Only in Radio

Some of the dumb things I’ve heard or heard of in the radio business include…….

*A well known Perth radio broadcaster who traditionally worked in a personality-music format once found himself subbing in the News Department. One day, his news Editor sent him out in the field to get people’s views on euthanasia. Hours later he returned stating he had gone all over the city and absolutely nobody had an opinion on youth in Asia !
*Once heard a back announce stating “that was a great little tune for Milli and Vanilli” (Milli Vanilli)
*And another….”What a beaut song, ‘Reunited’ by Peaches & Herbs” (Herb)
*Once had a young announcer work with me who described on-air a cafe’s speciality of the house as “kitchies & creepies” (quiches & crepes !)
*And only this afternoon on Adelaide community radio the guy said in signing off “Take care, if you’re out there ?” No, I’m just dreaming I’m hearing you.

You gotta laugh or cringe at times. Now, I’m off to find that verbal agreement form !

Be Seen – Headlights ON

When you do as much driving Monday to Friday as I do, you really need to be on the ball, to quite frankly stay alive. My average working week to and from home is around 1,000 kilometres (pronounced “kill – o -metres” please note radio & TV journos) and boy do I see and experience some crazys out there.

For as long as I can remember it’s always been accepted that day time driving (and night-time please !) with your headlights ON particularly on rural roads is a smart, practical, defensive driving tactic.  Weather conditions summer & winter can make the simple act of picking out an oncoming vehicle a hit and miss affair. Judging distances between you and a vehicle driving towards you can also be a challenge, particularly when overtaking the slower vehicle in front of yours. On rural roads shadows from trees can sometimes camouflage oncoming vehicles etc. Bottom line is, a car travelling towards you during daylight hours with headlights on low beam is far easier to detect, distances are more accurately assessed and road safety is generally enhanced.

Not everybody agrees with my logic which is commonplace on many topics I’m sure, BUT I don’t give a rats. If 1 head on collision a day on rural roads can be avoided via headlights being turned on  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, JIM.

What really annoys the hell out of me with driving on country roads is the lack of example displayed by most emergency vehicles not driving with headlights on. Whether it’s Ambulance, Police, State Emergency, Fire etc. very few drive with headlights on in daytime hours. For the record, I WAS most impressed this morning to come across a Police vehicle with headlights on. My wife who was with me thinks I’m an eccentric nut on occasions, which doesn’t phase me. In fact, I largely like being me, for better or worse ! But back to my story. On two occasions I’ve rung radio talk back programmes to discuss my ‘daylight headlight’ stance with a Police spokesperson, one of which was South Australian Police Commissioner, Mal Hyde. There was no disagreement with my logic or genuine desire to make our rural roads safer. Trouble is it is not a ruling or standard policy for emergency vehicles to adhere to, which I think is crazy. Nearly as crazy as those people who are either thick, half asleep, drugged out, irresponsible, immature or too busy eating breakfast (!), doing their hair, texting, putting the lippy on or talking on the hand-held (grrrr) mobile ‘phone on a grey, cloudy, foggy, rainy and generally poor visibility day with NO BLOODY LIGHTS ON. The only answer is make it compulsory on rural roads to drive with headlights on, day & night. There….I feel better now.

Dr. Wright’s ‘pick you up’ medicine

The good news, our Federal Election result is now signed off (for the moment). The even better news is I have the remedy IF you’re feeling a little (or a lot) blue, low, below par (not my golf game), down in the dumps, not up to scratch, despondent, flat, etc. etc.

Y’see, I’m coming to the end of a week off work and, well, a week just isn’t long enough to cut it with me, at least not these days. Think I’m just getting crusty and older, at a time in my life where the daily work routine becomes just too routine ! “The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind”, well sort of Mr Dylan.

Whether you’re a Baby Boomer or not, next time the mind is playing negative tricks with your positive mojo, my medicine is to reach for ‘HELP’. Re-issued in digitally mastered clarity in 2009, The Beatles 14 track journey will give you the pick up you need, or as I once wrote in a ‘station liner’ during my NSW regional radio days…”For an injection in the right direction…”

The medicine in music is not to be scoffed at. Even with a negative title like “You’re Going To Lose That Girl”, if you take on board the overall UP feel of the album including Ringo doing the country gem “Act Naturally”, I reckon your state of mind will get that kick start it craves. If The Beatles are not your thing, I encourage you to ‘self prescribe’ (it’s legal) the musical medicine that works for you. It may be a case of trial and error and a little more of this and a little less of that, but you’ll know when you’ve achieved relief. Perhaps “Love Is The Drug” as dispensed by Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music is your answer ?

In San Francisco they named a beautiful rose garden after legendary KFRC radio great, the late  Dr. Don Rose. When my time is up all I want is a plaque stating in part “he loved his family, paid his bills and had a passion for music”. I’d be keen to hear of your uplifting music experience.

And….The Winner Is….

Well, it’s 2 weeks since our Federal Election as I write and we’re still in political limbo. Some would say this is path of the course, others like me would say “c’mon, let’s get on with it”. Yes, I know, I’m impatient by nature.

With Labor currently on 74 seats and the Liberal Coalition 73, the 3 swingers ‘Windsor, Oakeshott & Katter’ – WOK – (sounds like a Chinese 70’s folk group) have our political direction in their hands. Will it be a victory to Julia and friends, a further hung Parliament meaning we do it all over again or will ‘The Mad Monk’ and his monastery mates prevail ?

My prediction……watch this space Big Ears.

The Human Voice + Empathy + Technology

OK, so this is a plug for my empathetic voice over skills, available to any English speaking country. However, what I find mind boggling is the technology of getting me to you !

Once upon a time, not that long ago, if you wanted a studio quality recording of somebody voicing an ad, a narration, an imaging track, a corporate sell or “whatever”, it was a case of (1) Track down the suitable talent, (2) Book them into a recording studio, (3) Pay for the said studio, producer, talent, (4) Record, Edit & Mix, (5) And either book an expensive landline feed or (6) Package it up and post it to ‘wherever’ in the world.

Now with Internet/email delivery technology, coupled with home studios all around the world plus professional Internet based casting services, you can have that studio quality voice production delivered to you within a very quick turnaround time, at a fraction of the previous cost.

We DO live in an amazing world. Some things may be not so good under the ‘amazing’ description, but others are almost (to my simple brain) OUT of this world.

Real Pollie Power For The People

With the Australian Federal Election looming on Saturday, I had a thought. Unlike Mark Latham, I don’t believe in having the right to vote and wasting it by leaving the form blank. That’s a bit like blocking your chimney at Christmas time, so dear old Santa can’t get in. If you have an opportunity why blow it ?

How would it be if the ultimate make up of Federal Parliament was an amalgam of politicians from various persuasions based on the national vote. No more parties as such, just a Parliament of individuals with majority rule being the basis of decision making. That way, the brightest and most creative hard workers would pool their expertise as one, without a formal Opposition. The real Opposition would be us, “to keep the bastards honest”….RIP Don Chipp.

‘Hello’ from ‘IAN’s Voice Over The World’

The home studio in Oz, serving the world.

What an ever changing world we live in. In my lifetime in the radio business we’ve gone through reel to reel tape recorders, turntables playing ‘vinyl’ (singles, EP’s, albums) , carts/cart machines, cassettes/cassette recorders, crude automation equipment, early satellite technology, CD’s, CD players, DAT recorders, Mini Discs, Mini Disc players, HUGE IBM computers with less memory than my iPhone, into an Internet Computer Age which sees no sign of standing still for anyone.

No wonder this 56 year old finds communication technology both inspiring, exciting and challenging. Don’t know about you (because we’ve only just met) but I’m hanging on for the ride, to see ‘where’ it goes from here. Regards, IAN in Oz.