Radio First

Radio First Termer

Radio First Termer was a pirate radio station which broadcasted from January 1, 1971 to January 21, 1971 from Saigon during the Vietnam War.

Radio First Termer was hosted by on-air personality "Dave Rabbit," an anonymous United States Air Force sergeant (born 1948-08-15). The two other members of the crew were known as "Pete Sadler" and "Nguyen". Their real names are unknown.

Dave Rabbit began his radio career in Vietnam working as a studio engineer for Radio Phan Rang. After three tours in Vietnam, "Dave Rabbit" and his friends launched Radio First Termer from a secret studio in a backroom of a Saigon brothel. The make-shift studio walls were lined with mattresses to deaden the sounds emanating from the brothel. The station broadcasted for a total of 63 hours over 21 days (between 1 January 1971 and 21 January 1971). Dave Rabbit later admitted he stopped broadcasting because he was fearful of him and his underground network who were protecting him, being arrested and imprisoned by his base commander, who was aware of his show.

The purpose of Radio First Termer, according to Dave Rabbit, was to "bring rock and roll to the troops on the front lines." The station played "hard acid rock" such as Steppenwolf, Bloodrock, Three Dog Night, Led Zeppelin, Sugarloaf, the James Gang, and Iron Butterfly, bands which were popular among the troops but largely ignored by the American Forces Vietnam Network. The music was mixed with antiwar commentary, skits poking fun at the U.S. Air Force and Lyndon B. Johnson, and raunchy sex and drug oriented jokes. Dave Rabbit's show also included a number of bits including Tooth Picks in the Toilet and reading GI comments off the latrine walls across Vietnam.

Although the frequency was always announced as FM69, Dave Rabbit has said in several interviews, in reality the show was broadcast over numerous frequencies. In addition to 69 MHz as selected by the Radio Relay troops across Vietnam, It was also broadcast over AM frequencies, including 690 AM.

In 1995 Will Snyder first posted sound clips from a Radio First Termer broadcast on the internet renewing interest in the station. In February 2006, after finding out that the surviving show was posted on the internet, "Dave Rabbit" came forward and told his story to several main stream media personalities including Corey Deitz with About Radio. Dave also did an interview with Director David Zeiger for a bonus feature on the DVD release of Sir! No Sir!, who had used some of his clips for the movie. Sir! No Sir! was a film dealing with G.I. counterculture and anti-war sentiment during the Vietnam era. On 2008-02-20 Dave Rabbit was interviewed on the Opie and Anthony Show. Original clips from Dave's radio show were featured and continued the renewing interest in the show and Dave Rabbit.

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