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Interview with Terry Yason in Frendz, April 1970
 

The Electric Mouth part one

 

Letters: `When I heard you say bullshit on the radio I dropped the joint I was rolling and fell on the floor laughing'. 'I was trying to make my chick on the sofa last Saturday and we turned on your programme. Now she's split because I've found something better to do on Saturday nights than try my luck'. Letters from heads to Radio Geronimo, broadcasting every Saturday night from midnight onwards on 205 metres medium wave.

                   

Geronimo, formerly Jumbo Blimp, is the alternative radio. Not the pirate radio, the alternative. There are no ego-tripping DJs mixing their inanities with those of the banal music that they play. One commercial sound interlacing with another, music, ads; it's all the same, join the fantasy society where materialism rules and with a bit of luck the living you do now won't be paid for later, except for another pack of whiter than soft MacDougal's Macd.

 

Geronimo is three heads - Terry Yason, Hugh Nolan and Geoffrey Bass. Terry and Hugh broadcast, Geoff is the wheeler dealer, the economics controller. When Terry and Hugh returned from a trip to the States in May last year they got turned onto Radio Andorra. They wanted better reception and found that Monte Carlo, where their tapes are broadcast now, was the ideal place. Proteges, now of Jimmy Miller and Tony Secunda, whose money is providing the essentials during the launch period, they are putting out weekly test programmes on Saturday nights, with a seven day schedule to begin as soon as advertising revenue makes it a viable proposition.

                   

To get advertising for Geronimo is proving a problem. The agencies and their clients have to be persuaded that the alternative radio is a vital and valuable medium that they cannot afford to ignore. On his last programme, *Terry told anyone who wanted to help to send letters to Chris Hyams, top media man at J. Walter Thompson in Berkeley Square.* The Monday post brought him around a thousand letters from heads who wanted to make sure that Geronimo stayed around.

 

The only way of telling the quality of a radio is its programmes and Geronimo certainly provides, in its three hour shows, something no one else is doing, except possibly the Third Programme, soon to vanish, and a programme that Terry Yason claims turns him on more than any of the other stations, Radio One and Luxembourg, that are churning out their repetitive irrelevancies. Geronimo gives a continuous trip. They don't play single tracks, or long ads. You can get the whole of an album, say Morrison Hotel, the still unreleased Doors album; or Tommy, or Buxtehude, or Bach. The intention is to let the audience get into the music.

Friends talked to Terry Yason about the radio. Brought up with Communist Party parents, once a member of the YCL himself, and suspended from school when 13 for selling Daily Worker, he's still into dissent, if not revolution. It's hard to discuss radio without discussing revolt, he  says, and our conversation proved it

                                                                                                                         Jonathon  Green

 

 *You can now listen to Terry Yason's appeal.

 

Friends: April 14th 1970              click here for Part Two


 

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