More Happy Kneeunions!

Page Five, Oct 2001 to July 2002

October 2001

News of the US career of Mike Barron, ex-Radio 270

We are indebted to Eric Britton, who writes from New York:

I believe I used to work with the Mike Barron you're referring to. (In fact, I stumbled upon your website in search of him.)

Mike came over to the US for the first time around 1984 and worked at rock/pop WXTQ in Athens, Ohio. After about a year he went back to England, and then returned to WXTQ around 1987. I was 23 years old and working my first paid radio gig when Mike and his personality showed up at my studio door with a box of 5-by-7 index cards, a pipe filled with cherry tobacco, and that personality. I can probably write for hours on the subject. He was, without question, the most memorable person I've ever worked with. I'll leave it at that.

Mike lasted in Athens for about a year and a half, when management let him go. I don't think his brand of radio was truly appreciated in the region. He moved to Florida, and I never heard from him again.

I visited WXTQ this past May, (I now live in New York), and no one knew of his whereabouts. I do know of one person still in Ohio who may be able to give you more detail. I'll try to get in touch with him in the near future and forward your contact information.

I moved back home to New York in 1989 after 7 years in Ohio and taught broadcasting at a high school on Long Island that had a 125 watt FCC-licensed FM station for about 9 years, during which time I worked the occasional part-time gig at stations in the New York metro area. Four years ago I left teaching and now work in computer network support and administration for a global executive search firm located in midtown Manhattan. Returning to radio is often on my mind, even more so lately.

Both ourselves and Jonathan from The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame, have now received additional information both from Eric and from David Palmer in the USA. Paul Rusling in the UK has confirmed that the information from both countries ties-up, and that the Mike Barron who worked in the USA is indeed the man from Radio 270, who sadly, died some years ago. The Hall of Fame contains a more comprehensive bio of Mike and his career after leaving Radio 270.

It's Larry from Beverly Hills 90210!

The search has now ended for Larry Tremaine, the former Programme Director and part-owner/General Manager of Radio Nordsee International and Caroline. Larry has been in touch with Paul de Haan, (who originally asked us to include Larry on the 'missing' list) and Hans Knot, both of whom put him in touch with the Radio London Missing Persons Bureau! The 'Bureau' has since been assisting Larry in tracking down some of his long-lost pals.

Hans Knot wrote to Mary:

Larry found a photograph of himself on Soundscapes and is excited that our site is there. I suggested he should visit more sites, so he will do. He loves to be in contact with old radio friends from his period in 1970 on RNI, so could you tell this to your readers? I have started an e-mail interview with him and at the end of this session, I will make a story for Soundscapes in our series on RNI Memories.

Paul de Haan from Groningen, Holland, wrote to Larry:

I was on board Mebo 2 on Aug 7 1970 at the age of 18, (see: www.offshore-radio.de/dehaan.htm) now I'm 49 and a salesman for Aventis Pharma in Holland.
Somewhere in my collection of photos I made on that foggy day, there must be another picture of you behind the mixer in the production studio.
Do you remember that on Aug 7 your father and sister visited the ship, and your Dad fell asleep behind the mixer? Sorry no pictures of that, but I still remember.

Larry says:

Mary, you are one of the people I was told (by Hans) to contact or would be contacting me. I have just discovered the sites dedicated to offshore radio. I am happy to see that someone is carrying on the love of pirate radio. What a thrill it is to see so much news about a time in our lives when we didn't realise life was as great as it was!

It was a great surprise to see photos of the ship and staff. I'm happy to find that so many old friends are keeping the light burning. We do keep in touch with some of the old guys. I had lunch with Mark Wesley and Rob Eden in London in March 2001. We do miss the old days. I spoke to Meister and Boiler a few years ago. I would be very happy to make contact with more old friends.

There are many stories that we can share. Did you know about the time I was lost at sea after we tried, with six Dutch crewmen in a lifeboat, to rescue a small speedboat that broke away from the ship. We could not find it so we spent 6 hours lost!

The big date in my memory is, Election Day 1970, June 18th, when Ronan, Jimmy Houlahan, myself and a cast of thousands changed history and allowed private citizens to own stations for the first time in the history of the UK. That is something we talk about all the time.

I am the one that came up with the idea to record 'Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Wilson' and we had major rock stars in the studio. It may have been the first 'We Are The World'! I may have the only copy in the world - we made three of them!

I grew up and still live in Beverly Hills, CA. 90210.... just like the TV show! We own a large chain of art galleries with our main gallery in Beverly Hills. We sell Chagall, Dali, Picasso, Rembrandt, as well as being the largest dealer in Disney animation CELS.

Our gallery is Carol Lawrence Galleries Ltd. and our web address is www.art90210.com, e-mail larry@art90210.com


Thanks for keeping the pirates alive, Larry "Tremaine" Steinman.
Remember loveable Larry, the geeter with the heater....the boss of the hot sauce......time to rock the big tick tock on Caroline's tall tower and power clock?......love those days!

So do all our Radio London website visitors, Larry! Thanks so very much for getting in touch!

Norman St John reporting from Brisbane – Dateline October 25, 2001:

Some news for you. Last Tuesday I caught up and had lunch with Graham Webb. It was the first time I had seen him in 30 years. Both he and his family are well. We had a wonderful time reliving the old Radio and TV days and swapping stories. His business interests now include a Community FM Radio Station and a Funeral Home in Country Queensland. I guess that's about as diverse as it can get. He has had a back run of luck over the last 10 years or so but Graham is a winner and will see it through. (For the full story, read Graham's page.) Now we know where each other live we will most certainly catch up more often. Graham sends his best wishes to all.

During my last visit to London, in September, I was fortunate to catch up with Mike Ahern. I saw Mike in Australia just on 20 years ago. Sadly our get together was interrupted by the news that was unfolding in New York. Mike is doing some work for a Radio Station here in Australia (via satellite) and is hoping for some more work in the UK in the not-too-distant future. It was wonderful for both of us to revisit the old radio days.

I hope that, God willing, I will be able to get back to the UK next year as there are so many others including yourselves that I would like catch up with.

Lots of us are looking forward to meeting up with you too, Norm!

The Man from the Tram

Two messages arrived from Amsterdam during this past week (October 21st/27th 2001) concerning another Big L jock from Oz, Graham Gill.

Both Herbert Visser and Ex-Veronica man, Tom Mulder, kindly sent contact details for Graham. Tom was the first to get in touch, having met Graham on a tram. Shortly afterwards, I heard from Herbert and told him Tom had already been in touch. Herbert replied:

Ha ha! Yeah, that doesn't surprise me at all, since Tom's a big freak when it comes to trams. But then, I also met Graham while on a tram here in Amsterdam a few years ago. I work for Strengholt, the Dutch company that rented airtime on the MEBO II for RNI's Dutch service in the early 1970's, and I was wearing my new Radio Northsea sweatshirt.

A person asked my name and told me that he used to work for that station years before. I asked his name, he said : "Graham Gill," and then I said: "Then you also worked for Big L and Radio Caroline," which he confirmed.

Next time you speak to him, say hello on behalf of me ... or actually... please do to both Tom and Graham.

I intend to send Graham copies of the letters he wrote to me while aboard the Galaxy, which I am anticipating will make him laugh a lot! In correspondence he used to spell his name 'Graeme', so I'll report back when I've checked up on that.

Report from Hans Knot, late December 2001

You mentioned lately that Graham Gill was seen on the tram in Amsterdam by Klaas Vaak aka Tom Mulder and Herb the Fish. Last Tuesday he was seen in the little harbour of Harlingen. There are the Caroline studios for the cable transmissions which will start in January. Graham recorded a programme for the opening day and it was the first time since 1975 he presented a Caroline programme.

Great to Hear from Radio 270's Mike Hayes

Great site. Brought tears to my eyes.

I missed the name of Dennis "The Menace" Straney on your missing list. Great DJ, dry and funny. And I'm sure I didn't see Paul (Burnett) anywhere. Pourquoi pas?

I'm still in Holland, I'm retired from real work, and working in movies and TV now and then. If there are any questions I can answer let me know.

If anyone's got any photos of me from the good old days I would appreciate copies. When I left Scarborough in 1967 I left all my belongings there, including all my snaps, and never got them back.

Chris and Mary will be happy to put anyone who has photos in touch with Mike. Dennis Straney is duly added to the list. Paul Burnett's not on there because he's not missing! He's on Classic Gold: http://www.classicgold.co.uk/Presenters/presenters.html. Paul also appeared in a chicken suit, as a guest on Dave Lee Travis's 'This Is Your Life' reminiscing about his role as 'Rubber Chicken' on their single Convoy GB!

2002

January 2002, So near, yet.... Steve Young and Gordy reunited, thanks to the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame

Dear Mary & Chris,
Here's another reunion story for you. Thanks to the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame website a couple of us "old sea dogs" have managed to re-connect, 35 years after we worked together on Radio Caroline. Gordy Cruse and I worked together briefly on Caroline South before he transferred to Caroline North and I left the Mi Amigo to return to Canada.

After finding out via the PRHOF that Gordy lived here in Victoria and actually works just a few blocks from where I live, I had planned to give him a call. But he beat me to it and got in touch with me today. (Friday, Jan 18th, 2002) It was amazing!! He has been driving past my house on his way to and from work for the last 15-20 years, and never knew that we even lived in the same city. Anyway, we're getting together for coffee on Monday and will be sharing lots of stories from the olden days.

I'm looking forward to seeing him and will let you know what remembrances come out of our meeting, I'm sure there'll be some good yarns to pass along.

All the best,
Steve Young

PS Keefers sent me copies of airchecks of your show from Big L 2001, it was great to listen to you and to hear all those old tunes and jingles from way back when.

Well done to Jonathan and The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame on instigating another successful offshore reunion.
Where's Russell?

Andy Cadier, wearing his Editor's hat for Off the Record Short Wave Magazine, has had an enquiry from David Porter of Merlin Communications, who wishes to get in touch with engineer Russell Tollerfield, and so would we. Russell drew the short straw to always be remembered as the man with the unhappy duty of switching off the Radio London transmitter on August 14th 1967.

Any positive sightings? Please let us know and we'll pass on a message.
'Soopa!' – Jerry Leighton found after 35 years!

As I was completing the site update, I received a knee-mail headed 'I've "found" Jerry Leighton'! It read:

While browsing through your website I saw that you were searching for Jerry Leighton from Radio Caroline.

Jerry (or "Dad" as I call him) is my father. So it didn't take me long to find him for you. He is still married to Brenda and they have two daughters, Susannah (myself) I'm 27, and Louisa is 25.

If you'd like to contact Jerry I know he'll be really happy to hear from you! I hope this is good news for you and I'd also like to hear from you.

Su West (nee Leighton)

It was very nice of Su to get in touch and everyone in the Big L family will be delighted to hear that Jerry has been discovered, as nobody had been able to find him since 1967! I shall, of course, be contacting Jerry and will report back as soon as I have more news.

Jerry was, of course, the man who represented Radio Caroline on the Beatles' 1966 US tour, when Ron O'Quinn represented Radio England (photos on the George Harrison tribute page) and Kenny Everett represented Radio London. Caroline also sold Jerry 'Soopa' Leighton T-shirts

Jerry's Reply - May 2002

Dear Mary,

Please forgive me for having taken so long in replying to your email to my daughter Su, which she forwarded to me in March. I've been having a bit of software trouble and was only able to download it recently.

I don't really talk about my time on Caroline North, never having been one for looking back. I can only say that they were wonderful times – probably the happiest in my life.

Thanks once again for getting in touch.

Regards, Jerry Leighton

From Mick Luvzit, when we helped him replace some old pals' knee-mail addresses after his computer crashed...
Hi Mary & Chris.... you guys are awesome. Thanks for all your tremendous work of keeping us in touch with our friends and former DJ's of Pirate Radio. We don't live in the past but we do enjoy those wonderful memories along with cherished thoughts of the many thousands of faithful fans who made us feel like part of their families.
Your friend, Mick Luvzit
No Longer Missing
Bob Glen has written to say he has been corresponding with a nice lady from Metro Radio in Newcastle, who has discovered that a producer at the station called Tony McKenzie was a Caroline DJ during the Seventies. The diligent lady (whose name Bob forgot to mention) also discovered the whereabouts of former RNI jock, Steve King. Steve is working on Real Radio in West Yorkshire under the name of Steve Wells.
July – We hear from Radio Scotland's Jack McLaughlin
I have recently discovered your site and have been enjoying catching up on old friends. I was lucky enough to work on four Pirate Stations Radio Scotland, Britain Radio, Radio 390 and Radio 270 though on 270 I used the name Steve Taylor!

I may be able to help you with some of your missing jocks. Kathy Spence and I were great friends during our time on Radio Scotland. She co-hosted the Radio Scotland Club with Stuart Henry from the studios in Cranworth Street Glasgow. In the mid 1970s I was host of a TV series on Grampian Television called Pop Scotch. We had some really top names of the day including The Move, The Moody Blues, Desmond Dekker, Johnny Nash etc. I was asked by the producer to find a co-presenter and I immediately thought of Kathy. We worked happily together for a couple of series before the producer left to return to London and dear old Grampian reverted to more traditional music.

I kept in touch with Kathy for some time and believe she is now in Canada. She was involved in the beauty and hairdressing business. I am sure that Sheena Russell who keeps in touch with me, probably has more information.

I also note that Russ Tollerfield is listed among missing persons. Russ was my senior engineer when I was Programme Controller at Radio Victory in Portsmouth. Russ had come down from Capital with Dave Symonds and Sarah Ward and he was great fun to work with. As far as I know, he is still the head engineer at the franchise which replaced Radio Victory.

Ref: Peter Bowman I do wonder what happened to him. He was one of the best jocks on Radio Scotland when I was there but I have not heard from him for a very long time. I believe he contacted me at Radio Victory and he was living in London at the time, having returned from Australia. At the time, we had nothing available, but I always liked the guy's style and humour.

Keep up the good work

Best regards

Jack McLaughlin The Laird O'Coocaddens.
CEO – Radio Scotland Worldwide.
July 26th – Look who mosied on in to the Radio London website!

On the very day when I had just reported to Willy Walker that we hadn't heard from Marshall Mike Lennox for years, and he seemed to have vanished without trace, who should come moseying on in but....

Hi Mary,

For some strange reason I had some time on my hands on this Friday afternoon and thought I would indulge in some nostalgia by surfing the web for Big L memories and to see what new info had been added since I last did this.(At least a year ago). I haven't had time to go through your site yet, but I did notice your query for my email address and thought that I would send the same now.

I've had a great afternoon looking through countless photo's and stories and find it quite surprising that many of the guys have become old geezers (of course I haven't looked in a mirror for decades). I'll spend more time over the weekend looking at your site... see what's new in the world of modern day Big L.

Certainly quite an impressive home page and I can recognize the amount of work required. I hope you are able to continue.

I'll close now, but will be in contact again soon.

Best regards, The Marshall


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