I helped put this new digital station together by creating all the station imaging: Hot Tomato Gold. Streaming online via iHeartRadio and on your DAB radios if you’re based on the Gold Coast.
Part of the press release, available on Mediaweek:
The Hot Tomato Broadcasting Company has announced the launch of Hot Tomato Gold and CADA via DAB+ radio on the Gold Coast, as well as through the iHeart radio app.
Gold Coasters will also be able to listen to 1029 Hot Tomato through their DAB+ radio, waking up with Galey, Emily Jade & Christo for Breakfast and driving home with Moyra and Big Trev weekday afternoons.
Hot Tomato Gold is a new format that will play the Gold Coast’s Greatest Hits from the 60’s to 90’s, putting the Gold back on the Gold Coast.
The pandemic has taken a toll on many people and the economy, so it’s been a stressful year or two.
However, some light has shone and I’ve been nominated for a ‘Best Achievement In Production’ award for the 2021 Commercial Radio Awards.
I am truly stoked to be part of this line-up – just to be nominated after two years worth of hectic events is truly an honour. This is my third solo nomination, having been nominated in 2017 and 2018 – and was lucky enough to win that year.
The awards were on hold for 2020 due to the pandemic, and delayed for 2021, so the awards night itself will not happen until February 2022. I will share my entry once the event is completed.
One of the perks in radio is meeting people from various lifestyles and entertainment to help promote their wares.
In this case, I overheard a conversation from the rival breakfast show that they were interviewing one of my favourite movie directors Kevin Smith (aka Silent Bob). My eyes lit up and I started giving the talent ideas and questions to ask. I was then told that I was ‘geeking out’ so I stopped and agreed, and walked back to my production studio to continue my work.
About 10 minutes later, their assistant barged my door open and told me to walk with him. Next thing you know, I’m lead into the on-air studio for a pre-recorded interview with Smith on the phone. I had joined in mid-way through the chat.
While cleaning out my computer, I found this audio grab floating around. Turns out it was one of the interviews I’ve done with one of my favourite bands I’m a tad obsessed with, from 2004.
Spiderbaitwere doing a tour to promote their at-the-time newly released album Tonight Alright. I had never seen them live before, and my first gig was seeing them perform at University of Wollongong with a few friends. A few days later, an announcement of more shows were happening, at Penrith Panthers Leagues Club and Sweeney’s At Scenic Hills Riding Ranch.
Of course, I attended the shows.
At the Panthers gig, while waiting to go in, I noticed Whitt and Kram casually hitting the pokies and having a beer before they were doing their set. As I was in community radio at the time, I thought this was the best time to approach them to see if I could arrange an interview down the track. The guys were more than happy to chat, so Whitt gave me his number to contact them later on. I was over the moon! I called Whitt 3 days later, and organised an interview with my dodgy mini-disc recorder and tiny microphone at their next gig near me – Sweeney’s. But this time, they were supporting Hoodoo Gurus so there was a lot of noise.
Unfortunately for me the day before, I developed laryngitis and lost my voice. I was going to use my friend Katherine as a backup, but she told me not to sing/talk during the concert. She was right. I gained some of my vocal tones back… just not enough when I did the interview. Being extremely determined, I pushed on anyway. For the embarrassment and entertainment, here’s the uncut version. Whitt, Janet and occasionally Kram walking by (it was his birthday so he was moving around). Warts and all.
A few months flew by – Black Betty had hit Number 1 on the ARIA charts, the album went gangbusters, and the Hoodoo Gurus / Spiderbait tour was wrapping up. One of the last shows was going to be held at Penrith Panthers again, so I thought I’d do a ‘catch-up’ interview with Whitt and Janet to see how the success was. With mini-disc recorder in hand and questions prepped, everything was sweet. What was meant to be a 5 minute interview, went for about 20 minutes. I had only asked 2 scripted questions, and the rest was me improvising the interview and getting down-right personal and fan-boying out. It was going to be fantastic.
But something went wrong.
In order for the mini-disc recorder to work, I had to hold my thumb down hard in the middle of the player. After chatting with them for so long, my thumb went numb and I lost grip, wiping the entire recording. I shat myself – I panicked and was about to cry. I explained to them what had happened. They were due on stage in 2 minutes. Whitt patted me on the shoulder and said “Don’t stress! Fix it back up and we’ll start the interview again. Easy!”
“No it isn’t! This recorder is a piece of crap… It’s over.. I don’t want you to be late for your show!” I replied, feeling devo.
“You’ll be fine! Turn it back on and we’ll chat more!” said Janet, nice and calmingly.
So I started it back up again, frustrated, holding my thumb on the cover, and started again… with this raw uncut audio as the end result.
After the interview, I thanked them again and went into the concert hall, knowing that everything will be right in the world, and I’ll look back on this in an amusing way.
As part of Canberra’s 100th anniversary, I was tasked to interview Canberra personalities or related. One of them was Freda Whitlam, the sister of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Here is a casual phone chat I had with Freda, but was never used publicly.
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.
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.