RIP John Vincent

by Lee Hopkins on March 27, 2009 · 14 comments

in clippings,miscellaneous

John Vincent - Rest In Peace, mate, and thanks

I hate getting old.

I really do.

With each passing year another reminder of our human propensity to die arrives and its arrival does not get any easier.

Each year an icon, a symbol, a ‘piece of fact’ so large in our lives, so solid, so concrete as to be irrevocable turns out to be not so.

John Vincent is dead.

As I type this the tears are rolling down my face. I hurt, I hurt so bad. I want to cry, to shout, to punch, to kick, to belittle my stepchildren, to pick a fight with my wife, to scream at the top of my lungs, to howl from the rooftops in psychic pain.

The man who was an integral part of my youth, who helped me define who I was and who I wanted to be, is dead. The man who would live forever in my mind is dead.

The man who ruled at 5KA when there was no FM stations in Adelaide, who brought with him legions of fans when he opened the first broadcast on Adelaide’s first FM station, SSAFM (later shortened to SAFM), where he was the top-ranking DJ for a phenomenal 14 years. The man who, along with Leon Byner and ‘Car 15’, was to me a hero, an icon and the voice of my youth. John was probably the only man in Adelaide who shared my love of Status Quo to the same extent.

No more will Ken Oath and the Ocker Rockers sing ‘Having a Barby’ and ‘Tuneless Flamin Jungle Music’. My heart is breaking.

Why is it that the people that mean so much to you, people who are so integral to your sense of identity, your psychic dna, cause you so much pain when they die?

God bless you, John, for the decades of warmth you brought to this man’s heart.


  • STEVE ELLIS

    Good on you mate
    I feel the very same way
    He will be missed and he can never be replaced
    I hope to play some form of tribute to him on my radio show
    on coast fm on Saturday Night at aprox 11pm
    Regards
    Steve Ellis

  • STEVE ELLIS

    Good on you mate
    I feel the very same way
    He will be missed and he can never be replaced
    I hope to play some form of tribute to him on my radio show
    on coast fm on Saturday Night at aprox 11pm
    Regards
    Steve Ellis

  • http://www.overnighters.com.au/ keith mcgowan

    i first worked with john “skinny vinnie” vincent at 7ho, i moved to 6pr and convinced gary meadows and john to join me in perth. it was the first half of the 60′s. my memories of john are vivid to this day. fun. laughs. and great broadcaster. it has been years since i saw john, but followed his career closely. the passing of john vincent sees the end of an era in radio. they just don’t make them likie john any my thoughts with the family. keith mc gowan 3aw melbourne

  • http://www.overnighters.com.au keith mcgowan

    i first worked with john “skinny vinnie” vincent at 7ho, i moved to 6pr and convinced gary meadows and john to join me in perth. it was the first half of the 60′s. my memories of john are vivid to this day. fun. laughs. and great broadcaster. it has been years since i saw john, but followed his career closely. the passing of john vincent sees the end of an era in radio. they just don’t make them likie john any my thoughts with the family. keith mc gowan 3aw melbourne

  • Neil Marks

    He was a legend in the industry and a true gentleman in life.
    A part of my youth has died today along with john.

    Neil Marks, Radio 2LM, Lismore NSW

  • Neil Marks

    He was a legend in the industry and a true gentleman in life.
    A part of my youth has died today along with john.

    Neil Marks, Radio 2LM, Lismore NSW

  • http://www.dsentmusic.com/ Shaun Allanson

    I had to be there today mate to say goodbye like all the other people that loved & liked you. I t was a very moving tribute to a man who meant alot to all those around him. You will be sadly missed “Vinnie” but your name will live on for ever. Seeya mate when I’m havin me next barbie

    Shaun Allanson D & S Entertainment

  • http://www.dsentmusic.com Shaun Allanson

    I had to be there today mate to say goodbye like all the other people that loved & liked you. I t was a very moving tribute to a man who meant alot to all those around him. You will be sadly missed “Vinnie” but your name will live on for ever. Seeya mate when I’m havin me next barbie

    Shaun Allanson D & S Entertainment

  • Greg Meyer

    Having worked with Vinnie both in bands as part of one of the many versions of the Ken Oath Ockerstra and later with John as part of the SAFM Morning Zoo from 1980 to 1986 it is with great sadness that I learn of his passing.

    I find it equally heart wrenching, sitting in Melbourne, that the day I am told of his death is also the day of his funeral.

    I am sincerely sad that I missed attending his funeral to celebrate his life, a life that I shared for more than a decade.

    My thoughts and condolences go out to his wife Sue and daughters Samantha, Heidi and Belinda and their families.

    I’m sure John is ‘Havin’ a Barby’ in a wonderful place, looking down on all of us and smiling.

  • Greg Meyer

    Having worked with Vinnie both in bands as part of one of the many versions of the Ken Oath Ockerstra and later with John as part of the SAFM Morning Zoo from 1980 to 1986 it is with great sadness that I learn of his passing.

    I find it equally heart wrenching, sitting in Melbourne, that the day I am told of his death is also the day of his funeral.

    I am sincerely sad that I missed attending his funeral to celebrate his life, a life that I shared for more than a decade.

    My thoughts and condolences go out to his wife Sue and daughters Samantha, Heidi and Belinda and their families.

    I’m sure John is ‘Havin’ a Barby’ in a wonderful place, looking down on all of us and smiling.

  • http://www.australianplayed.com.au/ John Backer

    I only just learned of this tragic loss. This very sad news. I only met John once at our very last Adelaide gig when, in his words, “Ken Oath” supported us at Lennies Tavern, Glenelg on Australia Day 1995. I will always remember hearing your dulcet tones every morning on SAFM.

    Perhaps it’s time the boys and I learned “Havin’ a Barby” or “Junk Mail” in honour of a great entertainer & all round good bloke.

    Cheers Vinnie, you will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.

  • http://www.australianplayed.com.au John Backer

    I only just learned of this tragic loss. This very sad news. I only met John once at our very last Adelaide gig when, in his words, “Ken Oath” supported us at Lennies Tavern, Glenelg on Australia Day 1995. I will always remember hearing your dulcet tones every morning on SAFM.

    Perhaps it’s time the boys and I learned “Havin’ a Barby” or “Junk Mail” in honour of a great entertainer & all round good bloke.

    Cheers Vinnie, you will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.

  • Andrew

    With sadness I found that Vinnie has passed.

    With SAFM and the crew – my daily bread as a year 12 student in Murray Bridge – we had to rig a special aerial, just to get the crew in the morning. Max the stereo cat – the others in the cage – what a loss. Bye Vinnie – and to Ken oath – Lets hear it for ken – FOR KEN OATH!

  • Andrew

    With sadness I found that Vinnie has passed.

    With SAFM and the crew – my daily bread as a year 12 student in Murray Bridge – we had to rig a special aerial, just to get the crew in the morning. Max the stereo cat – the others in the cage – what a loss. Bye Vinnie – and to Ken oath – Lets hear it for ken – FOR KEN OATH!

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