The life of a ‘Rock Jock’
It’s a wonderful warts & all account of his drama filled life, from his days of growing up in a small New South Wales rural town to becoming a top Adelaide DJ.
Daisy partied harder than his rock star mates.
Daisy’s book is available from www.youviewaustralia.com.au for $25.00 plus postage and handling. It’s a must read.
Greg: Daisy, congratulations on your book. What inspired you to tell your life story?
Daisy: Well there’s millions of books about rock stars and music groups and the music industry but I’ve never seen a story of the music industry from the other side of the mic. The side that brought the bands and the fans together before the days of social media. Jocks really were the ‘social media’ of the day. My [our] access to rock stars in the 70’s and 80’s was pretty free and easy. Now a band will come into the country, do one national interview and that’s it. I thought my stories would give a great insight to some of the stars I met and some I partied with. Plus those really early days of radio and television were truly revolutionary, exciting and ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ entertainment.
I really enjoyed writing the book as I saw it as an extension of my creative radio days where creativity has always been my passion. I also teach creativity thanks to a bloke called Mr. Smith who wet my whistle many years ago…
Greg: How difficult was it to write and did you leave anything out?
Daisy: Everything is there warts and all and why shouldn’t it be. I have read some autobiographies’ in the past and I’ve thought…’oh they are trying to make themselves out to be saints or something’. I once read James Freud’s [The Models] book and I thought it was so open and honest and a truly insightful read. I thought if I ever did mine I’d do the same.
Also over the years I had so many people say you should write a book…you’d have so many stories to tell. I also wrote it in a ‘novel’ style about my family history, my upbringing and what gave me the passion for what I ended up doing. There’s a lot of early Australiana in there too and family history especially for my children and their children. Because my health issues were such a big part of my life they needed to be there. I will point out though I still would have ended up with the same health issue even if I was a priest. My problems are inherited and have run in the family for centuries. Most of my family died around age 56 from kidney and heart failure. I’m 62 so I’ve done alright. Modern medicine has been my saviour.
Greg: If you had your life to live over again, what would you do differently?
Daisy: Nothing…..everything would have been the same. I’ve had an exciting wonderful life with loads of kids and grandkids and I think everything that happened to me made me what I am….whatever that is. I’m also one of those weird blokes where Christmas time is shared with all the wives and all the in laws from the past…that’s a hoot.
Greg: What’s the response to ‘Rock Jock’ been like so far?
Daisy: You know I got one for the ‘Jocks’ there who are sometimes treated as bimbos…just like footballers. There’s that ‘Oh I didn’t know you could write’. When you look at it, it’s what we jocks do except in radio we write and edit. It was wonderful to write and fill it out further. The number one response has been ‘It was like you were sitting there and talking to me…..sounds like the art of radio to me….one on one communication that young up and coming jocks should never forget.
Greg: Daisy has given Radio Today exclusive rights to publish excerpts from ‘Rock Jock’. Here's part 1 :-
Radio in the ’70s and ’80s was fabulous. Free clothes. Free t-shirts. Free CDs. Free lunches. Free grog. Free cars. Free drugs if you did them. Free concerts. Even free chicks: at Adelaide’s 5KA we truly had a gold card to a massage parlour in Gouger Street. Obviously as 5KA was owned by a religious organisation, the existence of the gold card was contained in-house among just a few announcers and news readers. Could you imagine the church service live-to-air on a Sunday night and a preacher makes the announcement, ‘And the winner this week of free fun in the whorehouse is …’?
And there was always plenty of money to splash around, especially when you didn’t have to pay for much except rent, phone and gas or electricity. I’m on a pension now. Just like that famous line in the Cold Chisel song, ‘Cheap Wine’, ‘I pissed my money up against the wall’, but Hell, what a great time was had by all.
We'll have more excerpts soon on Radio Today.
Greg Smith is an inductee into the Australian Radio Hall of Fame, and a Director of Radio Today.