The Radio Works

7 02 2011

I have been trying to piece together some of my personal history, and usually that’s not difficult, a little Googling usually reveals a few interesting sites which fill in vague memories, but oddly enough, not this time… in fact a whole chunk of my life seems, according to the internet, like it didn’t happen.

After I left High School, I attended a Radio School, Since I wanted to be one of those strange people who lock themselves up in a little room all night and tell funnies between playing records… which isn’t much different to what I do now.

Civilians might be interested to learn that there are schools for this, which is probably not much further up the rung from Clown school… They teach useful things like how to yak into a microphone without spitting on it, and advanced knob-twiddling.

We were taught how to read serious news with a serious news voice. and also how to write adverts, make them into something that plays for exactly thirty seconds and put them on carts.

Carts, for the kids born this century, are a bizarre audio cassette thing that never need rewinding, I never did understand how that was possible, Yes I know the tape was looped on the inside, but my wolf brain couldn’t understand how.

So anyway, I joined this radio school, called The Radio Works, which was near HSV7 in Coventry Street, South Melbourne. I spent about three years there. About two years into my education, we moved to South Yarra.

My Classmates, who I mostly new by first name only, included Barry, who emigrated from England, Kevin, who was with the RAAF at the time and would often come dressed in uniform, Bethany Lee, Who was the voice of Val Morgan cinema advertising during the 80’s… anyone who had seen a movie in Melbourne during that decade had heard her voice. And Fiona, Who had aspirations of having a music program, but found, much to her own dissatisfaction, that She was a great news reader… She eventually landed a job with Macquarie News in the late 80’s.

Now here’s the problem.

When I Google, I find little or no information about any of this, it’s almost like I’m in an episode of The Twilight Zone where I had actually been drugged for the entire time and have only imagined that part of my life.

There is next to nothing on Chris Heaney of 3XY (Our Teacher), But there is some suggestion that he worked with 3AW for a while here in Melbourne, I know that he was originally from South Australia, but there’s bugger all on the internet about him.

And It’s curious that despite 3XY being a big name in 70’s and 80’s rock radio in Melbourne, that there is almost no information on wikipedia about it, only after its transitional stage when it was renamed and beyond. Why was so
much history glossed over.

Chris took the class for a look one night, and I remember that Shirl was on the air, Yes, That bloke from Skyhooks, He was with someone else, whose name escapes me, sorry. I remember that some girls came in that night and handed Shirl a big bunch of flowers, I think it might have been his Birthday. Later He came out and chatted to us, He was charming and very down to earth… but I froze because I was such a shy little flower at the time… hard to believe, I know.

Steve Dale was the other teacher at the school, he was working with FOX FM at the time, I really liked Steve, He was a very easy-going bloke, I think He’s still on FM radio in Melbourne today.

It strikes me as odd that these guys have very little trace online, at least I can’t find much, most media people seem to have a webpage, an account with linked in, or at least a Facebook page… although, there were quite a lot of Facebook users called Chris (Christopher) Heaney… It would be useful if we could adjust our search for Facebook users by locality, Haven’t they considered that?

There’s nothing on The Radio Works, when I google it, I’m directed to my own blogs and webpages where I had made mention of it, it’s as if the school never existed, but I did in fact go there and I learnt all I needed to know about knob twiddling, and when it is and isn’t appropriate.

I’m sure someone must know something about the School, or know one of the students, or indeed was a student themselves back in the class of 1986.

So, If you know anything, anything at all, I’d love to hear from you, Please leave a comment below.



* Not the actress, Bethany Lee, from Australian TV.

Update: I just found that 3XY has a Facebook page. 🙂