BFM 40th Anniversary Interview

Auckland University radio station 95bFM celebrates it's 40th anniversary this year, although obviously they didn't start out as an FM station. Founded in 1969, bFM was a pirate student radio station, broadcast from a boat - which ran aground in Auckland's Waitemata Harbour - and played illegally on speakers around the University. The iconic ‘b’ originally stood for "bosom" in honour of a capping week graduation stunt. [source: wiki]

Anyway, I had some involvement with the station last century and was asked to do an interview for a radio documentary series they were making about the old days. Since my vanity knows no bounds I was naturally happy to do so. They asked me to bring in 5 tracks that represented my time at the station and the interview would be pre-recorded, edited, and broadcast at a later date.

Driving up to the station for the interview I kept reminding myself "Don't mention the war, don't mention the war", in reference to a famous Fawlty Towers episode where Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) is warned not to mention WWII to a a group German tourists booked into his B&B. Naturally he can't help himself and hilarity ensues.

In my own case the 'war' I wanted to avoid mentioning wasn't so much a war as a political battle I had when I became Station Manager in 1989. I made some changes that some of the Old Guard didn't like and didn't feel were necessary, and they lobbied to have me removed. It's quite a long story in itself and I really should tell it one day, but suffice to say they failed and I continued on as Station Manager.

Anyway, this doco is about celebrating 40 years of BFM so I resolved not to mention those tumultuous times in my interview, and to just focus on the good times. Of which there were many - I have a very deep fondness for BFM. It shaped my adult career path... (I use the term 'career' loosely!)

So naturally, like Basil Fawlty, it took all of 10 minutes before I mentioned the student-political battles I faced as Station Manager back in '89-'90!! The interview was conducted by Dubhead (a BFM DJ) and he was great - we chatted for probably 90 minutes about anything and everything. Naturally after the interview was finished I felt bad about discussing old conflicts, but Dubhead assured me it was all good stuff and that I'd kept it positive (which I had, actually).

Despite this, there was still some trepidation when the interview finally went to air. I wanted to be honest about my time there but I also didn't want to open old wounds. The people I had 'battled' with were good people, they loved the B as much as I did, we just had different views on how the station should progress. I needn't have worried - the interview was edited by Troy Fergussen (BFM's Friday Wire host) and he did a brilliant job.

He cut out ALL that stuff, leaving just this 20 minutes:

Episode 2 - Nick DÁngelo

MP3, 0m00s, 40.2MB, first broadcast 7 March 2009

Nick D''Angelo -- original 80s b-boy, agent provocateur, and (not a) male stripper recounts how he -- with inspiration from Malcolm McLaren -- broke the one-rap-song-per-show rule and turn the tables on the early-80s indie hegemony.

Only the spoken portions of Nick's broadcast are available on the podcast

I'll blog more about this later, but in the meantime I'm interested in what you think of the interview...

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