Geoff G TurnerIn 1991, before I became involved in the wargames club in Tamworth, I joined 2 YOU FM, a communtiy radio station that, at the time, had its studio in the main street of the city. It offered a variety of programs, including country music, religion, easy listening, foreign language (French, German, Greek and Italian) and local affairs. My involvement started as a result of a listener survey. When I indicated that I was interested in joining, I received a call and commenced training after paying a membership fee.

I don't remember much about the training period except that there was a manual that we had to read through, which covered paneling, radio etiquette and how to use various machines in the studios. There was a test, which I easily passed, and my first solo show was a three hour easy listening program, which lead up to the 'Drive Time' show, a two hour broadcast starting at 4pm on weekdays which featured more current music. The first track I played was The Breakfast Club's Right on Track. However, I mistakingly put the B-side side on and listeners got the instrumental version instead.

I also volunteered in the office, in order to get some work experience, and looked after the mail, catalogued new (and old) material, made sure there was enough logging cassesttes to record the shows (in case there were any discrepencies), learned how to schedule promos and advertisements, and even wrote material for the station's newsletter. As for shows, I had the regular three hour program, which at some point got extended to five seeing I ended up doing Drive Time as well. I even did the Monday morning breakfast shift for a year, and let off some steam with the Saturday night shows. I had regular guests, which mostly consisted of the cadre of gamers from the wargames club, and those nights became a lot of fun, especially when we presented heavy metal specials.

In hindsight, my biggest mistake was running for the board that governed the station. Initially it wasn't too bad, but I gradually discovered that the station was made up of factions, and each of them had their own agenda as to how the station was to operate. Around this time, the rock/youth faction gained numbers and were taking extra shifts away from other sections. With mum being diagnosed with cancer during this time, things deteriorated, including my mental health, and with me having to fill in for a lot of other presenters (local affairs, country music, christian and even the German language show) something had to give, and I eventually wound up resigning from the board and went back to just being a presenter, after taking a break for a few weeks.

My last stint on air was a Thursday night rock classics show in January 1998. By this time I had just started work at the Tamworth Base Hospital and was finishing up at the West Tamworth Leagues Club. The last song I played was Graham Bonnet's It's all over now, baby blue. All up, I had presented over 550 shows, somewhere in the order of 1,500 hours of broadcasting time.

By the end of the year though, after I had wound up on the Central Coast, I got involved with 2 CCC FM, a community radio station based in Gosford. This time I vowed not to get involved in the politics, or broadcasting, and just volunteered in the office. My scheduling experience was put to good use, and I also took care of the library as well.

What I soon discovered, was that the situation wasn't much better at this station either. There were factions there as well, and radio presenters there had inflated egos much like in Tamworth. I had a falling out with some of the management and senior staff, and promptly left them as well. My stint there lasted about nine months. I guess I just wasn't in the right headspace at the time.

It wasn't all bad. I met a lot of strange and interesting people. I enjoyed presenting shows and seemed to have a natural ability for it. It gave me another avenue for a career, even if nothing eventuated from it. My CD collection grew as my tastes in music widened, mostly thanks to the material being sent to the stations. There were a few perks, such as gaining free admission to see touring bands and the occasional promotional CD. I conducted or sat in on a few radio interviews for Australian/NZ performers, such as The Dukes, Margaret Urlich, and Greedy Smith from Mental as Anything, which was my favourite band at the time. I even met my first girlfriend at an outdoor broadcast, the very one which was promoted in the newspaper article at the top of the page. It was also kinda sweet to have a little cult following in the community for a while.

Some of my shows were recorded, and I have managed to transfer a few onto CD. At some point, I'll upload some segments, once I've converted them to MP3s.

16 June, 2019