DAVE RABBIT HISTORY: Radio First Termer was a Pirate Radio Station which broadcasted nightly from January 1, 1971 to January 21, 1971 in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Radio First Termer was hosted by on-air personality "Dave Rabbit", an anonymous United States Air Force sergeant. The two other members of the crew were known as "Pete Sadler" and "Nguyen".
"Dave Rabbit", who is greatly considered as the Godfather of Pirate Radio according to Corey Deitz with About Radio, began his radio career in Vietnam working as a studio engineer for Radio Phan Rang. After three tours in Vietnam, "Dave Rabbit" and his friends launched Radio First Termer from a secret studio in a backroom of a Saigon brothel. The make-shift studio walls were lined with mattresses to deaden the sounds emanating from the brothel. The station broadcasted for a total of 63 hours over 21 nights between January 1, 1971 to January 21, 1971. "Dave Rabbit" later admitted in an interview, that he was forced to stop broadcasting because he was fearful that his friends, who were protecting him and the show, were in imminent danger of being arrested and imprisoned themselves by his base commander, who hated his show and suspected that someone was protecting him.
The purpose of Radio First Termer, according to "Dave Rabbit", was to "bring rock and roll to the troops on the front lines." The station played "hard acid rock" such as Steppenwolf, Bloodrock, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Sugarloaf, the James Gang and Iron Butterfly, bands which were popular among the troops but largely ignored by the American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN). The music was mixed with antiwar commentary as well as skits poking fun at the U.S. Air Force, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, the Base Commander, just to name a few. Raunchy sex and drug oriented jokes were always a tremendous part of the nightly shows. "Dave Rabbit's" show also included a number of bits including "Tooth Picks In The Toilet", the "Dave Rabbit Official Sweatshirt" and reading GI comments off the latrine walls across Vietnam.
Although the frequency was always announced as FM69, "Dave Rabbit" has said in several interviews, in reality the show was broadcast over numerous frequencies. In addition to 69 MHz FM as selected by "Dave Rabbit", the Radio Relay troops across Vietnam also broadcasted Radio First Termer over other frequencies, including 690 AM.
In 1995, Will Snyder first posted sound clips from a Radio First Termer broadcast on the Internet, renewing interest in "Dave Rabbit" and Radio First Termer. In February 2006, after finding out that the surviving show was posted on the Internet, "Dave Rabbit" came forward and told his story to several main stream media personalities including Corey Deitz with About Radio. Dave also did an interview with Director David Zeiger for a bonus feature on the DVD release of Sir! No Sir!, who had used some of his clips for his movie. Sir! No Sir!, was a Documentary Film dealing with G.I. counterculture and anti-war sentiment during the Vietnam era. On February 20, 2008, "Dave Rabbit" was interviewed on the Opie and Anthony Show from New York City. Opie and Anthony were long time Fans of "Dave Rabbit" and had come across their copy of the surviving 1971 show and tracked Dave down. Original clips from Dave's radio show were featured and continued the renewing interest in Radio First Termer and "Dave Rabbit".
September 30, 2006, "Dave Rabbit", along with a new crew including "Charlie Cooper" and "Nadirah", broadcasted a 35th Anniversary Show for the troops in Iraq. The complete show is available FREE on Pod-O-Matic on MP3's as well as the original 1971 Saigon, Vietnam Show.
On February 20, 2008 "Dave Rabbit" was interviewed on the Opie and Anthony Show from New York City. Opie and Anthony were long time Fans of “Dave Rabbit” and had come across their copy of the surviving 1971 show and tracked Dave down. Original clips from Dave's radio show were featured and continued the renewing interest in Radio First Termer and “Dave Rabbit”.
On January 1, 2011, “Dave Rabbit”, “Charlie Cooper” and “Nadirah” will again join forces to broadcast the 40th Anniversary Show Radio First Termer Afghanistan.
In a recent interview with Corey Deitz, "Dave Rabbit" was asked what has been his driving force and motivation since 2006. His reply was: "One of the biggest accomplishments is successfully making more and more people aware that "You Don't Have To Support A War, To Support The Troops". It has become my battle cry. As thousands of my brothers and sisters of the Vietnam War can attest, we were collateral damage when we came home and I have vowed never again to have another military man or woman be welcomed home the way we were".
Scuba Diving, Rock & Roll, Radio, Television, Live Broadcasting
Favorite TV Shows
Fringe, All CSI's, Lost, 2 1/2 Men, American Idol and a host of others.
Scuba Diving, Music, Movies
I Hate To Read... Rather Watch A Movie
Schools / Education
University Of Saigon 1970-71 :)
The Majestic, The Notebook, Uncommon Valor, The Time Machine (Original), Forbidden Planet, A Walk To Remember, War Of The Worlds (Original), Planet Of The Apes (Original), All Dirty Harry Movies, All Lethal Weapon Movies and pretty much all Science Fiction, Horror and Action Movies within reason.
Bloodrock, Led Zeppelin, James Gang, Jimi Hendrix and almost all Classic Rock.
Don't Let The Bastards Wear You Down
Places I've Traveled
Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi, Honduras, Mexico, Virgin Islands and assorted others in the Caribbean.
Most Fulfilling Accomplishment
Entertaining millions of military men and women for over 40 years.