Currently viewing the tag: "Radio One"

In 1980 I was working with U2, I’d been taking them in and out of radio stations prior to the release of their first single, ‘11 o’ clock tick tock’ and trying to get them in for interviews wherever I could. They had released three singles in the six months from May to October that year and we had been working relentlessly driving up and down the motorways to talk to whoever would have us. And then more of the same upfront of the release of their debut album, ‘Boy.’

You hoped all the hard work would pay off and that opportunities would come your way, you’d take some risks, take a chance on something. It might all go pear shaped but you’d never knew unless you gave it a try, it’s the reason you try it in the first place. If you believe it enough you won’t need convincing and you won’t need to convince others.

November that year was incredible. There were a few of us at Island Records who believed in the band and we were all convinced they could be huge. Rob and Neil in the press department had done an unbelievable job getting journalists along to see them play and were starting to get some really good feedback. All their efforts culminated in an NME (New Musical Express) front cover at the start of the year. I’ve rarely seen a band work so hard at cracking the UK. The previous December they had done, I think six London shows in ten days

At that time there had still been no significant breakthrough with any national radio or television exposure and we all knew we would struggle to survive on press alone. It was a catch 22 situation, in order to maintain the great press coverage they (the press) would need to see others pick up on the band; and to get radio and television interested you needed the press. We were at the crossroads, something needed to give. We needed to get that break otherwise it would be impossible to keep the momentum going.

I received some amazing news. Tony Hale the Radio One producer who was based in Manchester, and therefore a contact of mine loved the band. Were they available to record a session for the Peter Powell show? WERE THEY AVAILABLE? Too right they were available! Around the same time, maybe a week or so sooner I got confirmation that Granada TV’s network kids show ‘Get it together’ wanted to book them. I couldn’t believe my luck, all my Christmas’s had come at once. I say luck but in all honesty I had been working hard on the band for most of the year, we all had and genuinely felt we deserved this break. This was the most significant result we’d had up until now from national radio and TV in the UK. Now we were really starting to get others to believe in them. At this point we were starting to think, just maybe…..

If you missed a previous blogs  John Peel was one of the UK’s most influential DJ’s.

My friend Barry was remote and feeling isolated at public school…..not only was he picking up a formal education, he was being formally educated in music. John Peel introduced him to a whole new world and one that would evolve in to a career. Such was the effect Peel had on him that later on he would start to work at the newlyopened retail outlet, Virgin Records. After learning his trade there the time came to move on and two years later, in 1976 he became proprietor of one of the country’s finest record stores, Record Collector in Sheffield.

Although he passed all his exams, I’m not sure his parents enrolled him at public school for the other education he was to receive, the one he loved the most……….he left with a passion for music that has never subsided.

The new national station Radio One had recently started and though no real substitute for the recently outlawed pirates, at least they provided an opportunity to hear the exciting bands that were all around, on both sides of the Atlantic. Here on Saturday afternoons resided the legend who was and always will be John Peel. For all of us growing up in the 60’s ‘Top Gear’ introduced us to the music that would change our lives…forever. The record I first remember hearing was Mr Tambourine Man by The Byrds, for Barry it was Electricity by Captain Beefheart…….we were both in for the ride, and we weren’t getting off.

Music was the common denominator for all of us. We’d compare notes, see what records each of us had bought and then find out where these amazing bands would be playing. Most of them came to Manchester and if they didn’t, we went to them.Houldsworth Hall on Peter Street would put on ‘Grass Eye benefits’ and great as they were I’ve yet to discover who they benefited apart from us. Further up the street stood The Free Trade Hall. Everyone has their own special memories of where they saw their favorite bands and for me it will always be here. Over the years I saw a multitude of bands at dozens of venues all over the country but I will always hold my fondest memories for The Free Trade Hall.

I missed the legendary Bob Dylan ‘Judas’ gig in 1966 but it was still where I saw Led Zeppelin and The Pink Floyd for the first time, and both for under a pound!

 

In 1980 I was working with U2, I’d been taking them in and out of radio stations prior to the release of their first single, ‘11 o’ clock tick tock’ and trying to get them in for interviews wherever I could. They released 3 singles in the six months from May to October and we had been working relentlessly driving up and down the motorways to talk to whoever would have us….and then more of the same upfront of the release of their debut album, ‘Boy.’

You hoped all the hard work would pay off and that opportunities would come your way, you’d take some risks, take a chance on something…..it might go pear shaped but you’d never know if you didn’t give it a go…… It’s the reason you try it in the first place.

If you believe it enough you won’t need convincing and you won’t need to convince others.

November that year was incredible. There were a few of us at Island Records who believed in the band and we were all convinced they could be huge. Rob and Neil in the press department had done an unbelievable job getting journalists along to see them play and were starting to get some really good feedback. All their efforts culminated in an NME (New Musical Express) front cover at the start of the year.

At that time there had still been no significant breakthrough with any national radio or television exposure and we all knew we would struggle to survive on press alone. In order to maintain the great press coverage they (the press) would need to see others pick up on the band……… and to get radio and television interested you needed the press, it was catch 22. We were at the crossroads, something needed to give. We needed to get that break otherwise it would be impossible to keep the momentum going.

I received some amazing news. Tony Hale the Radio One producer who was based in Manchester and therefore a contact of mine, loved the band. Were they available to record a session for the Peter Powell show? WERE THEY AVAILABLE……Damn right they were available! Around the same time, maybe a week or so sooner I got confirmation that Granada TV’s network kids show ‘Get it together’ wanted to book them. I couldn’t believe my luck….all my Christmas’s had come at once. I say luck but in all honesty I had been working hard on the band for most of the year, we all had and felt we deserved this break. This was the most significant result we’d had up until now from national radio and TV in the UK……..now we were really starting to get others to believe in them. At this point we were starting to think, just maybe…..