Online Library Catalogue

Viewing Entry - Sure Beats Working (S14174)
by Botica, Freddy

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Playing time for daisy/audio formats : 13 hours 37 minutes


TitleSure Beats Working
Author / Responsible partyBotica, Freddy
TopicsAutobiography. Botica, Freddy, 1947- Radio broadcasters -- New Zealand -- Biography. Radio broadcasters -- Australia -- Biography. Immigrants -- New Zealand -- Biography. Rock music -- Anecdotes.
Intended AudienceAdult
PublisherVisAbility Ltd.


Sure Beats Working follows the story of Freddy Botica, and the series of unexpected twists and turns that ended up being a long and successful career in broadcast radio.Freddy was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1947 – the youngest child of Croatian parents who fled the conflict of World War II to give their children a new life full of opportunities.In 1969, while working as a signwriter for Coca Cola, Freddy was invited to spend a week aboard the Tiri 2 – the infamous ship that brought pirate radio station Radio Hauraki to the masses in New Zealand. He was on board the ship to repaint a faded sign, but when a severe storm hit Auckland a few days later, Freddy was asked to fill in on air for the rest of the week. His immediate success and appeal on air led to Freddy being offered a full time role with Radio Hauraki – the beginning of what would become a broadcasting career that spanned 5 decades, and broke Australian records.Freddy’s time in radio gave him a chance to not only meet, but spend meaningful moments with many of rock music’s greats – from spending a weekend with Alice Cooper in Sydney, to hosting Sting and the Police at a barbecue on the beachfront lawn of his home. Many broadcasters have interviewed the stars. Very few of them have spent extended periods of time with the stars and their families. A chance meeting with Neil Young’s boat ‘Ragland’ in the Bay of Islands, led to a whole week spent with Neil soon after – windsurfing, and discussing life, family and music.Freddy was then part of the team that took Radio Hauraki to the top of the radio ratings in New Zealand. A radio station that originally didn’t even have a legal license to broadcast was beating all their competition consistently through the late 1970s and early 80s. From there, Freddy was poached by the competition, and was a key member of New Zealand’s first (and also legal) FM radio station, 89fm Stereo.In 1986, an offer to work in Perth offered Freddy the chance to work in a bigger country, and a bigger market. His golden voice and passion for music meant new Perth FM radio station 96fm was an almost overnight success, peaking with 35% of all Perth listening to 96fm – numbers that are unheard of in radio today. During his time at 96fm Freddy convinced Bob Geldof to fly to Perth and spend a whole week on air, creating one of the most memorable radio moments in Perth’s history, and in Freddy’s lifetime.A move to Perth rival station mix94.5 in 1992 precipitated a record-setting run for Freddy and his broadcast team – more than 13 years at number one – a record still unbeaten to this day.It might seem like luck, but Freddy Botica’s passion for music and the people who perform it has guided much of his life, and led him to spend some very interesting moments with some of the people who have shaped popular music.Sure Beats Working is the story of all Freddy’s moments in front of the microphone, and behind it. An honest and sometimes controversial account of an unexpectedly interesting life, influenced by some of rock music’s biggest names.

Additional Information

System control numberS14174
Original Print PublisherSwanbourne, Western Australia : Fred Botica, 2018
NarratorNarrated by Jim Limerick and Recorded by Caroline Pembroke.
Narrator NameNarrated by Jim Limerick and Recorded by Caroline Pembroke.
Participant or performer noteNarrated by Jim Limerick and Recorded by Caroline Pembroke.
Contains Strong/Coarse languageStrong language
Narrators GenderMale narrator