Jonathan Alley

Jonathan Alley Broadcaster Image

Photo by Campbell Manderson.

Presents Under The Sun

Explorations of musical worlds, multi genre clash and deconstruction, shooting music from both barrels at the radio canvas: musical play in the sonic spray.

How did you first connect with Triple R?

One afternoon, aged 21, I walked into the offices of Radio Active in Wellington New Zealand where I had been a broadcaster for three years. By chance I met a mercurial Melbourne native name Peter Chellew, who was in town to attend a student arts conference. Peter filled me in on Triple R and his show On the Beach. Coincidentally, at that moment, a national music news segment I had recorded earlier was airing for the week. In those pre-web days, a small team of people at our station were funded to produce a national music news bulletin: we'd actually post cassettes to other stations in our network for them to air it. That alone seems incredible to me now! Anyway, Peter cocked an ear to it, decided he liked it, and offered to air it during On the Beach. One thing led to another and I decided to move to Melbourne at the end of 1992.

Before I left, I penned a note with an accompanying demo tape to the then Programme Manager Stephen Walker; mentioning the news bulletin. It was the summer grid and I kicked off with some graveyards (they were only 4 hours: 2-6am; I was already the veteran of 1-7am stretches we called ‘death til dawns'; that we used to do for ‘fun'). At the end of summer he offered me Tuesday drive to begin in March 1993. I had no idea how lucky I was at the time....

What/when was your first show?

My first regular show lasted a while. It was called Tough Culture and ran in the Tuesday drive slot from 1993 until late 2004. It started with a social issues focus, with eclectic music, then gradually became more arts based, with a variety of sounds that leant toward dub, reggae, and some other forms of electronic music. But I tried to keep it pretty varied. I also nabbed Gil Stannard from Bruce Berryman's Thursday morning show and we ran Healthtrip alternate fortnights for a decade. I do miss Tough Culture at times: listeners still get in touch saying they've only just found me again. But that's radio! People are criss-crossing, zooming in and out according to their habits and life patterns; it's been fantastic talking to people over the years who re-discover the station in various ways or have their view of it changed in some way; the station never stands still and neither do the listeners.

What's your favourite Triple R story?

In the mists of time, I used to love listening to Blokes You Can Trust, who would often have 2 or 3 studios going at once, run tape loops, play great music and just take the piss. They used to have a guest named ‘honest John' , who was anything but; however... he was also a ‘geezer' and very entertaining. One night, they chipmunked him. This means that whatever came out of his mouth was distorted, echoed, chorused, delayed, looped and generally mangled into sonic oblivion live as he said it. There was absolutely nothing he could do about it. His east end schtick was useless to him: he was disarmed by radio. And it was hilarious.  

Your favourite other Triple R program and why?

Don't. That's not allowed. Answer: ALL OF THEM

What does Triple R mean to you?

Character. Pure and simple character.   

The studio door has accidentally jammed shut with you stuck inside. If there was only one CD in there with you what would you want it to be and why?

 Miles Davis Bitches Brew. It's decades of ideas packed into 90 minutes. It still sounds like the future. He was a place in 1970 the rest of us still haven't arrived at yet.

Jonathan Alley’s programs

Latest episodes

Under the Sun

Under The Sun – 20 March 2022

6pm Sun 20 Mar 2022
Under the Sun

Under The Sun – 13 March 2022

6pm Sun 13 Mar 2022
Under the Sun

Under The Sun – 6 March 2022

6pm Sun 6 Mar 2022
Under the Sun

Under The Sun – 27 February 2022

6pm Sun 27 Feb 2022
Under the Sun

Under The Sun – 20 February 2022

6pm Sun 20 Feb 2022
Under the Sun

Under The Sun – 13 February 2022

6pm Sun 13 Feb 2022
Under the Sun

Under The Sun – 6 February 2022

6pm Sun 6 Feb 2022
Under the Sun

Under The Sun – 30 January 2022

6pm Sun 30 Jan 2022
Under the Sun

Under The Sun – 23 January 2022

6pm Sun 23 Jan 2022
Under the Sun

Under The Sun – 16 January 2022

6pm Sun 16 Jan 2022