Sunday, 11 September 2011

An open letter to one and all

Do your remember where you were 10 years ago today? I know I can remember where I was - and today is a poignant day for many people. I know for the past week or so I've thought about those poor people who went to work that morning, not knowing it would be their last day. And wondered that if they'd known their lives would end that day, would they have done anything different leading up to it.

Henry David Thoreau wrote 'The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation' and I think I have to count myself in that number. I've said to my self many times over my adult life 'There has to be more to life than this', but I've never resigned myself for putting up with what life chucks at me.

And so I've decided that today, on the anniversary of 9/11, I want to make a state of intent, and each of you that read this are more than welcome to watch and make sure that I do it.

But before I do, I just want to preface it with a little background.

I've loved music for as long as I can remember, and I've been told I've been drawn to it from the minute I first opened my eyes. I've collected music from the year dot, and I've got more memories because of my music than anything else.

The memory that doesn't go away is the one that as maybe an 11 year old deciding I wanted to do radio as a career. I like many listened to Tony Blackburn, Dave Lee Travis, Noel Edmonds, Johnny Walker and loads of other DJs, and all I wanted to do was play music as a way of earning a living.

But like many of us, life got in the way and we ended up drifting off to different careers, and the dreams we had as children got packed away and left to gather dust.

I've always had music in whatever I've done from my beginnings in a fairground family, through to when I sold records as a market trader, my DJing and so on.

By the 1990s, I was rarely listening to radio anymore, because it all sounded the same to me and so I drifted further from my dream.

Then one night in 2008, I was surfing the web and came across a podcast radio show done by a guy called Don Roberts in Canada, and in the space of 65 minutes, I was hooked all over again. Over a period of months, I got into an ongoing conversation with Don via email  and he sparked my desire to a radio show. With the birth of the internet, it was now possible to do my own show. And so on January 12th 2009, I sat down to record my first podcast.

It was to be a radio show to send out to clients of my disco and to replace a newsletter. Within a couple of months it had developed into a radio show online and now it's just over 2 and a half years later, and I've done around 800 shows.

For months I've been banging on about how I want to make a living from radio and I've been sending off demos to stations and getting the same old reply that I don't fit their format as the style of DJ they require.

At the same time I've had people telling me that terrestrial radio is dying and there's no money to be made from it.

So here's my statement of intent - I am going to make a living out of radio. And make good, enjoyable shows as well. I'm not totally sure how yet, but the decision has been made - now I just have to devise and work a plan.

Many of you will know I don't praise myself up too much, but after thinking long and hard about it this week, I've come to the decision that because I may not fit format radio, it doesn't mean I'm no good.

Here's a fact  - I've got listeners to my 4 radio shows on the net in 59 countries. I've got groups on facebook and had  groups that had around 3000 people in them. And do you know what? Whilst I listen to my shows and pull them to pieces critically, I've just listened to this week's shows and come to the decision that I believe they're very good.

I'm still a baby in radio terms, and I know I still have loads to learn, but that's OK, I'm like a sponge and I'll soak up what I need to learn.

I was 48 before I had this opportunity, and I'm going to grab onto it with both hands and I'm not going to let go till I achieve my dream. I was 11 when I packed it away, and I've now got that dream back out, and I'm not going to let anyone steal it from me again.

If you're on facebook, you'll know that I am no longer going to be posting my shows on my personal group. The 'On The Radio with James Murphy' page is now my main point for my radio shows. There is a web page to support that.  I will no longer be using the 'Very Old, Very Bald, James Murphy page to promote shows'.

So here's what I'd love you to do. If you listen to my shows, haven't listened for a while, or never listened, go along to the  'On The Radio with James Murphy' page and 'like' it. On my web site there is a mailing list form - please go and join it.

Then take a listen to the shows. Don't worry if you're not a soul fan, part of my ongoing growth is that I'm going to be producing and presenting different types of shows. I believe my strength is in the fact that I'm an all-rounder and I want to have some fun along the way.

If you like the shows, please tell your friends, post links on facebook and twitter, and become part of my thinktank and support team. If you've got any comments, constructive criticism and thoughts, let me know.

If you don't like my shows, don't like me, think that I'm a mouthy git, and generally couldn't care less, that's fine. If you don't think I can do this, more power to you.

But you know what - you can watch and tell me I can't do it - but you can't affect me.

To those of you that support me, you know how much I appreciate it. Anything you can do to help will never be forgotten. All I'll promise you is that I'll be giving it my best shot - I want to produce shows that people love and can't wait to hear.

A line in the sand has been drawn, and I won't be going back over it.  This is my dream, I'm going to achieve it, and I would love to have you along for the ride. It's going to be exciting, frustrating, heartbreaking at times, but ultimately what I want to do with my life.

Anyone coming on the ride with me?

All the best



  1. best of luck to you James .. I hope it works out for you.

  2. Don't let anyone tell you that you aren't good at what you are....unless they go on to say that you aren't just good, you are fantastic at what you do. The knowledge and style you bring to your shows suits them, and you perfectly, and I am sure that whatever type of music you play you will be able to find a way to bring "you" to the show.

    I listen to every one of your shows that we play, and there hasn't been a single one I haven't liked yet.

  3. Thanks for your comments guys! It's appreciated