Rick Dane Tribute

This includes Radio Free Liverpool,  Atlantis and Central Radio.



Acknowledgements to Gary Hogg, Brian Grant and Jim Brown for the use of recorded material.

Rick Dane's last show can be heard at www.centralradio.info

Earlier recordings are on the DX Archive website

Check out the official RJN site www.rjn.me.uk/




Eric Haydock, known on the Merseyside free radio scene for many years as Rick Dane has died on Saturday 16th November 2002.

Rick was best known for the long running Radio Jackie North * , a Medium Wave Rock station which was on air in the mid 1980's with Rick Dane, Steve Bishop and other DJ's.  His most recent radio shows were on Central Radio (Merseyside) around Christmas 2001.  Central have done several tribute broadcasts.

Any further tributes can be sent to me  for inclusion in this section or leave a message in the Rick Dane forum . 

Jim Lowe

* More audio extracts may be found at the DX Archive website  CLICK HERE


Here are more tributes from:

 Brian Grant   Steve Leyland   Phill Allman   The Late Steve Owen   Chris  Roberts  John Foster

Brian Grant

"This is a very sad day for Liverpool's pirate radio community. Rick was one of my idols. I met him once at JB's in 1982 when he was a long haired hippy. That is the way I will remember him.

Rick was also a great supporter of our efforts to keep the airwaves open and free here in North Liverpool. Our sympathies and thoughts go out to Ricks family and loved ones.

God bless Rick! You truly were a Mersey Pirate and all the DJ's from Central Radio will remember you with the utmost respect and love."

Brian Grant (Central FM)

Steve Leyland

"I first met Rick Dane when I went to one of his rock nights at a nightclub in Tuebrook around 1980. He had all the rockers dancing:-)

I had heard him on Radio Jackie North complaining that he had no help, so I gave him my phone number and offered to help.

A while later, he called me, said to meet him at his new gig in Matthew Street, the old Eric's club over the road from the cavern. It was renamed as RJN's Cavern at the time. He put me on the decks for a while and disappeared with a sexy young lady. The very next weekend I was on the air as Steve West on RJN!

At that time it was in some tower blocks on the outskirts of Liverpool, and those blocks were in a state of extreme decay...most flats were empty and boarded up. But Rick had it all sorted, he had keys to the lift shaft and the roof. I'll never forget the time we were putting up a thin wire aerial between the roofs of the two blocks (you FM dudes won't remember the old thin wires for Medium Wave), and he pulled in too much slack.  I had to hang over the edge of a 23 floor building to save it from snapping! But it had taken a half hour to get that damn wire up there, and we were due on the air!  I've been scared of heights ever since...

Rick always used to talk about the early days when he was doing pirate radio in the fields using car batteries and aerials in trees. In those days the GPO (as it was then) used to come out every weekend after him. And the even earlier days when he listened to Radio Caroline and got his inspiration for free radio.

The airwaves will be a much sadder place without him.

R.I.P. my old mate, and thank you for the music.  Radio Jackie North is now closing down. but its playing loud and strong in heaven."

Steve Leyland

Phill Allman

"I've only recently heard the sad news of the passing of our friend Eric. 

I was involved with the station in the late 70's early 80's and have many fond memories of Eric and the station.

There aren't many who can boast 33 years in the land based pirate world.

Bless you Eric, Spirit of the radio."

Phill Alman

The Late Steve Owen 

I met him a long time ago back in 1973.  He is a good friend of Martins, as they used to chat quite a bit about RJN, among other things.

I met him again later in around 1983/84 when he visited Station M in the old tin hut just around the corner from the old Unit 4 cinema in Wallasey.  He  was with "Steven Bishop". 

From memory, he came to complain to the late (Bob) Tom Lodge that SMI, (Station M International) was splattering across  217m 1386 khz.  Bishop didn't say very much,but Eric (Rick) was in a serious mood!  Not sure why but some one had upset him on that day, but all was resolved in a friendly manor.

He's was ok sort of a guy and will definitely be missed by all pirates across Merseyside, as well as other stations he's produced programs for.

."May he rest in peace and always be in our hearts and minds for all eternity-God Bless you Eric!".

Steve Owen. (Jan Van Jeager) Died in 2006.

Chris Roberts writes:

"I've just read of the sad loss of Rick Dane and was immediately transported back to the days of 1974 or maybe 1975. I was 15 or 16.

Before Radio Jackie North was Radio Free Liverpool on 217 meters mediumwave. The exact frequency was 1385 kHz and Eric Day, as he was known, was the voice of the station. It was never very strong on the Wirral and operated often from Knowsley and Maghull areas. An external aerial or a decent radio was need for good reception, but it could be heard from about midday to 3 or 4 PM most Sundays.

I got in touch with him. Being involved in Radio Free Wirral on 214 metres for I somehow managed to blag me and a mate onto a Saturday transmission expedition after a few phone calls. It had been decided to try Radio Free Liverpool from the Wirral instead and Eric had an idea where he wanted to try. He wanted a site where he had clear sight of Liverpool, but find some trees.

He picked a layby between Storeton Woods and Clatterbridge roundabout. The earth spike, aerial wire, rotary converter, 12 volt car battery and an 807 transmitter of about 30 watts appeared from the back of his mucky car.

A man walking his dog looked at us mildly amused.

He catapulted the aerial into one tree and climbed the other like a monkey. Within 20 minutes we had an inverted L - probably around a quarter-waves and he proceeded to tune up. A philips battery cassette player held the tape and we were on the air a bit late, as RFL often was.   We sped away listening on the car radio all the way. In Oxton, Birkenhead, we stopped and listened and joked nervously. Reception was good, modulation was a bit distorted and Eric seemed pleased.

We went back to change the tapes and had a GPO-free day. Saturday afternoon wasn't a great time but made a change from the Sunday and the change in pattern probably helped.  The aerial was left there for another time and maybe it is still there, if the tree is.

A few weeks later RFL was off the air one Sunday for some reason. Having a 217-meter crystal and a new transmitter someone at school had built, our station, Radio Free Wirral signed on instead. We were raided within 90 minutes. 

I used to hear Eric here and over the years even when just visiting the area. I am sure I even heard him on legitimate radio, but I will always remember the first time I ever heard him one Sunday afternoon. Liverpool's first pirate station I had heard back announcing "Could you believe in Magic" 

Chris Roberts

John Foster

" Shocked to find your web site and learn of the news of Eric’s death last year. I had not seen Eric for many many years but will always remember him fondly.  I knew him in the mid seventies when Jackie was a field based station and we spent many a Sunday lugging car batteries through farmer’s fields and watching Eric perform acrobatics climbing trees to get the best possible aerial position. I recorded a few shows with him and I still have the tapes (somewhere).  I also remember the tower block in Cantril Farm. Pretty scary stuff let me tell you!!  We spent several hours listening to music in the front room at my parents house.  They used to despair of me ! 

Eric and I also spent some time with the Caroline Roadshow (with John Shannon and Ronnie Dee.  I can’t recall their real names. (Whatever happened to those guys?)

Another great pal of mine and Eric’s was Steve Callan, who went on to build his own transmitter and broadcast as Radio Viking has also died recently. So sad.

Anyway, if I can find the tapes, I’ll let ya know. 


John Foster (The Mother Hen) "

"We should no longer mourne , for we should remember and celebrate  the life of one of the founders of landbased pirate radio on Merseyside."  Jim Lowe.

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