9 unforgettable moments in TWO YEARS of Hitz FM blogging

collection of header images from GabeMcGrath.com

It’s my blog’s anniversary today. Normally, after 2 years of Hitz FM blogging, you’d expect a list of favourite stories. But that seems crass and boring.

So instead, I’d like to tell you about 9 moments in the past 24 months that I won’t forget.

1. Getting THAT EMAIL from ‘The Collector’

Audio recordings to help my Hitz FM blogging
A tiny fraction of the Hitz recordings in “The Collector’s” possession.

I’ve kept in contact with a member of the Hitz family over the years. They don’t want their name used here so let’s call them ‘The Collector’. At the time I launched this blog, Ms/Mr Collector sent me an email…

“I’ve been busy digitising Hitz FM tapes.
Here’s a link to my spreadsheet…”

Email received, August 2020

I clicked and my jaw dropped. This person had tonnes of Hitz tapes, all with notes… plus lots of 8 hour “logtapes” that were assumed lost! They’ve started to slowly share them with me… and you can stream the Hitz Melbourne recordings here on the blog as I get them ready.

2. ReZOOMion with the OG Hitz gang

Look, we’ve all had enough of Zoom for work. But getting a bunch of mates together after over 25 years? Hell yes.

We had a ball. There were stupid jokes galore, serious moments, and a ludicrous quiz show with only one contestant. Check it out here – I promise it’s worth every minute.

I tend to think of the Hitz crew from the 92-94 era as ‘phase 1’. And I’m keen to do a similar Zoom with the Hitz crew from phase 2 (95-98) and phase 3 (99 to 2001). Hit me up in the comments below if you want to see that.

3. Rediscovering my love of Megamixes

CD covers from the DJ Remix service HOT TRACKS
CD covers from the DJ Remix service HOT TRACKS

In the past year, I’ve really been getting into Megamixes again. Each Wednesday I share a fave “midweek megamix” on one of my favourite Facebook Groups. [You have to apply to join, but it’s worth it]

But this all stems back to a blog post in the very early days here – celebrating the megamix that I think may have been the FIRST TRACK Hitz FM ever played. The Hot Tracks 1991 Medley.

4. Receiving the mysterious ‘Essendon tape’

A photo of a Hitz FM fan tape - at an Essendon 2nd hand music store
The mysterious Essendon Hitz FM fan tape

Back in the middle of 2021, I was contacted by Matthew Robottom – a Hitz FM fan whose 90s music knowledge is off the charts. He’d come across a fan-made Hitz FM recording in a local music shop.

Using clues in the recording, I was able to work out roughly when it was recorded. But the identity of who made it is yet to be solved. If you haven’t listened yet, you can stream the tape right here.

5. Trying to break Youtube with an 8 hour recording

So – I had an 8 hour Hitz recording. Surely it would be cool to put it on Youtube, so people could listen to it on January 28th – the day it was recorded back in 1995?

Unfortunately, amongst EIGHT HOURS of songs – just ONE song got a copyright ‘strike’. Ahh, the fun of Hitz FM blogging. So I had to split the clip in half – and remove the song. Thankfully that worked, and you can enjoy one of my longest Hitz recordings so far – in the original blog post.

6. Talking about a childhood TV show

If you ever watched this show – you’ll know why it belongs on a Hitz FM-themed blog. If you haven’t, a quick read of my 2021 Press Gang blogpost will explain all.

It was fun to research and write about this show from long ago, and the strong thematic links to a radio station you know and love.

7. Getting the gang back together to talk about Peter Andre

Peter Andre and crazed fans at Hitz FM Moorabbin

This was genuinely a heap of fun. I got in contact with a bunch of the ‘Moorabbin’ Hitz FM crew, to talk about the day the world went crazy.

Everyone had different memories, and some brought some (previously unseen) photos along too! If you haven’t seen it previously, it’s one of the most enjoyable roundtables I’ve had in all my time of Hitz FM blogging. Here’s the Peter Andre blogpost.

8. Going viral for ‘Big Bass 90s songs’ in America

OK, so this is strange.

Early last year, I posted about the tracks on Hitz Melbourne that would shake your subwoofer. Nine months later, it started getting traffic each month. Then more, and more. And most of the traffic is from the USA.

Clearly there’s lots of Americans interested in the bass-rumbling merits of Dreams (Quench) over the ‘Mofo remix’ of Jump (The Movement). Who knows. Unlike David Hasselhoff, I still can’t claim I’m ‘big in Germany’ but I know, my day will come.

9. That email you’re about to send me

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in 2 years of blogging about Hitz Melbourne – it’s that the best thing is the surprise emails. I never know when I’ll hear from a long-lost fellow Hitz volunteer – or a listener I’ve never met.

Sometimes people tell me great stories, or send me photos. Some had never visited the station, others have lots of tapes ready to share.

Either way, emails are the best.
And I’d love to reply to your email.

Thanks for your support.

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Author: Gabe McGrath

Gabe McGrath is a radio creative and freelance writer. He helped set up 89.9 Hitz FM Melbourne in the 90s. This youth radio station caused a sensation and 30 years later many a 90s kid will smile when 'Hitz' is mentioned. Gabe is working on a book about that era and now blogs about Hitz Melbourne. GabeMcGrath.com includes tonnes of streaming audio recordings, photos, stories and behind-the-scenes info.

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