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My Radio History

80's Pirate Radio Stations

Back in the eighties there were many pirate radio stations broadcasting in the city of Amsterdam like:

A.Q.S. Radio 91.2 MHz. FM
Radio Disco Action 90.5 MHz. FM
Satellite Radio 104.8 MHz. FM
W.A.P.S 91.2 MHz. FM

Radio Sjuul 97.6 MHz. FM
Radio Decibel 96.2 MHz. FM
Radio Unique 98.1 Mhz. FM
Radio Amsterdam Noord 88.8 MHz. FM
Radio Studio Action 93.8 MHz. FM
Radio M.O.B.B.A.
LaserFM 95.8 MHz.

and many more........

I used to be a DJ on most of these radio stations between 1980 and 1986.
A brief history on my radio career........

M.O.B.B.A. - Radio Frisbee - Radio Achilles
At the age of thirteen I met Marcel (Boom) on the CB (27 MHz) and we became close friends.
Marcel owned a wireless microphone and we played around with that, playing music on my cassette recorder and holding the microphone next to it.

Only a few people could hear our first broadcasts but we had great fun. We called our station M.O.B.B.A. (Marcel, Oscar, Boom, Brown, Amsterdam) because we had named ourselves Marcel Boom and Oscar Brown ;-)

We changed names a few times from M.O.B.B.A. to Radio Frisbee, and Radio Achilles (because our studio was at the corner of the street called Achillesstraat and the van Tuyll van Serooskerkenweg)

After we got possessed with the radio virus we decided to buy a 5 WATT (Stentor) transmitter at Radio Lenssen in Amsterdam and hooked that up to a normal antenna which was placed on the roof of my parent’s home in Amsterdam (van Tuyll van Serooskerkenweg)
Stentors were not really known for their stability but we enjoyed it and people started to listen to us around the neighborhood. We even got more DJ’s like René Sinnamon, Johnny Knight and Erik.

Because the Stentor wasn’t really a great stable transmitter we decided to have one build by the transmitter builder from another station called Radio Calypso who was owned by the brother of a friend from school.

Radio Calypso only used very small transmitters because they broke in to the Amsterdam cable (KTA) which had their antennas set up on the Okura Hotel.

So we ended up with a custom build 1 WATT transmitter with which we tried to brake in on the KTA too but because the studio was too far away from the Okura Hotel that didn’t work.

Radio Megawatt
Because of money issues I decided to join Radio Megawatt and keep my own station just for fun.
Radio Megawatt had a small studio in the garage box of a flat on the Loosduinstraat if I remember correctly.
This station didn’t really get off the ground.


Radio Amsterdam Noord
Meanwhile I listened to Radio Amsterdam Noord 88.8 MHz and I applied for a DJ position and got hired.

Radio Amsterdam Noord was owned by Chris and he had the studio in his own home on the Rietwijkerstraat.

R.A.N. mainly played TOP 40 and Dutch music and used the KTA cable network for transmitting which was hooked up with phone lines instead of a transmitter.


Radio Disco Action
While I really enjoyed my time with R.A.N. my musical taste began to change to American Import, Soul, Funk and Disco. So I started to listen to Radio Disco Action on 90.5 MHz.

After some time I decided to try to get a DJ position there, I applied, came over to the studio in the Weissenbruchstraat to make a demo tape and got hired.

I can still remember my first program on R.D.A., it was on a Saturday morning from 10 till 12 A.M. and I was still called Oscar Brown then.
When my program ended, the well known Benny Brown should start his show at 12 but he didn’t show up.
……afterwards I got the reason why…..he thought I stole his last name Brown and he didn’t like that.

So that was the day my name changed from Oscar Brown to Oscar Davis, a name I still use today. A nice anecdote is that I got the name Davis from just opening the Amsterdam Phonebook and selection the first name I came across.

Because the studio got more known to people R.D.A. had to move to a new location and we moved to the Spaarndammerdijk to a huge studio on the 4th floor of an apartments building.


Radio Studio Action
When I was a DJ at R.D.A. I came across Radio Studio Action 93.8 MHz and always listened to the amount of fun the DJ’s were having and every half hour there was the famous “Phone Inn”.

Radio Studio Action wasn’t one of the most professional stations around…but man….did they have fun……this fun intrigued me and I applied with a demo tape.

Afterwards I heard I was the first and only one who ever did send in a demo tape. I got hired and had the time of my life there.

People could come over to the studio at the van Rensselaerstraat if they wanted, there were roof parties in the summer.

At one point we even got an empty store at the van Rensselaerstraat in which we built our studio and gave parties too.


Radio Sjuul
After a while I wanted something new and applied at one of the bigger stations in Amsterdam, Radio Sjuul 97.6 MHz and to my surprise I got hired there.

I had to start from 06:00 to 09:00 in the morning and had to be in the studio on the de Da Costakade even earlier.

After one program I knew that my roots were not with Radio Sjuul and I stop immediately.


W.A.P.S.
After the disappointment from Radio Sjuul I had set my goal on W.A.P.S. 91.2 MHz and applied there and got hired.

I started out with a night program on Saturday’s from 10 till 12 P.M.

They had their studio on the Amstel and a few 100 meters further up the road the transmitter was set up.

Barry Pitch and Eugene de Bruin were the owners and they also played at the Flora Palace in the Amstelstraat so that was the place to go after my show’s on W.A.P.S.

Because the studio got known by too many people they had to move to a new location in the old Emma Kinder ziekenhuis on the Sarphatistraat.

We had built a huge antenna (18 to 20 meters) there that sadly only lasted a few days before it was cut down by some guys from another radio station.

Because W.A.P.S. was trying to get a legal status they stopped their illegal transmissions somewhere in 1984.


Radio Sequence
After W.A.P.S. stopped I thought it was time to re-start my own station and this became Radio Sequence.

With some sponsoring from Attalos Records (for records) we hit it off on a Friday night and played non-stop till the Sunday evening.

I hired some old Studio Action DJ’s some W.A.P.S. DJ’s and some friends who were DJ’s earlier on my first station(s).

After this first official weekend of Radio Sequence I got a call from one of the former owners of W.A.P.S. He wanted to know if I was interested in a joint venture between Radio Sequence and W.A.P.S. We met up on the Leidseplein and came up with A.Q.S Radio.


A.Q.S. Radio
This Radio station was a joined venture between Radio Sequence and the old W.A.P.S. DJ's and lasted for almost two years.

Our transmitter was located at the best location you can imagine, in the middle of Amsterdam on the Single.

We used a wireless connection from the studio so the studio wouldn’t get caught if the transmitter was taken out of air.

A.Q.S. Radio used to play American Import (now called Old School) which filled the legendary 91.2 MHz. every week with the best U.S.A. Import around.

These records came from stores like Attalos Import Records and Rhythm Import.

After the first weekend in our new studio in the building of the Barbells Gym on the Eerste Weteringdwarsstraat all our records got stolen and we had to move the studio to a new location on the Molukkenstraat.

A.Q.S. only lasted for a few weeks in this new studio because serious threats were made to my co-owner and this made him decided to stop with A.Q.S.

I wanted to continue A.Q.S. and we moved again, this time to old R.D.A. studio on the Spaarndammerdijk.

Unfortunately a few weeks after we moved in all our equipment got stolen again, but this time someone wrote down the license plate number of the car involved and we got all our things back.

So again we had to move to a new studio location, this time on the Solostraat.

After many break-in's, where all the equipment got stolen and the last time we were taken out of the air by the R.C.D, I decided to stop my radio career (which later seemed to be just in time).

Less than six months after this, the raid on illegal radio stations started and people even got lifted out of their bed at home and the Dutch IRS filed a few claims for playing commercials and failing to pay any taxes.

Sadly these measures brought the Amsterdam pirate radio stations to a halt.


Power-Vizion
Years later at the end of 2001 I was contacted by Marc Sanders who I knew from Radio Studio Action and Radio Disco Action

He was the one building the transmitters for Radio Sequence and A.Q.S.

He wanted to know if I was interested in setting up a new station called Power-Vizion.

This station had it's studio at the Hembrugstraat and the transmitters on a flat in Langswater Osdorp.

Besides a test transmission Power-Vizion never really went live.
After this test weekend I stopped and Power-Vizion also stopped.


LaserFM
The last time I was on air was on LaserFM end of 2002.

I was asked to join LaserFM by Berry de Bruin who I knew from back in 1985 and who I helped out setting up a radio station in Haarlem.

LaserFM transmitted (as one of the last pirate radio stations) on 95.8 MHz. FM Stereo and played Dance, Old School and R&B.

Because the studio in Amsterdam Noord was caught by the Division Telecom we had to move to the Overtoom.

The risk of getting caught was much greater now we had to place the transmitter on a different location every weekend and had to remove it from there each Sunday again.

After a few months I couldn't find the time to stay with LaserFM and stopped January 2003.


A.Q.S. Radio Web radio
At the end of 2004 the radio bug acted up again and I started experimenting with web radio (trough Shoutcast)

I successfully kept A.Q.S. on the Internet until the end of 2006 and stopped because of lack of funding (internet connection, streaming servers etc.)


ClassicFreaks.Com Web radio
Shortly after I stopped with A.Q.S Web radio the guys from ClassicFreaks.Com contacted me if I was interested in joining them, which I did. Sadly I didn’t have enough time to continue this and at the end of January 2007 I stopped.

To be continued?.........

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