to be on a new music station. As that's what Radio one was and still is - new. And let's hope it stays that way. Yes we do need good Gold stations but other services should move on and forward. Look out here comes the knives - if you want me to retune just play an Elvis track ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Or something out of the 50s or UK copycat era - it was rubbish to me then and is even more rubbish now. People go on about Helen Shapiro and Eden Kane - oh please, they were pap. Sure I like some 60's tracks, I like and enjoy some from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today - shame there isn't a station for me anymore. And yes by all means, JP was one of the true greats. Shame I only bumped into him once and that was for no more than a couple of minutes, but at least we chatted and boy did he know his stuff - for someone like him to know what I was doing was one of the best treats or compliments I've ever received.
Nice to see that Captain Taal, who was captain onboard the MV Mi Amigo in 1973-1974 is still alive. Mostly in all the books related to offshore radio the crewmembers are getting not too much attention. Taal was on the list of people who would be invited for the Class of 1973-1974 reunion, early October, but by a mistake the invitation was not sent out. Teun Visser visited him recently and emailed me this photograph.
In the last issue I paid attention to one of the many fake radio projects, which were described by me in one of the early nineties publications called the History of Offshore Radio 1903/1973. It was the story of Radio Horizon. As the year I mentioned 1973 and I must say my finger slipped when typing it out. It was not 1973 but 1971. one of the Dutch readers, Charles van Doorneweerd, asked me if I remembered another fake project as he recalled himself some newspaper cuts talking about Elisabeth.
This time I cut it very short as in the book are only a few lines on this thumb sucker project: I take you back to April 3rd 1973 and the newspaper, where I found back the announcement mentioned that it was lucky that the article did not appear a few days earlier, showed a photograph of a vessel called the MV Elisabeth of 500 ton. on the photo also the owner was shown, Willem Beusenberg from Zaandijk. The only reasonable message he told to the journalist was that the ship would be anchored in international waters at the end of that month. on the 9th of April of that year I found the second, and also the last article on the so called new offshore project. It was the New Rotterdam Courant, NRC, which published the following lines: an unknown backer from the Hague in Holland will finance a new offshore radio station which will on the air before the end of this month at a position off the Dutch coast near IJmuiden. The owner has a fishing exploitation fleet as well as a fish restaurant in IJmuiden. He and his companions are rebuilding the ship at the moment and all programming in the future will be live from his coaster. Programs will be aimed at young listeners and his daughter will get her own program to compete with Veronica and Northsea. Well what about a instant dream of offshore radio?
At the end of last report I mentioned that Larry Tremaine still had his t-shirt which he was regularly seen in way back in 1970 on board the radio ship MEBO II. It showed the wheel as well as the station name. He wrote me that he still had this shirt and it was to be found back at his toilet. Did he made a mistake?
Message from Stuart: Great report as usual - thanks. The question is open again "Did she (Dorothy Squires) or didn't she visit the Mebo II? I always thought she did, and if Rodney Collins took her there, she must have gone. A lot of people think she did the interview on land and never visited the ship. Regards, Stuart.
Maybe Rodney can answer this question if Dorothy really went onboard the MEBO II or not, way back in 1970. Around a year ago a nephew from Dorothy told that Auntie Dorothy once had told him she never came aboard the ship due to bad weather and that the interview was taped on shore. Hope Rodney recalls it all.
During the past months a lot of rumours have been spread around in Holland concerning the future of the former Radio Veronica vessel MV Norderney, which was used from November 1964 up till August 31st as a radio ship. Since ages the ship has been rebuilt in Zoutkamp and Groningen into a Grand Café and discotheque and has been at quaysides in different places in Holland and Belgium. Nowadays it's in the harbour of Antwerp, where it s out of use.
Talks are going on at the moment between people who formerly worked with Veronica and a new leaser of the ship, a former owner of a cab company in Rotterdam. Together they want to see if it s possible to bring the ship to an harbour in Holland, whereby Volendam, Rotterdam and Scheveningen are mentioned. The idea is not only to open it as a discotheque but also making a small museum into the ship. Third part of the plan is to start a radio station from the ship with the idea of a former offshore radio station this with a regional licence. If there's any news to mention I m the first to do so.
Norderney on the yard of broker Van der Marel in the seventies of last century
Photo: Freewave archive
Doing research for a future article I was searching through my archive and found a program schedule from a week in the month of May, from 40 odd years ago. It brought me some new names for our list of female presenters in the history of Offshore Radio. All mentioned worked for Radio Veronica, mostly in sponsored programs. Joekie van der Valk presented on Sunday afternoons Strand dialoog (Beach talk) together Roland Wagter jr. Kookpunt, a mid morning program for the housewives was done by Tony Bouwman. Two others were Anita and Margot and the last one tried to promote Poly Hair crème.
But more came out of the archive for Veronica when I was researching a question of foreign language programs on Veronica, an item which I will come back to soon: Yoka Berretti, Adele Bloemendaal, Sylvia de Leur, Marijke van der Zon, Marianne Berk, Marjan Berk, Nienke all presented programs on the station in the early sixties, partly the sponsored shows, of which Veronica had a lot in those days. And so this list of female deejays is growing and growing. Another one we forgot is Mary Simone on Radio 390 who co presented the program with Astrology on the station. When researching for another cle I took my personal diary from 1974 and found out that Dutch female singer Hanny made two guest programs in May of that year, when she co presented with Mike Moorkens on Radio Mi Amigo.
But talking about all those historical female announcers is was David from New Zealand who reflected on last update in the October Knot report: Hi! Hans well below is part of last paragraph of last report. Then we have Lynn McNamara in the late sixties on Radio Hauraki. I did some checking up on this Female deejay on Radio Hauraki. I check "The Shoestring Pirates by Adrian Blackburn" . The only female DJ listed is Trudy Rana. I made some further inquires by contacting David Gapes. And here is a quote from David's e-mail to me "Trudy Rana was definitely the only female announcer on Radio Hauraki in my time (1966-75). Lyn McNamara was also a deejay -- but he's a bloke!" Hans I don't know where you got the Lyn McNamara from but please delete that from your details. I nearly rolled over laughing when I read Lyn was a bloke!
October 28th brought us two nicknames we had not yet listed. Martin from Meppen came with Johnny 'The Baron' Jason. The very sympatic Jason worked for Radio Caroline in the sixties and still is active in radio with the BBC. The other one I learned while listening to an old recording. on Radio London a promo was made for Tony Windsor's castle Windsor, on his original name Tony Withers also known. He came from Australia and worked for stations like Radio Atlanta, Radio London, Radio 355 and Radio 227 where he was the program director.
A day later I was listening to and old program from Terry Davis on Radio Atlantis and while doing a rundown of the programming for that evening and the following night he also gave us some more nicknames. Oké, three in a row: Daddy Dave Owen, Bony John Harding and Michael O Soul (A.J.Beirens). Also an old program from August 13th 1985 and Charlie Wolfe from Laser followed. Well he was a bit overdone as I scored four different ones within 36 minutes: Charlie Wolfe, the robber of the air waves , Charlie Wolfe, potentially the greatest disc jockey you ve ever heard , Charlie Your Sea Wolfe en Mr Potential. Listening to the second hour of that program Charlie brought us two others: Your pasty prince and Charlie Seawolf your comic chameleon . Surely he had some personality problems way back in the eighties. Although while listening back I must admit that you brought us happiness and joy with very good shows. By the way Charlie? Do you use nick names nowadays?
I must advice you once again to take a visit to the Bob Le-Roi site where he goes back in wonderful photo and scrapbooks to the story of the radio in the sixties. Again and again he succeeds in getting very rare photographs on his site. on the site it's back to the Sands this month in "Scrapbook" for part 1 of a 3 part feature on Paul Elvey of Radio Sutch and Radio City. Bob bring rare pictures from Paul's own collection of his time with Radio Sutch & City on Shivering Sands. www.bobleroi.co.uk
Paul Elvey on Radio City (Bob LeRoi archive)
Thanks a lot to Martin for making a mini domain on internet where from now on a lot of issues of the international report can be read. Now 11 editions are online at: http://www.offshore-radio.de/HansKnot/
October 26th it s e-mail time again and the one I chose for today came in at the Soundscape site, which still can be found with some 900 articles about music and media culture at www.soundscapes.info
The e-mail came from England: Hello Mr. Knot, In an ancient diary, I found a reference to the Broadside Free Radio Movement. I was an art student at the time and, being one of the many supporters of pirate radio, I answered an advertisement to work with Peter Phillipson mailing T-shirts and newsletters to fellow supporters. Is anyone still in contact with him? I also corresponded with John Peel on Radio London and have just found two of his letters written from the ship. I found your wonderful website by trying to find any links with the BFR Movement. Many thanks and best wishes, Tizzie Coleman.
On the Dutch cable as well as internet station Radio 227 on Saturday November 13rd a special program can be heard featuring one of the first Radio Dolphin deejays from 1966, Jos van Vliet. It will be in the program Laissez Faire with Look Boden between 20 and 22 hrs CET. The program is brought every Saturday evening at www.radio227.nl
Nicknames are coming in a lot these days. Here some more. First it was Andy Archer who mentioned in his programs on Seagull several times that The outrageous Mr Allen would be on the air later that evening. The deejays from the international service from RNI talked in their programs about Lovely Louise when the did a run down of the programming and mentioned that Louise Kirk would be on that night. I can tell you that Louise has never been on board the MEBO II. She had recorded some bits and pieces on the Isle of Man, where she lived. This tape has been taken to the ship and mixed with music, every time she was heard on 220 metres in the seventies. Another person rarely heard on the radio was Harry Bergman. He was one of the crew members aboard the MV Mi Amigo in 1973. Tenders for Radio Atlantis, the then sister station for Radio Caroline, kept coming lesser and lesser and so programming had to be done live from the ship by English deejays and crewmembers. Harry did some and got the nick name Harry the smoker Bergman. on Swinging Radio England one of the American deejays brought us Ron on the radio O'Quinn as well as Bill Boss Berry and another one on this station was Bosscat Errol Bruce. on 390 Big bad Wolfe Woolfe Burn gets a mention.
Sunday October 31st: Strange how it can go. Some time ago Keith Skues was mentioning in his program that people could get more info about a cd with Offshore jingles at my e-mail address. I ve forwarded these e mails to the producer who has made some more people happy. I get an e-mail back regarding the cd en other info from a guy in Ipswich: Just thought I would let you know that I have just received the CD of Offshore Jingles from Jelle. Most enjoyable, thank you for your efforts in redirecting my message and for adding me to your mailing list to receive your monthly reports, most informative and entertaining. Sad news about John Peel. It received a lot of coverage in our Local press, as he is regarded as a local celebrity, living only about 15 miles from Ipswich. He had already had a double page spread in August for his 65th birthday and received another two pages following his death. It was particularly poignant from my point of view because John had just become patron of the Suffolk School of Samba, of which I am member. We are a band playing the sounds and rhythms of Rio and have about 40 members playing a variety of percussion instruments and additionally about 30 dancers. Quite a spectacular sight when we are all together, noisy as well. Nice to see Andy Archer get a mention in your columns, my most recent memories of him are in his time working for Radio Orwell, now SGR, he always had a professionalism which was lacking in other DJ's on the station, his pedigree stood out. He was responsible for my interest in Bachman Turner Overdrive, which seemed to be a particular favourite of his. It's good to see many of the old pirate DJ's are still working in Radio, with several having been or still on Classic Gold, such as DLT, Tony Blackburn and Emperor Rosko and, of course, Keith Skues on the BBC. Keep up the good work. Regards Peter Gaskin, Ipswich .
Thanks Peter and welcome to the big club of Anoraks and Radio people who are reading this report. Concerning Andy I can tell you he's writing at the moment his memories about Radio Caroline, Radio Seagull and Radio Mi Amigo in 1974 and those will be on internet around Christmas. I ll keep you informed.
Steven Pragnell from Spain advice us to look at a Spanish site: What I do have for you (in Spanish) is a link to a news site on Spanish radio http://noticias.eldial.net/noticias/noticias.asp, there's a lot of news on closing down unlicensed broadcasters - I read in the paper there are over 100 in the Madrid area alone - over 2000 in the whole of Spain.
November 1st and again some nicknames came in. Radio Atlantis brought us Scott Mitchell (Omeledo) and Gaby Your old man on the airwaves Hernandez. And the strange thing is that a lot of the new nicknames are coming from people who are reading the newsletter including the next two ones: Radio City Terry terrible Dawson (Andy Archer) and Radio 270 John Action Ashton. Then there s one for Gerard hoog ter paard de Vries from Veronica and finally for Radio Mi Amigo Frans van der Drift op drift .
Thanks a lot Mike and one of the photo's with Mike on deck of the Norderney in Antwerp is enclosed.
Message from OffshoreMusicRadio.com: Alan West Returns to International Radio Offshore Music Radio, the leading global internet radio station, is proud to announce it s new Autumn schedule including a new show from legendary broadcaster Alan West. Dave Laine, joint founder of Offshore Music Radio, said: We re really pleased that Alan has agreed to join our station, especially as he has numerous other commitments. And this time Alan will be making radio in his very own style. He will be producing as well as presenting the shows and he ll no doubt share his love and knowledge of music from all ages and may well shock a few with this thoughts .
Alan West added: Radio is in my blood. I've had many tests and there's nothing they can do for me. Whilst doing shows for OMR I'll be continuing to work in my role as CEO of a rather ambitious community media project in SE Wales, and spend the rest of my time deep in a world of utter insanity with a lovely lady called Helen whose infectious laugh will also soon be heard on this first rate network. You have been warned. Programme Schedule, available for the station is available at: www.offshoremusicradio.com
Alan West and Helen © OMR
It was Inge Heleve who did some translation work for me from a leaflet from Radio Nord. Swedish into Dutch and so I learned that there were several female deejays working for this station, which did start off the Swedish coast way back in 1958: Radio Nord: Puck, Karin Juel, Raya Ravell, Mona Krantz, Chris Wählström, Christina Grunberg. At one stage the Thursday and Friday hours between 10 and 12 in the morning on Radio Scotland were presented by Catherina Scott.
From Scandinavia Sven is on search for people who have the same interest: In connection with a radio history project about the five radio stations on the Olga Patricia (Laissez Faire) radio ship I am interested in getting in touch with listeners having recordings of the stations broadcasting there from May 3rd, 1966-August 5th, 1967:
Swinging Radio England 845/1322 kHz May 3rd, 1966-Nov.13th, 1966
Radio Dolfijn 1322 kHz Nov.14th, 1966-Feb.28th, 1967
Radio 227 1322 kHz March 16th, 1967-July 21st, 1967
Britain Radio 1322/845 kHz May 3rd, 1966-Feb.28th, 1967
Radio 355 845 kHz March 16th, 1967-August 5th, 1967
See also "Pickin' up "Boss" Vibrations" at www.northernstar.no/sre.htm
I am also interested in getting in touch with employees off-and on-air of these stations. Finally, does anybody know the whereabouts of this ship after 1970.
I think you will get some answers as some of the guys from the American and well as the Dutch stations on board the Olga Patricia (Laissez Faire) are reading our international radio report.
Of course also this time a flashback and I'll take you back to some ***** and peaches from Tuesday October 6th 1965 when it was The Daily Sketch brought an article with the header A slight case of Mutiny. A British newspaper, or should I say a tabloid with a big history? Never mind, a pity it does not exists anymore. Luckily enough I have a sickness for more than 44 years, which is to archive everything of interest. Therefore, I want you to take you back to the sixties and the journalist who told his readers that at least 40 deejays on at least five pirate radio ships round Britain s coast were pumping out hours of pop, interspersed with bright chat and brittle gaiety, every day of the week. Next a description is given about the living conditions on the ships: But do not be deceived by the illusion of non stop swinging fun. There is gloom aboard the Jolly Roger fleet. Depression enough to make five disc jockeys sick of life at sea aboard. Radio Caroline is one of the stations and 22-year-old Roger Gale sums up the life.
The daily tender is bringing out fresh supplies of food, papers and mail. It may sound silly but if ever that tender didn't arrive because of bad weather or something, a deep gloom would set in all over the ship. There is also the problem about living without women. Mr. Gayle says: There would be times that girl pop stars would come out for a few hours. I remember this with Twinkle and Susan Maughan. The atmosphere would change from easy going masculine camaraderie to tension. It's amazing how the presence of a woman put every man on his guard.
What are the conditions the pop pirates work under? Radio London is typical:
There is a two weeks on, one week off roster. * Women are barred on board. * Spirits are out too.* Rations are two free bottles of beer a day and 100 free cigarettes a week. Extra duty-free cigarettes cost 1s for 20. Meals are free. * The average pay take home is about 25 Pounds a week. Four of the five men who spotlighted their plight by quitting Radio Caroline South Garry Kemp 30, Mike Allan 34, John Sydney 26 and Robert Walton 29, are protesting at the new roster.
The fifth, Mr. Gale, says he wants to nurse his sick wife, actress Wendy Bowman: The isolation can be satisfying, but it can be also a man s worst enemy , says Gale, a tall blond actor who joined Caroline last year. Things are not all bad on the pirates: When the weather is good, you would not know that you are on a ship. I Love to swim and sunbathe. But when things go wrong life on board can be frustrating and you get nervy. Things get out of proportion. It only needs a bad cook and a spell of bad weather for a man s spirits to sink.
But the pirate finishes his broadcast and retires to a tiny cabin with only his shipmates and lapping waves for company. The family problem worries Gale most: My wife and I are strangers to each other for the first twelve hours when I come home on leave. We have to get to know each other again. It is uncanny. Wendy is recovering from a torn vocal chord which put her out of the touring version of My Fair Lady .
She said: A husband and wife appreciate each other all the more after being apart for two weeks. But we both felt this emotional period. The article in the Daily Sketch was written by Michael Hellicar who finished that time with: Soon there will be eight pirates operating off Britain s coast, three more are due to open and aspiring disc jockeys will rush to join. But life is not all glamour day track swinging round the buoy. It can be tough.
The guys at Free Radio Service Holland have a special broadcast next weekend:
Dear FRS Friends,
Broadcast celebrating 24 Years of SW Activities
Next Sunday, November 14th, FRS-Holland will take to the air celebrating its 24th Birthday. The broadcast will take place on 9290 kHz/ 31 mb commencing at 09.00 UTC sharp. Close down will be some 3 hours and 30 minutes later. Even on simple transistorized portables, a solid signal is provided. Pxs will be hosted by Mark Jones (Off Beat), Frank Carson (Frank Carson Show) & Peter Verbruggen (FRS Magazine & FRS Goes DX). Included will be mainly music from the FRS era 1980- 2004, various programme items, the phrase that pays and a Joop ter Zee tribute. There will be a lengthy (50 min.) DX Show in which many radio topics will be handled. In addition a number of letters from the May 30th 2004 broadcast will be read out. Among the items is a flashback to November 1983 with FRS-Holland & Radio Caroline extracts and the radio news from that month. For this festive broadcast, FRS will offer the 4th photo QSL as part of the FRS Studio Series.
The latest news on FRS can be read in a very comprehensive (four din A4 pages) edition of our re-styled FRS News publication (edition 27). The publication is free to any listener sending us a reception report via PO Box 2702 in Herten in Holland. In this publication....
* news about the production of a fresh & new jingle package;
* Fact File ( a brand new column);
* Mailbox 2702 (letter column);
* FRS Jingle Archive on Mini Disc completed;
* Why using 9290?
* Looking back at the previous broadcast....
* And much, much more !
Your support is more than welcome. Reports via snail mail (that's what we like most) or instant reports via E-mail are highly appreciated. Next Sunday 24 years of FRS-Holland. We invite you to participate. Tune in on 9-2-9-0 kHz !
FRS-Holland....not just a Station...it's a Tradition !!
FRS-Holland, SW Free Radio since 1980
6049 ZG Herten
Just before closing the report an e-mail from Keith arrived: Hi folks, I'm emailing to let you all know that E.M.R.I -Energy Music Radio International will be joining the rest of the Latvia Riga relay clan on 9290 kHz towards the end of November for test transmissions, if successful across the following year additional deejays will be added to produce an exciting new station to broadcast across the airwave in a legal environment. We have a website at a temporary url the famous tripod, to see our website please visit http://energy9290.tripod.com there you'll find our contact address, email address and fax number, a number will be added later for text contact...hope you like our site.
Till next time all the best from Groningen