H2Ondes, la radio fluide à l'humour glacial

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Tue, 2005-09-27 16:40

Once upon a time in the 80s, a noncommercial radio was born and burnt down to ashes. Guess what ?

Do the time warp again. France, 10th may 1981.

The presidential campaign is over, and the newly elected François Mitterrand has gone to great lengths to explain he would allow private broadcasting were he to be elected. And he's just been.

France now has its first socialist head of state in ages, with communists to enter government. Everyone here is either exploding with joy or terrified at the upcoming soviet revolution that's sure to come real soon. The U.S.A. is considering the implications of communist ministers in an allied power.

But somewhere north of Lyon, much like in many other places all over the country, a group of teenage former amateur pirate broadcasters who started fiddling with antennas one year earlier, are meeting to make good of the promised radio freedom, without waiting for the official red tape to unravel.

H2Ondes is born.

It's a funny and nostalgic story of amateur, free, non-commercial radio, rising and falling, to see twenty-something professionals emerge from its very real ashes to develop larger commercial stations and networks, in a story for another day.

Skip some pipedream talks of rebirthing H2Ondes as a web radio during the dotcom bubble.

Fast forward to the present: these once teenagers are now forty-something, most of them still alive and in their midlife crisis, shaped to some extent by this creative experience, and looking back to the crazy hours spent building utopy, meet about it, collect memories, and maybe create something again, just like their modern day counterparts create Web 2.0 communities.

Enter the H2Ondes blog or the H2Ondes Facebook group.

Spike up your hair, flip a Bauhaus CD into your workstation drive, crank up the volume to eleven. Welcome to the ideal eighties.