Life

Guinness World Record Radio Attempt – Ten Years On (Part Two)

At time of this post, 10 years ago it would be Tuesday June 4, 2002. Annoyingly, it’s Monday June 4, 2012. Close enough.

So far in the studio : (most photos were printed, not digital)

I’m going to be vague and not really descriptive with this post. Most of my memories are a blur and cannot remember some stuff.

I did forget to mention though that the record was being constantly broken. At the time of research in 2002, the record was as follows:

First search:  Greg Jones of American Community Radio station WFMU = 100 hours and 42 seconds

Second search: Kristian Bartos of Stockholm = 100 hours, 3 minutes and 22 seconds

Third search: Jeremy Black of a Community Radio station on QLD = lost the hours achieved, but I think it was 102 hours, 3 minutes and 22 seconds.

So.. to play it safe, I aimed for 120 hours. 5 Days. This was going to be painful.

Long story short, I’m 80 hours in. I had played Country, Western, Pop, Rock, Metal, Easy Listening, Classical, Country, Gospel, Baha’i, Celtic, Scottish, Nostalgic, Dance, Country… more Country… nearly every single music genre available. Interviews and guests had come and gone. Every 8 hours, I had to have a 15 minute break. I had 10 minute showers at the RSL club staff showers, with my grandfather Fred, supervising me so I didn’t collapse. The first few rests I had showers, but the more exhausted I became, they turned into 10 minute cat naps. I was doing okay. I was psyched for my big scoop I had organised by myself.

My major scoop was my cross with Rove McManus for Rove [live]. My friends were jealous. My family was excited. The radio station was excited.

It was ‘The Show’ time slot, 8 – 10pm. Hosted by two friends Colin Stevens and Jason Woodland. They were everyday ordinary blokes. I worked with Jason professionally, and the two of them were just downright funny guys. They weren’t comedians. Just two guys with a wicked sense of humour.

80 hours in, and Colin and Jason were cracking jokes. They started off light, but by 8:30pm, they were side-splittingly hilarious. It got to the point where I was gasping for air and was about to faint from laughing too much. The nurse on duty wanted to kick Colin and Jason out of the studio so I could recover, but I refused. I played two songs, and allowed for my stomach to rest from being on the verge of ripping. As soon as they guys promised to behave, the announcement of Rove crossing over to me via phone was at 9:35pm.

I had to reserve my energy, but one simple joke by Jason and I was in stitches again. So much, I fell out of my chair, live on air. They were told off by the nurse, but I insisted it was safe and okay. It reached 9:20pm, and during a song break I received a call on the on-air phone, asking if everything was good and ready to go. I grabbed a glass of water and tried to relax, but my ribs and diaphragm were aching. 9:30pm arrived and all was smooth, waiting for the cross. But then, Colin cracked another joke, and I lost it. My jaw was aching, my lungs burned, tears rolling down my eyes. I was mentally and physically exhausted. The nurse grabbed me by the shoulders and alerted me to get my senses together or it is all over.

Oh shit…

9:33pm and I snapped out of it. The phone rang… I was feeling delirious. I heard a deep voice come through the phone. It sounded like the control room at Roving Enterprises, but they were gone before I could respond.

9:35pm – it was show time. Feeling highly delirious from my laugh-fest and in a really smart-alec mode, I couldn’t think straight… this was a blur.

This was the result.

It was shown on the big screen inside the Campbelltown RSL Club. Some people laughed, some thought Rove treated me like crap.

Watch it again and listen carefully. He was doing his best to get information out of me, but after my laugh-fest with Colin and Jason, I was exhausted and wasn’t thinking straight. If it wasn’t for the smart arse remark at the end of the clip, the interview would’ve been drop-dead boring. I was doing live radio. Live COMMUNITY radio. He was doing live tv. Live NATIONAL tv. Which one wins there?

I thought it was fantastic!

2MCR’s site was streaming the 320×240 pixel webcam, but the site crashed due to the major hit rate it wasn’t built for, and we were operating on 128kbps ADSL, which slowed down to 56kbps dial-up speed. 2MCR was overwhelmed with people calling up, talking about how they just saw the segment on Rove [live]. E-mails were flooding in congratulating on the cross. Station members were coming in to thank me. But I couldn’t stop. I still had approximately 21 hours to go to beat the record. The adrenalin was running through me because I achieved a target. After a few more songs and chats, I went to the bathroom to visit nature.

People in the studio were talking about the Rove cross, how I was looking. The talking turned to murmur through the bathroom door.

The murmur turned to muffle.

The light in the bathroom started going dim.

I had to wake up. So I finished my duty and did two more hours as my next compulsory 15 minute break was coming up at 2am. I did my talk break then went to the spare studio, to lie gently on the mattress and pillow.

I passed out.

That’s not a good sign.

To continue shortly.

Guinness World Record Radio Attempt – Ten Years On (Part One)

Oh, hi there!

I may have not spoken too much about this, but 10 years ago (Saturday June 1st – Wednesday June 5th, 2002), I attempted a Guinness world record. This world record wasn’t an easy one… obviously.

It was the World Record attempt for the Longest Radio DJ Marathon Broadcast.

I was 20 years old, trying to get into commercial radio. I joined my local community radio station Macarthur Community Radio 2MCR 100.5 FM (later 100.3 in 2001)  in 1999, beginning as a fill-in, then doing a fortnightly Thursday afternoon drive show from 4 – 6pm. That worked well as I would finish school early, run home, empty my school bag of booka and fill with CDs, run to the train station with 15kgs to my back, and head to the radio station to do my shift. After 1 & 1/2 years of doing that, I ‘graduated’ from the drive shift and moved to doing a youth-oriented music request show on Saturday nights from 8 – 12pm.

There goes my social life… for 4 years.

Along with by best mate of many years Kris Funnell and fellow community radio’ers Peter Hines and Nigel Manning, we ran Saturday nights across the Campbelltown airwaves (mainly the listeners being our close friends and family). After a few years of moderate success, we lost Nigel to his night work, and shortened our hours to 8 – 10pm. I became really obsessed with the broadcast medium, trying to come up with more ideas. One day, I was on holidays from work and was bored shitless, sitting on the lounge. I grabbed the Guinness World Records book from the shelf  and read from start to finish. Then it clicked – what was the world record for anything radio?

I did some searching if there was anything at all for radio broadcasting. Then I found it –

The Longest Radio DJ Marathon.

Why can’t I do that? I’m in community radio which has the greatest flexibility of broadcasting, and I’m in a job which I don’t really care for, so I’ll give it a shot.

So I did research on the record.

From here, I’ll be inserting quotes from an old website/blog I used to run during this time. It’s long been deleted, but I managed to rescue a few things I posted. A lot of the things I wrote, I had completely forgotten about. Apparently I invited a few people to visit my site link with the information…

10/2/02

I see you have become interested in what I am on about. Let me put it to you very simply.

If you don’t know who I am by now and you received an e-mail about this or an SMS message, It’s Fulton here (as I am known to majority to my friends).

I will attempt to get my name into The Guinness Book Of Records as “The Longest Radio DJ Marathon“.

My object is to be live on-air for a long period of time without sleeping. In the current issue of Guinness Book Of Records 2002 Australian Edition, Page 64 under Marathon Efforts, It has printed :

LONGEST RADIO DJ MARATHON

DJ Greig Daines (UK) broadcast on Hospital Radio Chelmsford, which is based at St John’s Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, UK, for 73 hours and 33 minutes from 6 to 9 Sept 2000. He played a total of 1086 tracks, the first of which was Boo Radley’s “Wake Up Boo”, and the last of which was “Gold” by Spandau Ballet.

As I have a keen interest in radio, I have been at Macarthur Community Radio (2MCR) 100.3FM since 1999, which is situated in Campbelltown, NSW, Australia. I decided I want to achieve something at least for me and the station, and after hearing about Merrick & Rosso’s so-called attempt at it, I thought that it would be a supurb idea.

I started doing a bit of research on February 7th, e-mailing Guinness and eagerly waiting for a reply (still waiting), I surfed the net to see other examples of attempts. Some only made it to 50 or so hours, and one DJ named Greg Jones on an American Community Radio station WFMU apparently broke the record by achieving 100 hours and 42 seconds, trying to make the time totally unreachable. I still have to wait on Guinness for the official word on that record, so I will try to achieve the 100 hours and 42 seconds, and at least trying to beat it by ONE second just to get on their nerves.

If I don’t achieve it, at least I will try for the record of “The YOUNGEST Longest Radio DJ Marathon“… if only. I just hope I get confirmation for it. It will be very hard, but I will push myself to the limits. If some 39 year old guy from America can do 100 hours, why can’t some 20 year old from Australia do the same???

As far as I know, these are the rules I will have to follow STRICTLY:

The following act as a guide to the specific considerations and undertakings, in addition to the general requirements, for any potential attempt on the Radio DJ marathon. They should be read and understood by all concerned – organisers, participants and witnesses – prior to the event.

Rules

The record is for the longest time a single individual can act as DJ and continuity announcer during a live radio broadcast.

1. The contestant is responsible for playing all the discs/tapes throughout the attempt.
2. Every disc/track must be introduced by the DJ, either before or after the track has been played.
3. The DJ/announcer should read all other items normally broadcast except for regular short weather bulletins, traffic reports and short news summaries, which may be read by the usual station personnel. However, the combined time of these additional items should not exceed 15 minutes in any one hour.
4. Pre-recorded commercials may be played but their combined time must not exceed 8 minutes in one hour.
5. Each piece of music played must last at least two minutes but should not exceed six minutes in length.
6. The programme must be live. No pre-recording is allowed: at no time may the recorded voice of the contestant be broadcast.
7. Normal studio equipment should be used throughout the attempt.
8. No individual disc, and no piece of music, may be repeated in the broadcast within three hours. A list of all the tunes played must be maintained.
9. The DJ is allowed to have guests during the attempt, but they must be interviewed in a normal radio manner. And no guest is allowed to speak continuously for more than a minute.
10. No co-DJ is allowed.
11. The event should be broadcast live from the radio studio.

RECORD CLAIM GUIDELINES AUTHENTICATION

For the purposes of verifying any claim, the following material should be provided: –

1. Signed statements of authentication by two independent persons of some standing within the local community who have attended the event and can confirm the details of the claim. Where relevant, at least one of the witnesses should be qualified (or an official) in the record subject area e.g. a vet for animal records. These statements should originate directly from the witnesses (in their own hand) and be submitted, where possible, on their own headed notepaper and include full contact details Statements should not take the form of documents pre-prepared by those involved in the record attempt Except where both the witnesses are members of the same professional body, or are officials of a national sporting organisation (or similar), the two independent persons must be independent of each other as well as being independent of the person(s) attempting the record The statements should confirm that the specific rules applicable to the event, if relevant, have been followed
2. Independent corroboration in the form of media coverage. Cuttings, photos, video from local/national newspapers, specialist or general interest magazines, television, local/national radio
3. A clearly labelled VHS (PAL or NTSC) video.
4. High quality colour photographs or transparencies.
5. Where appropriate to the event, a signed and dated logbook showing that the attempt has been the subject of unremitting surveillance. Time and duration of rest breaks taken, where relevant, should be shown
6. Measurements should be made by suitably qualified individuals and witnessed by the independent witnesses, where applicable. Accurate professional equipment should be used for measuring and all relevant measures must be given Failure to provide any of the material listed may delay the processing of a claim, so please check the documentation before submittal. Also please remember to enclose the signed and completed ‘Agreement for Record Attempts’. Please note that it is not possible, nor necessary, for a representative of Guinness World Records to be present at the record attempt, but we reserve the right to do so.


There you have it!… Well, the rules part anyway. All I need to do is get permission from the 2MCR Committee, the Presenters whos shows I will be over-riding, Sponsorship, and stuff like that to achieve it.
Also, I got to set a time with my Boss at work to get time off, and set a time to do the attempt!
More information will be posted when there’s more. Remember… this is only the beginning!!!

I brought it up with my parents, who were more than supportive.

I told my radio friends, who loved it straight away.

So I contacted Guinness in the UK.

12/2/02

Rang Orange Directory Assistance and asked for the number of Guinness, and the lady operator sounded cute. When she gave me the number, she was curious on what I needed it for and wanted to know if I was doing a bet with friends or I was actually attempting a record. I told her about the record and said that when she hears about it, she’ll know that she was the one who gave me the number….. hahaha.

Called up Guinness in London (phone bill $$$!) at 10pm last night because they are 10 hours behind (11 when you include daylight savings) to confirm 100 hour record. Guess what? It has been beaten again!
The current record stands at 100 hours, 3 minutes and 22 seconds, and the record has been taken by Kristian Bartos in Stockholm… I have to aim higher.

I will be approaching the radio station Committee tonight with the “Fundraiser”. I am thinking a certain amount of $ per hour should keep me going. 🙂

I brought it up with a few committee members of the radio station, two of them didn’t like it… but the others approved.

13/2/02

I got approval from the station committee! They loved it! Now, All I have to do is get approval from ALL the presenters at next week’s General Meeting and then I am on EASY STREET! I will be going to my Doctor to get a check up soon so I hope it goes well. I am hoping I can do the record around Easter or 1 April 2002. 🙂

After the check-up, the doctor recommended to get on the Korean Ginseng and eat lots of carbohydrates to keep my energy up. So I began a diet of pasta, red meat and vitamin pills. I cut back on the caffeine and chocolate. I don’t smoke and I didn’t drink coffee at the time so they were easily marked off.

15/2/02

Like my little logo? Pretty crap I know, but I’ll work on it.

Went to my Doctor to get some advice on what I have to do to keep me going for 100 hours… i’m popping pills! (vitamins, that is) and I will have to change my diet to lotsa carbohydrates and fibre. Pasta (no 2 minute noodles), eggs, bread, red meat, all the healthy stuff. I have my Bioace and Korean Genseng, so here’s hoping! TAP IT TO MY VEINS!

Monday is the General Meeting where everyone will be approached about it. They should all agree with it… after all, It is A FUNDRAISER! If you live in the area and get The Chronicle and Advertiser as your local rag/paper, look out soon for stories and advertisements. The station’s website is http://www.2mcr.org.au.

The joy – how dodgy is the photoshop…

Anyway, I got the approval from the entire station, who were more than supportive. The catch I offered was that when I was broadcasting during their show, they can come in for an ‘interview’ and play the music they would play during their shift. That included myself playing and listening to country music. Groooaaann..

19/2/02

Well, all I can say is that the Meeting was a massive success! Approval from all! Now, straight to the extreme hard work for advertising, publicity, sponsorship, promotions etc…

I got the ball rolling, with articles to be printed in the Macarthur Advertiser and Macarthur Chronicle. But I realised, I hadn’t set a date.

24/3/02

I have now set a date – Saturday June 1st 2002. All I have to do is set a time when I should start. I am also being interviewed by the local paper after easter.

But another issue came up – as per Guinness’s rules – I had to have a Registered Nurse or Doctor on the clock. Luckily enough, my Aunt happened to be an RN, who managed to organise a few of her work friends to use their spare time to monitor me during the event.

Locked in.

Newspaper articles now done, what else?

Macarthur Chronicle

I’ll try some fliers. I made fliers with the help of fellow 2MCR members David Alexander and Holly Jordan which, lucky for me, were distributed by close family friends The Winder Family, who had known me since primary school. They happened to own a courier/delivery franchise with Australia Post – so they delivered the fliers with the mail  – at no cost. It was so kind and I’d never been so grateful for it. Even brand new commercial radio station C91.3FM invited me to be on “The Duck’s Breakfast” breakfast show, hosted by Rob Duckworth and Producer Amanda Ireland (who used to be a former 2MCR member). The station offered to help with coverage and updates.

2MCR’s web developer Glen Burns created a page for the attempt, which was visited and updated on a regular basis.

After everything was set up and was on my diet, I contacted Guinness to send through the documentation. (Rules printed above – nothing had changed, just arrived via e-mail on a pdf).

So, what next? I need people to talk to!

I had read that Greig Pickhaver aka H.G Nelson was going to be in town to unveil “Fatso” statue at the Campbelltown Art Gallery, so I jumped on the bandwagon and managed to book in an interview. Local MP and well known personality Pat Farmer was on the list next. It would be perfect as he was well known for his ultra-marathon record breakers. Best inspiration, ever. Other personalities included local musicians, footballers, councillors – various people. (The list grew as we went to air).

But I needed more exposure.

My favourite TV show at the time was Rove [live], with comedian Rove McManus. I contacted Channel 10 and tracked down their segment producer, Nicole Dixon. I e-mailed my story and ambition, in which they loved it so much, they said they’ll be apart of it and will cross to me live on Tuesday night at 9:45pm, June 4, 2002. I just have to make sure I have to last that long!

The countdown was on. I had the media publicity done, guests on board, the station on support, RNs on a roster, feeling energetic and healthy… time to gather a shitload of music CDs. But first: an FAQ (reprinted)

How long do you have to stay awake for?

I have to be on air for over 100 hours straight with a 15 minute break every 8 hours. I have to beat 102 hours, 3 minutes and 22 seconds. I am aiming for 120 hours. The program will be live too.

What about music? What’s the restrictions?

I can play just about any song, but they cannot be shorter than 2 minutes or longer than 6 minutes. If it is above 6 minutes I can still play it, but I have to fade it down when the 6 minute mark hits. I cannot play more than 2 songs in the row. When I do play the music, I have to introduce the song, play it, play the next song, then back-introduce that song. I can play one piece of music from a CD but cannot play the same CD again for another 3 hours, regardless of whether it is a compilation CD or not.

No kidding?

Yeah… that’s the rules!

Can I be on the air?

You can, but the only way you can be on air is to have me interviewing you in a normal radio manner. Also, when you are giving your answers, you cannot speak no more than a minute at a time. The interviews can go for as long as they want. I am also not allowed to have a Co-DJ to help.

What are you raising money for?

Funds raised will be put towards the station for much needed new equipment and such, while 20% of all funds raised will be donated to the Special Care Nursery at Campbelltown Hospital.

Why there for?

#1 Not many people know about that part of the hospital, even though it gets used a lot. The Special Care Nursery is the area where newly born babies are treated to make sure they do not have any complications.
#2 The money is going there because I am borrowing the nurses from that area to supervise me during the attempt – as per the rules.

What do you hope to achieve from all of this?

I am not out to make a name for myself personally, but I want to get into the commercial radio industry. I don’t care if it is on-air or off-air work, as long it is in the area. I am not relying on it, but if the opportunity arises, I would love it. (Hint Hint haha)

You’re crazy…

Well, it has to be someone in the world, and it happens to be me.

Suddenly, it was June 1, 2002. I was to begin at 12pm on the dot. But clumsy me, I didn’t understand the importance of ‘timing out’. Upon cleaning out some CDs, I found video footage that my Dad filmed of me, about 30 minutes before the event started. I haven’t shown anyone this – until now.

Another post will be up later on what I went through, including photos. I’ll do my best to remember…