Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Onward and upward, but what about new software ?



Hello all. By now you'll know all about all these regulations hitting the independent Radio Broadcasters who choose to use a server from inside the US, be it via Live365, or anyone else with a similar operation. We here at AZ had a few long chats with 5 separate broadcasters yesterday, all who are affected by this, and seem rather baffled by the one thing which is changing everything, despite the fact that they (and us here at AZ) agree with the first of these new rules. 100%. Absolutely. Does that surprise you ?
Well, we'll explain. Bear with us... The new regulations stipulate that all tracks (Artist, Title, Album) must be displayed in any player, so that not only the listener can see what they are listening to, but in an attempt to ensure the correct royalties go to the correct Artists and Songwriters. And we agree with this, 100%. Moreso than anyone else, in all probability, because we here at the Zone play Artists and Tracks that, remember, are seldom heard anywhere else. The 'blanket fee' for royalties was always a bit dodgy, as we reckon the same people always benefit - but not this way. The seldom heard Artists, many of whom can only be heard on AZ, would benefit from this new ruling, and about time too ! So, what's the problem, you ask ?
Well, it's the software we (and hundreds of other stations) have to use for broadcasting which is changing everything for people who want to do proper presented Radio Programmes (instead of just another jukebox going round and round, calling itself a Radio Station). Why ? Because we, and many others, are not allowed to upload full radio programmes, even when we want to give the Artist/Royalties information, that's why. There is no software available from 365 or anywhere else, that allows anyone to do this, for a whole programme at a time.
What we would all have to do, is, say for a 1 hour programme which contains 14 Songs and 8 DJ links (so, 22 items in all) we'd have to pre-record and send up those 22 links separately (and all separately labelled too).
Then, they would be played in the correct order. So, you see the problem. We tried it here at AZ just 2 nights ago, as an experiment. Doing it this way - just recording 22 links instead of doing a proper programme - took 3 hours and 10 minutes, to record and label up just 1 hour of programming. This new way, means no actual shows, but a bunch of links masquerading as a programme, which could be interrupted by Ads at any point, even between the presenter introducing something and the track itself !
Now, if the powers that be got some software in place so some 'scrolling' info could be seen at the same time as a full programme, then surely it would be solved. Hmmm. I'm afraid this is where phrases like 'Live365, The Radio Revolution' and, God forbid, 'land of the free', do rather turn out as a complete fantasy. What a pity.
It's not 365's fault, of course, far from it - their original ideals were completely sound - good for broadcasters and artist alike, when they began. But they've been pushed into a corner, and can't move. So, what we are left with, is a load of 'Stations' which are mainly pre-programmed jukeboxes. A shame, as there are so many Stations who wish to present Radio Programmes of often unplayed Artists, actively promoting them, and these are Artists who would genuinely benefit from promotion and airplay and royalties, when in effect the new rulings are rather shooting them all in the foot, to coin a phrase. So, often unplayed Artists lose out again.
The answer ? Software which allows radio programmes to scroll all required information, and would be legal to do so. Quite simple really. We'd all be happy with it, and the Artists who would not otherwise be receiving royalties would then get exactly what they are owed, and we, for one, would be very happy with that.
As it is, we will concentrate our broadcasts in other parts of the world, where everyone seems to get a fair deal, and hope at some point technology drags itself up to date, so all can benefit, seldom heard Artists included, in a way that radio programmes are surely meant to be heard. Presented, with all relevant information, be it Band History/Biography, Albums, Tour Dates, whatever.
Not just a song here, and a song there, then another, etc etc till zzzzzz.....
I wonder if it will ever happen ? Let's hope so. So many would benefit - Artists would receive their proper royalties, Broadcasters would be able to promote and play any artist they like legally, the likes of Live 365 and similar radio servers would serve as a base for anyone wishing to play music, and Radio Authorities from all and any parts of the world would be receiving the monies they are rightly owed. We'd all benefit. Fact.
But at the moment, it can't be done this way for Stations who wish to pre-record then present their full range of programmes, and that's a shame, as so many broadcasters are just moving elsewhere because of this, meaning it's not only them who are losing out, but their listeners too, and of course the most important people of all, the Artists and Bands themselves.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

STOP PRESS : THE ALBUM ZONE KICKED OFF AIR BY NEW USA RADIO RULES

Oh dear, oh dear. Hello Zoneheads. And there were we wanting to bring you some good news. Not so today. But don't worry, dear regulars, we're looking at ways to get round this - but it's not easy. Basically, we've lost our 24/7 service via Live365 (but hey, we're still on both RTI and Radio Seagull, don't forget that).
Now, we don't want to bore you with the technical details, but we'll briefly try to explain exactly why, and that's not easy to do, in laymans terms. But we'll try.
The new RIAA and DMCA rules state that everything we broadcast, now has to have an Artist, Track Name, Album Title, etc etc visible in a player window for each second we are on air via Live365.
But we can't do that ! We don't just broadcast Tracks, like thousands of people do - we broadcast actual Presented Programmes - not just a bunch of songs, thank-you very much.
Now, herein lies the problem, because how can we put Artist, Titles etc in when there are up to 14 titles per hour plus presented links, for about 16 hours in total ? We can't. Why ?
Well, to do this would take longer than making the actual Shows themselves.
Therefore, because we want to do 'proper' presented Radio programmes, we are 'not compliant' in their eyes because the information does not automatically flash up on screen, and therefore, we are illegal.
So, we are switched off. Unbelievable. (Can I add that this is not Live365's fault - it's the new law that they must abide to - they themselves have lost many Stations because of this).
Meanwhile, all those other stations who just have a bunch of labelled tracks going round and round, remain on the air, untouched.
Rather ironic, don't you think, that you try to do Radio which is informative, with details of the artists, their history, upcoming gigs by them etc - in otherwords, promoting them, and paying for the privilege, yet we end up off the air. Hey, Big Brother is watching, and listening, folks.
We will NOT be beaten. If we cannot broadcast via Live365 with a 24/7 service, we will do it another way. We are already in contact with other broadcasters who are experiencing the same problems. There is no overnight solution, this may take quite a few days - sorry about that. But we did not start our own freeform radio station way back in 1997 to be told 9 years later what to do, and when to do it, by the very people who we are actually paying money out to, to be on the air in the first place.
We could understand if we were doing something wrong - but we are not.
So, please be patient.
The Album Zone continues to broadcast on Wednesday and Saturday nights, at 10pm UK time, via our good friends at www.rti.fm. Worldwide. Also, on many FM and AM frequencies throughout Europe at these hours, just check the RTI Website for full details.
We can also be heard now on the Sky Satellite (from RTI) across Europe at these times - we will publish details of how to find us there, right here in this Blog, before the next AZ programme goes out on Wednesday.
We are also on air via Radio Seagull, Wednesday nights, at www.radioseagull.com, between 18.00 and 00.00, and again, that's UK time. At the same time too, on 1602AM in northern Netherlands.
Normal service will be resumed shortly. Where ? We don't know. But it will be 24/7. We promise you that.
Do check back often to this Blog for further details.

Steve Lloyd PR The Album Zone
AZ mail : music@albumzone.net

Thursday, February 23, 2006

New Shows, New Features, up and coming...



Hello Zoners, a few new Programmes up and around to tell you about, and some upcoming features too.
Firstly, new shows from Rich Phoenix, Andy Miles, Richard Bismarck, and Johnny Reece are gracing our various playlists on air this week. Every one of the aforementioned can be heard at various times via our 24/7 service, at
www.live365.com/stations/albumzone2001. These sit alongside current programming from Nick Saloman, Zoe Street, and James Barclay. Seems like we have a full house !
Up and coming though - another newie from Nick, who will be dropping in to the AZ Studios once again, on Friday March 3rd, to pass to us his own unique brand of psychedelic programming.

Is she back ? News reaches us of a possible return to the AZ airwaves of Debbie Saloman (pictured above).
Debbie did a splendid debut programme for the Zone some months back, but since then has been very busy in her acting career, and there simply has been no time for her to arrange a return visit. Debbie hopes to return to the Zone within the next fortnight. Watch this space !

As for new features mentioned before, and other articles we wish to be published here on the AZ blog, these will be everything ranging from our favourite Links, to tales of our renegade past on board the good ship Radio Caroline, to our broadcasts over several years at Radio 6 in France. All of these are up and coming. A Radio 6 feature may well have to be split into several parts - after all, we broadcast special programmes there for over 8 years, so we do have a few tales to tell, and pictures to publish. Be afraid !

Look out too, for a feature on our current partners in broadcasting, RTI.
As you will know, the Johnny Reece show airs every Wednesday night via this service, and a separate Album Zone programme is also aired each Saturday evening. Both directly via
www.rti.fm. Not only are these worldwide on the Net, but RTI now have many AM and FM transmitters dotted around central europe - so it's good to see that AZ is certainly getting known in so many new quarters. Add to that the upcoming new Satellite Broadcasts from RTI, and AZ is just about everywhere, thanks to our Slovakian friends.
A special feature on RTI will feature here soon...

In the meantime, keep Zoning ! And if you want to say Hi, contact us at
music@albumzone.net.

Steve Lloyd PR The Album Zone

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Mr Legine : The answers

Why are you involved in The Album Zone ?
I was being held hostage in a dance music confinement chamber (known as 'a club') until I signed the papers. Also because there's nothing like it anywhere on the planet. People need us.

What's your favourite colour ?
Green, but I look good (so I'm told) in black. Oh, and the colour of my true love's hair

What's your favourite sweets ?
Cakes (especially coffee flavoured),dark chocolate Bounty Bars, Rolo's, American Hard Gums, Bon Bons (lemon and toffee), most liquorice, Extra Strong Mints and chewing gum
The Ballroom Blitz was good as well

Favourite Food :
Curry still tops the menu and usually leaves a stain on it, but I also love English roast dinners and frankly Xmas pudding should be available all year round

Least Favourite Food :
Anything pre-fabricated or enhanced that has never been near something that was nurtured in a well balanced, stress and chemical free environment then lightly killed, cut or pulled...........with chips

What do you want to be when you grow up ?
'When we are no longer children, we are already dead' - Constantin Brancuzi
I don't know who he was either

Choose ONE word to describe yourself :
Paradox

What could you not live without ?
This planet, but apart from that, music and something to play it on. Everything else is tish and phipcy

Who could you not live without ?
My Lady Jo of the Danemark, my Son and Heir Elliot of The Gherkin and friendly human beings

What's the greatest Single ever made ?
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen because it was so tenacious as everyone around them said they'd lost the plot and it would bomb. Also nothing like it will ever reach the top of the charts again

What's the greatest Album ever made ?
This is an impossible question as there are so many, but for today I'll say; The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd as its perfect from heartbeat to heartbeat. I first heard it when I was 14 and it turned me around completely leading me to every album I own today of whatever genre. 35 million people can't be wrong can they?

If you could change something about yourself, what would it be ?
Physically, I'd like to be a bit shorter, fart less and stop fiddling with my nuts
Psychologically, I'd like to be a bit taller, fart louder and get my nuts out in public

Do you love Custard ?
Hot on apple crumble yes. When served cold it's only good for mending garage doors

Favourite subject at School :
Playtime and English

Least favourite subject at School :
Dinners and Maths

Favourite Football Team :
Leeds United, Leyton Orient, England - both footy and cricket teams as, when pushed, I prefer to watch cricket

Favorite Cheerleader team :
No comment at this time

Mode of Transport :
I love to drive but since moving to Denmark, the humble cycle has become an essential and great way to travel. It's healthy and if you scream really loudly whilst cycling, when you stop you can say to people, 'a cheap but noisy way to travel', then they laugh and laugh and laugh

IQ :
I'm a drummer

Colour of Socks :
Black or dark blue

Favourite Pet :
My cats, a black male called Herbie and a tabby female called Misser which is Danish for pussy.

No, not that !

Favourite Smartie colour :
Smartie people are happy people, they smile all the time.
I think mine is E117 though E115 has a good hue about it


Favourite flavour of Crisps :
Walkers smokey bacon by miles

Favourite Places :
Sitting behind my drums or a mixing desk, being at home and the plaice I once had at a fish restaurant in Hastings was good

You are moving to the Moon, but you are allowed to take just THREE personal possessions with you. What would they be ?
My albums, my drums and my kettle should do it.
As the late Ronnie Scott used to say at dodgy gigs, 'This place is like the moon, no atmosphere!'

I suppose he could have said it in the fish restaurant as well

Best Friend :
I don't have a best friend. I love all my friends and some are best at certain times and some at others.

Worst Friend :
They would'nt be much of a friend now would they?

Best TV Programmes ever :
In no particular order then;
Star Trek (original and Next Gen), The Singing Detective, Blackadder, Cracker - To Be A Somebody, Lovejoy, The Day Today, The Old Grey Whistle Test, Channel 4 Cricket, Fawlty Towers, Parkinson, The Monkees, Dr.Who, F.A.Cup Final Day on BBC regardless who plays, Match of the Day, The New Avengers (Joanna Lumley - holy cow!!), Porridge, The Goodies, I'm Alan Partridge, 24, Starksy and Hutch, The Virginian, Alias Smith and Jones, The Big Match, The Persuaders .............................. I could go on !

Best Radio Programmes ever :
Peel, The Kenny Everett Show, Alan Freemans Saturday Rock Show, the chart run-down on Sunday nights, Test Match Special, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, Bob Geldof when he had a show on XFM and Chris Morris when he had a show on G.L.R.

Best Song Lyric ever :
This is surely the hardest of the lot but I'm going for; 'Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way, the time is gone the song is over, thought I'd something more to say' from Time by The Floyd. It made me shiver when I was 14 and it still does it now.

Best advice you've ever been given :
Take what you've got, 'cause maybe you only get one

Worst advice you've ever been given :
Luckily, I've never been given any life shattering bad advice. Some funny bad advice was waaay back when I worked on building sites. I was in command of the dumper truck one morning and needed to chug across some uncharted territory in the middle of which was a huge puddle. I stopped but, 'It's OK' my colleague shouted, 'you can come straight over'. I chugged on into the puddle then plunged up to me arse in freezing cold, stinking water which had filled a hole about 3 feet deep


Best Films ever :
In no particular order then;
Bladerunner, Sideways, Reservoir Dogs, Brazil, Alien Trilogy, Life of Brian, Bullit, The French Connection, The Wild Bunch, Get Carter, The Ipcress File, Marathon Man, Time Bandits, Wages of Sin, Raising Arizona, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Delicatessen, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Usual Suspects, The Exorcist, Last Tango In Paris, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Withnail and I, The Raiders Trilogy, Blazing Saddles, The Hill, Pulp Fiction, The Name of The Rose, The Company of Wolves, Kind Hearts and Coronets, I'm Alright Jack and 12 Monkeys, and anything directed by Kubrick, Lynch, Scorsese and Peckinpah................................... I could go on

Final thoughts :
I think the best team'll win unless it's doon to some wooeful defend'unn !

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"a wee trip doon memory lane", as the Scots say...



Hello Zoners, and a Happy Valentine's Day to you all. Did your mailboxes collapse under the weight of cards this morning ? I hope so. If not, we'll send you Valentine wishes from us all here at AZ. That do ? Good.
Well, AZ went on the backburner for a few days, though we're all back now. I nipped homeward, only 40 miles or so, you know, family things, big sunday lunch get together for the gathered Lloyd family, it's what we do from time to time.
A much bigger deal for our resident Scotsman though, Johnny Reece.
Off to Scotland he was, for the first time in a good while, and memory lane was the name of the game. I'll let him take up the story for you :


Ah yes, back to the old country, as it were. Always something a bit special for me, particularly as I seem to have little time to make trips like this these days. No relatives there anymore, a few ex-workmates dotted around though, but no time to see them on this occasion. Just 36 hours in my home town, so a dash round memory lane it really was. Funny how everything seems smaller, buildings, roads, simple things which seemed gigantic, when about 8 years old. It was raining slightly, naturally. That soft southern Glasgow 'drizzle' which is expected and synonymous with the geographical location. No matter, it made it all the more real for me. I was struck by how quiet it all was. I guess that's what living in London for over 20 years does to you. And the difference in social attitudes was immediately apparent - something you forget when you've been away for a while. It doesn't matter where you are in Glasgow, in a queue in a shop, on a train, at a bus stop, wherever. People talk to each other. It's a friendly place. That just doesn't happen in London.
Suddenly I was back in the middle of south Glasgow suburbia, very quiet, very relaxed, very green.
Where I grew up, in an area called Simshill, is all of those. Huge parks either side, and, just 3 miles to the south, are some farms. In the other direction, only 3 or 4 miles or so, the bustling and now extremely cosmopolitan, centre of Glasgow. Quite a contrast, although always a great bonus to be able to quickly switch from one to the other, in a matter of around 10 minutes.
Starting out at Cathcart Station, the walk began. Past various places where I had spent my formative years, and youth. Many places now long gone of course (just like my youth !) although they, and it, still remain in my memory. Now some Indian Takeaway shop, formerly Sams Cafe, where they had the best home-made Ice Cream in the world. Really. Around the corner to Linn Park, a huge green expanse on the South side, hardly changed a bit, apart from extra walkways alongside the rather picturesque and fabulous River Cart, which runs right through it.
A quick circle round, and past the monument which marks the spot where Mary, Queen of Scots stood and watched over the Battle Of Langside, in 1568. Then down towards Battlefield, another residential area, and my interest was drawn to a very run down (possibly closed down ?) TV and Video Repair Shop. Why, you ask ? Well, back in around 1966 to the mid 70s, this was the spot where the marvellous Gloria's Record Bar formerly stood. Fabulous. I don't know how many Albums and Singles I bought with my pocket money there as a lad, whilst discussing with one of the staff, (Jimmy, of course !) the ins and outs of the new Troggs single, or Roxy's new Album, or the forthcoming gigs of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. It was the end of an era in so many ways, for so many Southsiders, when Gloria's closed its doors for the last time. My formative musical years were forged right there.
Of course, it, and many little stores like it, were being replaced by bigger places. That much hasn't changed, eh ?
In time, my store of choice became 'Listen Records' in the centre of Glasgow, but that story is for another day.
Onto the district of Simshill itself, and a real bonus this turned out to be.
Simshill Primary School. Where it all began, for me. Long pathways up to the School itself were usually blocked off by locked gates, on either side. On a Sunday too, this was to be expected. I hadn't, of course, walked those steps, or taken steps over the playground, since my last days there, back in 1970. A long time ago.
But, what's this ?
The gate is OPEN. A real big thing for me, as I strolled up that path again, for the first time in 36 years.
I walked around the playground, remembering it all.
I strolled along the edge of the football pitch, and the regional under 13's Cup Final in April 1970 seemed like it was played yesterday - the final score - Simshill 2, Queens Park 1, both goals that won a tiny little trophy scored by one little Scottish person, J. Reece, on 26, and 78 mins.
On around my district itself, past the house I grew up in, and on the streets I knew so well. Not much had changed. A passing motorist even stopped, ironically, to ask me directions, and I still knew the answer.
Down to a local cafe in the next district along, in Mount Florida (and it was still a cafe, after all these years) where a traditional Scottish Pie was partaken. It had to be. Rules are rules when you are reminiscing, you know.
Off back into town then, and a look around some large bookshops, where in one I happily picked up a book called 'Apollo Memories', marking the great days of the Glasgow Apollo, where thousands of people grew up in the 70s seeing their favourite Bands. The Apollo has long gone, sadly, but all is remembered in the book, and so nice to see so many world famous artists remembering it so well, and naming the audience there ('The Apollo Choir') as the best in the world. Quite rightly too.
Sunday evening was spent at the Carling Academy (not a patch on the old Apollo, but there you go) in the company of the one and only Sparks, on the first night of their 2006 World Tour. Fabulous, and as it had been over 20 years since Sparks had visited 'Glesca', they were received rapturously, like old friends, so much so that the crowd just wouldn't let them go. When they eventually did, quite a few Glasgow voices reminded them, in no uncertain terms, to not leave it for so long, next time. And that was that. Back next morning to London on a quick flight, and straight back into work. But many memories cherished, for sure.
Back to AZ land then, and yes, you will of course be hearing much of Sparks new Album 'Hello Young Lovers' on the Album Zone. Later this week too, we have the return to the airwaves of the one and only Rich Phoenix. Oh, and don't be too surprised if a few reminiscences of the past weekend happen to creep into my own programmes over the forthcoming weeks...

Johnny (Mc) Reece...



Wednesday, February 08, 2006

New Programmes up on AZ...









NICK is back !

Wednesday, February 8th 2006, and hello again all. Tonight sees the return of Nick Saloman to the Album Zone, after a couple of months absence. Nice to have him back ! Nicks latest 2 Hour opus contains such musical excellence as The Eyes, Pretty Things, Skip Bifferty, and much more. Add this to Nicks info chat and rock n' roll tales coupled with his encyclopedic knowledge, and there you have it, another unmissable programme. It's on our 24/7 service via Live365 later this evening, alongside new shows from Johnny Reece, James Barclay, and Richard Bismarck.
We are on air, 24/7, at : http://www.live365.com/stations/albumzone2001.
More updates soon, as and when news breaks, or when we get out of the pub. Or something. Really.

Steve Lloyd, PR, The Album Zone

Monday, February 06, 2006

Welcome to THE ALBUM ZONE !





Welcome, all. On the next few pages you will see what we've been up to. Or are still up to. Or, better still, what we fully intend to get up to in the future. This is the official Album Zone Blog, home to the thoughts, fears, and general misbehaving of 10 individuals who thought it might be a good idea to run their own Radio Station, mainly because they thought there surely must be something else than the same old 500 songs going round and round. Largely, there was not, so they decided to do something about it themselves. Here are their adventures. They're on air, 24/7, at www.live365.com/stations/albumzone2001, but here you can find out their history too - what they like and dislike, where and when they have broadcast, and why.
Check where they've been, what they've been doing, and how on earth they've managed to keep it going, with no finance except for what they put in themselves (The Album Zone is voluntary run) and with the magnificent help, mainly, from devoted listeners, to keep all the madness going.
And long may it continue.
We hope you enjoy our Blog, which will be updated several times per week, with many more articles and features also to be added in the days ahead...

Steve Lloyd, PR, The Album Zone

Previous Broadcasts : Radio Kick In The Head



THE UNTOLD STORY OF RADIO KICK IN THE HEAD by JAMES BARCLAY







The concept of Radio Kick In The Head was born, following a difficult labour, in a Public House on the outskirts of the sleepy, some would say totally unconscious town, of Loughborough, England. It was Autumn, 1986. At that time one Colin W. Mueslibar, and one James Barclay were, as they say in Radio circles 'between programmes' i.e. unemployed. They were sharing a drink (they could only afford one between them) in the Thrush and Piddle when the idea came to them. Both Colin and James had a passion for Radio and spoke of little else that evening. James had been 'in Radio' all his life, having been born in the back of the family Radiogram whilst his Mother was changing a valve. Colin too lived for Radio but found his previous employment, as the tuning dial on a communications receiver, restrictive and two dimensional. Despite their almost fanatical interest in their subject however, fate had not been kind to them. In fact, fate ignored them completely and so had everyone else as they sat on their respective bar stools supping their pint of Old Rat Mix through two straws they carried everywhere with them - just in case. As the evening drew to a close, Colin suddenly started. James, who had known Colin for many years, reached instinctively for Colin's tablets, but he was not to be silenced. 'You know Jim', he began, 'I'm sure there are people out there who would appreciate something a little different in Radio. Something better than the mundane, something a little more risky, something with some BALLS ...!'
His voice trailed off. Colin trailed after it, towards the Toilet, stopping briefly to wink at a young couple sitting in the corner near the dartboard, who were experimenting with each others bodies with their mouths, hands, and an interesting and rather impressive array of equipment found in the sixth form Chemistry labs. When he returned, Colin found James practising his 'appreciative nod'. This was a trick James used during situations where Colin might be about to launch into a tirade of the 'radio today is crap' variety. James had noticed in the past that, by practising the 'nodding technique', the movement of his head usually provided a sufficient distraction for Colin to forget what he was about to say. This normally saved both Colin and himself the inconvenience of having to find yet another Pub where they were not known. The list of places where they were invited to 'take their custom elsewhere' (straws included) had grown to such a degree that 'elsewhere' was now a rare commodity. But Colin was not to be halted. 'I've been thinking', he said, looking straight past James toward the couple he had seen on the way to the Toilet. 'We could start a Station ourselves'. He fiddled with the zip of his jeans as if trying to check by tactile methods alone, whether the zipper was occupying it's usual position at or near the respectable moral high ground, or whether it had slipped down to reveal the various graduations of depravity which were Colin's undergarments. And why ? Well, that couple were looking at him, furtively. 'You know', he continued, now satisfied that he had kept a stiff upper zip, 'we could just go on air and communicate with people'. The idea sprang full blown, and without a safety net, into James' mind. 'You mean', he asked Colin, 'you think we could just go ahead and do it?' 'Why not?', said Colin, now checking the outer perimeters of his nose for signs of god-knows-what.
'I've got the keys to the Campus Station at the University, no one will be around now. We could just go in, turn off the sustaining service, turn on the Studio and there we are...' I should mention, Dear Reader, that Colin was working for the Student Union at Loughborough at that time, and did indeed possess the keys which were later to open up the anarchy which was to become Radio Kick In The Head. Thus it was that, some 45 minutes later, following a two mile walk and a minor problem with a patch panel, Radio Kick In The Head made it?s first, almost memorable, but in reality totally forgettable - transmission. But - 'why the name? - I hear you ask'. 'Why not?' - I answer. Actually, it came about because Colin said that if the average bunch of listeners enjoyed the sort of stuff that was routinely fed to them, they deserved a kick in the head, - so this is exactly what they got. The exact timing of the start of the first Broadcast was important since it was necessary that no one from the University 'authorities' realised that the Studio had been invaded. Had they done so, this would immediately have resulted in a visit from a particular security man - well known to Colin - codenamed 'Captain Birds Eye' for reasons which we will keep secret for rear of retribution. 'The Captain' was a born sadist - either that or he had an exquisitely developed sense of humour so subtle that it was completely undetectable. On one occasion I was returning from an evening at a local Hostelry, suitably refreshed, and needed to 'pay a call' in one of the toilets on Campus. As I approached the Toilet block, The Captain appeared from behind some bushes brandishing a set of keys. 'I'm locking that building' he said. 'I won?t be a moment' I said, 'but I have to make a call'. 'Fine by me', said the Captain, grinning. I was astounded ! He was actually being reasonable ! 'Thanks', I said. 'No problem', he added, 'you can do what you like - but I'm locking that building'. 'But I'll be locked in', I protested. He was just that sort of person, really. A complete Bastard. On one occasion he stopped Mueslibar driving the Minibus on Campus late at night, as a back light wasn't working. 'You can't drive it like that' said the Captain, so Mueslibar locked it up and walked away from it. 'You can't leave it there' said the Captain, to which Mueslibar replied, 'Well, I can't drive it you said, and I can't leave it there, so what do you suggest I do?' Touche ! Thing was, Mueslibar was carrying a Radio Microphone at the time, so the whole scenario was being recorded back at the Radio Station. In the end, Mueslibar drove the van. So you see, whilst often amusing, an encounter with the Captain could prove troublesome. For this reason the staff at RKITH (just myself and Colin at that time) were keen to avoid confrontations, especially as Colin was already on his second 'formal warning' due to sense of humour failures beyond his control.We elected to go 'Live' exactly after the News, since this would make things as seamless as possible. Whilst Colin prepared the Studio, I busied myself in the Record Library, selecting tracks for this new 'golden age' of Radio. The News went out as usual, followed by the shock announcement from Colin : 'Hi, this is Radio Kick In The Head, your overnight alternative'. RKITH was born. I forget what the first record was, although I remember Colin playing a certain Ian Dury track littered with interesting language, which he back-announced as 'Fog In Aiden', this being a very loose translation of course. As I recall, we did about 3 hours on that very first night, the Shows being very much a mixture of the sort of music you now hear on the Album Zone, which of course was never played on the Station during what they called the 'normal' Programming. There was of course inpromptu send-ups of other Presenters, and completely made-up problems tackled by the Agony Uncle for RKITH, one Mr. Churchill. It was just a laugh as far as we were concerned, nothing more, nothing less. It was not until some time later that the Programme Controller of the Campus Station told us he had 'heard a tape of the Show'. Of course, we expected instant dismissal. Instead he asked us if we would consider making this a regular feature. About 20 Programmes were produced in total, one of which was sent - without our knowledge I might add - to a National competition organised by Radio 1. We won first prize. And I'm not joking. This probably says more about the other entries than it does about our own efforts.
The Shows gradually evolved to contain many interesting features, such as 'The Astroline', a series of Horoscopes for signs such as 'Giblet', 'Trout', and 'Herpes'. There were Vox-pop interviews, off the cuff, with people from Citizens Band Radio - at that time something of an unknown quantity here in the UK, and a series of random phone calls to public Telephone boxes around the town - Yes - people did answer the ringing tones as they walked past, and when they did, we would ask them their advice and opinions on a wide range of topics such as Sex, the purchase of 'the ideal Car', or what the weather was like where they were. Anything, really. One day, we decided to do an outside Broadcast, and thought the roof of the Radio Station would be an ideal location for this major event, and interviewed passers by below before throwing a bucket of cold water on them - 'Live' on air of course. Spoof adverts were prepared, although the best were, unfortunately, never aired. However, the product was awesome. In fact, we at the Album Zone are proud to offer it to you now. It shows you the secret to making all the money you could ever dream of ! All you need to do to receive the secret is to send us £1000. Now, we know the formula works and to prove it, if you take up our offer we will provide personal financial statements guaranteed by somebody-or-other to support our outrageous claims.Well, that's all the time I have to tell you of this infamous beginning for me in this rather strange world of alleged Radio. No doubt if you contact us via Russ Feld - our PR Man here at AZ - he can arrange to send you copies of highlights (?) From the Radio kick In The Head Programmes, either on Cassette, Minidisc, or Compact Disc - for a small fee of course - we're not bloody made of money you know. Remember, our Broadcasts rely on your support, and our support relies on you supporting us, blah blah blah.Until next time this is James Barclay saying, 'Christ ! - I'm glad that's over, and keep in touch, because together you know we can all make it happen. Whatever 'IT' is, of course....'

Previous Broadcasts : Radio Stad Harlingen, Holland




AUGUST 1998 : ABOARD THE M.V. SITTARD, HARLINGEN HARBOUR, HOLLAND

For this report, we return to August 1998, to the small fishing town of Harlingen, Holland, which saw Johnny Reece, Gil Legine, Andy Brooks and Richard Bismarck take part in the 'Fishing Days' Festival via the local Radio Station.
R.S.H. (Radio Stad Harlingen) is the local Station for the town of Harlingen, northern Holland, in the Friesland region, and Broadcasts on both FM and Cable.
Sietse Brouwer was the Programme Director of the Station, and, as many of you will know, had Presented for both Radio Caroline and the Album Zone. The town of Harlingen has its own 'Fishing Days' Festival every year near the end of August, and RSH regularly Broadcast special Programmes to cover this event. In 1997, Johnny Reece and colleagues were invited to take part as Radio Caroline, with Shows coming 'Live' from the RSH Studios. Sietse wished to take things one step further though for the following year, planning to Broadcast the special Programmes for the event from a Ship. Many ideas were originally looked into, including using the old Veronica Ship 'Norderney' (anchored in the next town) as a base. Finally, with the help of the Sea Cadets, it was decided the Minesweeper M.V. Sittard would be our home for the event. It was our second trip to Harlingen for the 'Fishing Days' Festival. Our good friend Sietse Brouwer from RSH was co-ordinating the whole event, and thought our second Broadcast within a year should have a more 'nautical' feel. After some lengthy negotiations, our Home and Studio base for the whole event was indeed to be the Minesweeper the MV Sittard, nowadays a training base for the Sea Cadets.
The Main Broadcast Studios were to be transferred onto the Ship, set up, and within hours be ready for Broadcasting. As our own U.K. 'Crew' had just been working together, along with Sietse at a Radio Caroline RSL Broadcast just weeks previously, and Sietse being a keen supporter, we were to Broadcast under that name, and try to raise awareness for the Station from the Programmes, and sell Merchandise too. Quite a task. It became 'Radio Caroline via RSH' for the 3 nights of our Programming, with the daytime spots featuring the normal Programming of RSH. Much credit and thanks must go to all the Management and Personnel from the Sea Cadets for making us feel so welcome. It was decided we would have 4 Presenters, Johnny Reece, Gil Legine, Andy Brooks, and Richard Bismarck. We travelled over on a Tuesday afternoon, on the fast Harwich - Hook HSS Ferry, and then began the long drive north to the wonderful town of Harlingen. We were joined then by our late friend David Francis from Caroline Sales, who kindly arranged for the return Fares on the HSS to be paid for us. David was a gem, as anyone who knew him would testify. The next day we were joined by Martin Wallis, whose job it was to set up the 'Shop' on board. With Martin, I am very glad to say, came Chris Cheek - our Cook for the next 4 days. Those who know Chris knew what to expect next, Eggybread ! After all, we had to pass on our own special culinary tips to the Dutch. The Galley then became 'Chris's Caff' with a special Menu being posted at the door on a daily basis. Before the thought of any Broadcasting had even entered our heads, we were all off to the local Supermarket to buy supplies. Naturally, the first night was spent touring a selection of Bars in Harlingen. Did you really expect anything else ? The serious stuff began on Wednesday evening. RSH would 'close down' and we would become 'Radio Caroline via RSH' from 8pm through until 7am for the next 3 evenings. Brilliant fun. Our accommodation was directly underneath the Studio set up on Board - so no chance of missing any of the Programmes - even if you wanted to sleep. The line-up for each evening was Brooksy, Reecey, Gil, then Bismarck. Naturally, the body clocks of those on Board would take something of a battering over the following days. But we didn't mind - Sietse had done an amazing job putting it all together, and we didn't want to let him down. The language barrier wasn't a problem, as we spoke with a mixture of Music, Beer and Eggybread. Not to be outdone, we were introduced to a new delicacy by RSH - called Sugarbread. Reecey has since even had Sugarbread sent over from Holland - it must be good. In the daytimes, we all became tourists, and, by night, the Music kicked in. The publicity machine was in full swing, with various Journalists calling in for Interviews on a daily basis, and Local TV got a look in too. There were many features in the local Press, and the amount of visitors to the Ship grew on a daily basis. National Radio called in too, to have a chat with us all. Martin did a brisk business in his Shop, just yards from the on-air Studio. As for Chris, he was rather a victim of his own success. 'Eggybread' was taking over, it seemed, as the new national dish. We spent a lot of time exploring, and of course doing the Shopping for the ever more popular 'Chris's Caff'. which was becoming rather more time-consuming than we first thought. Unfortunately, the first 2 days brought us very poor weather, so we had to often find some locations in the daytime hours when exploring, which meant that we spent a great deal of our daytime hours in a selection of local Pubs. Obviously, we were heartbroken. Crestfallen, in fact. Ahem. However, we did not let this spoil our enjoyment of doing the 'Live' Programming, if we were sober. On the final evening, a Friday night, we decided to thank Sietse for all of his hard work by letting him have some of our airtime, to do with what he wishes. This was of course a thinly disguised attempt for us all to disappear to eat drink and be merry at one of the local hostelries, which we did. But, alleged Professionals that we are, we returned in time to complete the final nights Shows. There was one catch though. When the Broadcast ended at 8am - no sleep ! The Studio had to be dismantled and returned to RSH - and we had to leave the vessel - as it was due to sail at 10am. The Studio and links were removed in double-quick time, and in the end the Sea Cadets let us all stay on Board while she sailed up the river anyway. Superb. The MV Sittard took it's berth for the weekend alongside some splendid Warships, for the final day of the Fishing Days Festival. Our sincere thanks to the Sea Cadets for their hospitality, and for letting a bunch of lunatics aboard their vessel without a care in the world. Also thanks to all at RSH, particularly Sietse, without whom none of this would have ever happened. Hopefully, one day, we will return to do it all again. We all had a splendid time and wouldn't hesitate for a second to repeat the exercise. Ta much to everyone, and by the way, we've run out of Sugarbread - more please ! ...

Previous Broadcasts : Fugue FM, France





THE FUGUE FM BROADCASTS, 1993-1997, by JOHNNY REECE


If there is one Broadcast, or 'series of Broadcasts' that some of the AZ crew have been involved in, in the past, that we miss most of all, it's got to be Fugue FM. Located just outside Paris in the 'royal' town of Compiegne, the first time I worked there was way back in 1993. In general, Radio Stations, (particularly here in the UK) are not really considered to be 'welcoming'. But I have never felt so much 'at home' as when I was at Fugue. The original idea for me to take part in some special Programmes at Fugue came after the Programme controller there, Pierre Desaint, heard some Satellite Shows I had done from the UK for Radio Caroline. Almost before I knew what was happening, a 5 week 'stint' had been arranged - stretching from late Sept. to Oct. in 1993. But here's the thing - I couldn't speak barely a word of French, and therefore expected to have a 'late night berth' (which I always prefer anyway). Imagine my shock on arriving there to find out I was on in the biggest audience-reaching time in the region - drivetime ! Firstly though, I arrived the day before, to meet up with Pierre, and also the Station Manager, Mattheu Quetel, and Advertising chief Pascal Loisel. There seemed to be just one 'English speaker' on the staff, a journalist called Manu (who, as I later found out, also presented a rather superb 'Album Show' - not a stones throw from what we at AZ do now.)I was due to start on the Monday at 5pm, with the Show itself running through till 8. The night before, I was invited out by some of the DJs and Journalists - with Manu acting as translator. It was a great night, too much Beer of course, but great fun. And - I had never met such a friendly bunch of people - I felt at home immediately - and hadn't even been 'on-air' yet. My first day, of course, I was terrified. There was so much to remember, and luckily for me, Pierre was there to guide me through (it was his Show I was covering for the duration). Local news - done 'Live' every 30 mins past the hour, traffic reports at the 40 min. mark, TV features, Cinema reviews and features, 'Live' National News on the hour - and of course all of my 'cues' for these - in French. So, I had to learn quickly. Fugue then had 2 separate FM frequencies, covering the towns of Compiegne and Beauvais, with the signal also stretching down into central Paris. I remember asking Pierre a question just before I went on-air on that very first day - and I wish I'd kept my mouth shut. "Is it a very big audience at this time of day" ?, I innocently asked. "Only about 2 million", he replied. Christ ! - and I couldn't even speak the language ! I was doing it in English, of course - well, Scottish, anyway. The features of the chaos known as drivetime were over by 7pm. From 7-8 every night I did that days 'Rock Date Diary' which went down very well with the 'musos' of the town - including a massive population of students (Compiegne has the biggest University in France). By the second day - I loved it. I had met up too with some of the students on the evening following my first Show - as they'd called up from the University to invite me over there. My Hotel was really nice too - in the centre of town, close to the river. I also had use of a very posh local restaurant in the evenings - where I could actually order what the hell I liked - then just sign the Bill - which then got sent to Fugue for payment. My God - no wonder I miss it ! I do admit - I did take advantage a bit (can you blame me ?) by occasionally having some recently-met-friends 'over for dinner' at that restaurant. Brilliant. I also met, and became mildly obsessed with, a girl from Kent who was spending 6 months working in the town. Debbie was her name. Or, should I say, 'Debbie the Angel' as I referred to her on-air, as she looked after local handicapped people. The number of times I played 'Angel' by Jimi Hendrix for her became legend. Pathetic eh ? Well, you know what I'm like. The most bizarre things started to happen in the second week of my stay, when I was asked to give 'a talk' on Radio Caroline at the local School. This was followed by some 'live' TV interviews. It was weird, and I guess to say I was rather taken aback by it all is a massive understatement. As the end of the 5 week spell grew nearer - I began to dread leaving, I was having such a great time. I was spending a fortune though - money I could ill afford - after all I had taken over a month off work to do this. I did get some 'expenses' though from Fugue - but the infamous 'free restaurant' was closed at weekends - when most of the Students decided to travel home for 2 days. The town was much, much quieter at weekends because of this. The last night was amazing - out and about after the final Show for a bit of a party night with all the Station staff - excellent. Obviously, we all kept in touch - and Pierre was aware of our monthly trips to Radio 6 - just 2 hours away. Almost a year to the day since my first visit to Fugue - and on the same weekend as one of our many Radio 6 visits - I was invited back to Fugue to do an 'overnight special' on the Friday night. Brooksy was travelling for the R6 trip - so we shared the Programme at Fugue, it was September 94 - and a precedent was set - an annual 'return' seemed to be the order of the day. In early 1996, we did the same thing again. Then, in early 1997, I was speaking to Pierre and told him of our upcoming 'extended' weekend at Radio 6, which was about to happen, where we were bringing along Johnny Zero and the London Angels for an 'unzipped' session (OK, I know 'unplugged' is the phrase - but that's what Zero wanted to call it). The reaction from Pierre was immediate - "come over a few days early and do it all here too" ! So we did ! Fugue had 'grown' somewhat in the meantime, adding a third FM frequency. Pierre really worked hard for us too on the run-up to the Shows that weekend - we heard the adverts for the Progs - with 'promos' for Mr. Zero and his crew - all down the motorway. The evening itself was great fun - but the magnitude of the publicity surrounding the whole thing - including some more TV and Radio interviews on the afternoon prior to it all - did get to me a bit, and I was so nervous that I couldn't eat beforehand for fear of being sick. That had never, ever happened to me before. A good friend of mine, a French girl called Barbara was there to calm me down - she was our official 'translator' ! Of course, the Champagne flowed - courtesy of the good people of Fugue FM. This was before the Show, which made the Programmes, and 'session' from Zero and the chaps 'interesting' to say the least. Pictured here are Pascal (who seemed to be able to speak perfect English in minutes !) and Pierre (standing), with Johnny Zero and Hunter, from the Band. The Fugue staff stuck around for a few hours, then went home about 1 a.m, and left us to it. Zero and the Band played around 6 numbers, fuelled of course by Champagne. The Shows themselves were hosted by myself and Brooksy. We did 2 Shows each - going right through until 7a.m. (We had begun at 9pm the night before) and then Pierre reappeared around 6.30 in the morning - bringing us breakfast, no less. Now you know what I mean when I say I miss these people. It reminds me of a brief chat I had with a couple of the Fugue staff on my last night there in 93', when they said if I learnt French - I could have a Show 5 nights a week, and would I think about it. Well, it was too much of a big move at the time for me to think seriously about, and besides I really wasn't confident enough at the time to seriously consider it. And that decision, is something I have honestly regretted since. All in all, we had 4 trips to Fugue - 3 of them for one-off 'specials', and the first being my stay through Sept. and Oct. 1993. About a year ago, I heard Fugue had got themselves a 4th FM frequency, the Station was big before - but now it was massive. When I called them - just to say Hi (although with another 'special' in mind, of course) I was surprised to hear that one of the 'conglomerates' had taken them over - and Mattheu, and Pascal, and Manu - had all moved on. Still, I look back on that initial visit in 1993, as one of my happiest Radio memories to date.

Previous Broadcasts : Rich Phoenix






RICH PHOENIX at WRAN

Much has been said and alleged about radio people. Generally, the more unbelievable and radical the stories become, the closer to the real truth you are. I am living proof that some of the best radio stories stem from stations no longer to be found on your radio dial. Why the stories outlive the stations conjures up myriad questions, and may be explained, in part, by the innate creativity of real radio people whose instincts spring from the "theatre of the mind" philosophy that drove radio in its "golden age." In the U.S., during the "golden age," there was virtually no television -- the medium was simply under development, and not yet ready for the mass market. American radio of the golden age was characterized by dramas, comedies and talks coming from the top talent that could be mustered from Hollywood, the West End and Broadway. Radio announcers of the era were of a different calibre, and dressed the part. Think of a bloke attired like a penguin in white tie and tails standing ramrod-straight before an RCA 44BX on a floor stand preparing to intone either the opening credits of a drama, setting the aural stage or putting a plug in for floor wax, and you will begin to capture, mentally, the mindset that drives radio people, even if they are confined to spinning records, CDs, MP3s et seq., punching buttons and watching what passes for metres these days. This was the aura encountered at one particular station where I spent days and nights playing tunes, participating in over-the-air dramas and exploring "dog houses" on a nightly basis. Now, this one wasn’t even a classic-looking radio station, except for its four in-line towers in the back lot with glowing, blinking red marker lights. Inside, the equipment was reasonably functional although decidedly not brand-new nor even the other extreme, decrepit, as became so common in many American radio stations hanging by a thread in the ‘80s. Arguably, the technical aura created by working in the midst of a major 10-kilowatt radio frequency haze and lobe took its mental and physical toll on most of us. To make the situation more extreme, since this was a highly directional station, it could also have been determined that we were working in the equivalent of a field of over 100,000 watts effective radiated power -- kind of makes the output of a microwave oven or cell phone tower look pretty puny by comparison. So, whether all this power fried our brains, carbonated our hormones or imposed a dose of electromagnetic "speed," on our beings, the effects were cumulative and measurable in our relative lack of mental stability. Couple the raw power with our classic radio mission to communicate, and you had a very dangerous situation. We were prone to extremes, and it became something the audience expected and suspected from us at regular intervals. It wasn’t Thanksgiving if someone hadn’t phonied-up a pseudo parade with sound effects and off-key marching band music down a mythical Main Street in our town. It wasn’t Halloween if we hadn’t blown the dust off the old Orson Welles transcription and played "War of the Worlds" just once more; and, it wasn’t Easter if some bogus contest weren’t giving away a huge stuffed bunny more pneumatic than the Playboy variety which would have surely terrorized any small child within ten feet of its presence. It was in this setting where I was "doing nights" on my own with an unlocked door, a reasonably-sized record library at my disposal and the responsibility and expectation to follow in the footsteps of my radio forebears. On this particular night, one of my then steadfast drinking buddies, a fellow radio adherent, had apparently run afoul with the wife of a time salesman, with the two of them discovered in a local motel by the husband in flagrante delictu. For some inexplicable reason, they had decided to sort out their differences in the lobby of the station. Before I knew it, the salesman, to his accompanying wife's pure horror, had pulled a .38 police special and blown away my friend in my full view (at least through the control room mirror) while I attempted to keep the music coming. I relate this story in its full regalia, as Governor Reece has asked that we come up with a true episode from our radio careers that might entertain all on the new website. Three things to know about the incident -- it was most realistic, although staged, the salesman was using blanks (he claimed), and I was awfully glad to have "Hey Jude," "MacArthur Park" and "Stairway to Heaven" at my disposal.

Ms Street : The Answers

Zoe Street says :

Why are you involved in The Album Zone ?
Because, to coin a Madness phrase, it's the rockingest sound around!

What's your favourite colour ?
It varies, but as I'm a girl, pink is always good.

What's your favourite sweets ?

Mochi! (little Japanese, glutinous balls)

Favourite Food :
Mochi! (little Japanese etc etc)
Sushi generally.
And apple crumble. Not all at the same time though.

Least Favourite Food :
All of the above, but at the same time.

What do you want to be when you grow up ?
A dominatrix superhero who takes over the world of rock radio for my own nefarious desires...ahahahahahaaaa!

Choose ONE word to describe yourself :
Optimistic (see above)

What could you not live without ?
Mochi

Who could you not live without ?
The man who makes mochi.
And my beloved boyfriend.

What's the greatest Single ever made ?
Just the one ? Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick by good ol' Ian and the Blockheads is a winner, but sorry, I've got to name another - it's Oh Shit! by Buzzcocks, as this song dragged me through troubled adolescence and beyond.

What's the greatest Album ever made ?
"Another Music In A DIfferent Kitchen" - Buzzcocks
And I'm digging "02" by blues maestro Son Of Dave. But it varies.

If you could change something about yourself, what would it be ?
I'd be more discreet

Do you love Custard ?
Never used to, but that changed when gifts of apple crumble and Sainsbury's Taste the Difference custard with vanilla pods were brought into my flat. I sure did taste the difference, I was practically bathing in the stuff.

Favourite subject at School :
Art and English

Least favourite subject at School:
Maths and science. Ugh!

Mode of Transport :
Hoop and stick

IQ :
752

Colour of Socks :
Socks ? SOCKS ? Stockings, if you don't mind, either black or natural.

Favourite Pet :
Pussycats

Favourite Smartie colour :
Blue obviously!

Favourite flavour of Crisps :
BBQ

Favourite Places :
London is where me heart lies, Gawd bless it. And the Album Zone studio of course. Or my boudoir, eating mochi in the nude.

You are moving to the Moon, but you are allowed to take just THREE personal possessions with you. What would they be ?
My boyfriend
My record collection
My stereo

Best Friend :
Oh, you know...

Worst Friend :
Is this not an oxymoron? Head hurts...

Best TV Programmes ever :
Blankety Blank

Best Radio Programmes ever :

Erm, Pogo Sessions on Album Zone (my show! my show!)

Best Films ever :
Pogo does Prestatyn

Best Song Lyric ever :
"Then suddenly, like a fly in my cup of tea" - Is It A Dream - The Damned
"I don't have to tell her / I'm a super fella" - I Wanna Be Her Hero - The Lurkers

Best advice you've ever been given :

I never take advice, I am the all knowing Oracle.
(Oh all right, "Shut up and get on with it," Joe Strummer. Not given to me, exactly, but rings true)

Worst advice you've ever been given :
I never take advice, I am the all knowing Oracle

Final thoughts :
Lots of love to you all, dwarlings...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Mr Bismarck : The Answers

Richard Bismarck says :


Why with the Zone.... I was having a quiet drink in my local Tavern one evening. Just around closing time I was rather merry when someone blindfolded me, and held a pistol to my head
"No false moves me hearty" quoth he, "you're being pressganged to serve with the Album Zone"
Fave colour.... Green
Fave sweet.....Chocolate liqueurs
Fave food...... Beetroot
Least fave food.... Cheese (uncooked)
When I grow up..... Director General of the BBC
One word to describe me.... Confused
Couldn't live without.......Pine cones
Greatest Album.....First Band On The Moon - The Cardigans (maybe not the best but I like it)
Greatest single....Hello Goodbye - The Beatles (maybe, if I had more time it may be different)
Change one thing about me....To not be lazy
Custard? Warm--yes Cold--no
Fav subject at school .... TV studies (It was an experimental course at the time, designed by the guy who taught us)
Fav football team.... Barnstoneworth Utd
Fav cheerleaders.....Any. I'm afraid I'm a cheerleader virgin
Mode of transport.... I drive a SEAT Ibiza, I cycle a Claude Butler and I travel on TrentBarton buses.
IQ? .... Probably quite low
Colour of socks... today dark brown... What do you want to know that for?
Fav Pet.... Tabitha, a long departed moggy
Fav smartie colour... brown, if they still do them in that colour. I know they changed them a few years ago. I had better do more research next time.
Fav crisp flavour.... Cheese N' Onion (cheese is OK cooked)
Fav places.... Outer Hebrides, Iceland or the Faroe Islands.
3 things to take to the moon....Bicycle, Oxygen cylinder, Emiliana Torrini
Best Friend...Anyone who buys me a pint
Worst Friend...I'm probably my own worst enemy.
Best TV... I'm Alan Partridge
Best radio...I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again

Best film.... Monty Python & The Holy Grail
Best song lyric...I'm back at my cliff
still throwing things off
I listen to the sounds they make
on their way down
I follow with my eyes 'till they crash
imagine what my body would sound like
slamming against those rocks
when it lands will my eyes
be open or closed.
(Hyper Ballad.. Bj├Árk)
Best advice...Stop listening to that music and get on with your homework (Unfortunately I disobeyed this advice)
Worst advice...You can always trust a grey squirrel
Final thoughts....Communication is the key...

Mr Miles : The Answers

Andy Miles says :


Why are you involved in The Album Zone ? AlbumZoning is part of my community service penance for liking Guinness and denim. What's your favourite colour ? Misty Buff blue What's your favourite sweets ? Picnic Favourite Food : Roast King Edwards potatoes Least Favourite Food : McDonalds Burgers What do you want to be when you grow up ? Taller than Reecey Choose ONE word to describe yourself : Considerate What could you not live without ? Air Who could you not live without ? My sons Martin and Stephen What's the greatest Single ever made ? Lazy Life - William E What's the greatest Album ever made ? Who's Next If you could change something about yourself, what would it be ? My socks Do you love Custard ? Hate it Favourite subject at School : Physics Least favourite subject at School : Religious Education Favourite Football Team : None, they're all mouthy Favourite Cheerleader team : None Mode of Transport : Car IQ : We all do sometime Colour of Socks : Mainly black, but now I realise there is not one black. Favourite Pet : Tiger Favourite Smartie colour : Brown Favourite flavour of Crisps : Cheese & Onion Favourite Places : Bed You are moving to the Moon, but you are allowed to take just THREE personal possessions with you. What would they be ? iPod, Crate of Rinwood 49er (Beer), Photo album. Best Friend : Keith Worst Friend : Don't think I have one Best TV Programmes ever : Monty Python's Flying Circus Best Radio Programmes ever : Round The Horn Best Song Lyric ever : I'll get back to you on that Best advice you've ever been given : Be honest Worst advice you've ever been given : She won't notice. Final thoughts : Have I paid the Visa bill?

Mr Saloman : The Answers

Nick Saloman says :

Why are you involved in The Album Zone ?
I used to DJ with our beloved master Johnny Reece on Radio Caroline many moons ago . When he started up the Album Zone I did a few shows for him, but I had to stop because I was just too busy with my own career as a minor league rock person. Recently, I've been having a bit of a rest from the constant round of album/tour, album/tour, and I was only too pleased to find out that Johnny was actually wanting to ask me back. So, here I am.
What's your favourite colour ?
Green
What's your favourite sweets ?
I genuinely don't like sweets very much. I can't stand chocolate, or cakes, or biscuits, which is good, because if I did, I'd be about 25 stone!
Does Airwaves chewing gum count? I like that.
Favourite Food :
Ah, here's my downfall. I love my savouries. Curries, Chinese, Italian, salt beef & latkas. I love vegetables and eggs. Fish & Chips, the Sea Shell in Lisson Grove is over-rated, but still good. There's a brilliant restaurant in Wood Green called Vrisaki, that does the best Mezze (Turkish) anywhere. Finger food is great too. I'm not berserk about fast food, though I do sometimes succumb. Oh, and Babur in Forest Hill is the best curry house I've ever been to.
Least Favourite Food : I'm not a fan of anything too salty (except for salt beef). I don't like Mexican food very much. I'm not a great fruit eater either. And as I said before, I really don't like sweets, chocolate & cake.
What do you want to be when you grow up ?

Musician ( succeeded) DJ (trying) Artsy photographer (trying) Artist (never really tried)
Writer (never really tried) Footballer (failed miserably, but still trying!)
Choose ONE word to describe yourself :
Kind
What could you not live without ?
A guitar, QPR, my big telly.
Who could you not live without ?
My wife Jan, my daughter Deb, and a whole bunch of great friends, many of whom I've known most of my life.
What's the greatest Single ever made ?
Tough to name just one, but today I'll go for 'Strawberry Fields'.
What's the greatest Album ever made ?
Blimey, let's see. Maybe 'Are You Experienced'.
If you could change something about yourself, what would it be ?
Well, I'm pretty happy with myself ( he says smugly). Perhaps I'd lose some weight. Oh, and I'd like to be able to grow sideburns.
Do you love Custard ?
Not really.
Favourite subject at School :
English
Least favourite subject at School :
Science
Favourite Football Team :
QPR
Favorite Cheerleader team :
Huh?
Mode of Transport :
Ford Escort.
IQ :
Huge.
Colour of Socks :
Dark, black or dark blue.
Favourite Pet :
I'm in my first year of being catless. Our two old mates, Alice & Pip died last year, and they haven't been replaced yet.
Favourite Smartie colour :
Don't like them at all.
Favourite flavour of Crisps :
I like Sensations yoghurt & mint, and also their chicken pasanda flavour.
Favourite Places :
London, North Norfolk, Venice, New York.
You are moving to the Moon, but you are allowed to take just THREE personal possessions with you. What would they be ?
My guitar, my vinyl & deck, and depending on whether or not Sky broadcasts that far, my telly.
Best Friend :
Jan, Deb, Mick, Mark, Mac, Kev, Dave, Ade, Graham, Mark 2, Dave T, Bari, Ric, Tony, Ron, Andy, Neil, Hugh etc. etc..
Worst Friend :
I don't have any worst friends. If I don't like them, then I don't hang around with them.
Best TV Programmes ever :
Fawlty Towers, Match Of The Day, Countdown, The Office, Sherlock Holmes (with Jeremy Brett), I'm Alan Partridge (series 2).
Best Radio Programmes ever :
John Peel's Top Gear
Best Films ever :
Play It Again, Sam (Woody Allen at his best). Pressburger & Powell's 'A Matter Of Life & Death'. And the brilliant B&W ghost portmanteau 'Dead Of Night'.
Best Song Lyrics ever :
They are in David Ackles 'Mainline Saloon'. Absolutely brilliant. The song that opened my eyes to the possibilities of composition. Check it out.
Best advice you've ever been given :
If it doesn't sound true, it's probably a lie.
and
Everybody's nice till they're not.
Worst advice you've ever been given :
Get your hair cut.
Join the police.
Give up that music rubbish, you'll never get anywhere.
(all from my Dad)
Final thoughts :
Well, hopefully I won't be having any for a few years yet. And when I do, I won't be able to tell you.
It may well be 'I hope QPR get promoted next season'.

Mr Phoenix : The Answers

Rich Phoenix says :

Why are you involved in The Album Zone ? There's gotta be something better than what passes these days for "terrestrial radio," and we're it -- plus, I want terrestrial radio to see (and hear) what they're missing by my "working" full-time in municipal government. What's your favourite colour ? Red. What's your favourite sweets ? "Iced" pretzels. Favourite Food : Plain pretzels, salted to taste. Least Favourite Food : Dhuri -- a form of large Asian fruit that smells like a busted natural gaz main -- f***in' horrible! What do you want to be when you grow up ? Successful at whatever and rich enough to "retire" immediately. Choose ONE word to describe yourself : Eccentric What could you not live without ? Reasonably good health. Who could you not live without ? My wife, Carla What's the greatest Single ever made ? Hey Jude, 'coz it's a great bathroom ballad and it's backed with Revolution! What's the greatest Album ever made ? Abbey Road If you could change something about yourself, what would it be ? A propensity for procrastination. Do you love Custard ? Take it or leave it. Favourite subject at School : Shagging off from regular classes by killing time in the campus radio station. Least favourite subject at School : Gymnastics Favourite Football Team : Man United. Favorite Cheerleader team : Kent State Univ (alma mater) Mode of Transport : Reliable American 4-wheeler. IQ : I quit a long time ago; btw, film of the same name about Einstein was pretty cool, too. Colour of Socks : Black Favourite Pet : Killer, a tuxedo cat brought home by Carla when we were newly-married. Favourite Smartie colour : Green. Favourite flavour of Crisps/Potato Chips : Toasty Gold Favourite Places : Covent Garden, London; Kent, Ohio; Chester, New Jersey, Manzanillo, Mexico. You are moving to the Moon, but you are allowed to take just THREE personal possessions with you. What would they be ? A reliable playback source of music; technology required to power it; a storage unit containing all my favourite tunes. Best Friend : Carla, my wife. Worst Friend : Anyone deceitful who trafficked in my good faith. Best TV Programmes ever : Smilin' Ed's Gang; Howdy Doody; Monty Python's Flying Circus; Jackie Gleason's "The Honeymooners". Best Radio Programmes ever : The Lone Ranger; AZ with Reecey and Barclay; Li'l Foxx in Cleveland; Allan Freed "Moondog" Best Films ever : Casablanca, Grapes of Wrath, Hard Day's Night, Yellow Submarine. Best Song Lyric ever : Too many good ones, altho' stuff by Lennon/McCartney or Squeeze are positively on top. Best advice you've ever been given : Have confidence in yourself. Worst advice you've ever been given : Cheer up -- everything's gonna be lousy. Final thoughts : Now that I've spilled my guts, don't think I dare say another word or you'll all know too much!

Mr Reece : The Answers

Johnny Reece says :

Why are you involved in The Album Zone ? I like over the top hobbies.
What's your favourite colour ? Red. No, Black. Either. Both.
What's your favourite sweets ? Someone else's.
Favourite Food : James Barclay's Beef Stew, Egg, Bacon and Chips (with Heinz Tomato Ketchup),

Rich & Carla's London Broil.
Least Favourite Food : Curry.
What do you want to be when you grow up ? A Spaceman.
Choose one word to describe yourself : Lovely.
What could you not live without ? Music, Oxygen, Tea.
Who could you not live without ? Someone I Love.
What's the greatest Single ever made ? The Troggs - With A Girl Like You
What's the greatest Album ever made ? Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure
If you could change something about yourself, what would it be ? My poverty. And all of these answers.
Do you love Custard ? More than you could ever know.
Favourite subject at School : Girls.
Least favourite subject at School : Maths.
Favourite Football Team : Manchester United (George Best was my boyhood hero, and it all started there...) and I have a penchant for Stirling Albion. I don't know why.
Favorite Cheerleader team : Any girly cutie ones.
Mode of Transport : Other peoples.
IQ : High, Low, and Average, all at the same time.
Colour of Socks : Black.
Favourite Pet : Blubber the Wonder Goldfish.
Favourite Smartie colour : Red.
Favourite flavour of Crisps : Cheese and Onion, though as a child it was Salt n' Vinegar.
Favourite Places : Paris, New York.
You are moving to the Moon, but you are allowed to take just THREE personal possessions with you. What would they be ? My framed Roxy Music 'For Your Pleasure' tour poster, Marc Bolan's tambourine, an Ipod full of my fave music.
Best Friend : Blubber the Goldfish, and any/all of my Roxy Buddies.
Worst Friend : None, they're all fantastic, except for the ones who are not.
Best TV Programmes ever : Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Tomkinson's Schooldays (Ripping Yarns), Bewitched, Match Of The Day, Crossroads, Magpie, Man About The House, Top Cat.
Best Radio Programmes ever : Wolfman Jack anywhere, Stuart Henry on Radio 1, Kenny Everett on Capital 194, John Peel, Steve Masters on Radio Caroline, Steve Satan on Radio Caroline, Nick Saloman on The Album Zone.
Best Films ever : Casablanca, The Graduate, Amelie, Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Hannah and Her Sisters, American Graffitti, An Affair Of Love (Une Liaison Pornographique), Play It Again Sam, Billion Dollar Brain, The Rutles.
Best Song Lyric ever : "Oh but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now" - My Back Pages (Dylan), but sung best by The Byrds.
Best advice you've ever been given : Stop it.
Worst advice you've ever been given : Stop it.
Final thoughts : Can't think of any thoughts.