PMFM’s Gary Shannon: ‘We’d be in jail’ if radio was done the same today

Former Editor & Content Director

Perth radio veteran Gary Shannon has said he and his radio contemporaries would likely go to jail “in these politically correct times” if they were to attempt the shenanigans, skits and sketches they got away with back in the day.

Shannon was referring specifically to PMFM’s ‘Anything Goes’ parties which included large crowds, women attempting to win money (but risking “dropping their top”), alcohol skulling competitions, and, basically, anything goes.

As a result, Shannon said he can’t follow fellow broadcaster Basil Zempilas – now Lord Mayor of Perth – into politics as the city’s listeners have “too much dirt” on him.

He did, however, throw his support behind Zempilas in his Mayoral pursuits.

Shannon was talking to Lee ‘Bevo’ Bevington on The Radio Fanboy podcast, covering off his time at 6KY and 6PM.

It was his time at 6PM – then on the 92.9 frequency, which has subsequently been known as Hit 92.9 and most recently Triple M Perth – that he said felt like he’d reached the “Mecca” of radio at the time.

He was part of the PMFM Breakfast Morning Crew, which grabbed headlines and ratings for many years.

“We thought ‘Let’s get a bit of a party happening in the studio,’” he said of his brainstorming with program manager Duncan Campbell – now ARN’s chief content officer. “And I believe we were the first people to get the ‘crew’ thing happening… We invented ‘The Morning Crew’ name…

“We certainly started a trend, because now every bugger’s doing it,” he said of this approach to Breakfast radio.

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), owner of 92.9, has recently revitalised ‘The Morning Crew’ name for its new Sydney Breakfast show The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin.

Shannon said his ‘dangerous’ show was also the first to do ‘Crazy Calls’ – now known as ‘Gotcha Calls’.

“Now they’re banned because of that unfortunate situation that came out of Sydney and affected London so badly,” he said of today’s climate. “I don’t think anyone’s done one since. But ours were very famous.”

You can listen to the full podcast episode here.

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Tim
9 Dec 2020 - 7:49 pm

Loved listening to Gary growing up in Perth, especially when the hilarious Bernie Brittain joined – but think he misspoke with “we invented ‘The Morning Crew’ name”..

A truer sentence would’ve been “we nicked the name & concept from America who’d been doing it since the 70s”

Short Memory
10 Dec 2020 - 12:02 pm

Yeah you invented ‘morning crew’!

Gary Shannon
10 Dec 2020 - 1:48 pm

Yeah well it felt like it at the time, there were a few Zoo’s but no Crew’s.
I don’t know, it may very well have started in the U.S. but we were the first in Australia.
There ya go ya whinging bastards…….is that better.

Sharon
10 Dec 2020 - 3:02 pm

Always will be the best breakfast crew couldn’t miss a day of the crew especially the days of the crazy calls & the best worst joke Wednesday’s with billy cokebottle was on weekly with his great jokes. No one got bored with this crew & nobody ever changed the radio channel. I reckon bring Gary Shannon back to do what he does best

Louise
10 Dec 2020 - 10:04 pm

Onya Gary Shannon. Plenty of whingy bastards. You just proved your point. Number one forever

Tony Ilian
22 Dec 2020 - 11:03 pm

I first remember listening to Gary when I was a kid. I would’ve been about 11 or 12.

He was legendary on 990 6PM. He was easily their best jock back in the day.

The next time I remember listening to Gary was when I first got to 96 in the early 90’s.

It was just as PMFM went number 1 & rolled 96fm from #1. I remember thinking back then – gee that’ll be hard to beat.

Then in the late 1990’s – I got to work with him, firstly at PMFM, then at 96fm.

I’ve always admired and looked up to Gary Shannon. It’s a shame he’s still not on-air with his own gig on Perth radio.

If you’re reading this Gary – we must catch up for a beer over chrissy/new year.

All the best

TI

Pete
2 Feb 2021 - 4:04 pm

I grew up listening to the Morning Crew and loved listening to the antics. I even owned the Crazy Call and Worst Joke Wednesday CDs. Then there were the huge events, like the one featuring the final episode of Seinfeld. But times change… the show would probably sound corny if they did the same thing now.

I bet there must have been some fantastic crazy calls that couldn’t be broadcast due to the target not giving their permission at the end.

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