Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Radio Punks: So many stories

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  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    I really miss Contact FM here in the 'Tron. The student union really screwed up when they sold off the frequency back in the late 90s.
    A huge chunk of my musical education came from listening to contact in the late 80s/early 90s, everything from Paul Martin's Axe Attack (before the Rock bought him) to The Pixies, Pop Will Eat Itself, Hallelujah Picassos, Look Blue Go Purple, Dribbly Cat Attraction, Inspector Moog; all the stuff that I'd never have heard on the normal FM.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    I really miss Contact FM here in the ’Tron. The student union really screwed up when they sold off the frequency back in the late 90s.

    Yes, that episode really was a debacle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The WSU was making dumb decisions with regards to contact well before the sell off - one example, in my day they gave The Rock exclusive rights to be played in the student cafe, on gear bought and gifted to the cafe by Contact (way to go guys) amongst other things - voluntary unionism and a marked shift to the right by the student council was the writing on the wall some years pre the eventual station demise.

    The end result has been Hamilton's creative community lost a really good hub of information sharing to the city and outside


    The glory days of Student radio I would have to say was the 80's - it was the time the stations went FM, embraced the alternative musical structure, became more "professional" (paid staff), and generally laid all the groundwork that the 90's built upon so magnificently - it was also a decade that saw such huge changes in music and wider youth cultures that the stations embraced (embracing local music (rise of the Nun) dance, hip hop and various other forms of guitar driven sounds).

    Since the 80s on the stations have changed so much but also not that much at all as the student radio culture was set and from there they've continued to build - long may the young of the nation fuck shit up!

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bob daktari,

    The glory days of Student radio I would have to say was the 80’s

    We're going to have to fight now. But let's do it properly and get drunk first.

    long may the young of the nation fuck shit up!

    Fuck yeah.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    drunked fighting... I'm in

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Flash taylor,

    Nice one Russell. A fantastic post. From one ex pat Bfm-er any ideas when we can stream the doc internationally? (I'm sure a few of us are out here/there/anywhere). After the out takes and trailer It would be amazing to see the main event.

    london • Since Aug 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    My favourite moment on Contact was when I was doing the Opus classical show one Thursday night in O-Week, and they'd put big speakers down by the lake. Some guy came into the studio to tell me he'd been lying by the water listening to the show, really stoned, and really getting into it. He was worried that he knew his dad loved classical music, and maybe his dad was stoned the whole time too!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Contact FM was my first experience with alternative Hamilton - the other side that wasn't obsessed with rugby and convenient parking. And with it came that mind-blowing idea that there was maybe actually more to life than just mainstream culture.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Lin Nah,

    Link removed. Missed seeing it in Russell’s 1st comment until I posted it. sorry.

    Do people still listen to student radio now that they are no longer students? Or do you just tune in for certain shows?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Yep, exactly. I only found it by accident one night, dialed the radio too far and hit the magic moment where a DJ was telling someone if they wanted to hear some Wham they could get fucked. 14 year old me had never heard anything like that on the air and was hooked instantly.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lin Nah,

    Do people still listen to student radio now that they are no longer students? Or do you just tune in for certain shows?

    I still listen to b about as often each day as I listen to Radio NZ National.

    Other radio stations are shit ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lin Nah,

    But one thing that 1996 survey told us was that the bFM audience was a lot older than was frequently assumed – it didn't really taper off until you got to people over 60.

    When we started to lose listeners to George FM, my guess is that almost all of them were over 30 – Ponsonby types who wanted to listen to dance music but not noisy guitar music.

    The other thing that survey revealed was that bFM's TSL – time spent listening – was off the charts. bFM listeners at the time spent their days and nights with the b.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Murray Hewitt, in reply to Lin Nah,

    Do people still listen to student radio now that they are no longer students? Or do you just tune in for certain shows?

    Hell yeah! There's only one station worth listening to, other radio stations are shit, etc, etc. I never was a full-time Uni student, and been listening to the b since 1985.

    Wainui • Since Jan 2008 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    my guess is that almost all of them were over 30 – Ponsonby types who wanted to listen to dance music but not noisy guitar music.

    from my experience at george the active listeners (texting and calling - who were more inclined to do both than B's listeners, I went from B to george..) were young (over 20), scattered all over the country - the ponsonby thing was imo their initial market and then "branding"

    always hated the Other Stations Are Shit line... the longer they used it the more stagnant the station sounded - other stations are choice... but they're not the B!

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cresswell,

    Remember late 70s just after “Bosom” became “B” (sorry, “b”) when the four weeks of short daily broadcasts over weak radio across orientation weeks was one of the few musical missionaries that made life in South Auckland bearable.
    Libraries, of course, were another one (and Barry Jenkin, and Bryan Staff’s NZ 1/4 hour).
    Listened to the b right up until leaving for London in 1990. But for me, too much bloody dance music by the time I’d returned in 1995, so eventually turned off. Still, I spent a couple of years wondering why Bill Ralston was delivering news commentary on student radio. Didn't seem right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Cresswell,

    Still, I spent a couple of years wondering why Bill Ralston was delivering news commentary on student radio. Didn’t seem right.

    Ha!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Johnston,

    Another vote for the 80s being the glory days, but hey, it was my time so of course I'd say that. (Oh and Russell I do remember Fiona from Active, she was on air towards the end of my days there ...)

    But enough nostalgia, fact is 30-odd years on I'm listening to Active right now, and it's helping to keep me connected with all the wonderful new music that's around (so much music!).

    Although I must confess I have been listening to a lot of Beats 1 over the last few weeks...

    Wellington • Since Sep 2013 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • RaggedJoe,

    It's all in the variety. I have listened since I stumbled across the b in the late 80's. The one thing that keeps me coming back year after year is that you never know what is up next.

    My kids are in their 20's and cant stand it. They simply refuse to listen to a single track they don't like, so it's channel switching time. (Same with recorded music, always switching tracks. The ease of doing this with electronic formats, compared with changing records and fast forwarding tapes in the olden days has changed behaviour for sure.)

    But the good old b will deliver some gems and some things (one track on Artbank last Sunday springs to mind) that seem specifically designed to make me turn it off!

    Next thing you know its the jazz show and everything is right with the world again. Thanks to the b and all who have sailed her!

    City of Sales • Since Sep 2008 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    ill never forget the time Brown and Ralston were in the studio together. Bill said something about Russell stealing his voice. good times.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • SHG, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    Yep, Paul Martin's metal show was the highlight of Waikato radio for me in the early 90s.

    nup • Since Oct 2010 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Other radio stations are shit ;-)

    I still have that sticker on my truck, yes had that truck since 95 (coincidence?)
    Yes I still listen, online and due to modren technilities, in the truck through my phone.
    Still regard my time doing voiceovers on the b as a high point in my life. Yup, I am that sad.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Smith, in reply to Russell Brown,

    H/T to Kirsten Johnstone too, who co-produced the Summer Music 101 Student Radio series.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2013 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    I don't know how long BFM's mid-80s Men's Show lasted, but it was memorable for its earnest good intentions bordering on unintentional self-parody. Along with issues of interest to men - stopping violence, being righteously non-sexist - men were encouraged to phone in, though I don't recall many responses.

    One afternoon a guy who identified as Maori took up the offer. The host extended a warm welcome, then discovered that his caller didn't really have any pressing issues to discuss - "Just thought I'd call eh".
    "So", said the host, "where are Maori men at in Aotearoa today?"
    "Eh?" said his caller, "They're, uh, you know, they're everywhere!"

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    We had no student radio in zombie town but a friend from Hamilton made a one side mixtape of Contact, the playlist: The Lemonheads, The 3ds, Straightjacket Fits, L7, Teenage Fanclub, Rollins Band, Screaming Trees, most of which I otherwise wouldn’t have heard for a couple of years. It concluded with my pick of the bunch:

    The beatbox rap promo still worming:

    Contact…. FM, telling each and everyone to tune in, don’t know who are or where the hell you’ve been, Contact, 89 FM

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

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