easy rider

My new radio documentary, Easy Rider, is scheduled for broadcast on Newstalk 106-108 fm.

Easy Rider: Documentary On Newstalk

New Irish Radio Documentary Celebrating 60 Glorious Years of the Honda 50

This weekend, Documentary on Newstalk airs the premiere of ‘Easy Rider’, in which IMRO-nominated producer Brian Gallagher looks at the social and transport phenomenon that is the Honda 50.

Easy Rider will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday 20th January at 7am with repeat broadcast on Saturday 26th January at 9pm

Using a lively mix of interviews, location recordings, sound effects and period popular music, Easy Rider explores the story of Ireland’s love affair with the Honda 50.

Sixty years after the first Honda 50s were produced in Japan, the programme explores the huge social impact that mass-produced, affordable transport had on Irish life, with the Honda 50 going on to become the biggest selling vehicle in the history of motor transport

Our narrator takes us on a journey through early-Seventies Ireland – with music and news snippets of the period recreating that world – beginning with the day he buys his new Honda, and ending when he gets his first car, and sadly bids the Honda farewell.

Side by side with the narrator’s story we hear from a fascinating array of individuals whose lives have been shaped by the Honda 50, from playwright Seamus O’Rourke, who used real motor cycles onstage during his play Ride On, to Niall D’Alton, who has traversed Route 66 from Chicago to LA on four occasions for charity, to bike enthusiast Alfreda O’Brien, who travelled by motorcycle in her wedding dress on the day of her marriage.

Conal Newman talks entertainingly about running the annual Nifty Fifty race in Mondello Park, while Jason Plunkett tells of setting up the Leinster branch of the Vintage Japanese Motor Cycle club, which holds an open day each year at the National Exhibition Centre

Contributors reminisce colourfully about their first motor cycle experiences, we hear of the clever marketing strategy employed by Honda to popularise the Honda 50 – and how versions of it are being manufactured in Asia to this day – and we close the programme with people’s final memories of a bike that has become both a firm favourite and a transport icon.

Quotes from EASY RIDER:

“When I’m out on the bike I’m not seventy any more.  I’m still seventeen.”  Conal Newman, Nifty Fifty Race organiser.

“In rural Ireland women were on the lookout for bicycle clips.  If you were seen putting down a helmet in the corner of the dancehall – then you were on your way!”  Seamus O’Rourke, playwright and actor.

 “The only person who gets an escort like we get, is the president of the United States of America.” Niall D’Alton, Route 66 charity fund-raiser.

 “I see some of the undertakers now have converted a sidecar into a hearse.  Not that I want to go anytime soon, but I can imagine that if I’m going, I wouldn’t mind going in something like that!”  Philip Carey, Goldwing rider.

“He’d pulled out the wires, and I said ‘get off, that’s my Honda Fifty.’   And he said ‘How do you know?  They’re all red and white.’”  Mary Mulherin, retired teacher.

“And I just got on the back, in my wedding dress, with my bouquet, and we cruised off, all around Glasnevin and back to the wedding party.”  Alfreda O’Brien, motor cycle enthusiast.

“You could actually start the ignition with a lollypop stick, and once you got the ignition on you were free to go.” Niall D’Alton, Route 66 charity rider.

LISTEN LIVE: EASY RIDER will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday 20th January at 7am with repeat broadcast on Saturday 26th January at 9pm

PODCAST: The podcast will be available at http://www.newstalk.com/documentaryonnewstalk after the broadcast.

CREDITS: EASY RIDER was produced by Brian Gallagher, and funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.