fredag 14 augusti 2009

Radio Veronica memorial broadcast

Where were you August 31st 1974? Many people know where they were when J.F. Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas. Some people close their eyes and they can still see the first man walking on the moon. Those are historic events that we can relive time after time thanks to DVD, video, MPeg4, I-pods and whatever. You see the same and still.... it's different. A lot of people in The Netherlands, who were over twelve in August 1974, can remember where they were during the close down of Radio Veronica, the most popular radio station The Netherlands ever had. Radio Veronica was firstly a ship based radio station, started broadcasting in 1960 from a former German light vessel anchored outside the territorial waters in the North Sea.
Norderney Photo: Theo Dencker
At that time radio in Holland only consisted of Government controlled broadcasting companies radiating programs as exciting as watching grass grow. In 1959 a couple of entrepreneurs decided to follow the Scandinavian example of broadcasting, which was "free" radio from outside the jurisdiction of the authorities. Free of charge, free of Governmental interference and available at no costs. The content of these stations? Music! Radio Veronica, as the station was called, built up an audience beyond believe and forced the Government to launch a new National radiostation (Hilversum III) broadcasting mainly pop music all day as a (non successful) attempt to take away the reason for Veronica's success (broadcasting what young Europe wanted, namely pop music only). It was that same success that made the authorities reticent to act as no political movement had the courage to jeopardize an election over the popularity of Radio Veronica. It took a shot in her own feet that eventually gave the authorities an excuse to stop Veronica. An explosion on board a competeting radio ship pushed the Government into gear. After September 1st 1974 any working for, supporting of and advertising on offshore stations would be illegal. Radio Veronica decided to cease broadcasting August 31st 1974 at 6pm (CET). From then on the frequency of 538 meters, 558 kHz AM was silent until much later other stations started using it.

Do you remember the last hour? Did you hear it, but forgot how it sounded? Was it before your time and have you always regretted not to have been there? Now here is your chance. August 31st 2009, between 4 and 6 pm (CET) the sound of Radio Veronica will be back on 538 meters, 558 kHz. By courtesy of Spectrum Radio in London and Radio Seagull in The Netherlands the final two hours of Radio Veronica are going to be re-broadcast. Not on I-pod or MP3 player, but on the same old Medium Wave frequency as Spectrum Radio 35 years ago. So dig up your AM receiver and tune to 538 meters, 558 kHz on Monday August 31st between 4 and 6 pm CET, 3-5 pm UK time and listen to this historic broadcast again. Same date, same time, same frequency, just a few years later..........

Can't listen to AM? Go to and find out more about hadio Veronica, menmow to listen live via the web or how to listen to the recording later. If you missed it in 1974, here is your chance. If you heard it then, relive the sentiment and listen again. (HANS KNOT INTERNATIONAL RADIOREPORT EXTRA EDITION TWO AUGUST 2009)

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