KLIK, Pirate Radio Vietnam!

Lai Khe base, Vietnam

by: Forrest Brandt
© Copyright (1997)


Lai Khe base - 1969: I took a stroll down that lane an it brought back some great memories. Did I miss seeing "My Girl", by the Temptations? Seemed like whenever I saw four or five blacks relaxin' and having a good time they would inevitably end up singing "My Girl" in harmony and with all the moves. I always enjoyed that.
      At First Infantry Division, we had a pirate radio station at Lai Khe base camp. K L I K ... the K was chosen because all radio-TV call signs west of the Mississippi begin with a K, while those east of the Mississippi started with a W. We felt we were well west of the Mississippi, being in Vietnam. Anyway, one of my many extra duties was to be accountable for KLIK-radio.
      There were some no-nos posted in the station having to do with playing records like, Fixin' to Die Rag and Why Don't We Do It in the Road. Usually, it never presented a problem but every once in a while I'd come back from my weekly trip to Saigon and AFVN and find a stack of telephone message slips demanding my attention---field grades complaining that someone had played one or both of those songs. I'd spend the morning getting my butt chewed out and screamed at. Once it was one of the division's chaplains who freaked over Do It and wanted to know how anybody ever managed to record such an offensive record, let alone play it over the radio where it would destroy the moral fiber of America's youth! He chewed me out using some words not found in the King James Bible in a voice that shook the phone. The chaplain ended his harangue by demanding that I seize the record, destroy it, bring him the broken pieces and court martial the offending DJ.
      After these morning sessions (they yelled---I listened) I'd go over to the station and plead with the crew not to play those songs. Then we'd all have a beer and laugh about it. You just couldn't keep the guys down for long and their idea of good music sure wasn't the same as the field grades.

Forrest Brandt

KLIK, Pirate Radio Vietnam! P.S. Since posting this story, I have had contacts from three guys who worked at KLIK at different times. We now have an e-history thing going to figure out more pieces in the KLIK story puzzle. Thanks for getting us together. The staff at KLIK radio, Lai Khe, RVN: Far left, back row, is Roger Ramjet, an unforgettable name if ever there was one. Collin P. Kelly III, is first row, far right. He started his first show "Ice" on KLIK. Next to him, in glasses, is Chris Smith (I believe) a SP/5 who could fix anything in the studio. The rest of the names have left my memory box.


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