Triple R FM host Tim Thorpe celebrates thirty years at the helm of the community radio broadcaster’s weekend breakfast show ‘Vital Bits’ this weekend.
A familiar voice to so many ears across Melbourne, Thorpe’s laid back style lures people out of bed every weekend with a slew of regular guests and a never-ending supply of 70s folk-rock.
“The spirit [of the station] hasn’t changed (much), but the approach and nature of programs have,” Thorpe told Noise11. “Many of the things RRR and its ilk pioneered have become the norm elsewhere, so we have shifted a bit so we still are different from the mob. We (and I) need to do so to keep and replace subscribers and sponsors. In my case, I have needed to change to stop from being bored.”
Asked whether he was a morning person, Thorpe admitted that “getting up is the hard part. I never go to sleep before midnight. Can’t. After you are up and on your way, it is a pretty magical time of day.”
Triple R has been a staple of Melbourne’s underground scene since its inception as RMIT student radio in 1974.
“In many ways RRR harks back to the ‘Golden Days’ where radio stations had live shows in auditoriums, pop up studios in the burbs etc, free choice in content and music leading rather than following – before tv killed all that off and/or management school graduates took over,” he reminisced.
So how did he get his first gig? “Basically, Stephen Walker put me there as a fill-in and forgot about me,” he says in his signature self-deprecating way. “The English guy I was filling in for was booted out ‘cos his visa expired.”
I recall meeting Thorpe for the first time about ten years ago. I was handing over to him from my first graveyard shift at the station. Details of the encounter would only destroy the magic of radio, but needless to say, his effortless, calm and relaxed nature was something that struck a chord with me. He sat down in the chair seconds before he was due to start and proceeded to launch into his packed three-hour schedule with a grace that was somewhat lacking in my frantic four-hour overnight stint.
If you’re in the area, head down to Noisy Ritual at 249 Lygon Street, East Brunswick this Saturday, November 30 to be in the audience for the 30th-anniversary celebration. For those that can’t make it, tune into 102.7FM or 3RRR Digital in Melbourne, or you can stream from anywhere at www.rrr.org.au.
Guests on the day will include:
Peter Joseph Head
Things To Do Today Edith Vignal (performing a song as well as Things To Do Today live)
Blokes You Can Trust – Phil Wales and Cam Mellor
Uncle Jack Charles
Plus the Vital Bits One Woman House Band: Monique Di Mattina performing right throughout the show.