28 November 2006

Those Who Knew Them: Alan "Fluff" Freeman 1927-2006

Another in our occasional series of tributes to the recently deceased from those who knew them best. We commissioned this tribute to the late, great Alan Freeman from his former Radio 1 colleague Davey "The Giant Raspberry" Lovely ... having read the piece, we can only apologise to Mr Freeman and his relatives.

The late, great FluffAlan "Fluff" Freeman, "The Fluffmeister", plain old "Fluff" ... so many nicknames for the man in the jumper who was the greatest pop-picker of them all! Truly it's almost impossible to know what to say about a guy who bestrode the disc-jockeying world like a giant man speaking into a mic from behind a big desk.

After centuries of sending them our convicts, villains 'n' general nasty types, those cork-hat-wearing Aussies repaid us by sending us one of the finest fellers on this lovely planet. Fluff was a truly beautiful guy, not to mention the top man from Tasman...ia who defined DJing for a whole generation. Kids today will never understand it, but it took him five years and literally five billion memos to the apparatchiks at the "good ole" BBC to be allowed to read out the Top 10 in the reverse order! It was that kind of spirit that would one day inspire me, Davey "The Giant Raspberry" Lovely - arrooga, my radiophonic chums! - in my year-long campaign to be allowed to play the great Sir Paulus de McCartney and them there Wings's supergreat single "Jet" on a loop for a whole twenty-four hours. Where Alan led, others followed. Where did DLT get the courage to wear that beard, where did Noel Edmonds get the courage to wear those jumpers, where did David "Kid" Jensen get the courage to call himself "Kid" until into his forties? The Fluff, that's where.

For those of us who were once part of the merry band of funsters that was Radio 1 in the 70's and 80's, Fluff was a kind of god. A god made, not of marble or bronze, but of vinyl LP's, woolly cardies and a kindly smile. Now, it has been suggested that some of us might have resented the fact that he was allowed to continue a-broadcasting for "kindly Aunty Beeb " well into his jolly old 70's, while the rest of us were left to display our enormous talent (know what I mean, mum? I bet you do) elsewhere, but nothing could be further from the truth. I for one still welcomed the Chriggy cards good old Al would send me every Xmas here at "Good Buyo " the nation's 171st favourite satellite-only shopping channel - and any suggestion that I ripped them into shreds while screaming "It should be me up there" is an outrageous lie of porkietacious dimensions.

Alan, I know you're up there in the sky, a-looking down on me and I just want to say that, just because I never rang, never visited, never even sent you a postcard in all those years since we last met, doesn't mean I didn't love you, mate. And I certainly didn't resent the fact that you got all the charm, wit, talent and easy rapport with generations of listeners ... while I got to describe in loving detail the advantages of buying a life-sized replica of Elvis carved from pure, machine-made Krubonite, for only £99.99 spread over three easy payments. Not arf!

Ta-ra, Fluff, old mate ... they're playing your tune.


gazuky said...

He put the 'happy' into the 'happy happy sound'.

I always wondered why Staybrite windows never used him in their ads. I suppose now we'll never know.


The As A Dodo Team said...

Alright? Not 'arf!