I first became interested in DJing as a teenager in the late 1970s.
I remember putting a cassette recorder in front of my radio, talking
over the record intros and recording the result. Following on from
this, I joined the radio station at Epsom District hospital in
1979, where I gained some experience as a presenter. Ater a few
months I became disgruntled with the station, and decided to leave.
Shortly after this, I discovered pirate radio...firstly Radio Jackie,
and then the FM pirates in London. I was completely hooked, and
soon became involved. I helped out behind the scenes on Radio Jackie.
I also remember going to a tower block roof near Croydon to help
SLR, and then joined DDP radio as a newsreader, using the name
When DDP radio closed in early 1982, I wanted to run my own station,
but something on a grander scale...with a better site, more power
and in stereo. I got together with some former DDP radio staff,
and Surrey Sounds was born.
We achieved our aim by broadcasting from Epsom downs (nearly 600
feet above sea level) with 120 watts in stereo. The signal went
for miles, and we received reception reports from not only Surrey,
but also most of London, and parts of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire,
Kent and Essex. After our raid in March 1983, and following the
loss of all equipment and a £400 fine I could not afford
to carry on, so myself & Martin Hill ran Surrey Sounds as a
mobile disco for 8 years. Martin then got married & had a family,
so I continued on my own.
I now work as a professional DJ and quiz host in the Surrey area.
I run pub quiz nights in the week, and mobile discos (mostly for
weddings) at the weekends.
I love my work, but still miss the Surrey Sounds days. We had complete
freedom. I cringe when I see my photos from those days, as I looked
like a complete anorak...although I WAS one...but it was probably
the most exciting time of my life.
Rob James October 2006