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In Memory of Joop ter Zee

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This article is put together in memory of the late Joop ter Zee, one of FRS-Holland’s founders.
FRS Newsletter volume 4 issue 27 from September 2000 started with the following words….

Dear FRS-Holland Friend!

Welcome in this autumn edition. Things are not as they used to be. When I put these words on paper, I have a totally different feeling compared with previous editions. No reason to be happy, even when we are about to celebrate our 20th birthday in October. The unexpected death of my all time radio pal and friend Joop ter Zee has left deep marks. And still I can't believe he's no more among us. Never again his freaky and entertaining shows on FRS-Holland. Never again an evening of talk sessions about radio, music but also serious subjects. Never again drinking a glass of beer with him in a local pub. Words fail me....it's so unreal. FRS-Holland without Joop ter Zee, it's just unthinkable. But yet it is so true. FRS-Holland is amputated and will never be the same....

Peter Verbruggen, Thursday September 21st 01.10 hours.

- In Memory of Joop ter Zee -

Tuesday June 27th at 05.08 CEST Joop ter Zee passed away in hospital at the age of 40 leaving behind his girlfriend Willy, his parents and his sister Marja. Joop died in hospital, he suffered from Hepatitis C and a number of serious complications. Joop was cremated on Saturday July 1st , it was a 20 minute service, not long, but so intense. Four of Joop's favourite records were played. Pearl Jam- Alive, The Who- Won’t Get Fooled Again, The Verve- Bitter Sweet Symphony and ABC- All of My Heart . After the service a lot of Joop's (radio) friends got together, reminiscing. Joop ter Zee in his studio (1992)

I had the privilege working with Joop for more than 20 years. I met him in 1978 and eversince we became not only radio friends but also friends. We had mutual hobbies: music and radio. We started presenting a flashback show at the local hospital radio station. In 1979 we worked together with a few former FRS presenters for our very own local FM pirate, ABC Music Radio. And in 1980 we started FRS-Holland, together with Bobby Speed and others. A fantastic period. Joop produced our very first freaky jingle package with his Akai tape recorder, I remember sitting in his little studio situated in his sleeping room. Eversince Joop developed into a creative, skilful jingle producer. He had brilliant ideas and greatly contributed to the characteristic sound of FRS-Holland. He produced numerous jingles. I was the one writing the lyrics, Joop was the one doing the mixing job. He produced the jingles with the perfect choice of music beds and production elements.


Apart from a few months in 1982, Joop presented pxs for FRS-Holland for almost 20 years. Two decades. Remember his FRS Golden Show, the International Listeners' Letter Show from which he was co-presenter, Sounds Alternatives and the Short SW Parade. Sounds Alternatives is perhaps the most famous and best known show he produced. That was during most of the 1980s. Joop had an eye for those unknown or less known artists/ records. And Sounds Alternatives was thé programme in which all that great stuff was played. U2, Simple Minds (in the beginning of their careers), New Musik, Any Trouble, Colourfield, the Photos, the Buggles, Firefall, the Associates....just to name a few. Joop also participated in FRS goes DX magazine writing the Alternative Thoughts column in his very own, unique style. He was the one creating the first ever FRS website in the late 1990s.

In my eyes he was a very talented, creative radio personality. Both his jingles/promos and radio shows were without any doubt "Just a bit different" propagating the FRS philosophy. Fast-moving, with a great musical choice and loads of those funny, sometimes crazy jingles he entertained thousands of European SW enthusiasts over those almost 20 years. Many DXers loved his direct style of programmes. Joop built up a good reputation. I guess the words spoken by former FRS jock Mark Stafford are very right and goes for many FRS listeners: "I never met Joop Ter Zee but obviously felt like I knew him having listened over the years and having been part of the FRSH team. I will always remember him doing crazy things and saying just what he thought. I mean that in a very nice way! It's strange when a radio person dies. Even if you didn't ever meet him, you knew him like a friend."

Together Joop and I produced the 4½ hour "10 Years in the Life of FRS-Holland" documentary in 1990. For us a milestone. Almost 200 hours of spare time were put into that project. And inOctober 1999- we completed the production of the first FRS-Holland Jingle CD. For Joop and me a document because it represents the evaluation of FRSH jingles through the years, right from the very beginning in 1980 till the Millennium set late 1999. Every time I planned a FRS broadcast, I discussed the ideas with Joop. FRS was carried by both of us together with tx engineer Bobby Speed, also a man from the first moment.
Without knowing Joop presented his very final FRSH show in May 2000 before he left for Crete. He recorded a 60 minute programme which was aired in the early morning of Sunday May 28th as a test to North America.

Joop- the Zeeman- ter Zee...he is sadly missed as a friend and radio friend. What is left are all those good memories. In my mind but also in our huge tape archive. I will cherish them. Joop, friend, thank you for all those great years.

Peter Verbruggen

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