New Radio Book review – Graham Gill Story

From Hans Knot by email

WAY BACK HOME, THE GRAHAM GILL STORY

NOW OUT
Graham Gill has certainly been an offshore radio icon for several decades, and every visitor of the annual Radio Days in Amsterdam is looking forward to hear him singing his evergreen “Way Back Home”. Being a bit too young I unfortunately missed his programmes on Radio London, Swinging Radio England, Britain Radio and Radio 390 off the British coast during the 1960s. But as a 17-year-old teenager I first heard Graham on RNI on his regular late night programmes and his Sunday evening’s RNI Request Show during the early summer of 1973. His distinctive voice fascinated and meant a sort of RNI landmark to me. I was a bit astonished when he left RNI in June 1974 to rejoin Radio Caroline which played quite different, more adult orientated rock music. But Graham certainly didn’t disappoint his listeners as he had no problems to adept with the hippy culture onboard the MV Mi Amigo which he left only 11 weeks later, when the Dutch marine offences bill came into force. It took me another 22 years to get to know Graham personally. I first met him during the 1996 Radio Day in Haarlem. But in 2002, I came to know him even better. We met in Harlingen at the opening of Sietse Brouwer’s Dutch Radio Caroline and we jointly attended the fabulous offshore radio reunion in London in August of the same year. Some weeks later, I was entitled to have an interview with Graham at the German Radio Day in Erkrath where he described his fascinating radio career in great detail. In the meantime, we had become friends and built confidence. In the years to come, Graham took an active part in the Erkrath Radio Day on a regular basis and he didn’t miss an Amsterdam Radio Day anymore.

So what can I say about his long awaited book? You might think of me as a bit prejudiced. Nevertheless let me suggest that you will be pleasantly surprised when reading Graham’s memoirs. It’s the story of his life with most of all his intriguing radio career which began in his native country Australia where he received an full-scale training as a radio broadcaster. Graham had been lucky to gain important experience during his 14 years in Australian radio when he came to the UK in 1966. You may look forward to take part in many details of these years which formed the character of the young Australian who later had no problems to become acquainted with all these strange new radio stations broadcasting from ships and military forts in the North Sea. Graham particularises many interesting anecdotes concerning countless personalities he dealt with during all those years in on- and offshore radio. At first appearance, it might be a bit unexpected that he paints a rosy picture of the conditions on Red Sands Fort (home of Radio 390). But this very happy period of his life had to do with the strong feeling of a happy family that the great team of announcers was producing. 7 years later, history repeated itself under totally different conditions on the MV Mi Amigo where the “Caroline family” received him with open arms. On every occasion you share Graham’s desire for gaining new experiences and getting to know interesting and warm-hearted people. And he did succeed ever so often! I am sure you will be excellently entertained by this capturing biography.
Dr. Martin van der Ven
Way Back Home, the Graham Gill story, is now obtainable from the Foundation of Mediacommunication for the price in Europe including postage and packing
€ 19,95 and outside Europe € 23,95
You can pay by using paypal: rob@mediacommunicatie.nl
or
BANK
IBAN NL85INGB0004065700
BIC INGBNL2A   
Mediacommunicatie Amsterdam
Voor Nederland: bankrekening 4065700
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