Radio daze 13. – the not so “Golden Days” of Radio

Welcome to 7L “eye”

John Dripps…now there’s a name…was an unforgetable character from my 7LA Launceston days.

Besides a slight drinking problem Drippsy was a broadcaster with curious qualities.

As a naive  18 year old  the much older and more experienced Drippsy  became my mentor and drinking tutor.

Sadly, destined to spend his days in regional radio before retiring to become a menswear salesman in Melbourne. John had an unfortunate speech impairment that cause him to pronounce A as “eye.”

That he was able to hold down a job at 7L”eye” for many years was a tribute to his abilities as a broadcaster.

His miss pronunciation, while always apparent, was in some ways endearing ,but it did get him into strife once.

As the senior announcer he was expected to write,produce and voice  commercials. It was when he was given the Taubmans paint account that the fun started.

Taubmans Big A

Their big product launch in Tasmania was Taubman’s Big A housepaint. Of course when Big John got a hold of it it became Big “eye.”

The expensive radio campaign promised to be a huge success, but very little paint was sold.

Hardware stores were overrun with home decorators wanting a can of that Big I house paint.  When they were shown the Big A they refused to be fobbed off .  “No thanks mate. That’s just a nasty ripoff, show me the real thing they’ve been advertising on radio.”

The strange thing was Drippsy could never understand why he lost the account, no-one had the guts to tell him.


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