The life of a ‘Rock Jock’ – using tech to get an exclusive

Staff Writer

Adelaide radio legend David ‘Daisy’ Day has written a terrific autobiography called ‘Rock Jock’.

Daisy has given Radio Today exclusive rights to publish excerpts from ‘Rock Jock’. Read part 1 and Greg Smith's chat with him here, read part 2 about the unique way Friday drinks happened in the 80s here, part 3 about his big break is here, part 4 is about crack-ups here.

Below, in part 5, find out how legendary tech Des DeCean used a new piece of equipment to help Daisy get many exclusive interviews. Very funny……

Let me tell you a wonderful story about a young Des DeCean (left), who was a technical engineer at 5KA and then became National Chief Engineer of the Austereo network.

He built from the ground up radio stations like SAFM, 2DAY FM, B105 FM, FOX FM, Triple M, and many others across the country. Des and I were the two longest-serving members of Austereo. (He’s beating me by about five years now, although he’s just retired. His son Shane is a tech at Austereo Adelaide, and he’s planning on getting his son there too. Now that’s dedication.)

Any road, I fear electricity. Annette changes the light globes at home. Des has no fear of electricity. Well he didn’t seem to have. 5KA had Studio Three—the Metropolitan pub—out the back of the building, in Gouger Street. If you couldn’t find people in the office, you rang Studio Three and normally found them there.

I had a technical problem one Friday night, and Des staggered back in from Studio Three to solve it. I’m still live-to-air, and there’s Des working right up close beside me with a screwdriver, fixing up a fucked turntable while electrical sparks were flashing all around me.

Des was also the brains behind the fact that most times 5KA had exclusive interviews with visiting stars at the airport. This is why. There was an interview room set aside for visiting celebrities at the old Adelaide airport. Radio, television and print would line up for their respective interviews.

When I was off to interview Thin Lizzy, who’d arrived for a concert that night, Des said to me, ‘Just hang back, Daisy, and push this little red button at the side of the recorder here. Then do your thing when the others have finished. Oh, by the way, don’t push the button when you’re doing your interview.’

So off I went, armed with secret intelligence from Des that I didn’t understand. Des was Q, and I was James Bond with a new toy. I hung back while the interviews took place, with my finger on the little red button, only to notice that the video games in the area, Tic Tac Toe and Space Invaders, were going crazy. Shit, I thought, ‘Des, what have you done? What’s this doing to the planes trying to take off and land?’

It turned out that when I held that little red button down, all interviews being conducted had intense electrical interference on the tape when the interviewer arrived back at work to put it to air.

That little James Bond gadget got me many an ‘exclusive’. But I was always worried about those pilots trying to take off.

Daisy’s book is available from for $25.00 plus postage and handling. It’s a must read.

We'll have more excerpts soon on Radio Today.


** read more from Des DeCean here

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