Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Radio Punks: So many stories

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  • Jason Kemp,

    I suspect the real answer to when the best days in student radio is every day. Compared to every other station student radio is great and it still is. I seem to remember a bumper sticker saying something like that.

    I was there in the early ’80’s at BFM and many of those involved went on to greater things. At one time there were at least 3 Andrews on the crew. Andrew Topping, Andrew Boak and Andrew Bishop. Francis Hooper was there as was Mark Tierney, Debi Gibbs and others. All of them went on to do very well later on radio and music / culture related fields.

    I think what was happening in music in early 80’s made things a bit more unpredictable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Heh, I still treasure Dave playing the full outro to Roger Waters "Radio K.A.O.S." Sunset Strip that ends with "I don't care. Shut up. Play the record". And Carole Ray doing the station promo that was just her saying "RDU. It's a radio station".

    That said, I never really got into student radio as a listening experience because it was just too up and down for me. Community radio in general is like that for me. Every now and then there'll be a couple of hours that I like, but I find people talking when I'm listening to music annoying. Hence, I suppose, my love for DJ No Ego (the multi-disk CD player RDU used to fill the dead shifts). Who had "his" own station identification tracks and everything.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • matthew,

    I started listening to b in the late 80s because you stood a decent chance if winning smarties on the Saturday morning kids show. I'm 35 now and I don't listen to the kids show anymore but it's still the only station I listen to (honorable exception being live cricket on radio sport). Other stations really are shit. Fuck knuckles cock and piss. Balls.

    auckland • Since Nov 2013 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Johnston,

    (Oh and Russell I do remember Fiona from Active, she was on air towards the end of my days there …)

    Fiona has just pointed out to me that she has in fact been a DJ on three student radio stations: RDU, Active and bFM.

    The Active show actually got her hired by then-credible 89FM on nights (she has stories) and then she went to late nights on Hauraki (again, stories) before moving into broadcast journalism with Radio i.

    We actually found one of her commercial radio on-air tapes when we came back from London in 91 and got her stuff out of storage and her radio jock voice was awesome – deeper than mine!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Murray Hewitt, in reply to bob daktari,

    always hated the Other Stations Are Shit line

    Often misquoted as "All Other Radio Stations Are Shit" and I don't agree with that either. But, in its original form, it still stands.

    Wainui • Since Jan 2008 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Johnston, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    At one time there were at least 3 Andrews on the crew. Andrew Topping, Andrew Boak and Andrew Bishop.

    Ah all the Andrews! Had a very memorable night on the town courtesy of Mr Boak at the student radio conference one year. Now he really was a Radio Punk!

    Wellington • Since Sep 2013 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Warren Clark,

    Many, many moons ago I was an (unpaid) worker on a community radio station in Motueka called Harvest Radio, then called Fresh FM.

    It was run from initially the Motueka Rec center then a Marae, It was the first 'job' I ever had, and arguably the best.

    In the Lower Hutt. • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    I have had two regular segments on b. The first survived two changes of hosts, only to find the Sunday morning segment change when Rhys Darby and David Farrier came onboard (I like to think my conspiracy theory stuff was just too weird for Rhys, and that’s why I got let go…).

    The second segment also survived two changes of hosts and three changes of producer, but not the fourth. Actually, the story of being “let go” from b the second time is still a bit of a sore point to me; they told me just after a segment that that was the last one. It’d be nice to have been told beforehand so I could have said some kind of goodbye.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain, in reply to Warren Clark,

    a community radio station in Motueka called Harvest Radio, then called Fresh FM.

    Ah yes, I spent a few hours playing tapes on the ol' Harvest Radio in the summer of 92 on the marae while on holidays picking fruit... now a fine community station run by a former student radio colleague, the marvellous Jo Ann Firestone.

    I can actually claim DJing on four student stations from back in the day: my high school station X-Static 89FM in Blenheim then Radio Active in the late 80s, through to Radio One and bFM in the 90s/millennium. Good times.

    Yet to watch the doco but have it saved on the MySky. The trailer looks good Paul, Jeremy et al!

    Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Suzanne McNicol, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That WAS an excellent series from Yadana early this year. Just to refresh your memory RB as it is a while ago), bFM bought the ratings in 1999. Z were in the market then and b pasted them but George was still operating out of Thane's garage in Grey Lynn. I recall a thundering hangover following the post- survey board
    Mtg but can't recall buying the numbers again under my watch and I left end of 2001. I think it was Ella Henry who suggested that it may be politic to 'retire undefeated' from the survey rat race and stick to our knitting. Wise woman she is! Haven't seen full doco yet but judging from the out takes , it's a belter. Still owe you that drink...see you at The Others Way!

    Auckland • Since Aug 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    At one time there were at least 3 Andrews on the crew. Andrew Topping, Andrew Boak and Andrew Bishop.

    There were four at one time - Andrew Dickins was the 4th. When we released the 1983 B compilation We'll Do Our Best it was credited as 'compiled by The Andrews'.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Glyn,

    Arrived from the UK in December 1994, bewildered. I'm a Brit musician and music wrangler, a bit of an activist. Moved into the mother-in-law's little place in Mt Wellington. There are grapefruit growing in the garden. I thought NZ was snow, mountains and sheep. Why does Big Fresh have singing vegetables? And a kilo of giant mussels is $2. I'm a Londoner, get me outta here.

    Tune into morning radio...some guys are at a music festival called the Big Day Out, broadcasting from the toilets. It's really funny. All of a sudden I feel a connection. These guys are out there, telling it how it is. Talking music anticipation and bowel movements. There's swearing. This is good!

    Thank you bFM for providing that lifesaver! 20 years later I'm still here

    The UK never had student radio (we had lots of other indie things but not much radio). Thank you student radio peeps for what you have given this country.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • martin w,

    The music and culture of Contact changed my life. For the better. It might have taken all three years of my degree to shake that country boy music conservatism and embrace the weird and wonderful sounds but when it kicked in the epiphany was so sweet. And the culture, man, even the accommodation guide - to know that the people who's house you'd check out would have it on 89... sweet.

    sydney • Since Jul 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Suzanne McNicol,

    That WAS an excellent series from Yadana early this year. Just to refresh your memory RB as it is a while ago), bFM bought the ratings in 1999. Z were in the market then and b pasted them but George was still operating out of Thane’s garage in Grey Lynn. I recall a thundering hangover following the post- survey board

    Ah, thanks. I thought it was later, but somehow had the idea that Channel Z didn't launch until after that survey.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    At one time there were at least 3 Andrews on the crew. Andrew Topping, Andrew Boak and Andrew Bishop.

    There were four at one time – Andrew Dickins was the 4th. When we released the 1983 B compilation We’ll Do Our Best it was credited as ‘compiled by The Andrews’.

    Five. Andrew Hawthorn.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Aaron Hutching,

    Sad I missed this and don't have Sky. Hope it re-screens!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2014 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Aaron Hutching,

    You don't need Sky to watch Prime shows on Sky Go - just sign up.

    But for as long as it lasts, Radio Punks is on YouTube:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    we had lots of other indie things but not much radio

    There was all the pirate radio with transmitters on tops of tower blocks and TPTB trying to catch them and confiscate the gear, right?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    ..radio jock voice...

    Gotta say - my student radio listening started with RadioActive and Radio U in the 1980s, and even then it seemed that Auckland student radio was everything that was wrong with Auckland and Radio. For me it was always about great music (old and new), a bit of randomness, and a rejection of everything that smacked of commercial radio, whereas BFM seemed to be all about Formats, Egos and Radio Jocks auditioning for a role in commercial broadcasting. I always found that to be a big part of the culture shock on visits to Auckland as an angsty young'un - in my mellower old age I'll gladly take it over mumbling amateurism.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Of course – there were 5 Andrews – sorry guys. Unforgettable but 35 years is a long time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

    Andrews

    There were a surfeit of Matthews, Chrises and Jonathans in the late 80s too, as I recall. :-)

    Finally got to watch it through to the end. I had hoped that somehow they would work Rick Huntington into the main show, after seeing his section in the outtakes, but I guess they gotta fit the schedule.

    Anyway, I salute you Rick. You always said hi, welcomed us grommies, and fixed our fuck-ups when we tipped our coffee into the desk.

    Also, any time someone prompts you to play this wonderful track, is a good thing.

    Cheers student radio, and all you crazy punks.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2448 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to JacksonP,

    Anyway, I salute you Rick. You always said hi, welcomed us grommies, and fixed our fuck-ups when we tipped our coffee into the desk.

    Amen. The man is a legitimate legend.

    One Rick story I told that didn’t make the cut. In one of the alternative rugby commentaries we did (yes, bFM had them too) we’d put together some sound effects that weren’t really cutting it, and the whole thing sounded a but thin.

    10 Minutes in, the phone goes in the studio and it’s Rick. “Turn up the OB channel,” he said.

    We did, to discover that he’d taken a feed out of his Sky decoder, EQd out the proper commentary and plugged it into his OB unit to send to the station. So we had all the crowd noise and everything. People asked us afterwards how we’d managed to get a feed from the broadcaster.

    We hadn’t. It was just the genius of Rick.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Aaron Hutching, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Fantastic, signing up now!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2014 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to JacksonP,

    Also, any time someone prompts you to play this wonderful track, is a good thing.

    Astonishing live too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It was just the genius of Rick.

    Verily. I've told some of you about the late 80s news team's flash Nakamichi multi-pattern microphone which Rick re-engineered to run off standard AA batteries rather than the $40-each factory Li-ion ones. A third of the voltage, with no discernable loss of recording quality. Someone nominate the man for an award soon, ok.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

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