Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Despite some things getting twisted around in my Leader article, I'm excited that the article is demonstrating a big key point.  This is that I'm not just another amateur in my bedroom starting a kid’s station from my mp3 collection.  With another article in another paper, I feel much more empowered that I'm smashing this pre-conception with a nice big sledge-hammer.

Most importantly, the events of today are demonstrating that 2PR FM is a serious operation that is CONSISTENT and COMMITTED to its goals.  This has been since my first article that appeared on ZD Net back in November 2000, through to today's St George Leader.  I'll say this again, I"M IN THIS FOR A FULL POWER FM LICENSE, THIS IS NO BACK YARD OPPORATION.

I think it's becoming obvious that 2PR FM is going through another new phase; you don't know these things until you experience the thick of it.  Admitfully this month has been a real killer as my frank accounts have painted it.  Some of the posts give the impression that I wanted to chuck in the towel, as last week I was truly asking myself what the proverbial hell am I'm doing. These posts give an insight on what it is like living with asperger's.  I guess the reasons why I express some of the more solemn thoughts is to write about the human side of it, but also to describe the situations where others would get disillusioned and give up. 

As true to my word, I'm determined to make my dream come true.  I remember dreaming of being in a radio station way back in 1980, when I got my first Panasonic cassette recorder.  For god’s sake after 32 years, you can bet your life I'm not going to just give up like that.  Your dreams decide who you are as a person, only ones determination will define ones ultimate fate.


MOOD:  Not sure:

Wow, I think I'm nearly falling off my chair.  Things are happening, but I have to admit in a somewhat different form to how I expected them to happen, and my head is spinning.  I'm seeing blues, cyans, whites, yellows, oranges, and reds, but hang on, I'm not hallucinating.  And I haven't taken drugs, so you can call off the police raid, I don't have LSD in the place. 

But tongue and cheek aside, my article has finally appeared in the St George Leader, and just the very fact that it has so, is why I'm very pleased.  The only disappointment is that it is giving the impression that I want a free ride, as in wanting all the license fees waved, why that is DEFINITELY NOT TRUE.  I wish journalists would get their facts right before publishing.

I've always noted that recording artists need income to live on, and for recording their music.  Instruments, recording studios, touring, music publishing, and distribution all cost money, and recording artists need money to do this.  I have no problem paying license fees and royalties.  This has to work though on a constructive model of percentage of revenue, rather then crazy minimal fees that people with disabilities cannot afford.  This also relates to ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority).

I've noted in my submission that with some give and take, that a Class H license can raise just as much, if not more money for both artists and the government.  This is if the Class H Broadcaster's station is given the space and flexibility to grow.  

If the station is only making $500 a year, it would only need to pay $50.  However if the station is generating $500,000 of revenue, then its total fees would be $50,000 annually.  Note in both cases the fees are 10%.  This is broken down equally between the copyright collection societies and the broadcast authority, which I've detailed more in my submission.  For the sake of this blog will keep it simple.

So if we really get successful, and make as much money as a fully blown commercial FM station, which as a rough guess is about $18 million per annum, then the total fees would be $1.8 million.

So as demonstrated with the fee structure above, it's a win win for both the artists and government, and for the person with disabilities.   This is whether it is a person on a disability with a few local sponsors, or a person successful enough to have major advertisers. 

Admitfully the mix-up in the article has grilled me off, but I'll wait until the morning before writing anything to the papers editors.  I don't appreciate being made out that I want a free ride.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Donna Summer - My favourite pop idol dead at 63.

 MOOD:  Sad

 Well with me, it's a case of going to bed every night and sleeping as heavy as a rock.  That's why when I awoke at 3:40 this morning, something was amiss. 

With my radio tuned to ABC Newsradio, they have the BBC on over night, which can get shit boring, but its better then any of the alternatives, but that's another story for another day.  I awoke to the music of Donna Summer's "I feel love", and I thought for a moment, Newsradio playing music overnight, that is different. 

Then it came, like someone throwing a rock into my head, "Donna Summer, the queen of disco has died at the age of 63".  Oh, my god!, what?  By the time I was fully awake, the BBC were carrying on about another sad case story from Africa, but then within 10 minutes, the full story came, and I couldn't believe it.

So I guess with this I would take this opportunity to share with you, what Donna Summer meant to me as a kid in the 70s early 80s.  My first memory of her music was "Love to love you baby".  I remember hearing this on a family trip down to the south coast around the spring of 1975.  I still remember the somewhat overcast September day, and wondering what the hell this music was.  All I knew as a six year old that it sounded awesome, but I don't even think that word was yet in my vocabulary,

Through 1976 I was often picked up by a taxi, for taking me off to Charmer's Road school for special needs children in Strathfield.  The taxi driver always had 2UW on, and the trip always took around an hour.  With this I remember hearing "Could it be magic" being played heaps, along side other tracks as Abba's "Fernando", Cliff Richard's "Devil Woman", Sherbet's "Howzat", and Harpo's "Movie Star".

By 1977 2UW played "I feel love" often, but 1978 saw me go to a new school, with a new taxi driver, and of course him listening to 2SM.  This was the year when I got a transistor radio, the time when Donna Summer's "Last dance" was played to death, but it would be 1979 that would be her first impacting year.

In March 1979 I started compiling my own top 40 music charts every week.  By June "Hot Stuff was at the top of my charts, followed by "Bad Girls" in September, and "Sunset people in November 1979.  Though not a single, "Our love" was so good I charted it in February 1980, it came from her "Bad Girls" album.  At this time I was going to Tempe Primary School, and in late May, "On the Radio" would be her next charting single.  This track topped my chart the week when Tempe Primary School opened up its entire new section.  I can still remember all the new bright green carpets, orange and yellow decor, and mainly the concept that a school from the 1870's had been turned into school from the future, everything looked so modern.  September 1980 saw the release of the Pete Bellotte produced album "The Wanderer"; the title cut got to #4 on my charts during this time. 

It was at this time when I was regularly watching Countdown, and remembering the great teaser of 1981; Molly Meldrum hinting that she was about to release a new album.  As we know in hindsight, the album was cancelled, and eventually released several years later.  On an edition of Countdown Friday in early July 1982 I was again amazed.  Her next big hit, well at least for me, "Love is in Control" reached #2 in my charts, only to be locked out of the #1 position by Charlene's "I've never been to me".  She had some pretty heavy competition at the time as Goombay Dance Band's "Seven tears", Bucks Fizz's "My camera never lies", Tight Fit's "Fantasy island", and Ray Parker Jr's "The other woman" were all fighting it out in the top 5 portion of my chart.  

For someone that could have been easily written off as a disco "has been", her musical punching power was still right up there.  She then followed with "The woman in me" in October 1982 reaching #1 in my chart in early November.  "State of independence" is just another one of those tracks with a strong fond memory.  The first time I heard it was the day I moved bedrooms on Sunday 10th April 1983, when it was played on Donnie Sutherland's Sounds Unlimited.  Again though not an official single, the Springsteen penned "Protection" was another great track that charted in my top 40, reaching #13 in early June 1983.

August 1983 was another exciting time; it was when my family and I went on holidays.  We were visiting my parent’s country of birth and father's side of the family in the Netherlands for just over a month.  The day before we left, I heard Donna Summers "She works hard for the money" for the first time.  It was played on 2UW's Wacka MaCartney evening show. 

Reaching #2 in late October, "Unconditional love" was her next big hit on my charts; it featured musical youth as backing vocals.  It was kept from #1 by Taco's "Dancing cheek to cheek", and was facing heavy competition from the likes of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature", Bucks Fizz's "The rules of the game", Michael Sembello's "Maniac", Tim Finn's "Made my day", and Australian Crawl's "Reckless".  Not a single, but also appearing on my charts was "Stop look and listen" in December 1983, and "Love has a mind of its own" in March 1984.

Late 1984 saw the release of "Cats without claws", which was an album that rapidly saw the great talents of Summer going down the hill.  The album was shockingly boring, and this is from a true fan.  "All systems go" was released sometime in late 1986, possibly 1987, but by this time, she was completely off my charts, and off the radar of mid 80's pop culture, it seemed at this time she was definitely finished. 

She would have another few surprises in store, when in August 1989 she released the album "Another place and time".  It gave her another #1 hit on my top 40, "This time I know it's for real", and "I don't want to get hurt" which reached #9 in late November.  The album including these two tracks was produced by Stock Aitken and Waterman.  As I confess to being an S A W fan, even the mixture of my favourite producers and artist could not unfortunately save the rest of this album from being very lack-luster. 

The last piece of musical brilliance came in February 1993, when she once again teamed up with her old producer, Giorgio Moroder with "Carry on".  It was a smash on my chart, reaching #1 for three weeks.  It was refreshing to hear that 80s disco sound, when early 90s alternative and hip-hop was destroying top 40 music.  

Sometime around late 1994, she released the moderately enjoyable "Melody of love", but it was at this time when Summer's talents were best looked upon as in retrospect, rather then a contemporary.  By this time, mid nineties dance like The Real McCoy, E-Rotic, JX, Jocelyn Brown, Motiv8, Gina G, Culture Beat, and similar sounding Euro-dance artists were filling my charts, and the 70s 80s disco sound was long retired.

So with a lifetime of memories and music behind her, I say "Rest in Piece" Donna Summer.  She was the inspiration that first got me into liking pop music in 1975.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Something is wrong, this is not normal!

MOOD:  Lost

As some of you out there might be aware, I've been running the "Save Sydney Radio" Campaign over the best part of two weeks, and rapidly heading for the third. 

Like anything, I've tried my best at getting the word out with the limited resources that I've got.  This has included several reminders on Facebook, but where does one draw the line.  One doesn't want to annoy his group of friends with repeated reminders; it could even be looked upon as spam.  With only one letter of support, it was apparent that I was doing something wrong at my end.  I e-mailed my two brothers, and asked them if they could please politely pass on the campaign e-mail to as many people as they know.

On Thursday 11th May, I had some journalists visit me from the St George Sutherland Leader, who seemed very interested in 2PR FM.  It was a great feeling knowing that I was going to get my message out; at least in the local paper anyway, this would have been a start. 

Eagerly I've checked both this week's editions of the leader, (Tuesdays and Thursdays).  With a fine toothcomb, every page was checked and there was not even a mention of my campaign or myself anywhere.

At the same time, I've also been trying to arrange meetings with Sen Steven Conroy, as noted in my earlier blogs, and of this week, have tried arranging some meetings with ACMA.

I also spoke to ABC's Ramp Up, which is a dedicated section to people with disabilities.  They noted that they could not publish anything about my endeavours, because it was a conflict of interest.  I guess when I think about it, it is fair to a degree, they don't want to be cannibalising their listeners by promoting another listening source.  Still though, this is ridiculous, these are my tax paying dollars going to the ABC, it is their responsibility to report disability issues.  

What has got me really worried and concerned is that aside from one support letter, (thank you Belinda), I've got no other e-mails, no phone calls, no letters, absolutely nothing.  All I know at the end of the day is that this is not normal.

In a last final ditch effort yesterday, I rang the Leader to find out how much a front page Advertisement would cost.  I was thinking around $500 to $1,000 for a community newspaper.  If this was the case, I might have been able to do it with the help of some friends.  Upon speaking to the salesman, I was immediately informed that it would cost $3,000, and that they have all their slots for the most part filled for the year.

So being very blunt and straight to the point, yes, I feel that I'm in a cocoon, and even with the sledge hammer that I've got, I can't seem to smash myself out of it.  It doesn't matter how hard I try.  Many people today for some reason dislike face-to-face meetings; it seems everything needs to be done via e-mail, by twitter, facebook, and sometime a phone call. 

If one has the time, I came across this page yesterday, and apparently the feelings I've got are very common with several other Asperger Syndrome Sufferers.  Yes, I did mention the work "Sufferers", I don't know what it will take to change this situation.


At the end of the day, I feel like I'm being avoided like the bad husband that's beaten his wife, gambled the money away, or to a more severe nature, a child abuser.  I guess the question I want to pose is, has social etiquette become so finicky; one now has to learn a PhD in order of living a sane life-style?    

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's January in May

MOOD:  Yawning

It was a few days ago, when I unofficially got my lobbying campaign started off for 2PR FM.  Today was when everything kicked off officially, with new announcements going to air on 2PR from tomorrow, and press releases going out today to the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, and only moments ago, to the St George Leader.

Running like an athlete it feels like everything is in full motion, but oh god, again, it's like something is missing, the absence of momentum, adrenalin, the reaction, it's just total silence. 

It feels like the first week of January, you know the kind when everybody is hung over from New Year's Eve, and no-one seems to be reachable.  It's the sense of trying so hard to do something, and it's almost like reaching out from the bottom of a long deep canyon.

Trying to get the message out, I also tried posting some material to the Asperger's Support Group, DTV Forums, and just for the hell of it, the Vogue forums.  I was unable to get through to none of them, two of which I think were already noting my material as spam. 

Yes, the key word "Spam", which is the word I'm speaking of today; it's used so easily, but maybe overwhelmingly too easily.   It's kind of difficult seeing that my efforts of lobbying for my radio station, are being compared to things like fake lottery wins, Nigerian scammers, and all the other rubbish associated with the word "Spam".

What I'm feeling again today relates directly to the blog I wrote in December 2010 titled "Out of mind, Out of sight".  It's the principle in which it doesn't matter how hard one tries; they'll never break through that cast iron psychological wall that society throws up at them.  Living with Asperger's Syndrome is a virtual prison. 

It was kind of funny today when I was going along doing my stuff.  I felt like the bank robber, but actually just trying to do something good.  Imagine the guards that go up protecting the bank teller in a flash, this image reappeared several times in my mind today. 

I just don't know what it is.  As enthusiastic as I am about something, I feel like I'm forever swimming in this strange kind of muddy swamp where it's just impossible to get anything done.  

I just can't emphasise enough how important it is to have contacts in the right area, without them, I feel like I'm pushing mud up a hill.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Never-Ending Wall of Silence Continues.


2PR FM's lobbying page went live today, around about 2:00 in the after noon.  It was quite a good feeling, finally getting to that stage, it took about three full days to prepare the material, and publish it.

Just feeling somewhat boxed in though.  I'm trying to get the message out.  It feels like I'm screaming at the top of my lungs, but no-one is hearing me.  My facebook posts are going unanswered, and ringing the people I know results in answering machines.  This world seems so busy, busy, busy, ul well.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Licensing Grind Continues!


It's a brilliant bright and cheery day outside, pretty good for this time of year, blue skies, green trees, and 20 degree sunshine.  It's best described as heaven on a stick, but until I get 2PR FM on the air, it feels like another ground hog day. 

After brekky this morning, it was time to strike the powers of parliament with another letter, relating to the pressing need for change in the radio broadcasting acts.  When my submission was finished last year, one of the first people I fired it off to was Steven Conroy, who is the Minister for Broadband, Communications, Digital Economies, and blah blah blah, you get the jist.    That was sent around early November from memory; I would have to look up my records, but heard nothing back for weeks, which was promising in a way.  I thought for that time, they would actually be looking into it, taking my concerns seriously. but low and behold, two days before Christmas, just before the whole world shuts down for the month of January, I got one of the best "COP OUT" letters ever written.  It simply stated the Broadcasting Act, merely more to the point of just shoving it down my throat.  At this point I was somewhat perplexed on the reply, thinking that I had covered all angles of a submission the ACMA would have to consider for licensing a radio station.  The frustrating part was the reply had mentioned absolutely nothing, not even a hint that they received my Class H License submission. 

January was much swimming in the sun and exercise.  Early February came, time to re-fire the radio licensing thing for 2012.  During February, I continued digitising the 60s portion of my music collection.  When I became bobby socked out and somewhat sick of the 60s, by early April I started concentrating on the submission. 

Rather then looking into the issues of the music industry, I decided to look into the Australian Radio scene, of most relevance, what was happening in Sydney.  Browsing through much documentation, I soon learned that an organisation called Commercial Radio Australia (a lobby group that represents the commercial radio stations of Australia), was pushing hard to have legislation their way.  As in my last blog, this was in relation to an unethical moratorium, that blocks out any new competitors from getting a license in the Sydney region until May 2015.

Without rejigging all the points in my previous blog, the main issue of the letter I sent to Mr Conroy today, was to challenge the word "valuable" when talking about a full power analog license.  The word "valuable" is currently being interpreted as the geographic reach, amount of listeners in coverage area, and potential income such a license can raise through advertising.

I made it clear in the letter that value can not be based on music taste, as this is a purely subjective argument, but rather more on the true mess of the situation, which is six music FM stations, all rotating the same 300 songs over and over.  My point of argument being WHAT VALUE IS THE LISTENER GETTING?

When judging who is going to get a license, I would think that a listener would get much more of a listening value from a station that plays an array of music, from a playlist of over 20,000 tracks.  This is in comparison to the same 300 songs that get repeated and played over and over.  This is considering that the FM Spectrum is a very precious resource, and the current commercial stations using the spectrum are squandering it for their own benefits, and not the listener.  

The aim of the letter was to ask Mr Conroy for a meeting, as many of these concerns can not be simply ignored.  I'm on some forums that speak volumes on what a mess Sydney radio is, simply for the reasons mentioned above.  At the end of writing this blog, I checked my e-mail one more time, to see if there was a reply.  Amongst the scammers, viagra rubbish, and usual spam, again, there was absolutely nothing.