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What’s in Your Garage Podcast Episode #4 Bob Aldons Speaks to Wayne Roberts

wayne-roberts

Bob Aldons:                        Hello and good morning, and welcome to What’s In My Garage. It gives me great pleasure, in fact, it’s just over the top, to introduce one of Brisbane’s most famous radio announcers from the 70’s, Wayne Roberts. Wayney-poo Roberts welcome to What’s in My Garage.

Wayne Roberts:                Thank you, Bob. That’s terrific. That’s a big welcome, mate. I’m honoured. Just so people think I didn’t die in the 70’s, I actually did keep broadcasting up to about the year 2000.

Bob Aldons:                        Oh, okay.

Wayne Roberts:                I did have an extended career, but just started in the 70’s for me, yeah.

Bob Aldons:                        Wayne, you very graciously organised a copy of your album, The Best of Wayne Roberts’ Breakfast Show, where we had suburbs such as, “Redcliffe: This is Your Story.”

Wayne Roberts:                Sandgate?

Bob Aldons:                        Sandgate. They were my favourite parts of your show, Wayne.

Wayne Roberts:                Oh, thanks mate. Morningside was on there.

Bob Aldons:                        Morningside.

Wayne Roberts:                That’s right, yes.

Bob Aldons:                        Hey, now they were fantastic. Wayne, What’s in your Garage, talks about, just that title. What are you driving? What have you got? What are your favourite cars that you’ve ever owned? Let’s start off with that, but tell us a little bit about Wayne Roberts’ post-radio career. What have you been up to, mate?

Wayne Roberts:                Well, not a lot really. I mean 40 years of my life was in broadcasting and I was very busy. It was always The Breakfast Show, so it was full on. It was up at three o’clock in the morning, getting yourself pumped up and ready to go on air at 5:30, maybe six o’clock, and finish at nine o’clock. Then you’d hang around and put the skeletons of a programme together for the next morning. Monday to Friday was furious. You’d really used to look forward to Friday, sort of mid-morning and get down to the breakfast Creek Hotel. Went to the public bar, there was a keg off the wood and probably you and a dozen mates would probably drink the whole bloody keg, and a big steak, when you could get a nice big t-bone with the big tile on the bottom.

Bob Aldons:                        That’s it.

Wayne Roberts:                We did that religiously every Friday. Weekends were very much with the family and sleep. Even now, post-radio, your question, that legacy of getting up at three o’clock in the morning still sticks with you. I still wake up at three o’clock in the morning, as I did this morning-

Bob Aldons:                        Well you’ve been doing it for 40 years, it’s bound it’s going happen isn’t it?

Wayne Roberts:                Well yeah, my dad said that too. He was a shift worker, he drove trucks in the markets and he said “Son, you’ve only got to do maybe 12 months of shift work and you’re buggered.” But I don’t mind waking up early. I listen to the radio and try and doze on and off. I get up and have a bit of a walk, I play golf, poorly, two days a week with some good mates out of the Brisbane Golf Club. I’ve got five grandchildren, I get involved in there, picking em up from school occasionally. I have a place in Tasmania now. I love my gardening. So I’m probably nearly just a busy as I ever was.

Bob Aldons:                        And you’re taking over this interview?

Wayne Roberts:                Hmm?

Bob Aldons:                        You’re taking it over.

Wayne Roberts:                Well it comes from, dealing with dickheads, Bob.

Bob Aldons:                        (laughs)

Wayne Roberts:                When I was in broadcasting, I’d ask em a question and you’d get, “Yes.”

Bob Aldons:                        (laughs)

Wayne Roberts:                Or, “No.”

Bob Aldons:                        Now, you said you’d get up and listen to the radio …

Wayne Roberts:                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Bob Aldons:                        This might be a plug for a station, apart from the ABC, who do you listen to?

Wayne Roberts:                Well I can’t stand commercial radio now. I just think they’re agenda now is more music than it is to nurturing personalities. Like in my day, every radio station in Australia, in the 70’s and 80’s, were driven by personalities, by people–whether you liked them or not. They all had their personality or personalities. Today they don’t. They claim they have, you know with funny names like Lutzy-Blutzy and Clendo, you know. You don’t know who they are. They also have two blokes and the token blonde that giggles all the time.

Bob Aldons:                        Back in the-

Wayne Roberts:                Sorry.

Bob Aldons:                        That’s all right.

Wayne Roberts:                You can edit that.

Bob Aldons:                        Back in the day, there was also the teenage idol, Billy J Smith … He was around about your time?

Wayne Roberts:                Yes.

Bob Aldons:                        And funny, he loved the game of golf as well.

Wayne Roberts:                Billy, wasn’t a big golfer. He might have gone to a few corporate days. But Billy wasn’t a big golfer, I think he was just a good drinker.

Bob Aldons:                        A good drinker?

Wayne Roberts:                Yeah, he could represent Australia. Actually, he went to the Grand Finals.

Bob Aldons:                        Yeah?

Wayne Roberts:                In drinking. And lost in a play off?

Bob Aldons:                        And lost in a play off?

Wayne Roberts:                Yeah.

Bob Aldons:                        Do you know what he’s doing? Is he still around?

Wayne Roberts:                Actually, Billy’s been very sick.

Bob Aldons:                        Has he?

Wayne Roberts:                So I don’t want to be too cruel. I think Billy’s had some major heart issues.

Bob Aldons:                        Liver issues?

Wayne Roberts:                Yeah, a bit of that too. Maybe a legacy of a good life. Yeah, Billy’s not too crash hot at the moment.

Bob Aldons:                        Hmm, that’s sad. All best wishes to Billy. You’ll be listening to this podcast for sure.

So, post-radio, after the 2000 Olympics sort of round about that time, you’ve been backwards and forwards to Tassie? Been doing any sort of casual work? Voiceover sort of stuff?

Wayne Roberts:                There was a couple of people that I used to write … And I still do it for a bloke, he’s a humble lawnmower sales and service fellow out of Lowood. And I love the bloke, he’s just a great bloke, great family bloke and I do his commercials for him, for nothing.

Bob Aldons:                        Gah, mate. What a mate.

Wayne Roberts:                In return I get to service to the four stroke.

Bob Aldons:                        And what about your lawnmower?

And the other half of the Wayne Roberts Breakfast Show, was The Flart. And Ross is still around? In the media industry?

Wayne Roberts:                Yeah, Ross has his own compact, as he calls it. Advertising agency. He has a stable of clients that he’s had now for quite a few years. He does very well, Ross. But he does it all himself.

Bob Aldons:                        Yeah, good on him.

Wayne Roberts:                He’s very switched on, tech wise, digital era wise. He’s a funny man and he’s a clever man, and he gets it done.

Bob Aldons:                        Good stuff. All right, let’s talk about motor cars. We’re here all day talking about Wayne, but let’s talk about motor cars. What’s in your garage at the moment, Wayne?

Wayne Roberts:                In the moment, I know we’ll go back to my earlier cars, but as I’ve got older, and I don’t know whether it’s a thing that’s with age, but I no longer need the fast car or the car that tries to make an impact out there. Because I’m very much in my own little world, I like to be cocooned from noise and everything else. I want to drive something that’s got a bit of a Don Rex, lounge chair to it.

Bob Aldons:                        Right.

Wayne Roberts:                A good sound system …

Bob Aldons:                        For anyone who doesn’t know, Don Rex was a manufacturer of very comfortable chairs, in the day.

Wayne Roberts:                Very 70’s, this, isn’t it?

I bought myself a Nissan Maxima. It’s the longest I’ve ever owned a car. Next May, in my birthday, I will have had this car 10 years. It’s the longest I’ve ever had a car.

Bob Aldons:                        So you bought it new?

Wayne Roberts:                I bought it brand spanking new. It’s only done 103,000 kilometres now. But because I have another vehicle, vehicles, in Tasmania, and I’m down there for four five months of the year, I don’t use this. I still get great pleasure in getting in the car and driving it.

Bob Aldons:                        And it looks magnificent this morning. Was it just cleaned for the occasion?

Wayne Roberts:                It is, I cleaned it to come and see you Bob. And really, I  preserve the car, if I break wind, in that car, the window goes down.

Bob Aldons:                        (laughs)

Wayne Roberts:                Some people like to, to have a good whiff of it.

Bob Aldons:                        Yup.

Wayne Roberts:                If it’s their own.

Bob Aldons:                        (Laughs).

Wayne Roberts:                But I wind the window down. I don’t want any impurities coming in.

Bob Aldons:                        No, of course not.

Wayne Roberts:                So that’s my car and I love it.

Bob Aldons:                        Have you changed the cabin air filter in that, subsequent to these breaking of winds?

Wayne Roberts:                (Laughs). I have permanent air freshener in there.

Bob Aldons:                        (Laughs).

Wayne Roberts:                I reckon that’s been the most reliable, value for dollar, car I think I’ve ever owned. And I’ve had some swish cars, if you want you ask questions.

Bob Aldons:                        Now, you were down here a few months ago, in a British luxury car, that left oil deposits on my driveway. You still got that, leaking it’s sole out?

Wayne Roberts:                Someone said to me, “Never be surprised about the oil stains on your driveway from a Jaguar.”

Bob Aldons:                        (Laughs).

Wayne Roberts:                And everyone where I’ve gone, I’ve joined the old Jaguar club and the old bloke said, I remember the first conversations I had with him, or even when I bought my first brand new Series III Jag from Joe Camalleri, who had the franchise. I bought it there in 1980. It was a white one-

Bob Aldons:                        Joe’s been around a long time.

Wayne Roberts:                -and I loved it. I remember, my wife said to me, “Are you aware your car’s dropping oil?” So I took it back to Joe. I said to Joe, “The Jag’s dropping oil.” And I said something like, in Lebanese, “So?”

Bob Aldons:                        Say you’ve got the V12 Jag-

Wayne Roberts:                Yep.

Bob Aldons:                        -and you’ve the Nissan Maxima.

Wayne Roberts:                Yep.

Bob Aldons:                        What does Annette drive?

Wayne Roberts:                She drives a Golf. She’s got a Golf that’s probably nearly eight years old. It was the first Golf to come out with a 1.4 tiny little engine with the turbo charger and the super charger.

Bob Aldons:                        Yes, twin charge.

Wayne Roberts:                And it goes like the powers. Like the powers. She’s only done 40,000 in it.

Bob Aldons:                        So, the Roberts family aren’t known for turning over their cars every three years.

Wayne Roberts:                We were. We were in those heavy days in radio. And what have you know, I had the brand new Jag Series III, I had the brand new Mercedes. I was one of the very few people to get the brand new, in 1998, the brand new Seven Series BMW.

Bob Aldons:                        Nice.

Wayne Roberts:                Mm. Which is a lovely car, you know. But I found out owning all of these luxury cars, and you being in the game would know, that as soon as you drive it out of the garage the value just-

Bob Aldons:                        Plummet.

Wayne Roberts:                -fall away.

Bob Aldons:                        They do.

Wayne Roberts:                Plummet is probably the word I was looking for.

Bob Aldons:                        And, while we are reflecting on the cars that I’ve owned, or you’ve owned, what’s been your favourite car that you’ve owned since you were able to drive? It’s a long time, and it’s over 50 years …

Wayne Roberts:                I think it’s always your first car.

Bob Aldons:                        Really? Okay.

Wayne Roberts:                It’s always your fist car. When I was a kid … It’s ironic we’re having this conversation now because the first car I ever owned was a Ford Falcon, 1962. I think it was called an XP or an XL, I’m not too sure-

Bob Aldons:                        XP, I think, ’62.

Wayne Roberts:                -XP. And today-

Bob Aldons:                        Maybe an XM.

Wayne Roberts:                No that wasn’t an XM. No, ’62-

Bob Aldons:                        XP.

Wayne Roberts:                I know the ’62 and the ’63 grill were exactly the same. But today’s the day-

Bob Aldons:                        Seventh of October, 2016.

Wayne Roberts:                -scary isn’t it, Ford’s closing down.

Bob Aldons:                        Yep.

Wayne Roberts:                Ford’s closing down.

Bob Aldons:                        In fact, I’ve written an article, which is on my website, about my 38 years, eight months, three week and one day experience with Ford Motor Company.

Wayne Roberts:                Is that right?

Bob Aldons:                        I started with a Ford dealer on the 16th of February, 1978.

Wayne Roberts:                Is that right?

Bob Aldons:                        And today’s the last day of Ford Manufacturing in Australia. It’s sad, sad day.

Wayne Roberts:                It is sad. So you ask me this question, it’s nearly 50 years ago that I got this car. I loved it. I was only 17 so the car was only like two years old. I think that’s why my dad was a bit jealous of me. Because he had 100 kids and sole worker so he could afford, he only had a Hillman Minx.

Bob Aldons:                        To put the whole family in.

Wayne Roberts:                And they do in those days, cause of the big backseats I think. And I had this Ford Falcon which I loved. But I did terrible things to it. I couldn’t afford extractors and stuff so I got a screwdriver and bashed holes in the muffler to make a bit of noise.

Bob Aldons:                        So it makes it noise, yeah cool.

Wayne Roberts:                Noise, yeah.

Bob Aldons:                        Now tell me, what was your first job? Along with that 1962 Ford Falcon.

Wayne Roberts:                Apprentice electrician.

Bob Aldons:                        Okay.

Wayne Roberts:                I [inaudible 00:12:55], apprentice’s wear was a five year apprenticeship, I was probably into my second year and I don’t know how many pounds I was making a week but it wasn’t a lot. I always got in the habit of giving mom some money for board and also some money to put in the bank for me. That sorta help me get the car.

Bob Aldons:                        That’s a great habit to start.

Wayne Roberts:                It was.

Bob Aldons:                        At such a young age.

Wayne Roberts:                But I was electrician, apprentice electrician. I used to-

Bob Aldons:                        Did you do your trade out?

Wayne Roberts:                Yes I did. I got the five years and I couldn’t wait, smoke and flames coming out of my backside on my fifth year when it was up. I couldn’t wait to get … I hated it.

Bob Aldons:                        But you had to have a trade at that age.

Wayne Roberts:                Well you did. You had to have a trade, or you worked in the bank or you’re a public servant.

Bob Aldons:                        Yup.

Wayne Roberts:                And I rewound electric motors and armatures. I reckon that’s why I lost my sight, because of fine stuff like that. It’s helped me in good stead. Even today, removing something from the house or under the car or whatever. How to use tools. A lot of young people don’t know how to use tools. A lot of kids-

Bob Aldons:                        The scary question is, is this a left handed or a right handed spanner?

Wayne Roberts:                Yeah yeah.

Bob Aldons:                        Very scary by kids.

Wayne Roberts:                Yeah, yeah, my word. But some kids don’t know what’s happening if you’re cross-threading something. It just won’t go on, so you just keep doing it.

Bob Aldons:                        You do it harder.

Wayne Roberts:                First thing you learn. You know you don’t cross thread. The trick they did to me, wasn’t go and get the left-handed screwdriver or hammer or whatever, we used to wash everything out with Shellite.

Bob Aldons:                        Yeah? Wow.

Wayne Roberts:                And everybody used to smoke.

Bob Aldons:                        Yes.

Wayne Roberts:                So I got my first big bucket of Shellite. And the tradesmen come along, who used to smoke as well, Phillip Morris, used to stink, and I used to smoke Rothmans and he took the cigarette out of my mouth, he said, “You should not smoke around Petrol.” He got the cigarette, you know what he did?

Bob Aldons:                        Threw it in to the bucket.

Wayne Roberts:                Threw it into the Shellite!

Bob Aldons:                        (Laughs)

Wayne Roberts:                And I screamed like a girl! Little did I know that it won’t set it off, but that was my first lesson.

Bob Aldons:                        Okay. This is one of the more interesting questions that I ask every person that I sit with: if money was no object at all, what car would you buy?

Wayne Roberts:                Oh, Bob. It still would be a very very comfortable car. It wouldn’t be a …

Bob Aldons:                        Not a Ferrari or a Lamborghini? Cause they’re not comfortable?

Wayne Roberts:                No, it’d be nothing like that. You know what I think I’d buy, I think I’d buy something that’s probably diesel and I like the look of the new Mercedes C Class, 250 Deisel. I think that would be a nice comfortable car for me.

Bob Aldons:                        So not a Bentley, or a Rolls, or … Remember, money’s no object.

Wayne Roberts:                If money’s no object, it’ll be a Bentley.

Bob Aldons:                        Would you have the Flart driving it?

Wayne Roberts:                Just out of spite (laughs).

Bob Aldons:                        (Laughs).

Wayne Roberts:                Yeah, I think you’re right, I did mention to you a while back about a Bentley. Yeah, I’d love a Bentley. But I think id be worried about people bumping into me or people getting a key and …

Bob Aldons:                        Two bobbing the side of it?

Wayne Roberts:                Yes. I think id be less inclined to do it on an arctic white 250 De isil C Class Benz. But they’d probably be my two cars.

Bob Aldons:                        Hey, Wayne, we gonna wrap it up now. Sincerely, thank you very much for coming down and joining the podcast of What’s in Your Garage.

Wayne Roberts:                Yeah, terrific mate. Can’t wait to hear it back.

Bob Aldons:                        Yeah, we’ll get topped and tailed and add some fun to it and see what we can do.

Wayne Roberts:                Yeah, good Bob, thanks.

Bob Aldons:                        Thank you very much, appreciate it. Have a great day.

Wayne Roberts:                Yeah, good on you mate. Thank you, thank you.

 

 

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