Monday, April 03, 2006


Everyone saw that movie. Robin Williams played the part to perfection and the film have been known and loved by many generations since its initial release in 1987

Very few people know that the character Adrian Cronauer was based on a real DJ. Actually two Djs as I understand it. There is one man, actually named Adrian Cronauer, who in fact helped write the original Good Morning Vietnam story, who was a DJ for AFVN radio, an upstanding radio citizen, the founder of WPTS, and currently works for the D.O.D.

The other man is Dave Rabbit, a pirate radio DJ.

While It was the "real" Cronauer who wrote the script, and who bellowed "Good morning Vietnam." The character we meet in the movie starts sounding a lot more live Dave Rabbit than Mr. Adrian Cronauer. Unlike Robin Williams manic DJ persona, Cronauer is a lifelong card-carrying Republican. While the movie's Cronauer character was perpetually a hairs-width from a court-martial, the real-life Cronauer played within the bounds of the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) format

In the film, A new Disc Jockey is shipped from Crete to Vietnam to bring humor to Armed Forces Radio. He becomes wildly popular with the troops but pisses off the management and the censors big time. In his time off air he begins to have brushes with the visceral real war that never was allowed to appear on the radio. A heartwarming theme ensues.

Dave Rabbit was probably one of the raunchiest DJs ever to grace the airwaves. He was a free-wheeling promoter of prostitution and drugs. He makes Howard Stern look conservative. He called his station Radio First Termer, and it offered military personnel in South Vietnam a largely irreverent alternative to AFVN as well as protests against the war. Radio First Termer operated for only 21 days, broadcasting from somewhere in downtown Saigon in the month of January, back in 1971. Bootlegs of these broadcasts have been in circulation pretty much ever since. I've almost bought it a couple times Here.

Free MP3 clips here:
[Really, just listen to a couple. ]

The real Dave Rabbit has come forward just this year. There were a lot of surprises. He decimated some disinformation that had been circulation in the decades since. I wont cover it all here (that's what links are for) but let me just quote him: " My priest thinks I suck at being a Catholic and he is right but I sure as hell NEVER regreted ANYTHING that I DID or SAID during our 21 night run.

Click here to listen to Mr. Rabbit introduce a show.

Currently Mr. Rabbit is working on a 35th Anniversary Radio First Termer show. It will duplicate the concept of the the original shows. It may or may not be done live in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. He is also involved in the Vietnam documentary Sir, No Sir.

more here too: